Driving around Dili

Potholes ahoy!

We finally have some wheels and yesterday the Mr and I left the kids with the nanny and took the car for a spin.

Mr Moi tapped into his sense of adventure and took me on the ‘main’ road east of Dili, which goes up over the mountains (which seem very Asian in geography – think the limestone karst shapes of Thailand and Malaysia. However vegetation wise, they look like Australian bush – dry with eucalypts).

What started out as a relaxing Saturday drive soon saw me experiencing my third ever driving-induced panic attack*.

See that road curving around the mountain in the distance? *spew with nerves*

The roads in Dili itself are crap, so excuse me if I expected the same fairly bad standard as we headed out of town. Instead, the roads were worse. Massive potholes, the edges of the roads crumbling away, no width whatsoever. But what really freaked me out was that the road rose steeply very quickly, and hugged the side of the mountain – a sheer drop at the side, with no railings whatsover.

We were on the sheer-side lane on the way over the hill, and everytime we had to pull over to let a car pass in the oncoming direction (yes, the roads are that thin), I pictured our car slowly rolling over and falling down the hill, getting faster and faster until we hit the bottom.

Yes – it was THAT bad.

Needless to say, I don’t think I helped quell the Mr’s nerves as he drove the streets of Dili for the first time ever.

Hi random goat!

And all this within 10kms of Dili.

* The first one was when we drove a highway frequented by bandits in Laos. The second was driving along the very dodgy roads of Ukraine, from Kyiv to Crimea. None a patch on this though.


11 thoughts on “Driving around Dili

  1. Well, I don’t know the nature of the resistance between Timor-Leste and Indonesia, but I’m guessing the war wasn’t too kind on these roads either! They haven’t had any TLC in a very long time. Which is sad because they are vital infrastructure for this little nation.

  2. Wowsers! Husband actually did take a little tumble down the side of a Dili hill (in a bus, no less) a long time ago. This is the first time I’ve seen what it would have been really like for him (no cameras allowed during his visit). Who would have known that your Dili posts this week would be sending me on a trip down memory lane!! Mx

    1. Actually M I was wondering whether your Mr may have been deployed here as it seems that most Army peeps have at some point. All I can say is if the drop was as sheer as the ones we were next to, well, then, he definitely has someone looking out for him and I’m glad he was OK!

      1. Yep, he’s been a couple of times. The bus crash resulted in an undiagnosed broken back – yep, whatever! But he’s tough, and, whilst he has put the kibosh on ever living in a two storey house, has recovered well.

  3. Looks like a real adventure, none of that guard rail, well-paved road nonsense that some people call adventure. Glad you survived it, but that sucks you had a panic attack.

  4. Ok this is getting freaking, this week we have both been singing Bananas in Pyjamas, twitter stalking (and worried about getting caught) and now had driving induced panic attacks.
    We drove to Oman and camped last weekend, the roads became that steep going downhill and rough, I freaked out, got out of the car and walked down the mountain for several km’s until I had calmed down! Expat living is never dull huh!

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