Panini Moto Tour: A month on the road

Barbara Kennedi and her companion Peter are travelling around the world with their KTM Adventure Rs and sent us this report from their first part of their journey…

Since the start of our trip in Austria a month ago we have now arrived in the south of Turkey. We have travelled about 7500km through Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece. Of course we didn’t always take the shortest route choosing a few detours with some beautiful scenery, always to the motto ‘it is not where you are going but how you get there’. We also made a round trip to the Peloponnese, the beautiful peninsula in southern Greece.

Our Panini Moto Tour started at uncomfortable temperatures – just above zero and hail – and after a lengthy poor weather experience through the Balkans the going finally became more Spring-like. In the countries we passed through the April weather varied slightly but, as you can see in our pictures, everything is now pleasantly green with flowers and the smell of a changing season. Generally there hasn’t been much traffic and at this time of year there is not too much in the way of busy tourism. As a consequence, sometimes it is not easy to find a hotel that is open!

Along the way we also visited some KTM importers and shops, talking with dealers and customers about the new 1190 adventure, that was being launched in these markets around the same time and made some souvenir group photos. Several new stickers from the dealers and importers now grace our motorbike panniers.

An important part of the journey has been the culinary treats! It seems we are always discovering new food, drinks, fruits and vegetables. We like to try everything that we can; also collecting recipes and even ‘googling’ for unknown ingredients. In most restaurants and bars there are no menu-cards – or at least none that we understand – so we are quite often invited into the kitchen to look into the pots and then choose what we want to eat. So far, everything has been very good!

The bikes are totally easy. On average we spend around 240km in the saddle. The new Adventure, in our case the R model, picks up interest everywhere. A few times a 125 or smaller bike rider has squeezed up alongside us in city traffic and we get a thumbs-up or people turning around with smartphones. Something similar occurred in Athens with a patrolling police motorcycle taking the snap! On our Facebook page ‘Panini Moto Tour’ we have posted a video along with plenty of photos.

There have not been too many saddle sores. We have also taken several days of rest. We relaxed in Antalya with a cruise in the Bay of Fethyie and sampled a Hammam (a turkish steam bath). Sightseeing in Tirana, Athens and Istanbul was also part of our program, in addition to cultural and tourist attractions such as Delphi, Olympia, Ephesus or the equally famous and remarkable kalk-terasses in Pamukkale.

We have crossed truly amazing landscapes, enjoyed real motorcycle paradise with many curves, narrow roads and rocky shores often deserted and without traffic. The people we met were all very friendly and we had, apart from a speed trap, not a single negative experience. In short, we are simply enjoying our adventure riding!

Barbara & Peter