Out of Indonesia

So we found a way out of Indonesia without the famed Mr Lim’s Onion Boat, using the soon to be famous Mr Ade’s high speed ferry!

I’m still not sure what Ade really does, but I think he’s at least a part time fixer, that is someone who matches needs and solutions for a fee.
In this case the fee was aud$300 for us and the bike plus aud$50 (he wanted $100!) for loading and unloading services.
He’s one of these shifty guys who carries a bum bag everywhere, he knows everyone, and works out of nowhere and everywhere.

We’re not in Malaysia yet so there may still be more costs, I’m expecting an argument when we arrive for extra money to unload the bike… We’ll see.

The ferry we’re on is quite small, 25 rows of 6 people, and by Indo standards quite luxurious. It’s non smoking and came with meals and water, and the toilet doesn’t make me want to vomit when I go in there.  From the inside it looks a bit like an aeroplane, reclining seats, domed roof and narrow centre aisle.

Betsy wouldn’t fit inside so they put her on the front, where she’s currently being jet blasted with salt water.  Hopefully not much goes in the exhaust pipe or we’ll have a long afternoon getting going again!

To get her into the bow of the boat, they used a rickety old ramp, half of which was on the Jetty, and the other half in the boat (with a gap between rhe boat and jetty just wide enougb to swalliw a bike).

Betsy was wheeled onto the first half while being held onto by about 8 guys, then the ramp was tilted like a seasaw with Betsy in the middle, skidding along the oily railing of the boat, and she was then wheeled down into the boat, lifted up and the seasaw was extracted.  The reverse should be interesting (scary).

Last night we stayed in a very small room above the office of the ferry company, just big enough for a bed with no windows or bathroom (public mandi downstairs), but for $3/night we couldn’t complain… not much anyway.

For all the time we’ve been here I still expect things to happen just because someone told me they would, like a man coming this morning at 7am to drain my full fuel tank.  I waited until almost 8 before the guys in the ferry office eventually helped me.  The tank is supposed to be completely empty before liading on a boat (“safety first”) – I’d forgotten this rule yesterday and filled up with cheap Indo fuel (73c/lt), so was a bit miffed about having to empty it again, knowing we’d get nowhere near full price for it.

Anyway, the siphon hose they had was quite short so we only got about 8lt out (it takes 33) which they seemed happy with, leaving me with an almost still full tank 🙂 Fortunately no one checked at the harbour.
It’s such a huge relief to be on our way, if this hadn’t worked out we may have needed to ride back to Jakarta and crate the bike to send by container, with the obligatory days of waiting and total screw around that pervades trying to get something accomplished here.
So it’s good, now we have a couple of days to look around southern Malaysia before heading to Sepang for the Motogp.

Looking forward to seeing my bro there too !!

Tira Valentino!!

Arrived at Tanjung Balai Port


Cleaning the bike can only mean one thing…

Yes we’re shipping to Malaysia!

After another long day battling the traffic on the trans Sumateran highway, we arrived in Tanjung Balai and went to see the ferry company.

Many phone calls later we followed someone to see customs at the port, who told us that tomorrow’s boat is too small and we’d have to wait another day… maybe.

Much pleasing and promises to make the bike smaller by removing luggage and possibly the wheels too (what the?!), and we’re back on tomorrow’s boat. Probably.

The boat is a passenger ferry so it should be interesting getting it through the door 🙂

They’re almost done, gotta go, more on the blog soon about the amazing time we had in the rainforest at Bukit Lawang.




Bike shipping problems


We’re having a down day today to rest our sore bums before the longish ride to Bukit Lawang, looking into going to the Sepang MotoGP and organising the onward bike shipping to Penang.

It turns out that the boat we had planned to use for the shipping has been seized by Indonesian customs, and they have no idea how long it will be before it’s released.

AWESOME.  Well at least the bike wasn’t on the boat when it was seized!!

Not sure how we are going to get it to Malaysia now 🙁

Shipping Australia to Timor

Shipping the bike is the least exciting part of a trip, can be very frustrating and usually takes longer than you want.  Other people’s blogs have helped me with this in the past, so this is my turn to pass on some experience.

P1020578 (Large)

Australia (Darwin) to East Timor (Dili) was very easy to organise, not particularly cheap, but as a RORO service, very convenient.

I chose to ship by sea cargo because it costs half as much as air, and in this case is much easier as you don’t need to crate the bike.

Here’s how:

Prices were in August 2015.

1) ANL organise the shipping from Darwin to Dili, currently running 2 boats between Darwin-Dili-Singapore.  The sailing schedules and contact details are published on their website www.anl.com.au, they have a boat roughly once every 7-10 days.

Beware that the schedules are prone to change with no notice, i.e. they run late, never early.  Ours progressively changed by 8 days between booking and delivery.

Call them and they will send you a booking form to fill in and return to them.  They will reply with a booking  confirmation which you are to print and take with you to customs and PJ’s (see below).

2) When you’re ready to drop off the bike, visit customs in Darwin, 21 Lindsey St, Darwin, (GPS -12.458359,130.840225), and have them stamp your carnet.  They will want to see your ID and booking confirmation, which should take about 10mins.

3) Drop off the bike at PJ’s Freight yard, Export Drive, East Arm NT 0822.  (GPS  -12.469490, 130.922875).  This is about 10km from the city centre, if you drop it off late in the day with a bit of luck one of the guys at PJ’s will give you a ride back to the city.  This literally involves riding into the shed, parking the bike and walking away.

4) Go somewhere else for a week or 4 until the bike has been delivered to Dili.

5) Book your flight to Dili – (Sriwijaya Air or Air Timor) booking in advance may leave you in Dili for longer than desired if your boat is delayed.  By SE Asian standards Dili is very expensive, factor US$30/night MINIMUM for a terrible room, but you can eat cheaply on the street if you’re game for a couple of dollars, otherwise restaurants will range from $5 for a cheap meal up to western prices.  We stayed in a barely habitable room, with a broken toilet that was at the end of a pile of construction rubbish for US$30/night.

6) Once in Dili, get a taxi from the airport direct to the ANL freight yard, (GPS -8.559512, 125.532399).  This should cost $2.  Give them your booking confirmation, Passport and about US$70 and they will give you your Bill of Lading – which proves the cargo belongs to you.

7) Take the Bill of Lading, a copy of your passport, your ownership document and your carnet to Customs in the Port in Dili.  Avenida Salazar,  Díli, Timor-Leste  (GPS -8.553605, 125.573624).  They will stamp your carnet, keep the lower portion of that page and send you on your way.  Should take 5 mins.

8) Return to ANL, show them the stamped carnet, and they will give you a cargo release form, which you take to a small customs hut across the compound and give to the customs officer, more stamping and passport checks and you can take your bike away.  This took me an hour as the bike was still in the container.  If your’s is at the back of the container instead of the front it could be several hours.

9) Fill the bike with fuel (the petrol stations on the way out of town charge much less than the one in the middle:  US$140/lt vs US$1.05/lt) and ride away!!

Cost – The KTM950 cost AUD$925 to get to Dili, (paid to ANL Australia) and another USD$68 in local fees in Dili, paid in the ANL office.  Customs should not charge you.

Crossing from Timor to Indonesia is overland, and all the islands in Indonesia are connected by RORO ferries, that normally leave daily.  The exception to this is from West timor (Kupang) to Flores (or elsewhere), which leave a few times a week.  Ask at your hotel in Kupang for more details.

We’re going all the way to Medan in Sumatra for shipping to Penang, Malaysia.  I chose this option because it’s another RORO service, no crating, and the customs and port process is very simple and also cheap.  More on that in the next post on shipping.

Hope this helps someone!