Long Way Round
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2 men, 4 wheels and 20,000 miles. Long Way Round is truly the adventure of a lifetime. Bonded by a unique friendship and love of motorbikes, Long Way Round documents the adventures of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their extraordinary journey around the world. From London to New York via Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, the U.S.A. and Canada, this two-disc set contains the entire TV series to Long Way Round as well as a number of extras including unseen and extended footage and exclusive interview with Ewan and Charley.
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Ewan and Charley feel like my close friends by the end of the movie. And you like them. Great lads.
The flick has all the makings of a great movie. Adventure, Friendship, (even a hit of love) Scarey and definitely funny.
These two guys are so down to earth and real that you really feel their excitement and fear, you laugh with them and worry for them. They should consider themselves lucky to be such good friends as it's not an easy thing these days.
But they are good friends and you can feel it throughout the movie.
4 months of planning; 4 months of traveling. Meeting up with their support team only at borders and checkpoints, they relied on serendipity for finding places to stop for the night, places to sleep, food other than trail food. When something went wrong with a bike, they had to fix it. When they fell ill or were hurt, they persevered. Perhaps the most poignant of episodes is the Road of Bones in Sibera. Perhaps the funniest is the Kazakhstan Mafia (?). Watch it, and you'll see what I mean.
What makes this 10 episode show so engaging is that it shows 2 men (and their cameraman - who deliberately stayed off camera for almost the entire trip) in all the ups and downs of travel, hardship, friendship, illness, and fear. The editing is superb - there is no feeling of having something cut because it makes someone look bad, and no feeling that something is edited to create more edge. This is humanity.
Occasionally, I have been sorry to finish reading a book, because it was so good, I didn't want it to end. This is the first time I've felt this way about a TV series.
Kazakhstan is a bit humorous as the pair is greeted with local police escorts and just about every town official along the route. Mongolia is fascinating as the duo encounter people living in the most barren places of the world. The route gets very tough in areas and will satisfy adventurers' and motorcyclists' appetites for challenging situations as Ewan and Charlie negotiate rivers, bogs and very rough roads on their heavily-laden motorcycles. The route becomes almost impossible in far eastern Russia when they ride the final leg to Magadan on the "Road of Bones;" a road manually constructed by prisoners. Interrupted by rivers swollen from winter run-off, the team resorts to assistance from hardy Russian truckers who travel the route--sort of a reality "Wages of Fear (1955 movie)."
Motorcyclists will enjoy this show as Ewan and Charlie each ride an R 1150 GS Adventure, BMW's famous large displacement dual-sport motorcycle. It's an interesting study to watch their preparations for the trip and the numerous problems--mechanical and environmental--they solve to get to New York. A fascinating event is their original choice to ride KTMs, which falls through after that company feels they'll be unsuccessful. BMW steps up to sponsor Ewan and Charlie, and leaves an interesting debate for brand fans to ponder how KTMs would have fared on this trip. BMW proves their quality as the bikes motor-on under excessive loads, extreme temperatures, deep water and numerous tumbles. I'm a KTM fan, but have to concede admiration for BMW and their decision to support McGregor and Boorman on such an arduous trek.