November 10, 2002 GMT
All along the watchtower

Dra-da dra da da da (chukka), dra-da dra da da da,
Du-du wha whah-whaaah....., du-lu du dwaaah......,
There must be some kinda way out a here......,
Says the hooker to the sheik(sp?).....,

You have to use you imagination a bit (especially for
the smoke and shell fire), but it was kind of cool
crossing into East Timor. All the UN army types in
their machine gun nests, razor-wire and baseball caps,
calling out and giving us the thumbs up as we ride
down the bombed out road - 2 wheeled storm troopers
back from the front line. Yeah baby.

The border was easy enough, which was just as well as
I didn't want to hang around any longer than
necessary. We'd heard there was a bomb at the border
that hurt a few people the day before.

There was a bit of a buzz with the people in Dili. It
sounds like they've gone through an awful lot to get
their own country. Coming from Indonesia it was a
shock to see lots of money about. Every other car was
a fancy new Landcruiser. I won't pretend to understand
the economics of it all (but) how can you pump in 3
billion dollars of 'aid'/future debt into a country
with 750,000 people - most of them living as they've
always done in grass huts and off the land?

Anyways, East Timor looked like a nice place. Hilly,
with a beautiful coast-line, and no where near as
populated as anywhere I saw in Indonesia. Definately a
place to go back to in a few years. Glad that I changed
my plans to carry on east from Bali. All the best riding
I did was from Lombok on.

While we were sorting out the shipping (Gion's XT to
Darwin, and my bike back to Singapore), a Canadian
couple (Mike and Mellie) I'd first met nearly 2 years
ago at the start of the trip in Mexico turned up. They
are now on a 2 bike trip from New Zealand back to
Canada hoping to go via Russia and Alaska(!). Really
good to see them again and swap stories of daring do.

Now I have a few days hanging around (waiting for your
e-mail!) before I get to do the jumping backwards
through flaming hoops that is Singapore customs.

Thailand next!

Posted by Jason Homewood at November 10, 2002 09:54 AM GMT
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