On my way to Roti, and the only way to Roti is via Kupang in West Timor.
I flew in and out of Kupang on Garuda. On arrival at Kupang, I walked out the exit and to the left was the taxi counter. I paid for the taxi and the taxi driver appeared and away I went.
First stop, the wrong hotel. Using my not so fluent Indo I said I needed to go to the Timor hotel. Naturally enough, he took me to the T-more hotel. I knew it was the wrong hotel straight away as someone opened the car door. After a short discussion, we headed to the Hotel Pantai Timor. We drove along listening to country western music… they love it here… and we arrived at the destination.
At the reception and the staff looked semi terrified! Breaking the ice I asked to see the rooms. The first was bad and the second not so bad except part of the ceiling had caved in. Still, the TV worked so what more could you want.
After settling in, I wandered along the street stopping at the lavalon bar for a beer. It wasn’t too exciting so I moved onwards and reached a number of shops. I met a lot of people here who wanted to practise their English and help me. I looked like a guy that needed help! Anyway, I continued onwards to Teddies square and sat around talking to heaps of University students and enjoyed some corn cobs cooked over the coals. Yum!
The next morning was a breakfast I couldn’t eat … and that means it was really really bad!
A taxi and I was at the ferry termina l for the fast boat. I couldn’t get VIP seats so I had to settle for economy. It was okay but it was very, very hot.
The return trip was better in the ferry as I could get VIP seats.
This time I was with Andy a guy I met in Roti. When we got off the ferry at Kupang we were bombarded by high powered transporters. That was okay but none of them had room for boards and bags. We rang Joshua for a car. It was only a short wait and the big J was there.
We stayed at Hotel on the Rocks which was a three star hotel with great rooms. We got the rooms for a great price due to the construction work on parts of the hotel. The morning breakfast was great.
That night, we let Joshua lead us around – massage, dinner and beers. I crashed after that and Andrew ventured onwards.
In the morning there was no sign of him. No mobile answer, no room phone answer and no knock on the door answer. I was a bit worry but reception said that he came back very, very late. Anyway, he had a good night with great stories!
Later we, we flew out from Kupang to Bali. All was going well until I checked in. There was no record of my booking. It took a long while and I sat in the room with the staff. They smiled at me and I smiled at them and this continued for 45 minutes until I asked am I getting on this plane. Fortunately, at that moment the fax machine came to life and I was confirmed and off, off and way I went.
The first person, I met was the taxi driver and he was very helpful and pleasant. After that, everyone I met was great. Most offered to help me (not needed but it didn’t matter) and a lot wanted to test their English. I learned a little of their lives while we chatted around the square. Two girls (in the photo) were studying to become teachers in Islamic schools. They were very happy with their future prospects. Another young lady was studying tourism. She was catholic and from Flores. She missed her family a lot but was proud of her achievements in her course and her position as captain of her year at University. A captain acts as the go-between the students and the lecturers.
Generally the city seems a little untamed and daunting at first but I felt safe wandering around on my own.
The big problem was food. A few restaurants I entered weren’t exactly serving food as the main dish. Teddies bar was okay but not great for food but good for a beer. So picking a good hotel with good food was a priority. If not then bring extra to eat.
Well, now that I feel comfortable with the city, on my return trip I’ll tour around the countryside a bit. There is time to look around due to the compulsory overnight stay in Kupang caused by the scheduling of the fast boat and flights to bali/Kupang.
Kupang in a few words - loved the place in the end with heaps of adventure possibilities.