Had a terrible night at Timor Backpackers and didnít get any sleep at all. The bloody A/C in the dorm did very little in cooling the room and sounded like a small diesel engine starting every time the compressor kicked in. So without any sleep at all I have a long ride in front of me. Got the bike packed, paid the bill and off. Down to one drink bottle holder on the handlebars now, the roads have taken their toll and alloy holder has snapped.
Iíll look for a replacement in Kupang.
Resolved to just ride along the coast a bit and see how far I got. Headed straight into a traffic jamb getting out of Dili which turned out to be due to a bike versus large truck accident. Looked like the bike and rider had slammed into the back of the truck making a ďUĒ turn, blood and carnage evident on the road, note to self ďBE CAREFULĒ.
Got through that and continued west along the coast on what could be one of the great coastal road drives in the world once the road is upgraded. The views are stunning and the road literally hugs the beach for much of the way only leaving it where the beach yields to rocks and cliffs and the road winds up through the hills for views along the coast.
Coast road under development and a land slip up ahead.
Picked up a hand of red bananas and four donuts from a roadside stall then stopped at a lovely little beachside cafť for a rejuvenating coffee at Maubara.
Postie Bike got noticed by a passer-by who turned out to be from Darwin so I got to have a bit of a chat about the ride and life in general.
Stopped to take pics of old colonial era fort.
Was feeling remarkably fresh and decided to press on for Balibo to pay my respects to the Balibo Five at the Australia House.
Then back down the same road to the coast to continue westward to the border crossing.
This was my first border post crossing with the bike so a learning opportunity for me. It all went pretty easily after at first being directed in all of the wrong directions by various uniformed persons on the Timor Leste side. No not here go there, no not here go back to there, no not here go inside over there, no not in here come with me, back to the very first place Iíd gone.
The Indonesian side was simplicity in itself although I did have to coach the customs official through the process of completing the Carnet.
Took a speedo reading on entering Indonesia which shows that I did about 1100km in Timor Leste.
The roads improved immensely but still have some nasty bits and still not much in the way of signage. My HERE MAPS on the Nokia are useless for this part of Indonesia so I have to get in touch with my feminine side and ask directions several times.
I had the bit between my teeth now and was really enjoying the ride so decided to press on. Well I didnít ask directions often enough and ended up taking a wrong turn. I could have turned back but in keeping with the ethos of this ride I decided keep following the front wheel and see some of the less visited parts of the country. Hotels are few and far between and Iíd failed to find either a hotel or a place to camp by the time the sun clocked off for the day. Oh well, time to test out the LED Driving light and yes, itís bloody fantastic, what a great addition to the bike.
Eventually ended up in Soe (pronounced So-eh) in a nice little hotel for the night with PB safely parked in the foyer. Think Iíll have a look around and then make for Kupang.
Turns out I hadnít taken a wrong turn at all, just a misunderstanding with some well-meaning locals the last time Iíd sought confirmation that I was still headed for Kupang. Lucky Iíd kept following the front wheel after all.
An easy ride into Kupang with traffic getting heavier and crazier the closer I came to my destination. Surprised myself by finding Lavalon Seaview Guesthouse on the very first try. For anyone transiting or just visiting Kupang, this place is an absolute gem. The owner operator Edwin can arrange tickets for flights at better than internet prices and has lots of information about just about every aspect of travel in Indonesia. The rooms are clean, comfortable and cheap and the hamburger is reputed to be the best in Indonesia. The one I sampled was certainly very good.
Had dinner at the night market, Mie Ayam (noodles and chicken) and a big glass of fresh apple juice for just under AU$2.
After chatting with Edwin, Iíve decided to take the Tuesday ferry to Alor Island, in the meantime Iíll do a short trip to Rote Island on the slow ferry and kick back in a beach guesthouse for two days.
Made it to the ferry just in time, the terminal is located at Bolok not at the main harbour which involved a bit of a ride along the coast through traffic.
Bike and I are safely? On-board now and making for Rote as I write this.