Monday, November 10, 2008

Long Way Round

Two weeks ago, during a couple of days off, I devoured the documentary series of Long Way Down...and loved it! Totally wow-ed by it! And inspired!

A fan of Ewan McGregor, for his good looks and hot Scottish accent, I had heard many good things about this series. Finally having the chance to sit and watch, I was totally blown away!

Ewan and Charley Boorman talk about riding across the world on the back of their motorbikes - and then make it happen. The series documents their planning and research, the visa processes and first aide training, as well as Ewan's first off road riding experience. And then the trip from London, across Europe, through Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, and then over to Alaska, Canada and through the US to New York. An amazing trip!

The series takes you through the highs and lows, with a cameraman Claudio joining the two riders, plus their support crew in vehicles usually a day behind them. The lads also kept video diaries, so you could see them reflect on the day's riding, what was bugging them, and the very intimate homesickness experienced. Such an insight into these two guy's lives, such a treat.

Taking UNICEF as their targeted charity for the trip, the boys visit a children's centre in Keiv, amongst the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. They also visit street children living in heating ducts of Russia.

The snapshot into the landscapes across these travels, breathtaking and so different at every point, just enhanced my wanderlust, and desire to get to Russia for a trip. Plus their encounter with the people along the way, from so many different cultural experiences - the friendliness, the characters, the exchange of vodka in the middle of nowhere, or finding a welder in a tiny town in Mongolia to repair one of the bikes. This series is one of those reminders of our humanity, and that we are all esentially the same, the world over.

Ewan had some pretty scary things happen along the way to him, and Charley looked like not finishing at one point, but despite these things, and a hundred other barriers, they got across. Quite inspired by Ewan and Charley's reflection on the seeming impasse in Mongolia, and also the trials and triumph of the Road of Bones...

So impressed!

Reminded me so much of one of my favourite travel experiences, in Cambodia. Dan, Nick, Rach and I, went out of Phnom Penh one weekend when we were living there for a dirtbike trip up to Prey Veng to visit Luke and Jane, with me riding on the back of Borin's bike. Through the jungle and sandy planes, through driving rain, and overcoming many, many breakdowns on the way - still one of my greatest travel memories.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favourite series! I could watch it over and over again.


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