Rice and Dirt / Ρύζι και Χώμα

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.


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.

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"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


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Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Shuvvy Press Ltd (August 2018)
Language: English
Translated from the original Greek: Katerina Soumani
ISBN-10: 0956430570
ISBN-13: 978-0956430571
Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.5 x 1.5 cm
# Africa overland book
# Africa travel motorcycle book
# Africa trip motorcycle book

Average Customer Rating

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 80 reviews)
Very good5%


A really entertaining read!

Rated 5 out of 5

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"

Rated 5 out of 5

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

Bob Mcghee

Put this on your 'to read' list

Rated 5 out of 5

Over the years there have been plenty of debates about what an adventure bike actually is. I suspect that most readers will say it’s the bike you go adventuring on. But a scooter? Yep, this is the story of a Vespa scooter and a nut ( in the nicest possible way) heading down the west side of Africa. And it’s a great story. Very nicely written with some wonderfully different angles and thought processes. As I got to the last pages I was really disappointed that it was coming to an end!

Sam Manicom

Wonderful book, beautifully written and 100% authentic

Rated 5 out of 5

I absolutely loved Rice and Dirt! It is beautifully written with an authenticity, honesty and attention to detail you hardly find in travel stories.

Having travelled with Stergios across some of the tougher countries in Africa, I was curious how he would manage to capture the experience in words. I kept a diary but when I read it today, it doesn’t quite do justice to the surprise, anger or love I felt at the time of writing.

Where I failed, Alexandra and Stergios got it spot on right. Already when travelling together, I noticed that Stergios is gifted with a great eye for everyday details others might overlook. And Alexandra did a wonderful job bringing these detailed accounts to paper without losing any of the emotional highs and lows riding a bike across Africa has in store. The writing is lively, heart-felt, funny, sad and honest to the core. Some parts were so familiar as if they were taken straight from one of the long conversations Stergios and I used to have on the road. I particularly liked how seamlessly Alexandra was introduced to the story. This is a beautiful final touch to the African part of your journey and hopefully the opening chapter to your next book.

Rice and Dirt left me happy and sad at the same time. Happy because it perfectly captures the experience of riding a small bike round Africa. At the same time, it also made me deeply nostalgic for all those great moments we shared. I really hope both of you continue your journey – and please keep writing books. It was an absolute pleasure reading this one and I will surely read it several more times!

Steven Hofmann

Loved it

Rated 5 out of 5

Rice & Dirt is a cracking read. In today’s large Adventure bike times it’s truly refreshing to read a personal journey on a small cc bike. The character of Stergios shines throughout the journey. The breakdowns what he sees on the road and the route he takes which is by no means an easy route to take. The book could have been twice as long. I rate this with very few others that sit on the top of my list of Adventure travel books.

Tim Shaw

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