Well, I’ve been in East Timor 10 days now and it looks like I’m going to be here a little longer yet. You see I’m waiting for a package from my parents and until that comes I’m stranded. But it’s no ones fault but the useless buggers in the post office who tell me it’s not there and sends me looking for an office at the other end of town that doesn’t exist. ‘Another week,’ said my friend on the counter this morning. A WEEK! I could have hit him with my helmet.
So today, rather than sit and wait in the grotty hostel I now call home, me and an Aussie fella called Mal headed for the hills, me on Dot Cotton, him on some dodgy rented scooter that makes me sick because it’s still quicker than Dot. We didn’t know where we were going. Just took a tiny craggy old road that ran off like a cocked elbow from the main coastal road. Past these gorgeous clay and brick houses we went, with all the kids and adults smiling and waving at these two silly men sauntering up a mountain road that’s probably never seen a tourist before in its life. But on we went, the scenery getting more tropical with jungles growing off in the distance and a big thick watery cloud threatening to splosh us with water overhead.
The road, it’s fair to say, was knackered. Mud and pot-holes in many places with landslides chewing much of it away on one side and the overflowing jungle robbing it of room on the other. But we threaded through, past more surprised yet smiling faces an along the road that was getting rougher. Failing to bring food and water for our mountainous adventure we stopped at this remote wooden shack where a kid stood wide-mouthed as we sloshed around his tiny little joint picking up packs of biscuits until we were finally ready to power on to the peak.
Sadly though we never made it. Rounding a corner and stumbling across a tiny village, we were confronted by men with guns and combat gear. Thankfully they were ours, well Australian at least, who were out in the hills on patrol. Patrolling for what we weren’t too sure, but they were clearly more surprised than we were to have a Pom on a post bike and an Aussie on a moped pop and whiz out of the jungle in shorts, sandals and expressions of great excitement. We chatted briefly, them still not sure if we were real or mountain fairies, before they instructed us to go back because the road around the corner was such a mess that the rest of their squadron or platoon or whatever else you call them had got stu in the mud. Clearly they’re using the wrong vehicles because our two mopeds laughed over the mud and said sod you to the potholes.
But we did indeed turn back, arriving in Dili an hour or so ago, where I once again wait for this package to arrive. It were tins of beans and socks from Marks and Spencers then I’d say forget it. Instead it’s a GPS tracker so those who worry can keep track of my movements and an international driving license, which I don’t thinks essential, but good to have nonetheless.
So that’s it, more waiting. Hopefully back on the road soon.