Motorcycle Diaries Dream Ride!

January 2019. While working on a project in Valencia with people from all over Europe we met Ilayda. She was different from most of the people we had ever met.

We chitchatted a little and found out she had 3 great passions: riding a bike, nature and her 2 sisters, in no specific order. Everything she does is equally permeated by those passions.  

We like passionate people. We talked a little more. Ilayda told us about a project she was working on, but - due to the economic situation in her home country Turkey - would be very difficult to realise. Ilayda’s older sister Pinar, born with a leg-disability, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. Treatment did not do what it was supposed to and Ilayda promised Pinar that if her sister would fight the cancer she would take her to Venice - a dream Pinar always had - on a motorbike.

Pinar fought the cancer. Plans were made, but Ilayda lacked the necessary funding. Some people enthusiastically offered to sponsor but went back to their decision later.

Ilayda’s story stuck with us. We thought it would be great to make Ilayda and Pinar’s dream come true. So we started planning. We would ride with 2 bikes from Istanbul to Venice with the three sisters. Little sister Deva Su could not be left out.  We put a camera crew together and a little later - end of May - we found ourselves in Istanbul ready to leave…

Istanbull’s eye!

A trip of 3500 km over 13 days may not sound like an epic adventure to some of you, but for the sisters it surely was. And for us it was a very special trip. Weather conditions were far from ideal; the pouring rain throughout the first part of the Greek mountains made us realise that if you really want something nothing will keep you from doing it.

We never saw someone dismount a bike happier than Pinar after a 250 km stretch in bucketing rain. And though she was a bit ‘worried’ the first km’s,  in the end the rain couldn’t beat her happiness.

We crossed Greece via Meteora, the Pindus Mountain range and Tzoumzerka National Park, crossing the Mparos Pass, one of the most beautiful Greek roads we have ever done. As it was cold and wet we spent most of the time heating up by the hotel fireplace instead of enjoying the landscape to the fullest.

Bad weather followed us until we reached the ferry crossing in Igoumenitsa. Even Puglia and Basilicata were wet and cold. We saw Ostuni, Craco and learned to make pasta in Senise.

We crossed Parco Nazionale del Pollino, still with clouds overhead until we reached the western coast around Sapri. From there we also started heading North, and strangely enough, the weather only started to become hotter and hotter. We learned all about mozzarella in Campania, found snow in the Campo Imperatore, and visited visit Rome under a scolding hot sun. It was 34 °C … 

After Rome we went to Tuscany with obligatory stops in Florence and Pisa. We sometimes forget that what we try to avoid at all costs can be a joy to someone who has only seen and dreamt about going places. We saw the Mugello track and with a last stop in the Po Delta we reached our goals as close as we possibly could. A boat took us to Venice - the longer way - from Chioggia.

With every nautical mile, we saw the joy and the emotions grow bigger. We had made it! A dream came through. The three sisters and ourselves rode from Istanbul to Venice: it was a Victory ride for Pinar, a dream ride for the three sisters, and one of the best things we ever did …


To find the full trip roadbook please follow this link. Because of the bad weather we had to skip some parts in Greece, and some roads we rode are not even on the map… Our info may not be 100% correct but it gives you a very good idea of what an amazing trip this was.




Last year we have posted a short video of the trip, but there’s also a long version (app. 25’). We invite you to watch the long version here

(the subtitles of the long version are only in English, we’re sorry for this)



MD Dream Ride 2020

2019. One of the most thrilling and beautiful projects was The Motorcycle-Diaries Dream Ride. A trip to cherish. We will do another one in 2020. That is why we would like to find out what you consider to be your Dream Ride and, more important, why your dream should come through.  

As we do not wish to put a limit on dreams there are no rules. You can submit any dream ride. What we ask is a small presentation – who are you? – and a description of your dream ride. You can submit your dreams until April 15th, 2020. We will select 5 Dream Rides and have our subscribers vote.

Mail us your Dream Ride to [email protected] ( English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese or Dutch/Flemish, it does not matter). 

Even if you don’t master any of these languages, do not hesitate to submit! Translation software can be a great help, but keep in mind that if we want to realise your dream we need to be able to communicate one way or another. 


Where next?

Explore the best roads & POI's around and plan your next trip based on those roads.




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