Waiting in Darwin for customs to release my bike

I’m in Darwin, Australia!

Australia seems to be very bureaucratic! I knew it is hard to get the bike through the inspection and customs. But I’m already here for a week and I don’t even had the first appointment with them!!
And nobody wants to tell you, what is needed and where to go. They want you to hire an agent, which will do the paperwork and appointments for you (for about 250$!).
I thought the main paperwork processing will be done by the company which shipped my bike and would be included in the shipping price. But the local Bollore/SDV office does not communicate with the one in Dili, they didn’t even know that a container is coming and I had to relay all information by myself!

I will keep you updated next week how it’s going…

Cleaning my bike for shipping to Darwin

I‘m in Dili for a weak now, been visiting multiple shipping agencies to get quotes for shipping my bike to Darwin in Australia.

unfortunaltely, I did not find any other bikers to share a container, so I have to pay the full prize 🙁  I may do another post with all the costs of the shipping when I arrive in Australia.

To get the bike into australia, it has to be VERY clean! Fortunately I could clean my bike at the local Ford dealership „Entreposto“! I cleaned it for about three days, took apart half of the bike. Antonio and ‚his boys‘ helped me out with tools and the pressure washer!

Thank you so much Antonio and your team!!

If everything goes like planned, the ship will leave on Friday or Saturday and arrives two days later in Darwin. There it will be a big bureaucracy to get it out of customs and inspected…


Border crossing from Indonesia to East Timor

I crossed the border from Indonesia to East Timor/Timor Leste!
My Indonesian visa expires in two days, so this was a close one with the ferry!

On the Indonesian side they are building a complete new border crossing area. It’s all still under construction, but already in use.
The entrance to the area is here, it’s not on OpenStreetMap yet.

The first building is the immigration. You have to go in there, they won’t stamp the passport in the boothes outside. It was pretty quick, as I was the only one there (Wednesday morning at 8:30).
Then I had to look for the customs. It’s the building on the right side, take the third exit of the roundabout. It looks just like a construction site than an active building, but the customs office is in there.
It took only about 10 minutes to stamp my carnet.

And off I went to the Timor Leste border!

Directly at the booth they stamped my carnet, quick and easy!
Then I needed to put my bike on the parking lot and walk back to the immigration, which is the building on the left.
I had to fill out the usual form and customs declaration, which they give right at the entrance at a small table.

The customs officer asked if Switzerland is in the European Union and I said it is 🙂
Because citizens of the European Union can get into Timor Leste without a visa and fees. Switzerland and Iceland do have the same agreement, but he only knew about the EU and I didn’t want to complicate things…

I read so much about issues to enter Timor Leste on the landborder from Indonesia and the required Visa permission in Kupang or online, that I was not sure if I really can go in without it.

But the whole process on both sides took less than one hour!

Ferry from Larantuka, Flores to Kupang, Timor

I’ve been stuck on Flores island for almost two weeks! Due to bad weather the car ferries did not leave to Kupang on Timor island.

There are three towns on Flores from where the ferries are going to Timor: Aimere, Ende and Larantuka.

The shortest is from Larantuka and will take about 15h. It’s supposed to run three times a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But it seems during the rainy season there’s normally no ferry on Wednesday. Or in my case none at all for two weeks…

There’s only one company with car ferries: ASDP. I got the most reliable information from their email address (it may take one or two days to get an answer, but they will): asdp191@indonesiaferry.co.id

Pelni has passenger ferries which run less frequently. They are bigger and therefore also running in bad weather conditions. But there’s no way they take a scooter or motorbike with them (I tried).

the ASDP ferry port is here, about 5km west of Larantuka! They are not going from the main harbour! Although the office building there looks pretty destroyed and abandoned (roof fallen down, etc), the ticket office is in there! It’s the only dry room in the building, approach from south to find it. But there’s rarely anybody there and if they are, they don’t know the schedule nor do they speak English.

Be there at 6am! I arrived at 7am and the ferry was already full! I just crammed my bike in there, didn’t even had a ticket yet.

the ticket office will open about 7-8am. But you can also go onboard and pay on the ferry as soon as you see an ASDP official. The ferry should leave around noon. In my case it left at 11:50, although the official departure on this day would have been 13:00. I arrived at 3:30 in the night.

In Larantuka I stayed in hotel Lestari. It was ok, but at 250’000 IDR a bit overpriced.

There’s a good and cheap car/motorcycle wash here for 20’000 IDR.

Hairdresser is here, 20’000 IDR

A nice and lively Street food court is here, opens at 6pm.

If you like to stay in a fancy hotel with beach and pool, try this one, starting at 450’000 IDR per night.