My time in Indonesia is nearing the end, with one more ferry crossing to the island of Timor.
The island of Timor is split, with the western half still being part of Indonesia, and the eastern half being it’s own country, East Timor.
The ferry goes twice a week from Aimere (Flores) to Kupang (Timor), and it’s a bit of a doozy…
It was scheduled to leave late in the morning on Wednesday, and we’d arrive in Kupang early Thursday morning. Our plan was to head straight to the East Timor Embassy once we arrived in Kupang, as we needed to get letters of authorization so that we could get visas at the border. We wanted to get the process going as quickly as possible…we expected it to take 3 days to get the authorization letters, then have 2 days of riding to Dili, East Timor, where we wanted to have a couple days to get our bikes cleaned up (due to very strict Australian regulations) and loaded on a ship to Darwin, Australia on the 4th of July.
We arrived at the dock in Aimere a couple hours before the ferry was scheduled to leave, and found a dock, but no boat…so the waiting game began. The boat finally showed up almost 3 hours after we were meant to depart, and by the time it was unloaded and reloaded, we were bout 4 hours behind schedule…already, I was starting to sweat a bit due to the delay, as we had a pretty tight schedule to keep for the next week, but at this point everything was out of my hands, so no need to get too excited.
We got a couple beds in the barracks-like first class section of the boat, figuring it’d be well worth the cost, as this was meant to be an 18 hour trip. Once we got settled in, and the boat left the dock, the vomiting began…not for me and my iron stomach, but probably for about 1/4 of the rest of the passengers.
In the end, the ferry ride was about 22 hours, putting us in Kupang on Thursday afternoon, rather than morning. Once off the ferry, we headed straight to the embassy. We were hoping to have news that the paperwork would be done first thing on Monday morning, so that we could hit the road towards Dili that same day, but when we handed in our applications, the customs agent asked when we’d need them to be done by. Optimistically, Ben asked if they could be ready by the end of the day on Friday, and without barely even thinking about it, he told us to come back at 2pm on Friday…perfect!
The next afternoon, we went into the embassy, and sure enough, everything was taken care of! This means we could head out from Kupang this morning (Saturday) and get to the border tonight.
Tomorrow we’ll head into Dili, two days earlier than expected, and have a bit more time to get everything squared away with the shipment to Darwin.