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.