The island of Timor is divided in two. On the one side Indonesia, on the other, the most recent country in the world, Timor leste. Here on the Indonesian side there are already no tourists, no one speaks English, it’s complicated to travel here. I have to go to Timor Leste or go 4 tourists a day according to the statistics …
It’s been a week since I was in the Indonesian part of Timor. I feel really deep in Indonesia, I had no contact with other tourists (except Roti island). I am without information in a big city that I do not know, or hardly anyone speaks English and in a different culture. Fortunately I made an Indonesian friend, Berto.
At the moment it’s intense but not easy. So I hesitate to go to Timor-Leste, the country next door. It is the youngest country in the world, it exists only since 2004. It is said that only 4 tourists a day return there and that the country recently independent is not yet stable politically and can be still violent. It is also said that it is the poorest country in Asia but paradoxically life is very expensive. United Nations forces control the security of the country and people still speak a different language (tetum).
I am afraid to find myself in a truly total immersion, alone and able to communicate. But now that I have come so far I make the decision to go there despite everything.
Fun situation at the time of getting in my little bus on which is written the name of the place where I have to go the locals shout me not to go up. “Ok, ok, ok!” I finally understand that here the name on the front of the bus does not indicate the final destination but simply the general direction. The locals help me get on the right bus that takes me to the border that consists of a series of tole cabins in the middle of nature.
Here I am in Timor-Leste. Now the currency is not the rupee but the US dollar. But I arrived too late, there is no bus anymore. I’m stuck at the border is it’s night.
I use my best Indonesian to haggle with a guy. I would like him to take me to the capital Dili with his scooter. We agree for $ 20. At the time it seemed to me expensive but considering what awaits me I understand better later what the price implies.
The 3 hours of roads behind the scooter with my bag on the shoulders are rather difficult for my back and my little buttocks, but the arid landscape is a treat. The road meanders along the coast sometimes on the beach sometimes in the hills and soon with a view of a beautiful sunset over the sea.
In one of the villages we pass the first UN soldiers who greet us from the top. their tank.
Tired, I arrive at night in Dili directly at the Backpacker hotel and thank my driver.