Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Wonderful Labuan Bajo (Part #1) : The Adventure of 3 Happy Mommy Crossing East Nusa Tenggara

Timor Leste - Indonesia border bridge
That day, in the middle of our assignment in Timor Leste, we are thinking the way we spent our  holiday. We just have 3 days annual leave remaining so we plan to go to the nearby place, not far from Timor Leste. We have an idea to go to Bali but we have been there for many times so it was bored to go there. Until one of our friend tell us to go to Kupang City, 12 hours by car from Dili. It sounds interesting, yet we haven't heard any famous places there to be visited. Suddenly those friends also tell us to connect our journey to Labuan Bajo with the beautiful Komodo Island. And, finally we decided to go that way...

Some friends were wondering why we want to go to Labuan Bajo through Kupang, and wasting half of the day by car to go there. It's because we have a big curiosity about how it feels to cross Timor Island from northeastern tip to southwest tip. Therefore, we booked three one way tickets of Timor Travel (among few options of shuttle provider in Timor Leste that has Dili-Kupang track). It costs $ 20 for each ticket and will be departed at 9 a.m. At the scheduled time, they pick us up at our apartment, half an our late that the promised schedule. We still need to pick up another passangers so literally we departed from Dili at 10 a.m.

Scenery outside, still at Timor Leste
The three of us sit in the center row of the shuttle. No air conditioner provide in the shuttle, so we need to open up the window to get fresh air. It is a dilemma anyway, because we were not only get fresh air but also dust from outside, since the road toward the country border of Timor-Leste and Indonesia haven't covered by asphalt or concrete. But we saw that at some point the road were under-construction to make it better.

After 4 hours, we arrived at Atambua. We had to report to immigration section, both Timor-Leste and Indonesian. In Timor-Leste immigration we just need to queuing by ourselves. In Indonesia immigration office there were many Timorese come toward us and offered assistance to reporting our arrival. At first I thought that it was free of charge but in the end they ask for money and we gave them $ 2 for each of us. Honestly, we felt a little bit uncomfortable about that. Moreover, we had to report and gave our data at the nearby police office (Kepolisian Resor Belu, Sektor Motaain) before we continued our trip to Kupang.

Inside Timor Travel accross East Nusa Tenggara Road
Arrived in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, was such a relieve for us, especially because the road was much better than previous road. We continued our journey by different shuttle through hot mix smooth road. The scenery outside provided green savanna with the beautiful sunset over the row of Nusa Tenggara traditional house. We also stopped by at a Minang-nese Restaurant, Sari Bundo Atambua to have our dinner before departed to Kupang City, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara Province.

(to be continued...)

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