This body of work grew out of a passion for photography, the thrill of adventure and the sheer love of off-road driving. I didn’t set out to advertise a brand but instead to tell the story of a journey that only a lucky few ever get to make. The Ford Ranger is an important part of the story because without it this journey would not have been possible.
As an adventure traveler, landscape photographer and Ranger owner, I’ve driven my car, which I call “Black Mule” for obvious reasons, across some rough country, including the sand dunes, bogs and marshes of Chalkidiki, where I live. I was eager to put the vehicle, which I had carefully modified and outfitted, to a real endurance test and see if it would stand up to its reputation.
So I teamed up with my friend, Anastasios Hatzis, who has the Ford dealership in Thessaloniki and an identical sea grey Ranger, and we took our cars on a truly demanding trip. We drove them along both sides of the border on three separate trips, over abandoned forest trails and snow-capped grasslands, through treacherous gorges and river beds strewn with boulders. We took them up and down steep mud-covered hillsides, deep into a pristine wilderness where bears and eagles had found refuge.
Ultimately, both my Black Mule and its sea grey sibling met every challenge this extraordinary itinerary presented. What’s more, they provided us with an unforgettable driving experience—just as we thought they would—and an amazing collection of images, some of which are presented here.
Fokion L. Zissiadis