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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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Old 7 May 2020
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Around the world on a Vespa scooter

INDEX (newer on top)

SOLO travel RECORD times & EXPLOSIVE tires (video)
Buenos Aires (+video)
Carretera Austral (Chile)
Parks, rivers, lakes and a sudden u-turn (Argentina)
The most surreal day of our journey! (Chile)
Ruta 40: Going south again (Argentina)
This is how much it cost us to travel around South America for 1024 days
Uruguay (+video)


So I think I finally found the time I needed to start sharing my story in the HUBB too.

I've been an Horizons Unlimited member for 8 years now (wow time flies!) reading, being inspired and getting all those info I was searching for my travels in Europe, Africa and South America!

To be honest I once starter a thread while I was planning the trip but then I gradually stopped sharing for some reason.

I think the quarantine in Argentina (the lockdown continues here) will give me the opportunity to make a comeback

So here's the story, at last:





- The route -





- Our story -

We are Alexandra & Stergios, a couple from Greece traveling around the world on a Vespa PX200. Our story started in Greece in 2013. At that time, we didn’t know each other. Different reasons made us leave the country, but we had something in common: the socioeconomic crisis which affected our lives and suffocated us.
We first met by coincidence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and soon after that, we started a “test-ride” two-up in South Africa and Lesotho. The Vespa made it and we discovered that we make a good team. So from that day back in December 2014, we’ve been traveling together. Our RTW journey is a lifetime project and we promised not to stop until we’ve been to every corner of our planet.



- The vehicle -

Our vehicle is a 2003 Vespa PX200, 2 stroke, one cylinder, air-cooled, 200 cc’s. Simple engine, simple to maintain, simple to fix.


Kitsos our Vespa




- The plan -

The plan is as simple as it gets: A journey all around the world!

In October 2013, I (Stergios) started from Greece, traveled to Italy and from there to Morocco (by boat). From November 2013 to January 2015, I crossed through Africa going to Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Lesotho.

After a “test ride”, 2-up with Alexandra through South Africa and Lesotho, we continued together to South America. From January 2015 to March 2016, we traveled in South America. We crossed through Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil.

Our next goal is to continue traveling in South America and in Central America and from there, to the United States and Canada. Alaska will be the finishing point for the trip in the Americas. Asia and Oceania will be next and maybe one day we’ll be back to Africa, from where everything started…



- Budget / Funding the trip -

When I decided to leave Greece and set off for my RTW trip, I was almost broke. So what I did was to work for one summer as a seasonal waiter in a Greek island and sell everything that could be sold from the stuff I had (my bicycle, my other motorbike, my extra motorcycle gear, some clothes, my mobile phone etc). I was lucky because when I started counting my budget, I found out that a scholarship I had been granted from my school was finally credited to my account, as well as the severance pay owed to me when I was made redundant. So, I had managed to start my trip with less than 10,000€ in my pocket. When Alexandra joined me, her main source of funding the trip was the savings she had for her PhD.

During the preparation of the trip, some people (through the businesses they run) who liked my idea of traveling RTW, supported it by providing me with useful gear: spare-parts, cameras, helmet. More supporters came along the way, who provided us with camping gear and a tent when ours had started to fall apart. Moreover, we should mention the donations made by people who appreciated the work on our blog and our videos, or simply the concept of our trip. The part of our trip that started on the 2nd of January 2019 is also self-funded – we worked hard the last two years – but we also have the support of some brands/companies that provided us with new gear and of course, all our friends from around the world who support us by making donations.

Initially, the only “work” on the road was to update the blog with new stories and publish videos and pictures on our social media accounts. Gradually, we realized that traveling, shooting videos / pictures and writing are the things we love most, so we decided to dedicate ourselves to all the above and take things more seriously. Being able to make a living from what you love is for us one of the most important things to be happy. It is a difficult road we chose, but hasn’t every road its difficulties?



- These are some of our favourite photos -​


Traditional means of transport (Sahara Desert, Morocco)





Flat tyre on the road to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)





Petrol station (Burkina Faso)





Lome Beach (Togo)





“Love attack” on the road to Abuja (Nigeria)





In the jungle of Cameroon





Children looking at the Vespa (Congo)





Traveling by “taxi” (Congo)





On the highway from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi (D.R.Congo)





On the highway from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi (D.R.Congo)





River-crossing with “Congolese Lines” (D.R.Congo)





Locals helping push the Vespa (D.R.Congo)





Morning coffee (Namibia)





Enjoying the view (Lesotho)





5,000 meters above sea level (Bolivia)





View to the volcanoes (Bolivia)





Lost in Uyuni Salar (Bolivia)





Million star hotel (Uyuni Salar, Bolivia)





Making new friends (Peru)





Freezing cold, strong winds and lack of oxygen (Andes, Peru)





Mano del Desierto (Atacama Desert, Chile)





Family photo (Chile)





Drinking and chatting in the woods (Chile)





Peaceful moments in Patagonia (Chile)




Carretera Austral (Chile)





Mount Fitz Roy (Argentina)





Ruta 40 (Argentina)




- And some of our favourite videos -

























So these are just few of our best moments on the road.
I will start unfolding our story asap and maybe add an index in the begging so that you can read the thread easier.

Cheers,
Stergios
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Last edited by s_gogos; 4 Jan 2022 at 16:32. Reason: added to index
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Old 12 Jun 2020
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Our new Q&A video after 46 months on the road!


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Old 14 Jun 2020
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Hi you two.

We met on the road in Chile camped out together.
Well done for continuing and adding your stories here.

See you again somewhere out there.
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Old 14 Jun 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redtape View Post
Hi you two.

We met on the road in Chile camped out together.
Well done for continuing and adding your stories here.

See you again somewhere out there.
Really? Where, when? Was it in Hornopirén?
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Old 16 Jun 2020
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Thank you much for sharing! Very amazing that you manage that with that less stuff you was able to carry - what an adventure!


I had a good flashback of my travel memorys out of the transafrica and south america trip

Surfy
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Old 16 Jun 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfy View Post
Thank you much for sharing! Very amazing that you manage that with that less stuff you was able to carry - what an adventure!


I had a good flashback of my travel memorys out of the transafrica and south america trip

Surfy
Thanks for the nice words. I'm glad we contributed to your flashback
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Old 17 Jun 2020
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Amazing what you were able to fit on that little Vespa! Very humbling imo when I'm debating way bigger bike and thinking they're too small. You put everything in perspective .

All the best to you two!

Nico
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Old 17 Jun 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainville View Post
Amazing what you were able to fit on that little Vespa! Very humbling imo when I'm debating way bigger bike and thinking they're too small. You put everything in perspective .

All the best to you two!

Nico
Isn't it amazing?!?
The best to you too!!
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Old 18 Jun 2020
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Absolutely fantastic photos ! The Vespas were a great choice too. Thanks for sharing !
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Old 18 Jun 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airhead_eire View Post
Absolutely fantastic photos ! The Vespas were a great choice too. Thanks for sharing !
Thanks mate!

PS We're traveling on one Vespa
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Old 19 Oct 2020
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I might have said I'll start sharing my story from the beginning, but I haven't managed to find some free time yet
Anyway, I'll start in reverse and hopefully I'll reach the beginning

Here's the latest ride tale from Uruguay:

A ride around Uruguay

When we did our research about Uruguay, among the information on the interesting places, the endless beaches and the colorful towns, there was another kind of information, that worried us a bit: the high cost of living. We try to keep our daily budget low, which means that we don’t want to spend more than 20€ (that includes the costs for both of us and for Kitsos) so, we had to plan everything very carefully. Traveling in a country that seems more expensive than our home country, Greece, could easily drain our wallets.

The procedure at the border wasn’t difficult at all, but due to a mistake the person in charge at the customs office made in Kitsos’ TIP (temporary import permit), we spent more time there than we had estimated. So, when we finally left the building it was already late and the sun would be soon setting. Just before it got dark, we made it to a gas station and asked permission to camp at their backyard for the night, as we used to do in other countries of South America. But to our surprise, the answer was “no”. We respected the new reality and headed towards the nearest town. When we asked the price for a night at the campsite, we almost cried with despair. We hadn’t paid that much in months – actually it was in Brazil, some time ago. So, we chose to continue on the NR3 going south. To where? No idea! The drivers in Uruguay were fast and they had their own “close shave” style in overtaking, so we had to find a place to stop soon.









It was almost 22:00 when we arrived at the “Termas de Guaviyú”, a municipal spa complex with campsite and rooms, next to some hot springs. It was our only option but luckily, the price was very reasonable AND it included unlimited access to the pools! Two days later, fresh and rejuvenated we left the Termas and continued south. The cold was almost unbearable and despite we had put on all our clothes, we kept on freezing. Our initial plan was to go towards the ocean, but according to the weather forecast, the next ten days or so would be the coldest of the year. And not only this, but the fuel, groceries and accommodation costs were higher than we expected.

After one more night of wild camping at a random riverbank and many kilometers among endless “tidy” pastures and cultivated land – result of the industrialized stock-farming and agriculture, we were somehow tired. Maybe it wasn’t the ideal time of the year to visit Uruguay, so it didn’t take long before we made up our minds: we’d ride directly to Montevideo, spend some days there and then ride back to Argentina.

Montevideo was an unexpectedly pleasant surprise! Uruguay’s capital had a certain je ne sais quoi that immediately caught our attention. Since the prices for accommodation were beyond our budget and we are not fans of 16-bed hostel dormitories, we tried our luck and rented an Airbnb room in a local’s apartment. And that’s how we ended up with the best memories from Uruguay! (well, from Montevideo in particular). Our host Sandino and his lovely family, welcomed us as if we were old friends. They introduced us to the unique cultural life of the city, we had interesting conversations about the history of Montevideo, about Uruguay and Greece; we laughed and shared some drinks and Sandino’s delicious pizza.











The week we spent in Uruguay’s capital was full of endless walks around the city center and the bohemian neighborhoods. We strolled along the Rambla (the esplanade), we took pictures of every corner of the casco antiguo (the oldest part of the city) and we spent hours wandering around at the famous street market “Tristán Narvaja” contemplating the old books, searching for used clothes, looking at the various artifacts and the thousands of antiques. One of the top moments of our stay in Montevideo was the luck we had to attend one of the famous llamadas (dance parade) taking place in front of Sandino’s apartment. The uplifting rhythm of the candombe and the whole dance performance is one of the most prominent parts of the Afro-Uruguayan heritage, and it’s difficult to describe the contagious, euphoric feeling spreading from the participants to the audience, making it part of the whole thing!







The time to leave Montevideo came and our next destination was the famous Colonia del Sacramento, the old town with the colorful historic quarter, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When we arrived at the town, we realized that the historic quarter was indeed a very beautiful place, but in our eyes it was too touristic. So, we just rode around its narrow streets for a while and off we went towards the border (Fray Bentos). We spent one last night in our tent, next to a small village on the shore of River Plate, looking at the lights of Buenos Aires in the distance. The next day we would be in Argentina again.

To be continued…

PS Here's the video I made for Uruguay.
It might be all Greek to you but fortunately there are English subtitles available.
Don't forget to turn them on!




Hope you like it
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Last edited by s_gogos; 4 Jan 2022 at 16:33.
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Old 19 Nov 2020
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This is how much it cost us to travel around South America for 1024 days

(though I created a new topic, I thought it was a good idea to share it here too, so that those who are following this thread won't miss it)

Are you wondering how much it’s going to cost you to travel around South America with your own vehicle?
Here’s what we paid…


As we've told many times in the past, our lifestyle is not a luxury but a choice. Of course, some preparation is needed – if you want – and some money too – at least in the beginning – but there's no need to be a millionaire or a pensioner(!) in order to ride your scooter around the world.

The most important part is to make the decision. Then, it's good to have the will to continue and not give up at the first hardship – and when I talk about hardship, I mean hard hardship...such as eating rice and legumes for days in order to keep the budget low. Oh, and you'll be pleased to know that if there's two of you in the equation, not only will you be able to share the unique experience of the trip, but also the expenses!

After 1024 days of everyday, meticulous record keeping, we patiently gathered all our expenses and made some very detailed charts and pies. You'll see information about the scooter's fuel consumption as well as its 2T-oil consumption and the costs (psychological ones, too) we paid at various technicians. You'll find out how many kilometers we rode on paved and on dirt roads, how many nights we spent wild camping, couchsurfing etc. You'll also see how much we spent on tolls, insurances, food, medicines... Everything!

I hope you'll find this post interesting and useful. And most importantly, I hope that it will give you one good motive to make the decision yourselves and take the first step towards a simple and beautiful life on the road. Or at least, to take the leap and set off on a big ride around the world.

If reading is not your thing, you can watch the video I made just for you:



Days on the road¹: 1024
Days spent at one place (not riding): 821 (80.2%)
Days on the road (riding): 203 (19.8%)

Countries visited: 7 (Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Chile)

Number of days in each country


Argentina: 528 (51.6%)
Paraguay: 210 (20.5%)
Chile: 102 (10%)
Bolivia: 72 (7%)
Brazil: 54 (5.3%)
Peru: 41 (4%)
Uruguay: 13 (1.3%)
Airports / Airplanes: 4 (0.4%)

Total distance traveled² : 45,099 km (28,023 mi)
2,600 km (5.8%) on friends' cars or taxis (1,615 mi)
390 km (0.9%) on friends' motorcycles (242 mi)
42,109 km (93.4%) on the Vespa (26,165 mi), from which:
37,871 km (89.9%) on paved roads (23,531 mi)
4,238 km (10.1%) on dirt roads (2,633 mi)

Average distance per day: 41 km (25.4 mi)
Average distance per day counting only the days we were actually traveling: 207 km (128.6 mi)

Average fuel consumption: 4,9 l/100km (48 mpg)

Petrol: 2,059 litres (543.9 gal)

2T Oil: 43 litres (11.3 gal)

Type of accommodation

Apartments, hostels, hotels etc: 688 nights (67.2%)
Campsites: 133 nights (13%)
Wild camping: 100 nights (9.8%)
Staying at friends' houses: 83 nights (8.1%)
Couchsurfing: 16 nights (1.6%)
Airplanes: 4 nights (0.4%)

Average accommodation cost 2.94€ ($3.46) per person per night
Average campsite cost: 3.65€ ($4.30) per person per night
Average hostel/hotel/apartment cost: 3.60€ ($4.24) per person per night

The total of our expenses per category per person


Accommodation: 3,005.50€ ($3,546) (30.8%)
Supermarket³ : 2,510.10€ ($2,961) (25.8%)
Eat out (street food, restaurants etc)⁴ : 1,362.50€ ($1,607) (14%)
Maintenance, spare parts etc⁵ : 1,154.25€ ($1,362) (11.9%)
Petrol: 763.35€ ($900) (7.8%)
Tolls, insurances, paperwork etc⁶ : 242.75€ ($286) (2.5%)
Sightseeing & transportation⁷ : 227.25€ ($268) (2.3%)
Misc⁸ : 121.75€ ($143) (1.3%)
Meds & doctors: 98.25€ ($115) (1%)
2T Oil: 96.75€ ($114) (1%)
Internet / Telephony⁹ : 91.25€ ($107) (0.9%)
Clothing¹º : 69.25€ ($81) (0.7%)

Daily expenses per country per person

Uruguay: 17.12€ ($20.20)
Chile: 14.59€ ($17.21)
Brazil: 14.45€ ($17.05)
Peru: 9.85€ ($11.62)
Argentina: 8.57€ ($10.11)
Bolivia: 8.45€ ($9.97)
Paraguay: 7.29€ ($8.60)



Expenses per country per person
Argentina: 4,525€ ($5,339)
Paraguay: 1,530€ ($1,805)
Chile: 1,488.5€ ($1,756)
Brazil: 780.5€ ($920)
Bolivia: 608.5€ ($718)
Peru: 403.9€ ($476)
Uruguay: 222.5€ ($262)

Grand total¹¹

So, the total amount after 1024 days on the roads of South America (from which the 180 “trapped” in Argentina under the covid-19 lockdown) is 9,742.9€ ($11,496) per person or 9.51€ ($11.22) per person per day or 19,485.9€ ($22,993) for the two of us or 19€ ($22) for the two of us per day! Not that much, huh? Keep in mind that these numbers are based on our needs and habits. The text you just read is not a guide and its purpose is not to teach or give any advice – but now you know how little money it can cost. Maybe it gives you the “push” you need to start preparing your own trip and stop using the “but I'm not as rich as they are” excuse!


Notes

¹ This is the sum of our travels in South America from January 2015 to August 2020.

² Airplanes not included :P

³ “Supermarket” category includes everything we buy from supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores etc. Food in general, that we don't intent to consume right away. If for example we stop by at a supermarket and share a sandwich, this cost will fall into the “Eat out” category.

⁴ “Eat out” category includes the money we spend in street food, restaurants, food in general that we consume but not prepare ourselves.

⁵ “Maintenance, spare parts etc” category includes the money we spend for maintaining our Vespa scooter in good shape.

⁶ “Tolls, insurances, paperwork etc” category includes the money we spend in toll roads, insurance for our vehicle, plus any costs related to bureaucratic procedures, like extending our visas or our Vespa's TIP or our own passports. In this category we've even included 351.1€ for the obligatory insurance and the road / registration taxes in order to have a Greek license plate.

⁷ “Sightseeing & transportation” category includes the money we spend on visiting national parks, museums etc. as well as on excursions, taxis, buses and all kinds of transportation without our Vespa.

⁸ “Misc” category includes the money we spend on anything that doesn't fall into any of the other categories. Few examples: haircuts, parking lots, gifts etc.

⁹ “Internet / Telephony” category includes the money we spend on buying local SIM cards and credit. The total amount in this category is relatively high, because we had to upload huge videos and many photos on our social media and keep our blog updated. Under “normal” internet use, we don't think we'd need more than ¼ of what we've spent.

¹º “Clothing” category includes the money we spend for buying or repairing clothes.

¹¹ The grand total differs from the total of the “Cost per country per person” because here we've included 351.1€ for the obligatory insurance and the road / registration taxes we pay in Greece in order to have our Greek license plate. The grand total doesn't include the Vespa's shipping costs from Africa to South America, our airplane tickets, nor any costs related to our blog (maintaining our website, buying hard drives, cameras, laptops etc).
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Great photos and amazing journey. You need to be hardcore to travel two-up on any small bike. I know because I’ve done it - Istanbul to London on a CB175 Honda in winter. You have my total respect.
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Originally Posted by kotamarudu View Post
Great photos and amazing journey. You need to be hardcore to travel two-up on any small bike. I know because I’ve done it - Istanbul to London on a CB175 Honda in winter. You have my total respect.
No, the bike needs to be hardcore
Your trip sounds amazing mate!
Thanks for the comment
Safe travels!
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Old 21 Nov 2020
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When you make it to Lombok, Indonesia look us up in Kuta, Lombok. We have a bed for you two as long as you're prepared to share some highlights of your trip with us. In the meantime enjoy the life you have made for yourselves and may good luck always sit on your shoulders.
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Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.




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