Monday, 19 Dec, 2016. Maliana, East Timor (Timor-Leste) to Atambua, West Timor (Indonesia) Day 5’s stats: I don’t have the full stats. My Garmin decided to play up during the border crossing break). From the border it was 2 hours 5 minutes travel time. 21.6 kilometres. Average 10.34km/h. 458 metres up. 147 metres down. The plan was a 65 kilometre ride so going with that in the overall stats.
Night wasn’t too bad. A few mosquitos which I’m sure didn’t give me malaria and a trail of bedbugs on my hand when I woke up from when it slipped out of the liner. The pillow insert is great but what it really needs is some sort of arm/glove hazmat type insert. I’d buy that.
Best part of this place was the pint of coffee for breakfast. Boing! And I’m off. Weather was mixed today. It started overcast and turned into heavy rain as I was cycling to Balibo. Balibo is up in the mountains and the clouds closed in resulting in low viability. I was keen to visit the Australian flag house. It’s now a low key museum. There are profiles of the ‘five’, a bit of a summary about what happened which seems to correspond with what can be read on Wikipedia, and a binder of Australian newspaper clippings.
Roads were great to Balibo but were poor on the other side of the mountain, improving once it leveled off. More Christmas nativity scenes including a scary looking scarecrow pointing to words saying so long 2016, a big hello to 2017.
A hassle free border crossing, and I’m in Indonesia. Roads instantly perfect, making a clear statement about government funds. More people living roadside, and more traffic, more “hello mister” greetings (if that’s possible). There is a torrid hill not far from the border (which actually could have been avoided if I took the coastal route instead). I couldn’t ride it and so pushed the bike, the weather had cleared and it was hot and humid.
Atambua was the biggest city I’d been in since Dili by a long way. Easy to find accommodation, food and minimarts.
Got some help from a mechanic wiring together the bracket on my front pannier which now looks like it might hold.