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Travel reports

Up and away

Friday, 25th of July 25, 11.0am. After spending the whole morning seeing three different customs offices together with a Toll employee to bring their past mistakes on paper, we now stand in front of the container and Enrico rips off the seal. Aware of the fact that there is not any positive things to expect from Toll, we now also have to notice that the people in Darwin have discharged the battery intentionally by leaving the ventilation running. Presumably to avoid inflammation or other impossible nonsense. For us this was the exclamation mark behind the decision of never being a customer of this company again.
After the starter cable have been deflowered and customs unsuccessfully searching the car for forbidden goods and items, we leave the port with screeching tires and without shaking hands.

Nasi Goreng Ayam
Receiving the car
Jump start

A ‘warm’ welcome in Timor-Leste to our Mitsubishi. Although we already got caught up by the sense of departure, after refueling and loading the backpacks into the car we now went to Cape Fatucama, a small headland, which houses two rarely visited beaches and a large statue of Jesus. Following our next destination should be the small town of Maubisse inland south of Dili.

Hardly out of the city, the … road ... winds up the hill – getting narrower, with more and more potholes that seem to have been caused by small meteorite impacts.
As we gained height and the clutch might already have started to cook, we drove in the first clouds and fog. After more than one hour of driving the odometer indicated not more than 27 kilometers. A third of the distance to Maubisse. Meanwhile Nadine struggled with the stomach due to those numerous serpentines. And since we did not want to lose the car in Country 2 of 15 already and there was still so much ahead of us, we decided to turn around. The route to Baucau (east of Dili) should be in a similar condition and so our next way to go was west. Indonesia, here we come.

Cape Fatucama
Overloaded truck
On the way to Maubisse

After a night at an uninhabited part of a little though not clean beach we followed the often unpaved main road along the north coast, sometimes partly blocked by landslips. The weather was perfect as it actually was for weeks already. Looking over the blue sea to the north we were able to spot the Indonesian island of Alor in the distance.

At the very quiet border everything went smoothly. After half an hour we left the border village Mota’ai lying on the Indonesian side and the only thing we actually were sad about was that the lettering on our Mitsubishi is not to be read in Tetum and Indonesian. Despite all the curiosity of the locals English skills are still rare in most regions.

Road towards Indonesian border
Typical huts in Timor-Leste
Colorful bus

Timor-Leste. Unfortunately we did not see much of you. Your coffee plantations, traditional villages and your highest mountain Tatamailau with its more than 2900 meters will remain undiscovered. Our impatience and curiosity about the volcanic islands of Indonesia is to blame for that by 25%. But mostly it is the fault of a company, whose name should adorn this website no more time. But your capital Dili, we now know better than our hometowns!

Timor-Leste is the second poorest country in Asia. We hope that your situation improves in the coming years and do not rule out a comeback.

After crossing the border into Indonesia, now Kupang is calling for us. From there the ferry will bring us to the northern neighbor island of Flores, correction: closer to Germany.