For those thinking of going from Johannesburg to Milan , your options are many and varied . Here are three .
Fly , it will take you 13 hours and 15 minutes .
Drive the most direct route , you will drive for 171 hours and cover 12 475 kilometres.
Jump on your Vespa , it will take you 189 days or 27 weeks , you will cover 23 530 kilometres and you will never be the same person again.
Distance covered while the scooter stood still void of terra firma . 3007 kilometres or for you sailors 1625 NM .
Time spent in a basket floating , one hundred and twenty odd minutes .
Punctures , ZERO , my tyres had that green stuff that sealed those holes.
Mechanical issues , ONE , disintegrated ball bearing , repaired by two non English speaking men under the influence of Sunday and celebration , total time taken 3 hours including sourcing the bearing , excluding the test ride .
My entire life weighed 50 kilograms and fitted onto a scooter .
Cheapest fuel Sudan most expensive Europe or Israel , cant recall which one though .
Haircuts 4 , beard trims 4 , shaves 2 . Italy was the first time in more than two decades that I had a haircut off African soil .
Best coffee , Ethiopia by Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa RRRR.
Cheapest coffee three rand most expensive 74 rand.
Drank wine from a box , no less than three times no more than 8.
Cheapest bottle of wine around twelve rand , most expensive , still in therapy.
Rear tyre took 15030 kilometres to go from grip to slip .
Front tyre still going .
Oil filter changed three times , engine oil changed four times , transmission oil once , air filter cleaned too many times to count . Transmission belt three times although not necessary , spark plug twice , rollers once .
Cold showers hardly ever , deodorant present every day although some applications lasted two or three days , aftershave twice , cologne only in Europe and teeth brushed twice a day morning and before bed.
Man cant live on goat alone .
Most challenging road , every country had one except Israel.
Longest day on the scooter , Namibia , the whole day and into the night .
13 border crossings , 12 if you believe in the EU , shortest time from entry to exit around twelve minuets , the longest 7 hours .
Life threatened by a human NONE . By lion once I think , I only remember the words don’t run above the roar and the comfort of the canvass as I dived into the dining tent.
Under normal urban cycle driving conditions a Vespa clutch should last 50 000 kilometres mine lasted 20 000 kilometres. Times the clutch smoked and stank of burning agony , fewer than 5 .
To be continued ……….
Until we meet again.