On top of the world with Clutch Moto Tours.
Seven Countries of Yugoslavia Tour May 2016.
Nine months ago, Shane typed into Google, Eastern Europe Motorbike Tours. He scrolled down, and opened the web page for Clutch Moto Tours, and was reasonably impressed with what he read and saw. A leap of faith early 2016 saw him Internet banking a significant sum of money to someone whom he'd never met, with a strange name, who supposedly lived in a country a bloody long way away! Did he really exist? Was this just another elaborate Nigerian scam?! Who would know!!
Fast forward nine months, and we are in Montenegro, having just ridden into the seventh country of Clutch's Tour of the Seven Countries of the former Yugoslavia.
This has to be an example of the power of the Internet, to connect like-minded travellers with smart young entrepreneurs. Rozle Verhovc, a 36 year old Slovenian, owns the company. He has travelled the world extensively, and spent much of the the last 20 years as a tour guide for a myriad of different travel companies. He speaks more languages than I have fingers, is a passionate historian and a marvellous raconteur. He also has an undeniable passion for the peoples and lands which make up this spectacularly beautiful
part of the world. He is a brilliant leader, who knows how to create an itinerary which both excites and surprises, but most importantly, he draws a very firm line in the sand from day one, about punctuality and behaviour. Plus he's a hell of nice guy, with a great sense of humour, and a glass-half - full approach to life..in fact his glass seems to brimming over with never-ending possibilities!
We have been extremely fortunate to hit the jack-pot, as far as motor-bike tours go. We are accompanied by two USA couples, who have travelled way more extensively than us, and they say this tour is head and shoulders above any others they've been on.Yay!
The roads throughout the region vary in quality, but on the whole they are a delight to ride on. Challenging mountain passes and scenic river gorges, with tunnels aplenty, offer Baby-Boomer bikers plenty of variety and enjoyment. The freeway legs are few and far between, as Rozle has designed the tour to take in more scenic routes, which offer breath-taking views, and often travel through National Parks. He is an exceptionally well-connected Slovenian, who seems to have friends in high-places, in every
From Kosovo to Montenegro
In no-mans land, between the borders.
country we enter. This means border crossings, which can be tricky, never are. He has a keen understanding of how long pillion passengers can tolerate being in the back seat, before needing a leg stretch or toilet stop. Riding times are evenly spaced, with breaks at the best cafes and restaurants along the way.
This tour could almost be re-named Rozle's Food Tour of Eastern Europe, as we have dined like royalty, and experienced the best beers, wines and food that each country has to offer. Fortunately, the expertly maintained, and high-powered BMW bikes which make up part of the Moto Tours fleet, (he does Harleys too, apparently!) have no difficulty hauling us up steep mountain roads, as we are definitely a few kilos heavier than when we started!!
Our hotel accommodation along the way has been first class. At the end of each day, our bags are waiting for us in our rooms, along with two bottles of Clutch water. Attention to detail is exceptional and if there is ever an issue, (and there have been very few), it is sorted discreetly.
Just in case you are wondering I have not been asked to write this,
nor am I an employee of his company...yet!
We have just five riding days left, on what has been the holiday and adventure of a life-time. Each and every day there is an unexpected surprise in store.........
We just may be looking at career changes when we return home. I'm hoping Rozle may consider me to be Promotions Manager for Clutch's soon to be created New Zealand Branch, and Shane his General Manager! Aaah.......if only!! No harm in dreaming!l
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