(42) Kupang Bound

Trip Start May 30, 2013
Trip End Sep 10, 2013

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Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Thursday, July 11, 2013

We were up up early today to catch our bus to Kupang in West Timor, Indonesia. This was very helpfully booked for us by the owner of the backpackers and came right to the door of the hostel to save us the trip across town. Arriving just before 9, the minibus was snug but comfortable and every seat was filled for the 12 hour journey. We soon set off out of Dili and went along the coastal road. This was very hilly and hugged to the cliffs as it rose very steeply along the single-track road. The sheer drop on one side and the very windy road even made Ally feel a little sick! The many potholes also made the journey very bumpy to prevent us sleeping, though Cat seemed to manage it quite successfully. After descending from the cliffs (lucky on the road and not into the sea) it moved inland and through traditional villages and over enormous riverbeds, empty as it is the dry season. Apart from these there were other buildings that were destroyed or damaged in the conflict but were never rebuilt.

An hour and a sore bottom later, we reached the border and got off the bus to check-out of the country, first with the military and then immigration. The men took a long time with our passports and we worried that it was a problem with our visas. Luckily thy were just interested as they were British and were looking at our now numerous stamps. We moved through to the Indonesian side where we had to fill out entry cards and sign in with immigration and the army before being searched by immigration and then customs! We then drove on a little before getting out again to sign in with the police. Why they don't have one system we don't understand.

The road improves dramatically on the Indonesian side and even widens to one and a half lanes! The bus next stopped for lunch in a small town not far from the border. The journey to Kupang took another 5 hours but we were dropped off right at the door to Lavalon Hostel where we had booked a room through East Timor Backpackers. This is a small room with two single beds and half a mattress between them. But for 55,000 a night it is well worth it. There is however no shower and the mandi was dirty so we shall need to wash in Ende tomorrow. We headed out to a market for tea and had delicious Pop Ice drinks. We have asked the owner to order us a taxi for 4.30 in the morning tomorrow for our flight; goodbye Timor, hello Flores!
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