Leaving the economic turmoil of Greece behind, Stergios Gogos initially set off to discover the world. By the tip of Africa he’d found much more than he’d bargained for.
RICE AND DIRT | OUR FIRST BOOK!
Follow Stergios and his PX200 Vespa scooter across deserts, mountains, tropical beaches, forests and savannas. Envisage breathing the air of the countries he visited; taste the food, share his concerns, fall repeatedly and get back up from the mud in the Congo, enjoy both solitude and the company of others. But above all, get to know the people that would change his life immeasurably; and meet one in particular. This is a story of physical, emotional and mechanical challenges, of selfevaluation and blossoming relationships.
Roaming the roads of Africa through the unpretentious writing style of Stergios and Alexandra, we are led to a place much deeper than any travelogue could take us. This book manages to steer clear of literary travel classifications and thrills with its liveliness, eloquence and welcome candour.
“Funny, perceptive, revealing and well written. Oh, all right then, it’s a very good book.”
– Ted Simon author of Jupiter’s Travels
“A story that spells out the importance of packing a smile; highly recommended.”
– Overland Magazine
“The lilting and uplifting text transports you into Africa’s heady blend of colour, challenge and corruption. Infused with mischievous wit and enlightening observation, Rice & Dirt might just make you want to point a Vespa towards sub-Sahara.”
– Martin ‘Sticky’ Round, scooterlab.uk
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Shuvvy Press Ltd (August 2018)
Translated from the original Greek: Katerina Soumani
Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.5 x 1.5 cm
Average Customer Rating
In its 320 pages Rice & Dirt takes you around Africa with Stergios Gogos, a Greek, who set out alone, having sold everything he owned, in what was a sad time for his country, caught in the grip of a recession that seemed to leave little hope. Stergios faced deserts, mountains, forests, savannahs and terrible roads where he fell dozens of times … riding a vehicle with 10″ wheels! In the book he questions some common myths, such as “areas to be avoided” and “safe places”, often finding the latter to be the more dangerous. The book stops at the African borders but their journey went on for another year in South America (but this is another story and probably another book). RICE & DIRT uses a style of writing that is no way pretentious and at the same time is far from the traditional day by day diary.
The various moods (the silences, the challenges, the loneliness, the worries, the enthusiasm of a date) are expressed in a most eloquent way, that only those who travel alone can understand.
Many of the reviews found on the net consider it worthy of a place on the shelf amongst your favourite books…. perhaps alongside one of the travel volumes of the never forgotten “Vespa rider” Giorgio Bettinelli.
I enjoyed your book very much
A well written account full of nicely described observations of life, humanity and the highs and lows of being on the road. You have an admirable ethos. Well done for breaking free from the constraints and fear that is servitude to social convention. Keep those wheels turning.
Buy it. You will not be disappointed.
There are few people who choose a scooter to cross Africa, even fewer who do it on a 2 stroke Vespa and less than the number of fingers I’m holding up who write about it. So when I saw ‘Rice and Dirt’ by Stergios and Alexandra pop up in the SLUK shop earlier this year I had to press the buy button. I have not been disappointed. The style is fluid, descriptive, informative and above all laced with good humour. When he finds himself in the most dire circumstances running out of petrol in the desert, burnt out clutches, locals approaching him out of the jungle with machete in hand, Stergios paints a word picture that puts the reader at the heart of the unfolding drama. Its fast moving (well as fast as a PX200 can be!) entertaining and very funny. Buy it – you will not be disappointed.
A really entertaining read!
Not only is this a really entertaining read……there is also a huge amount of amazing information woven throughout the book…..especially if you’re a traveller! Well done! Can’t wait for your next one! Safe travels!
"Can't put down read"
I’m always a sucker for reading any sort of travel book and after an inspiring conversation with Stergios and Alexandra at Mersea Island Scooter Rally, I knew I had to purchase theirs. The story starts with Stergios deciding he wasn’t happy with the current situation in Greece and having to work all hours waiting tables, so he set about getting on his trusty Vespa and going on a road/off-road trip from the north of Africa down to the south, The path he took was mostly following the west coast down for a good part of the journey until he ventured inland through the Congo. He hitched up with a few other travellers along the way, but he was solo for most of the trip until he meets up with Alexandra later. Stergios describes the different places and countries he passed through so well that it’s easy to imagine what they feel like; the sights and smells and how the terrain changes from the heat of Mauritania to the dirt roads of the Congo and beyond. He didn;t seem to have any major problems with the scooter apart from a few burnt out clutches and minor niggles. I found the book a “can’t put down read” with a brilliant insight into Africa and travelling through it, along with the hardships he encounters and the “get on with it” attitude he has. Stergios, didn’t hook up with Alexandra until he got to South Africa after first meeting up with her in the Congo. This is where the romance began and carried on. Their wanderlust hasn’t finished in Africa either, as they are to embark on another journey through South America in the new year. I certainly look forward to reading about the next adventure – Kitsos done good (Stergios’ nickname for his scoot that means mule/donkey in Greek). So go out and buy it, you won’t be disappointed. Bob Mcghee – Scooternova Magazine