Travel diary back to Conegliano from Ghana

Travel diary back to Conegliano from Ghana

I’m thinking about many things…, a journey ended yesterday, a great journey, the last of a cycle that has seen me in the last 9 months, at the tender age of 58, doing things I never would have imagined:

In May and June 2022 I was in Nepal on a Vespa, two months and 11,500 km crossing Eastern Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India.

In August I toured Italy for almost a month, 5,500 km from the Stelvio Pass to Gallipoli, meeting lots of old and new friends.

And finally the latest adventure, the longest journey in terms of duration and kilometers travelled, almost four months from Italy to Ghana and back. 22,500 km to promote the VESPUP FOR AFRICA project in support of the IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE mission.

From all this a book was also born, NEPAL ON VESPA which, contrary to what one might imagine, is not a simple travel diary, but much more. Reflections on the meaning of life, on the really important things and on the choices I’ve made to try to live it to the fullest.

9 months alone, or rather, with her, my red Vespa P200E from 1981, my “little girl” who never abandoned me and who was capable of things that are difficult even to imagine. Lorenzo has also always been present with us, who, even if he died prematurely at the age of 16 and therefore no longer physically close to us, always accompanied me and above all supported me in the most difficult moments, which there have been and not a few.

Saturday morning, in the last stretch from Verona to Conegliano, before the finish line, my mind bounced back and forth between the memories of the trip, the present that begins today and the future, yes yes, the very future. It seems funny, how it happened in Dubai returning from Nepal, when I decided that I would make the trip to Africa, also in this case, I hadn’t arrived home yet and I was already thinking about the new trip, with the same adrenaline and enthusiasm as when I was in Dubai.

I think back to the trip to Ghana and everything it gave me, as well as taking off 6 kg of weight, which was there, too much… 😏:

I met wonderful people, all the Africans in all the countries I crossed showed me affection and helped when I needed it. Contrary to what “the system” often wants us to see, I have only found good people, never hostility, never a moment of danger experienced or presumed, none of this, not even in the most difficult countries such as Mauritania, Guinea and the Costa d’ Ivory. People are different when politics, power or money make them different, for example I am thinking of the Police who do everything possible to extort money from travellers, in ways that are not always very elegant.

I met incredible travellers, on foot, by bike (many), by motorbike, with jeeps, with campers and with the mastodons of the desert, trucks equipped beyond belief. Mostly solo travellers, but also couples and even with children, all people sharing passions and often common visions. Some traveling for one or two months, some for a year and some not knowing exactly how long or even for where. The common elements that I have found in all of them are serenity, happiness, the spirit of adaptation, the essentiality of material things and the ability to manage the most demanding situations. Friends with a capital A who will always remain inside me.

I relived the experience of the mission in Ghana, those children who in their poverty give you much, much more than you can imagine. As I have already had the opportunity to write, you go to them to help them and instead they are the ones who help you and engrave into you that something that makes you stay connected to them even when you return to Italy, as has been happening for me for 10 years now. I’m happy with the funds raised, more than 5,000 euros for which I thank everyone, I’m happy with the volunteers who went to the mission and the doctors who are there right now. Thanks to Davide Bonfanti, Joseph Rabbiosi Elsa Rabbiosi Chiara Caliceti Andrea Foggia Sergio Dus

Finally, as an overland traveler I learned many things, thanks to my experience “on the road” and thanks to the advice of many great traveler friends, much more experienced and experienced than me:
– I learned to face difficult countries, the 2,000 + 2,000 km of desert between the Sahara and Mauritania, always coming back with a headwind, the poverty and absurdity of the roads in Guinea, the cold of the mountains in Morocco, the many precarious housing without not even the essentials like water and light.
– I learned to manage time, know how to slow down when needed and know how to wait, hours, days or months when necessary. It seems trivial but knowing how to wait has helped me a lot in difficult moments, confident of the arrival of better times.
– I learned to deal with the unexpected, big and small, always managing them without anxiety and finding the best solution, because there is always a solution.
– I learned how to manage bureaucracy, pre-travel documents, visas, customs, insurance and everything that today has become an almost primary part of a trip. Almost all the itineraries of great journeys are heavily influenced by constraints related to visas and the security of the countries you want to cross.
– I’ve learned to always keep a low profile and to understand that keeping a low profile is never wrong.
– I learned to manage, or rather to live alone alone. Alone you think a lot more, listen to yourself a lot more and interact a lot more with the local populations. Alone you have the honor and the burden of making decisions without the influence or support of others.. you take your own risks.

The impression I got is that of an Africa that is not easy, but less demanding to deal with than Asia. But maybe it’s just a feeling due to the fact that I actually learned something and I too grew up a little as a traveler. Thanks to this great motorcycle traveler who helped me Emilio Radice Sandra Luzzani Federico Valeri Fabio Cofferati Vigo Vespa Grt Dario Stefano Medvedich Valerio Ferioli Ilario Lavarra Maurizio de Biasio Roberto Giunta Giuseppe Marino and I apologize to those I am surely forgetting. I will talk about them again shortly in a post that I will dedicate to keyboard lions.

And my present?
My present will be rosy, in 2023 there will be no other great trips because I will be busy enjoying a beautiful everyday life, my loved ones, my dog, my new home, Conegliano and all the surrounding areas.
Then there will be work, because I’m not rich and retirement is still too far away. I have many ideas and I think some interesting opportunities will arise. I’m sure it will be stimulating but with a different balance than in the past.

And my future?
My memories satisfy me, my present will gratify me, but my future is there, dreaming and fantasizing is beautiful.
I like to think of a journey to be made between 2024 and 2025, from Halifax in northeastern Canada, crossing Alaska and North America, then descending to Central and South America…, Chile, Peru and down to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, or vice versa. 25,000, perhaps 30,000 km that unite two so different parts of the Americas, that of the North and that of the South.
It’s not certain that I will, for many reasons and for the money, it would be a very long, expensive and demanding journey.
I haven’t yet asked the “little” one what she thinks about it, I don’t want to worry her unnecessarily so far in advance.

Meanwhile let’s dream…, it’s free and no one can forbid it!

FOR LOVERS OF NUMBERS

– 113 travel days, 46 of which for rest
– temperature range from -6 to +42 degrees
– 22,500 km travelled
– 200 km per day for the entire journey (335 km per day only considering the days of actual movement)
– 32 km/l (704 liters total always at 3%)
– 79km/h maximum speed, 43km/h average speed
– 5334 euros total spent (47 euros per day, 1400 per month all inclusive) of which 1150 for visas and bureaucracy and about 1050 for petrol. The remaining €3200 (€28 per day) for food + accommodation + miscellaneous
– technical problems: failure of the rear shock absorber (my mistake for not replacing it before setting off), one light bulb, odometer cable, three rear punctures. Breakage of the front windshield and various blows on the bodywork due to two falls on dirt roads. Maybe to replace the crankshaft oil seal, we’ll see.

MY MANTRA

…and the beginning of my book… purchasable here

“I value the most precious thing I own, my time, as if every day were my last 🍀”

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO FOLLOW AND SUPPORT ME
To make a donation to the mission in Africa (you really make me a great gift, any amount – as a company you also have the tax deduction)
To purchase my book NEPAL IN VESPA (making this second trip made me realize even more the value of what I wrote)
To follow me in real time during my journey

Thank you from the bottom of my heart

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