Timor Leste - September 2013

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by sharkey, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

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    [​IMG]
    Camped on top of the 300 year old Portuguese fort at Balibo, with the mighty Honda MegaPro 150!

    A few of us headed over to Timor Leste (East Timor) for the 10th anniversary of the Balibo House Trust and to generally have a bit of a look around on two wheels with the help of Dave & Shirley Carlos from Timor Adventures.

    PHOTO GALLERIES:
    * My Photos & Videos
    * John's Photos
    * Wombat's Photos

    After a day of acclimatization (drinking beer) in Darwin, and another day of acclimatization in Dili (drinking beer in the pool), we picked up our bikes from Tiger Fuel and headed off into the mayhem that is everyday traffic in Dili. No-one died, mostly due to the kind and adaptable nature of the East Timorese drivers. After a great lunch and a sobering visit to the Resistance Museum, we headed back to the hotel for more acclimatization.

    The next day was off to Balibo, along the coast road. The camera was actually working, so there's a bunch of this on the video (below). The roads are ... variable. We stopped and looked over the Indonesian border at Batugade, then up to Balibo. We camped for a couple of nights on top of the Balibo fort, built 300 years ago by the Portuguese. From the battlements, you can see all the way back to the coast at Batugade. Anyway, after some misadventures involving dynabolts (found eventually) and construction adhesive (couldn't find it, seriously, when someone imports the stuff the East Timorese are going to love it) and cable ties (thanks Dave) we got things ready in time for the Esteemed Personages and went back to being ringins.

    Then off to Maliana and the excellent "Hotel Risky". We'd already had a look around Maliana the day before and buying beer turned out to be rather a lot easier than buying dynabolts. The next day was up into the mountains, stopping at Ainaro (hell of a church ...) and then on to Hato Bulico, the highest town in Timor Leste. The roads got more and more atrocious (see part 3 of the video) but the little MegaPro's just wouldn't stop.

    Logically, we had to finish this leg by hiking up Ramelau. Standing on a 3km high mountain in the middle of a 75km wide country is amazing ... you can see both coasts from up there. We didn't quite stick around for sunset, but the walk back down by moonlight was worth it. The next day was back into Dili to drop off the bikes and get back to the important business of hanging around bars in Costa Blanca.

    Approximate route: Google Map

    I didn't get much in the way of good photos myself, but the others can add their contributions to the thread as they get around to it! Hopefully someone will be motivated to do a less shit writeup too :-).

    But at least I took some video showing the energizing and invigorating nature of the East Timorese roads ...
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    ... thanks to one of those Aldi handlebar mount cameras. Missed a lot of the good bits, but still pretty good!

    EDIT: And now with embedded videos (at least in some browsers ...)

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2792336257_CGKBNmK?width=640&height=360&albumId=32061864&albumKey=2zqfp8"></iframe>
    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2802837670_tq6MMzD?width=640&height=360&albumId=32061864&albumKey=2zqfp8"></iframe>
    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2799008526_FrqLkM2?width=640&height=360&albumId=32061864&albumKey=2zqfp8"></iframe>
    #1
  2. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Wow, very cool route! Thanks for posting.

    Cheers,

    .
    #2
  3. wombatgino

    wombatgino n00b

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    Word on the street in Dili is that the black Megapros were much quicker than the nancy burgundy ones Sharky, tho'not quite as stable and upright.
    #3
  4. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

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    Well, you did successfully get your knee down, I'll give you that :-)

    [​IMG]

    From left to right: Dave, Rob, Abirri (sp?), John, Graham, me, Wombat.

    PS: John's Photos. Wombat, where's yours?
    #4
  5. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

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    How cool is that, sitting at the top of Timor and see a RR about it. Enjoying my breakfast of sweet Timor coffee and bread rolls.
    I agree about the road it's character building alright. However the little Postie Bike fully loaded for a tour of SE Asia took it in it's stride. I'm also doing a RR on ADV if you're interested.
    #5
  6. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

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    Found it!. Good stuff mate, good to see a postie in action! If you're in two minds about walking up Ramelau, do it ... bit of a hike but nothing technical and a truly amazing view from the top. My favorite bits were all the terrible bits ... I'd love to go back with a decent map and a GPS and try to find some of those minor roads ...

    Mmm, those oily eggs. The only injury of our trip was at Hato Bulico ... Dave tripped down the steps of the Pasada, literally arse over. I think his brain was still wobbling around from the road on the way in. ATGATT even off the bike!

    We did it the wimpy way, with big comfy 150s, and a support vehicle to carry our lacy underthings. Coming back into Dili, there was a guy on a farkled R12GSA (i think) coming the other way, that'd be ... exciting. He had a GoPro or something on his head, so we might be on someone else's video too!
    #6
  7. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    great pictures. Sounds like a wonderful ride.
    Thanks for sharing it with us. If you have a moment please post them directly here
    #7
  8. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

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    No worries, thanks! I'm slowly going through and working out what to write about what, and how to turn it into some kind of narrative.

    Kind of fond of this one, one the road back from Hato Bulico ...
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. wombatgino

    wombatgino n00b

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    Sharkey - how do you actually insert photos into these threads ?

    My pics are on my laptop but not sure how to actually either post them individually within a message (like the panoramic one above) or set up a link to them.

    Be gentle with me - I only worked in IT industry for 35 years or so.
    #9
  10. Milko

    Milko Adventurer

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    It's as easy as riding up a hill in Timor, Wombat...:evil

    [​IMG]
    P9180129.jpg by transalper, on Flickr

    When you hit reply, there's a postcard like icon hit that and you can add the linked image if its online...if not, I can put em up for ya or you can to SmugMug or Flickr...
    #10
  11. Milko

    Milko Adventurer

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    #11
  12. Milko

    Milko Adventurer

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    #12
  13. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

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    G'day TrannieSlapper, thanks for posting the near-obligatory "me + spanners + carpark" photo ...

    <img id="photo_img_9960655163" src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7295/9960655163_fe033d27d0.jpg" width="145" height="259" alt="P9140019.jpg" class="pc_img " border="0">

    EDIT: Adjusting the rear brake a bit lower, because I was wearing relatively rigid offroad boots and found I was "riding" the rear slightly if I relaxed my ankle.

    PS: Wombat, I sent you a PM explaining the photo thing.
    #13
  14. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

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    That was probably Marko from Finland. He has a blog www.whereishemuli.?? You have to search for it, can't remember what comes after the.
    #14
  15. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

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  16. Milko

    Milko Adventurer

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    Yes you were wearing Offroad boots, as distinct from Aberi our local guide who lost his toe racing in thongs...:becca:
    #16
  17. sharkey

    sharkey XLV750R

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    Yeah, the locals thought they were pretty funny but I wasn't that keen on meeting Doctor Dan :-)

    Boots came in handy with that stupid dog on the way back from Hato Bulico. Dunno what you guys did to him but by the time I came through he had a thing for megapro wheels and malai toes!
    #17