We got into East Timor with no issues, and made it into Dili on Sunday afternoon. The road was mostly dirt, but was actually pretty good…wide and fairly smooth
But there were a few sections that were under construction
And also some areas that still needed a bit of attention
The view of the coastline provided a nice distraction from the rough bits of road
And finally we made it into Dili, the dusty capital of East Timor.
This morning, we went in to visit our shipping agent at Toll Logistics to get a bit more info on the price and also to figure out when we needed to have our bikes ready to be loaded in their container. Both the price and the schedule caught us a bit off guard. We expected to load the bikes into a shipping container on Thursday or Friday, and the ship would then arrive in Darwin, Australia sometime around the 8th of July. Unfortunately that boat was cancelled, and the next Dili-Darwin shipment was scheduled for the 31st of July. Based on what we’ve heard of the scheduling at Toll, we were almost expecting a little bit of a delay, but three weeks!? The other option is a boat that leaves about the same time as the original one, but it will go to Singapore first, then continue on to Darwin. This looks like our best option, as it should at least get into Darwin a week to ten days earlier than the late one. The only downside to this option are that we need to get the bikes cleaned up and ready to ship one day earlier than expected, and also, we’ll be without our bikes (which makes for a pretty naked feeling) for at least three weeks…
We decided on the Dili-Singapore-Darwin route, then got to talking about the price. From the quote we originally received, the charge for the cargo (which was the majority of the overall cost) was priced per cubic meter, and there was a 4CBM minimum. Ben and I roughly figured that we’d each have to pay $450 for the shipping, as both our bikes together would still be under the 4CBM minimum. When we got the updated quote for $600 each, we figured something had to be wrong. It was at that point that the agent explained that there is a (ridiculous!) rule that if multiple vehicles are being shipped, and they aren’t registered under the same name, they can’t be lumped together…so basically we need to pay the 4CBM minimum twice…robbery, I tell ya.
Unfortunately, Toll is the only company that ships from Dili to Darwin, so our only option is to cough up the extra hundred and fifty bucks and wait an extra couple (hopefully only a couple…) weeks for our bikes to arrive in Darwin.