09 July 2014 1 of 5

TIMOR-LESTE (Dili to Oecusse Distr.)



Oecusse is the only district of Timor-Leste that is not part of the contiguous eastern half of the island of Timor. It exists as an exclave on the northern coast of Indonesian West Timor. There are two ways to reach Oecusse, either as a passenger on the once-a-week Berlin Nakroma ferry, which was no use to us because of its schedule and the fact that we could not guarantee getting space for our essential Troopies in the small hold, or overland, through Indonesia, the route we had taken before and the route we were to take today. The only problem was we would need transit visas and vehicle paperwork to pass through Indonesia going and coming and these were the visas that had taken five days to obtain in Dili and the reason for the side-trip to Ataúro.

The road west from Dili to the border at Batugade is pretty good by Timorese standards and we made good time. Our main concern today was once again the presidental election day in Indonesia, which happened in Jakarta, the capital, on the day the embassy was closed, and which happened today in West Timor. We heard rumors that the borders might operate only on a half-day schedule, something we definitely wanted to avoid given that we had already lost one day due to the visa delay.

We made good time to Batugade and passed through the Timorese and Indonesian borders with ease, although the process and paperwork, for vehicles and passengers, is always long-winded and takes a good hour or more. We discovered it was not half-day closing on the border after all.

Hinrich is ready to go in his decalled Troopie
Leaving Timor-Leste at the new Batugade border post

Click on any image to enlarge it
Click next page below for page 2