Chantil and I look forward to October each year because we start putting together the yearly viajarMOTO Overland Motorcycle Calendar. We pour through hundreds of our favorite photographs and make the painstaking process of whittling them down to just a cover photograph and twelve others that capture the natural beauty of the countries we visit, and the adventure of traveling on two wheels.
These photographs were chosen from our travels from October 2021 to September 2022 and each has the magical ability of pulling us back into the moment. The memories, feelings, and senses are flooded as we are transported back in time. We hope you enjoy the photographs that we’ve chosen and feel inspired to purchase one of our calendars for yourself.
Cover Photograph – Northernmost Point of Africa, Tunisia
During our three weeks of travel through the country of Tunisia, we made sure to stop at a monument that marks the furthest northern point of continental Africa. The late spring weather was perfect for riding along the remote coast and taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea.
January – The Kelpies, Scotland
The Kelpies name reflects the mythological transforming beasts that lived in the lochs of Scotland and had the strength of ten horses. Scottish folklore suggests that Kelpies would appear as a gray or white horse, that would entice the unsuspecting to ride on their back, where they would be carried away to a watery grave. Seeing the imposing 98 feet (30 meter) high Clydesdales, affectionally named Duke and Baron, coming to life after sunset, felt like a mythological moment that filled my camera’s SD card with wonderful memories.
February – Tataouine, Tunisia
Ksar El Mourabitine is a fortified granary built by the Berber tribes of Tataouine, to protect their grain and crop storage from raiding Bedouin tribes. What made Ksar El Mourabitine so unique was its isolation from the nearby towns. We were grateful to have off-road oriented motorcycles that could make light travel of the rutted dirt roads and reach the remote hilltop. Entering this historic site, without any tourism, felt a bit like being in our own version of an Indiana Jones movie.
March – Adventure Country Tracks, Romania
Chantil and I feel one of the best ways to experience a country is to get away from the touristy spots and travel the backcountry. Riding remote roads and trails in a foreign country can be a bit unnerving so we tend to stick to the publicly shared routes like Adventure Country Tracks and the Trans Euro Trail. We simply download the GPS data to our smart phone, and follow the published route to wonderful places like this forested road in Transylvania.
April – Ras El Oueed, Tunisia
There was something exciting about Tunisia that is hard to describe. It’s a country with more than its share of poverty, trash, and problems. Yet, somehow, it overcomes these problems with its rich Arabic culture, interesting locations, and unique desert landscapes. This photograph, of the mid-morning light pouring into the natural tunnel, provided a vibrant reminder of why we loved Tunisia.
May – Adventure Country Track, Romania
Romania is one of those countries that makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. As we rode the entire 850 miles (1370 km) of the Adventure Country Track, we came across many remote farms where horse-powered wooden carts were the normal form of transportation, and mud-covered draft horses were used to pull heavy logs from forested roads. Our BMW motorcycles and protective gear made us look a bit like Marty McFly from Back to the Future.
June – Matera, Italy
As we walked among the narrow cobblestone streets of this beautiful Italian town, there was something that felt very familiar to us, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. While capturing this photograph from a vantage point, we chatted with a family from Germany. After a bit of small talk, the gentleman mentioned that he wanted to visit this city after watching the latest James Bond movie No Time to Die. That’s it! We knew we had experienced the city of Matera before – we just didn’t realize it was on the big screen. Afterwards, we made sure to visit some of the locations where 007 jumped a Triumph motorcycle and then raced his tricked-out Aston Martin through these historic streets.
July – Lars Homestead, Tunisia
As a young kid in the early 80’s, I was fascinated with the STAR WARS universe – especially the desert planet of Tatooine where the main character, Luke Skywalker, lived with his Uncle and Aunt Lars. The scene where Luke emerges from the Lars Homestead, stares into the binary setting suns, and contemplates his own future is a powerful scene. It was extremely special to arrive at the same exact spot where the scene was filmed 46 years ago. To have it all to ourselves – with just the silence of the desert, and the setting sun, was even more special.
August – Belogradchik, Bulgaria
We didn’t have any real expectations when we arrived in the eastern European country of Bulgaria. We knew it was closely aligned with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but didn’t expect the wonderful hospitality of the people, and the beautiful scenery we encountered. This was taken during our last days in the country while wild-camping among the unique landscape. I imagine the solitary hot-air balloon ride, in the early morning hours, would have been very magical.
September – Adventure Country Track, Greece
During 2021-2022 we had the pleasure of riding through many of the Adventure Country Tracks to include Portugal, Greece, Romania, and Italy. Greece surprised us with a completely different view that most tourists don’t get to appreciate. Instead of the famous islands of the Mediterranean, we enjoyed the mountain regions of northern Greece, that included side trips to the archaeological sites of Delphi, the beautiful cliffside Monasteries of Meteora, and the stunning Vikos Gorge. Who knew Greece was so mountainous?
October – Adventure Country Track, Portugal
As the autumn crept upon us, we wondered if we would be in a place to experience the bright and beautiful colors of the season. Fortunately, plenty of stunning reds, oranges, and yellows found us as we traveled through the forested regions of north-eastern Portugal. Our ride was full of moments of wonder and awe, as we snaked along the well-maintained twisty roads of the Adventure Country Track. Beautiful!
November – Trans Euro Trail Northern Spain
As the winter season was approaching, we knew we had to get south. We hopped on a ferry from southern England and reached the much more agreeable weather and warmer temperatures of northern Spain. The autumn colors were in full season with all their warm colors of reds, oranges, and yellows that made for some lovely riding along freshly plowed fields.
December – Arch of Freedom Monument, Bulgaria
We’re intrigued by communist era monuments – especially in the regions of Europe east of the Iron Curtain. During WWII, countries like Romania, Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslavia experienced military and civilian losses well above a million people. Many of these monuments were designed and built during the Cold War to remember the struggle against Nazism and fascist ideology. However, as these nations transitioned from their Communist governments, many of these monuments have fallen into disrepair due to lack of funding. Riding by these monuments, made us both reflect on our own freedoms and the hope that all people will be free to follow their dreams and passions.
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