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Slow drive to Kupang

April 24, 2015 0 Comments

Friday, 24 April 2015

Slow drive to Kupang; 200 km in a day is a big drive. Obstacles include pigs, piglets, chooks, chickens, huge potholes, gravel, kids, dogs, millions of motorbikes and taxis in the form of bongo vans, or beemas. In towns, the beemas drive around slowly, pick up a load of people and take them where they want to go. They stop anywhere, just stay on the bitumen and you have to drive around them!

Then there’s the trucks! The seven-tonne gravel trucks are good and quick, but the 15 tonne trucks, single axle, are a real pain. Slow and wide.

Child on the Main Road to Kupang

A 2 year old walking on the Main Road

Between 12 and 2pm schooldays, the kids walk along the road as there are no footpath or side roads. The roads are the lifeblood of the villagers.

We’ve learned that if you camp near a village and meet some of them, they take you on as their responsibility for safety. They are also very curious, as no-one camps in Indo or Timor Leste, so you have an audience every night, and usually each morning.

We got to Kupang where we got a three police bike escort to show the way to the ferry terminal. We camped the night in a yard at a backpacker accommodation place in the main street. Sooo noisy! Off to the ferry terminal Thursday morning and got there at 8.30am. We had our tickets at 12 noon, boarded at 1pm, took off at 2pm, and landed at Larantuke, Flores group, at 4.30am!

We then drove for 20km before we could find a place to pull over and have some sleep. On the ship, I slept on the hold floor, under the Land cruiser, on top of the engines! Lynn slept in the car, as did Donna. Barry slept on the bonnet!

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