"I decided to take another path."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - After four years of planning to visit Italy, 37-year-old Andy Leeano, a resident of Wirosaban village in Yogyakarta, has decided to make a solo trip to the European nation on his 51-year-old Vespa scooter starting Friday.

Andy will start from Yogyakarta`s North Square on Friday (June 1) through Bandung (West Java) and Purworejo (Central Java) as the first stage of his 27,000-kilometre journey to Italy.

From Bandung, Andy will head for Jakarta and then Merak seaport in order to cross the Sunda Strait and reach Sumatra Island. Then he will proceed to Melaka in Malaysia through Dumai, Riau province (Sumatra).

"Travelling by sea from Dumai to Melaka, Malaysia, will be the only inter-country journey by sea. The rest of the way to Italy will be by land," said Andy, who was born in West Sumatra province on April 19, 1975.

From Malaysia, Andy will travel through Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey before he reaches the European continent, and finally his destination in Italy.

Initially, Andy had planned to traverse China, but he cancelled it due to the extreme weather that he would have face on an icy path at an altitude of 4,000 feet for a distance of 1,100 kilometres.

"Vespa scooter cannot go through that way, so I decided to take another path," he said.

Andy will ride a dull-coloured Vespa scooter.

"The Vespa`s colour is not original, but its spare parts are still authentic," he explained.

According to Andy, the trip will cost around Rp980 million, or more than US$104,000, which he has obtained from various sponsors.

"It will take about six months to reach Italy, or even up to one year, because there are obstacles on the way," he said.

Regarding his preparation, Andy said: "I have prepared myself as well as my vehicle for about one year."

Andy has equipped his scooter with a camera and spare parts.

The Vespa will also have an extra fuel tank, with a 29-litre capacity, apart from its original fuel tank that can hold only seven litres.

With the additional fuel tank, he will need to refuel only every 1,000 km.

Andy will wear the Indonesian batik (cloth) and Blangkon (Javanese male batik headdress) in an effort to promote Indonesia in the foreign countries he will pass through.

Speaking about potential hurdles on the way, Andy said besides the extreme weather he would have to watch out for threats from wild animals and communal conflicts in some countries.

Despite the problems he might encounter during his long journey, Andy will ride on an ageing Vespa scooter and show his commitment to promoting his country in foreign countries.

Reporter: by bustanuddin
Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2012