As I write
this, it’s only January 2016. It already has been a long wait from the start of
planning. And still some waiting to endure.
(record early) page on a tour is intended to share a few pieces of information
about the tour during our process of preparation.
How it Came About
list of places to ride is virtually endless, my priority list is a lot shorter.
Cuba remains attractive. South America was all but locked in (at least, in my
mind) back in 2012 or 2013 but that plan got waylaid. It still beckons. And, of
course, there’s the west and north-west of this massive land down under yet to
four forays into the Sub-Continent – two with grandchildren (and another visit
soon inevitable as No 3 grandchild get itchy travelling feet); crossed the
Tibetan plateau preceded by some non-mc travel in “mainland” China as well as
riding Mongolia; and traversed South Africa, East Europe dropped in to my
thinking as a place with much allure and mystery (Bohemia, Transylvania, the
contrasts of pre and post Communism etc.). So that was the start of the
to from there. While this thought process was taking shape, I chanced upon a
conversation with friends who had recently undertaken a “self-guided” motorcycle
tour with Adriatic Moto Tours in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I was already familiar
with this company and its owner, Matej (mar-tay), who had organised and conducted the Ferris Wheels Dalmatia
tour in 2010 that I did. Maybe that was the answer. And, as it turned out, it
Moto Tours has several guided motorcycle tours across Eastern Europe and the
Balkans, as well as into parts of Western Europe and Turkey, which, I guess,
can be classified as Asia Minor, Eastern Europe or Western Europe.
I examined a
half dozen or so of Matej’s tours; and started to join a couple, then a few, eventually
five or so before winding back to four. Joining them together required a bit of
adding and deleting as well as changing direction in places. But it finally
came together into a 48-day mega tour taking in fifteen countries over 48 days.
While this would be a self-guided tour
it wouldn’t be a solo one. I had a friend eager to do whatever emerged.
Subsequently, another four friends will join for parts of the tour.
itinerary document represents my merger of the four itineraries from Adriatic
Moto Tours (the descriptions are also from the AMT site).
which is part of the same Excel file as the itinerary, has a couple of
The modus operandi of Matej’s self-guided
tours is that he not only hires out the bikes, but also books all the
accommodation and sends you on your way equipped with maps, descriptions, notes,
GPS with files pre-loaded; and a notional umbilical cord through mobile phone
Map of the Route
Here is an
interactive map of the route we will be taking. There are some inaccuracies
especially in Transylvania (Romania) and Albania. The map simply refuses to
admit to roads that do actually exist. In any event, other roads might be
different once we learn what Matej has in store for us. . (I’m
still finding my way with My Maps. You need to click in the middle of the four
little right angles at top right of map to get the larger map. Then you need to
scroll down to the bottom of the map legend column on the left to
get to the satellite mode.)
Glimpse of the Tour Route
Here's a short video by way of a prelude to the tour. It illustrates the route and highlights the mountain ranges we ride through (check the settings to make sure you're watching in HD):
Guide to the Tour
read my pages on other tours, you’ll know already that it’s not uncommon for me
to knock up a rough guide for the tour. The contents are invariably borrowed
from various web sites but it makes travel a bit more interesting. Here is my
rough guide for this tour.