There are a couple of people in East Timor at the moment who, if you get the chance, you should try and meet and maybe buy them a couple of beers.
Their names are Emil and Liliana Schmid and they are doing a pretty amazing thing. They have been travelling the world in a Toyota Landcruiser since October 1984 and have so far have visited 156 countries with ET being the 156th. They have been in the past 10 issues of the Guinness Book of World Records. They are a couple ‘of a certain age’ who are financing their quest on their Swiss pensions (you couldn’t do it on a UK pension, but if you were an East Timorese MP you might be OK). Originally their journey was meant to be for 1 year only but obviously things got out of hand.
The other day they gave me a big list of facts and figures about their journey and some of them are quite incredible. For instance; they have had 161 flat tyres, used 132 spark plugs, the lowest average speed in any country was 10.0km/h in The Vatican. They have spent over USD 6000.00 on visas alone. Oh, and their 1 millionth driving minute was in Kupang, West Timor. (Yah boo sucks to Kupang, it should have been us).
The car is very unmissable. It is sky blue, has about 100 jerry cans strapped to the roof and comes equipped with Zurich licence plates.
As soon as I get a picture of the car I’ll post it here.
Talking of visitors to ET, Mr. Lonely Planet (South east Asia) is also in town. His name is Ryan Ver Berkmoes and he is also a very nice bloke. He is currently staying at the Hotel Dili but will be moving around a bit. Again, if you meet him, buy him a beer and tell him all about our beautiful country. He is a big amiable American chap and may even buy you a beer back…….