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The Solo Scooterist

Documenting my travels on a Vespa

Category: Italy (page 1 of 2)

Freighter Incarcerated

The day had arrived it was time to board ship and sail to a new continent and  the last leg of our journey . I was up early to pack , then I rode out of Jerusalem , enjoying that golden hue that the sunrise brings ,  down to David’s for breakfast and then he and I would ride to Ashdod and the port , the place of  departure .

 

Riding to Ashdod

Riding to Ashdod

Eggs and fresh piping hot sour cherry muffins courtesy of Zahava was how I  kicked my day off . Now that I think of it , sour cherry could be a groovy name for David’s vespa , let me think on it . Then it was the road to Ashdod , rain threatened but it was only that , we arrived at  the port just after 9 and so the process would start . The amount of time and paperwork to get Vic and I out was astounding , that been said you have to use a clearing agent at the port so they did all the work I just followed and filled in what they put in front of me .

 

The vessel

The vessel

 

Vic sizing up.

Vic sizing up.

I was to have company on the ship in the form of Leon who had just spent three months touring Israel in his camper van . Jeroen  and Sonja who had just finished a two year over land adventure in their land cruiser , Vic just cant escape those trucks . They had started in Holland from their home  , crossed into Morrocco , down West Africa to the fairest Cape , just cant keep the Dutch away from the Cape , up the East of Africa and they would end their journey by driving  back home after just over two years in Africa . Spectacular , and I was glad for the company.

 

About to board

About to board

After hours of up and down , we finally parked dockside waiting for the order to board , the freighter was still being offloaded so after about an hour we got the green light and on we rode into the jaws of this metal seafaring giant , 11 stories high , a capacity to transport 5000 cars and other really big stuff you only ever see on those abnormal flatbeds or on mines. Victoria has a 278 cc motor the freighter 1 550 000 per cylinder , Victoria carries just under 9 litres of fuel the freighter 50 tons , we had just ridden into the bowls of a monster .Victoria was given a parking spot and once unpacked she was strapped down to spend 5 days in bondage ,  deep in the dark pit of this monster freighter .

 

Bondage spot .

Bondage spot .

We all got settled into our cabins 9 stories up and were told that our meal times would be 07h30 for breakfast , 11h00 lunch and 18h00 for dinner , other than that our safety briefing would be in the morning and that was that , we stood alone  . We all met for our first dinner at 18h00 , it was great to chat Africa and share  experiences and stories  , then off to bed while the ship still expelled cargo onto the dock far into the early hours of the morning , all the  while I slept in my safety deposit box . Once done she  fired up those engines navigated the darkness to the open seas and set sail for Italy .

 

Safety deposit box

Safety deposit box

The next morning breakfast and our safety briefing , as well as an outline of the rules and regulations . Adhere to meal times , if on deck follow the yellow lines and don’t cross the barrier , which was another yellow line that halted your progress to the bridge . If you wanted to move around the ship other than the top deck or the immediate sleeping and dining area , you had to call 100 to get an escort , to see the bridge dial 100 , to go down to the scooter dial 100 , to change the channel on the TV , just find the remote . We had been briefed . The vessel was extremely well run and in pristine condition so I knew we would not share the Titanic’s fate .

 

Those yellow lines

Those yellow lines

Freighter time is governed by meal times , the food actually a lot better than expected and the portions huge with a three course meal followed by fruit every lunch and dinner . One big advantage of taking an Italian freighter was the high powered coffee machine to keep you well oiled in espresso essence , that smell , that creamy after taste heaven  . It was a real adjustment  sleeping in a place that was never exposed to the sun , the only light for the cabin came from the switch at the door or the overhead reading light with  those off  total darkness reigned , an eerie cocoon my cabin was . All that space in Africa ,  your ceiling the stars , your movement endless with possibility , in comparison this felt like jail , just without the communal showers and that man called Baba  . It was going to take some adjusting . So my days took on a routine that had  me  reading , sleeping eating , reading , sleeping ,  eating and very little else .

 

Top deck

Top deck

 

Powering through the blue.

Powering through the blue.

I loved sunrise and sunset up on deck , the wind fresh and cool all around and welcome after  nights cooped up in that safety deposit box . The ocean vast , the sun bringing with it another day and fewer nautical miles to Italy. I would go up on the deck at sunset with some good music thanks to Tim and watch the bow break the waters , it would send up a magnificent spray that would turn the colour of champagne as the setting sun caught it before it returned to the deep blue . Nothing around one except sea , sky and me . I revelled in those moments on the high seas , as this metal giant carried me with size and safety, allowed for time to change and disengage , allowed for a different  pace and purpose.

 

Favourite time of day

Favourite time of day

 

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Initially this time felt strange to me , there was no preparation or  planning , no packing or unpacking no stopping to stretch , nothing but freighter food routine , Victoria strapped stories down in the dark waiting to be liberated to ride the Amalfi coast ,  but it was a good time to mentaly prepare for Euro Europe , the changes that come  with a totally different continent and country , damn exciting , Italy the land of swine and wine was almost upon us .

I listened to music mixes that took me back to rides and reminiscing of Africa , I read books that did not involve sights , top choices or the not to miss stuff , so I reconnected with the world through  words  written, lyrics sung  , music and mind , a time of peace , tranquillity and days endless with no purpose , A good time for me , my world had time to find scale .

 

Arriving in Salerno

Arriving in Salerno

The freighter found her mark early in the morning , I loaded up Victoria , enjoyed my last breakfast with my fellow travellers and prepared to disembark , both Vic and I could not wait to ride free once more .

Until we meet again.

 

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Buongiorno from the land of Olio, Balsamico & sooooo much more

A quick hello from Italy , my journey has taken me from the Amalfi coast , through Napoli , the rural roads of the Italian wine country , to that leaning tower , on to Firenze , the Vespa factory and four spectacular days spent with my sister who arrived in Pisa to welcome and surprise Victoria and I to Italy .

 

Victoria firmly on Italian soil.

Victoria firmly on Italian soil.

 

The blog has taken a back seat since my arrival , so much to see and do , so this is a quick hello and apology to boot , I will get the blog up to date as soon as I find rhythm and time . Other than that both of us are extremely well , I have to find Victoria a new indicator lens and a barber for myself .

 

My sister and I in Pisa .

My sister and I in Pisa .

 

Until we meet again.

 

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Back in time , touring the Amalfi

Getting Vic an I out of the port took some doing and a couple of hours of pillar to post ,  I had my passport in hand , no entry stamp though ,  no documentation for  the  temporary import of the scooter into the EU , and I could not really tell customs , Victoria was returning to her country of birth to visit and had no intention of staying , for she to is an African .  Italy  bore her teeth  sharpened by years of  bureaucracy and yellowed with age and lack of will , so we settled into the great cog and let it turn . Little did I know all the paperwork had already been done by the shipping company , and only once I went back to the ship and they called the agent was all sorted out in seconds after waiting hours .

The time had finally arrived after months of travel , Victoria and I about to put foot and rubber on the country of origin and the last boot of our journey , I am sure  I heard her say lets Ride , lets  Ride Italy . I can not be sure it is hard to say , she seems to have picked up a very heavy industrial Italian accent . Yes lets ride ! Lets scooter Italy .

Out of port and into the town of Salerno , I could immediately feel the difference , this was scooter and coffee country , two wheels and high on caffeine , riders and drivers alike  jousting for their place on the tar , bumpers used for their intended purpose , scuffed and cracked from all the contact , the only sane way to travel here is scootering , nothing else make any sense and gridlock is not  good for your health. It was time to get that third party insurance and fast , between these Senna types and those tourists not from the European school side of  driving , all hell had just broken lose on Vic and I , She was loving it , taking and making her gaps,  using all that overland body armour to scare her way into town.

 

 

Bridging the gap in Salerno.

Bridging the gap in Salerno.

I found the equivalent of the automobile association , happily pulled over , parked Vic on some cool cobbles and started to enquire with the man at the desk about third party cover in Italy ,  nobody in the  entire office could understand me or my very foreign language ,  English . So I  walk the streets outside the office trying to politely find a translator , not much luck down here in the South.  so after spending time on the street with people thinking I was begging for E euro and giving me a wide berth  I eventually found a couple in the office buying some cover for themselves , who could translate . In the end they did not offer this kind of cover , so I tried two other insurance companies in town , still no luck . It is amazing , at every border crossing in Africa you get mobbed by vendor’s of this simple paper product , but here in the land of wine and many fruits , no cover could be found.

It was getting late and I did not want to spend a night in Salerno but rather somewhere down the Amalfi coast , which I had heard so much about and was itching to ride , we took the gamble and set off , eyes on storks , mind focused , lady luck would just have to work a little harder until we found our security blanket.

 

Touring the cliffs .

Touring the cliffs .

Riding those cliff roads was a brand new experience , very , very narrow with all kinds of oncoming , Victoria and I took on the Amalfi drivers . The coast is not that long in miles but takes hours and chess master like concentration to navigate . The almost single lane that ferries everything from coaches  with on board loo’s , mobile homes , scooters , bikes , pedal power , public busses , the chauffer controlled black Benz and the ever  lethal indecisive  hire car vaguely steered by periscope peering people . They all come at you using as much of the tar as their size or speed dictates .

This malnourished and confused  strip of tar , does not curve like those found  on an Italian Bella Donna , but rather has the appearance of  a brawl between two intoxicated , axe wielding  giants , who took to these cliffs centuries ago to settle a dispute  as to who has the biggest club . Axe to stone they bombarded mother earth to their will , steep and sheer cliffs , this dramatic coast line was born . Those that followed built their lives , hanging on to the rock  between mountain and sea .

 

Amazing Amalif .

Amazing Amalfi .

 

No cure for vertigo .

No cure for vertigo .

 

The lane to Positano .

The lane to Positano .

I stopped often to take in the  views like none I have seen and to count my lucky stars that no bumper had found home , unlike poor Leon from the freighter . I found him running up the road with his camper van stationary except for those fierce flashing hazards as he set off in hot pursuit after his hit and run incident that left metal passing stripes all the way down his left . He had stopped to exchange details , the guilty driver said he was going to move his car and get his details . Leon should do the same , on turning around , Leon found  car and driver gone .

The coast is lined with homes , hotels and coastal life  that burst at the seems in peak season and threatens to burst in the low season , it  felt very high season to me . Positano a very worthwhile stop , if I had not been on the scooter I would have sat all day under sun ,  crisp white napkin around my neck , clutching garlic butter , lemon sauce smothered shell fish with both hands and washing it all down with a bottle of local white , while dreaming the day away , so I will have to return , by bus , by cab , by any means to Positano the village of views .

 

All the while I was enquiring as to the elusive third party insurance , still no luck , I was told that I should have better luck in the town of Sorrento as it was the largest of towns and had many companies that might offer me a solution , so off we rode . The going slow , turns and traffic , we eventually found our way into Sorrento and tracked  down the  information office . My requests fairly routine I thought , good central accommodation with off street , preferably undercover parking for Victoria  and third party cover . This is where I met the star of Sorrento, Fabiola for the first time , who found me a camping ground on the sea with parking for Victoria . Parking comes at a premium in these parts , especially off street , it would remind me of Clifton in the days to come as I wondered the streets of Sorrento. Fabiola also found me a couple of insurance companies to go and see.

So we set up home in the campsite , I hired one of those mobile homes with no wheels built into the ground , unpacked and set off into town . As it turned out I would not be able to buy cover in Italy or any other European country for that matter and it would take me 5 days of internet search and secure to eventually get the cover I was required to ride with .  Canada of all places  came to the rescue through a insurance company I found on the HU website.

 

 

Streets of Sorrento.

Streets of Sorrento.

 

Looking across the bay.

Looking across the bay.

I would spend the next five days here , relaxing walking the streets , sampling the coastal delights , enjoying the old city before the crowds flocked in carried by coach . On some days I would go to the local market get fresh produce and spend  the early evening in my not so mobile home kitchen preparing pasta delights or simply get a bottle of Chianti or a Brunello , pick up some cheese , cold cuts and some bringals  lustfully smothered in olive oil and enjoy the camp at the sea . It was just wonderful , this life on the coast.

 

Pool with a view .

Pool with a view .

 

Not so mobile home.

Not so mobile home.

 

As I strolled the streets I often wondered about  the Amalfi coast of old , the sophisticated Sorrento , where my mind ran old movies , of  the young couple in the  red fiat 500 racing the coast with a wicker basket full of romance , the elegant retirees  walking arm in arm back from dinner and a show , her evening dress moving with the gentle sea breeze , the strong scent of his cigar clashing with her perfume as their Italian shoes strike the cobbled streets , the Alfa spyder 1750 , dark blue , cream interior , he drives faster than he should , his hair in every direction , she sits enjoying the wind on her sun in Sorrento tan , her scarf keeping her hair in place , just a few strands escape the  protection of the silk , a near miss causing him to slow her to smile as they drive off along that coast of dreams. Couples on classic vespa’s trying to have a conversation above the scooter sound , smartly attired waiters bringing fresh Italy to the tables , the patrons pairing wine and food to open the door to 5 hour dinners , produce bursting with  natural flavour , the Amalfi coast bringing with it health and holiday .

 

Old city.

Old city.

My minds moving pictures now blurred by lumbering  motor homes , coaches and croc’s , that make no sound as they coast the cobbles . Bars with names like the  Englishmen , pub life served with a dark long ale to those who just flew in from Heathrow , others with  skin pinched pink from the sun , Sorrento a place that allows couples to enjoy coffee and croissant with breakfast , and he sips on his  chianti at 9 . A cold beer or a misty gin seem a fine way to start the day down here while soaking up the sun , the English pub hours forgotten , so life passes me by as I sip on my espresso .

 

My walk into town.

My walk into town.

Then my day saved by a horse drawn carriage coming through the old town , a glowing bride on her way to the church , the spectacular architecture comes alive , the streets full of smiling faces as she passes , the sound of the hooves , the wheels on stone , once again lets your eyes appreciate this beautiful town , I make my way to the tourist centre to find out were I can get some printing done  for my insurance application .

 

Sorrento Artist displays his works .

Sorrento Artist displays his works .

 

Once again Fabiola comes to my rescue  , onto flash drive and off to the printer , I have time to look around and observe  , the  centre full of questions , the staff so patient , so calm , I watch Fabiola jump between English , Italian and French with the ease that one turns the pages of an exciting novel , her eyes kind , her smile sincere , the silver in her hair not showing her age , but holding in it’s strands her beauty,  a continuation  from her youth . Was she the Bella Donna in the sports car ? the scarf holding her hair , so Sorrento of old returned to my minds eye to once again roam the Amalfi coast.

 

Cliff hanger.

Cliff hanger.

Until we meet again.

 

 

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Riding Rural

It was time to bid farewell to the  coast of dreams , I had two days to get up to Pisa , my sister had made arrangements to fly in from the Uk to welcome Vic and I to the continent and spend some time together enjoying Tuscany . I fired up Vic now insured against the driving wrath of the Italians and the ever clear and present danger of those hire cars and mobile homes , we set off up the coastal road .

I had programed the GPS to avoid all toll’s and  highways  so we could stay as close as possible to the sea and follow the coast  up to Pisa . The morning traffic bumper to bumper and this would not end until I left the coastal road just after Napoli . The road was so congested along this route that Victoria was sporting desert riding temperature changes , we decided to take a slightly more usable route up as we had spent almost two hours getting to the outskirts of Napoli , the home of pizza perfect , but the traffic  disastrous like to many toppings on a pizza .

 

Farwell to Sorrento

Farwell to Sorrento

 

 

Victoria saying goodbye , to the coast of dreams.

Victoria saying goodbye , to the coast of dreams.

So with the GPS re programed we ended up on the Autostrade , another name for projectile travel , 4 lanes wide full of traffic and trucks , all trying to emulate the speed of sound , I thought only Tanzanian trucks could travel at those speeds , clearly not , these European truck drivers must have had some training in Africa . I made it up and through Rome , and yes it is true all and all too many roads lead to Rome , even with the GPS we lost and found ourselves too many times in and around this gladiator town .

I found the flight and fright ride on the autostrade exhausting , Just like in sport or anything really in life , practice makes perfect and   being off the scooter for just short of ten days , I had lost my riding eye , it took some real adjusting to the speeds and traffic  that surrounded Vic and I . We survived over a hundred and fifty kilometres on the autostrada , but almost did not survive the bill we got when we took the off ramp to the countryside . I was getting really tired after the long day on those busy roads , luckily the rural roads took us through beautiful country side much more our style , with slower speeds , less traffic and those curves and corners we have grown to love .

As the Italian summer  season had come to an end the  campsites and the majority of guest houses had decided to take a break and  closed up for the winter , but we managed to find a spot hidden amongst trees and freshly ploughed fields , rustic and rural , just perfect . It felt great being off the scooter and after a hot shower I put my feet up enjoyed the setting sun , the peace and tranquillity of country life  looking forward to a good pasta once the restaurant opened .

 

Our overnight stop in rural Italy .

Our overnight stop in rural Italy .

The waiter was absolutely fantastic  , caring for the entire restaurant  packed with Italians and of course me with the skill of a F1 pit team but without the team . I took my piping hot oven fresh bread , mopped up that golden gleaming olive oil mixed with the pitch black balsamic vinegar , followed by a  delicious Ragu so simple yet flavours  that made me close my eyes and dream of taking up utensils in this country kitchen and dedicating my life to  the art of food and flavour.

Off to bed , with a singing belly , I still had a long ride to get to Pisa and I had decided that rural roads would be the path of choice going forward. The next morning after breakfast and a number of espressos it was time to head for Pisa. My choice confirmed to be the right one as the kilometres wound towards Pisa .

The roads  took me past or through hill top towns ,  villages  walled  to protect  , towers to sound the  warnings , spirals and steeples to show standing , a way of life long changed but preserved in architecture and design . I was so enjoying these back roads , If I saw something interesting I would ride off my chosen path  to go and investigate , so I came across a market day bursting with fresh produce from the surrounding areas , men dressed in camouflage and boots with half cocked shot guns slung over their backs strolling the streets ,  some successful with fury and fresh proof , others still in pursuit stopping at the local  coffee bar for a shot of espresso and in most cases a drink not warm but one that leaves you  warm  . I hope these guys stay  accurate after the bar visit and I don’t feel some buckshot finding its mark as Vic and I ride these mountain roads .

 

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country scootering .

country scootering .

The roads out here is what scootering dreams are made of , sweeping bends , cut back corners , hill climbs , valley descents and in between  all the road excitement the  villages , espressos bars   , unadulterated beauty and of course Vic and I . I have often found myself in a place while driving  a car saying , damn I wish I was on my scooter  and here I was on one of those roads with my wish being granted , so we rode and rode beaming , sweeping , leaning , the colours of autumn starting to emerge , with the matching , ever so slight chill in the air .

 

Rest stop.

Rest stop.

 

Italian addiction

Italian addiction

 

One of the many villages I rode through .

One of the many villages I rode through .

 

Rural lands

Rural lands

 

Vic and I full of joy on these corkscrew roads.

Vic and I full of joy on these corkscrew roads.

It was an amazing day on the road . Those long leans to the left , that sometimes end to suddenly , off to the right , then down to the valley floor , the throttle opens , Vic increases her speed lets her motor run free and then back into the mountains, climbing , leaning , curves and corners bringing a smile to my face and the chance for Victoria to use some of her side tread .

 

The start of autumn , the changing of the colours.

The start of autumn , the changing of the colours.

As we rode this beautiful countryside , the autumn colours blurring with the speed and light , I looked around with wonder , not just at the beauty , but with the realisation that we had made it all the way to Italy , I felt my eyes fill with tears of emotion , my body shook  with a sense of both relief and  grief , the journey almost complete , the road blurred in my tears , I reached down , turned the music up , full volume , adjusted my posture , eased the throttle open , heard the motor  take up the challenge and off we sped  to Pisa  with a full and grateful  heart . Seeing my sister just hours away , getting to Pontedera just days away  , Yes what a great ride .

Until we meet again

 

 

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Pisa , Pontedera and Piaggio

I rode straight to the Pisa airport to meet my sister , I was met with tears , smiles and then laughter , me in my riding gear , reflective jacket and fluffy beard , my sister thought that a courier guy had had been walking towards her not her long  not so lost travelled brother . We left the airport in search of our hotel which took and hour to find between the GPS confusing both itself and me , and the peak hour Pisa traffic . We checked in , cleaned up and  left to explore our  new town , it was going to be a wonderful four days .

 

Leaning at the tower .

Leaning at the tower .

 

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We spent our first evening walking the streets , enjoying this town known for its tower , but as we would find out over the next couple of days a fantastic place to explore offering so much more , our starters enjoyed  roadside with fresh bread , cheese , prosciutto and the ever famous Chianti wearing its straw jacket , then on to  wonder the streets some more . We end up in a lovely Italian restaurant tucked away in the old town , Republik  I think it was called .  A dinner worthy to mark a family reunion and toast a safe arrival .

 

Our street stop .

Our street stop .

 

breaking bread .

breaking bread .

 

heading home

heading home

So began our time together , we would spend the next couple of days exploring Lucca , Florence and of course Pisa with our last day together spent at the Vespa museum . Our days rolled by with walks , talks and cultural delights of which going to the Amedeo Modigliani exhibition in Pisa being  a highlight .Those long necks and elongated faces made for a wonderful way to spend the afternoon . Our time together was absolutely wonderful and just what I needed after all the months solo on the road .

 

Loving Lucca

Loving Lucca

 

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Life in Lucca square .

 

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Our time in Fashionable Florence was spent walking for hours , stopping for coffee and gelato and lunch of course , I cant say much about Florence that guide books have not spent years perfecting , other than , yes it is really old , charming , beautiful and wears a rich mantle of history that it shows with spectacular pride .

 

streets of Florence .

streets of Florence .

 

scooter city

scooter city

 

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The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

 

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The Ponte Vecchio .

 

our lunch venue

our lunch venue

Then it was back to Pisa for the next day we would explore our home base and enjoy a relaxing time together in each other company . My sister the culturally groomed one , me following her wearing my training wheels  . The weather fine , the sunshine getting the town out onto the streets , into the parks and onto the river .

 

Pisa

Pisa

 

Lazy Sundays

Lazy Sundays

Up early , today was the day I was taking Vic to her place of birth , the Piaggio factory in Pontedera. The guys in Johannesburg had tried to organise me a tour of the factory .  I was so excited to see if they had managed to secure  the factory and  museum visit , but the real excitement would be to follow the path Victoria took , to transform her  from a  galvanised  metal chassis  to the scooter swan she now is .

So after breakfast off we set to the home town of my  Vespa .  On arrival  there was a bit of confusion as to who I was , where I should go , who I should meet and generally what was going on . After riding up and down road Piaggio a few times and numerous phone calls , the lady at reception tracked down my host and Victoria and I were allowed on to the premises .

 

Two ladies leaving for Pontedera.

Two ladies leaving for Pontedera.

I was shown around the factory and given a detailed explanation about the different production lines and various other facts and figures pertaining to the production of these trusted scooters , from there  we went down to have a look at the museum , which was officially closed , but what they do is leave the door open , so that if  scooter enthusiasts come all the way  here they can still have a look around , I really enjoyed my tour . That been said  the visit was a bit of an anti climax and very disorganised ,  all I can say with certainty  is that vespa owners are far more enthusiastic  about the brand than the marketing department . What  a fantastic feeling having reached the factory and I loved my Vespa morning.

 

Victoria outside the Vespa museum .

Victoria outside the Vespa museum .

 

The original

The original

 

lets go racing .

lets go racing .

 

Almost off road like Vic. The Dakar special. Note the extra fuel tank.

Almost off road like Vic. The Dakar special . Note the extra fuel tank.

 

Wasps on parade

Wasps on parade .

I was asked to wait at the museum as two guys wanted to come and interview Vic and I about the trip , the one from Vespa World the other from the digital marketing department at Vespa . To kill a bit of time while waiting , I took a walk down the road to go for a coffee only to find that is was the local hangout of the factory workers , If only  they knew how much I appreciated the way they had put Vic together , so strong and reliable to cross Africa with hardly a glitch , I said a quiet thank you to them while ordering  my cappuccino . Back to the museum , unfortunately the interview was cancelled as there was some kind of confusion or miscommunication and they were stuck in Milan.

I fired up Victoria said my farewells and thank you’s and pointed us back to the airport to see my sister off . We had such a special time together it was going to be a sad parting , me back to the road and her to the UK . We said our goodbyes and I rode off with a heavy heart , like trying to swim with an anvil it was  .

I had to track down a place to have Victoria serviced and checked over , so  back to the hotel to do some research . Not surprisingly there is an official Piaggio dealer in Pontedera  , as I was about to ride back a heavy storm broke and took my desire to  ride all the way back away ,  I  would ride down in the morning . I found the dealership easily the GPS was on Q , I introduced myself to Paolo the owner , and what a fantastic guy , he could not believe that I had crossed Africa on a Vespa , he came out had a look at the scooter , now even more surprised after seeing all the extra’s . Victoria was taken into the workshop and so began the check up .

 

In need of some TLC

In need of some TLC

Riccardo was put in charge and Paolo kindly translated what needed to be done . New oil filter , oil , new spark plug , checked the tyres , the brakes , on went a new drive belt and then the expensive news hit , the clutch was done , as I had expected , so in went a new one as well as the indicator lens and Vic was as good as new. The clutch lasting just over 20 000 km showed just how taxing the conditions were , as under normal riding conditions a clutch lasts between 50 and 60 000 km .

 

New belt , new clutch .

New belt , new clutch .

 

Service time , in a official Vespa dealership , Nice

Service time , in a official Vespa dealership , Nice

Victoria felt fantastic after all the work and ready to tour , before heading home to Africa  . Paolo very kindly gave me very special labour rates and discounted the parts dramatically so what could have been a very expensive morning turned out a total treat  , thank  you Busdraghi Piaggio I really enjoyed my morning with you guys .

Then it was back to Pisa for it was time to tour Tuscany.

Until we meet again.

 

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