Dara and Ed's Great Big Adventure (2015) Episode Scripts

N/A - Arizona to Southern Mexico (1 of 3)

1 ~ Oh, my God, ~ oh, my God.
Hey! HE LAUGHS 'My fellow comedian Ed Byrne and I are on an epic road trip.
' We have been in this car for nearly a month.
'We're travelling 4,000 miles down the longest road in the world - 'the Pan-American Highway.
' Wow, look at that.
'We'll be passing through some of the most spectacular' ED LAUGHS '.
.
and volatile countries on the planet.
' Look at that over there.
POLICE SIREN WAILS Oh, my God.
'Today, this great road is a main artery through the Americas.
'But 75 years ago it was little more than a cart track.
'Then three adventurers from Detroit set out to drive all the way 'from North to South America.
' 'It was an expedition to attempt what no-one has ever done.
' 'Crossing jungles, fording rivers and conquering mountains, 'they forged a route for what would eventually become 'the Pan-American Highway.
' 'Using their journal as a guide, 'we'll follow their path from the USA all the way to Panama.
' Here we go.
'But first we're in Mexico, 'getting to grips with the extraordinary people' Welcome to Mexico.
THEY LAUGH '.
.
the local diet' Oh, my lord, that is the head of an iguana.
In it goes.
'.
.
and the dangers of life along the route.
' Jesus, look at them hanging off the train.
Some of them are just kids.
'We'll discover how this highway has changed the lives of the people 'who live on its course on our very own 'Pan-American road trip of a life time.
' ~ This is not right.
~ Whoa.
I don't know where this road is on this map.
I don't know that this road is on this map.
We are surrounded by a lot more cacti than I would like us to be.
Ed's my closest friend, we were best man at each other's weddings.
When we first met, Dara was opening for me at a club in Dublin.
We're both immigrants.
We both travelled from the country we were born into another country.
There is an element of fitting in to a separate culture.
I think there's as similar relationship between Central America and the USA as there is between Ireland and Britain.
We are the smaller neighbour that kind of gets forgotten about.
The United States is already, to a certain extent, overly dominated our view of this part of the world.
And so what I want to see is Latin America standing tall.
~ Go where I tell you to go and then ~ This time I will.
~ .
.
rather than just following your feminine instinct.
~ It felt right! 'On a long journey there'll be times where we'll be exasperated' with each other.
We've had to do that before, so I think it'll be OK.
We're beyond small talk.
That's a useful thing in a journeying companion.
I am hoping our friendship will survive this journey.
But it's quite possible it won't survive dinner.
'Before we hit the Pan-American Highway south through Mexico, 'Dara and I are stopping off in the small Arizona mining town of Miami.
'We want to know more about these three adventurers from Detroit 'whose tyre tracks we're following.
'So we've arranged to meet Dave Richardson 'whose father Sullivan led the 1940s expedition.
' ~ Ed.
~ How are you? ~ Pleasure.
~ Welcome.
~ Dara.
~ How are you, sir? ~ How are you, are you well? Very, very good.
It's great to see you gentlemen here today.
I have something very special that I'd like to share with you.
~ Yes, please.
~ It's a scrap book that my father put together of his trip down to South America.
I'm looking at Clark Gable and Ron Howard here, the two guys that he brought along.
Yes, this was a very close friend, Arnold, and Ken was Arnold's close friend.
Arnold was the mechanic, Ken was the cook, and my father was the journalist.
They called them Three Damn Fools because there was no roads in many of the stretches throughout Latin America.
Many people told him that it was absolutely impossible.
'Let me take you with us on this trip.
It really is an experience.
' 'Sullivan was working for the Detroit News 'when he came up with the idea of a panAmerican expedition.
'The reports he sent back became a book called Adventure South, 'which is how Ed and I found out about it.
' Why did he do it? Was it a bar bet? Was it a challenge? Cos no-one had done this drive before.
My father was born in Mexico, right at the border of the United States.
He was born into very poor circumstances.
He was discriminated against.
People told him he was white trash.
~ And he was the 17th child of 20 children.
~ Right.
So you really need to do something special if you're going to stand out from a crowd like that.
So he conceived of the idea of trying to find a route for the Pan-American Highway.
He went to the people at Chrysler Corporation and they gave him this 1941 Plymouth Sedan car.
So "Viva el Panamericanismo.
" That means "Long live Panamericanism.
" The concept was to bring together the Americas.
'We give you here the realistic story of men trying to follow, 'by automobile, the route of what one day will be the greatest 'highway in the world.
' 'Armed with Sullivan's journal, Adventure South, 'we're following the expedition's original route, 'from Arizona, down through Central America, to Panama.
' What do you know of Central America? Well, I didn't even realise until I started researching this trip that Mexico is actually in North America.
It's not even in Central America.
~ You've never been to these places at all? ~ No.
No.
I once spent two weeks here in the mid-'90s, so if you've any questions Is that going to be enough now for you to just adopt a patronising ~ know-all attitude for the rest of this trip? ~ Oh, Ed.
~ "Oh, how it's changed.
" ~ Donde esta.
Donde esta.
'It took the Fools five months to reach the Panama Canal, 'but we've only got four weeks.
'We'll be travelling over 4,000 miles, 'first down the length of Mexico 'and then south through Guatemala, 'El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, 'and Costa Rica, 'before we end our journey in Panama.
' SULLIVAN: 'We'll start here, and enter Mexico at Nogales, Arizona.
' 'In the 1940s crossing the border into Mexico was a breeze, 'and the Plymouth was simply waved across.
' 'We present ourselves to customs authorities 'and are permitted to pass without opening a single bag 'or piece of equipment.
' 'But times have changed on the US/Mexican border.
' Right, this is the fast moving Mexican border control.
'Nogales is now divided by a huge fence.
'Over 400,000 people were caught tying to hop the border 'last year alone.
'And over 90% of the cocaine and crystal meth entering the US 'is trafficked by violent drug cartels 'through border towns like this.
'Which is why it's over three hours before we are finally waved through.
' Welcome to Mexico, my friend.
'Sullivan, Ken and Arnold had decided to drive down the Pacific coast 'of Mexico, where they had been warned the going would be tough.
' SULLIVAN: 'For 1,000 miles there is only a dry weather trail 'for high-wheeled carts.
'And we hit it after a six-day rain.
'We dive in the mud holes 'and follow hour after hour 'along highway like this.
' 'And when the road ran out altogether, 'they were bailed out by the locals.
' 'He kept yelling at us, "No puede pasar, senores, sin mulas.
" 'Meaning we couldn't get across without the help of his mules.
' 'But Mexico is no longer the manana backwater of the USA 'that Sullivan encountered.
'The Pan-American Highway here is now a network of modern motorways 'that soar over the rivers which the 1940s expedition struggled to cross.
' Baluarte Bridge.
A kilometre long, ~ from the start to the end.
~ Please slow down, thank you.
~ All right, OK.
~ I know, I know.
~ OK.
Yeah, it's scary, it's really scary.
It's exhilarating, is what it is.
A type of exhilarating which is also scary.
'Rising over 400 metres above the valley below, 'the Baluarte is the highest bridge in the Americas.
' Wow.
We're properly over the gorge now.
~ Oh, what are you doing, what are you doing? ~ I'm stopping.
Why are you stopping in the middle of a bridge? Well, it'll be more dangerous for me to keep driving ~ AND look over the edge.
~ Oh, don't, don't.
~ I've put me hazards on, it's all right.
~ You put your hazards on? It's a massive bridge, it's a massive long, straight road.
There's no traffic.
~ What are you doing? ~ I'm getting out, I'm going to have a look.
~ You not coming? ~ No, I'm not.
I absolutely am not.
I reckon you're less safe in the car.
I think, you know, there's more chance something's going to come along and hit you.
You should get out and come with me ~ and have a look over the edge.
~ No.
Buenas noches.
~ CD PROMPTS IN SPANISH ~ Bien, gracias.
~ 'Muy bien.
' ~ Muy bien.
Muy bien.
GENTLE MUSIC PLAYS The music is calming me, the music is calming me.
~ The view's incredible.
~ I'm sure it's fantastic(!) Buenos dias.
'Yes, the Fools didn't have the benefit of these terrifying bridges, 'so instead they spent ten days dragging the Plymouth 'through the mud before they reached Mazatlan, a beautiful seaside town 'where we are going to spend the night.
' This is how happy they were to reach Mazatlan.
They go, "There were people in Mazatlan, paved streets, "restaurants, ice cream, Coca Cola and the sea.
" ~ There we go, look at that.
~ Right on cue.
'To save money for meals, Sullivan, Ken and Arnold 'camped on a rocky vantage point next to the sea, 'one popular with local daredevils.
' 'These Mexican swimmers would think nothing of doing 'a swan dive where angels would fear to fly.
'The slightest miscalculation and he'd have his last headache.
' 'The cliff divers are still here, 'risking their lives to earn tips from tourists.
' God.
Wow, that's astonishing.
And another one coming.
Oh! ~ There he is.
~ That was a little pause, wasn't it? Very impressive.
Very impressive.
Very, very good.
Thank you very much.
Fantastic.
Does it hurt when you hit? It is, like, pain? Boom - like that? ~ It's normal.
~ It's normal.
~ Yeah.
~ Normal.
How deep is it? 45.
5 feet high.
The water - 7.
5 feet deep.
In times we have five, six feet deep right here.
~ Can you do five feet deep? ~ Yes.
~ Is that what I think it is? Is that off? ~ Yeah, the rocks.
~ Really? Look at that.
~ Oh, man.
~ That's tough.
That's new as well.
Wow, that's incredible.
~ Would you mind showing us what it's like up there? ~ Yeah, come on.
Every time is very, very dangerous.
~ May I? ~ Yeah.
Oh I bet if you go too far you hit that rock there, yeah? You can see the other rocks underneath.
HE CHUCKLES ~ Want to fly with me, my friend? ~ I would love to, but in spirit.
Here we go.
~ Wow, that was amazing.
~ Incredibly impressive.
Although, I'd like to see them close the late show at the Comedy Store ~ on a Friday night.
That's scary! ~ He's not Superman.
~ Amazing! ~ Fantastic! Muchas gracias.
Yeah, he's cool.
Do you know what's extra cool about this actual bit here is this is where the Fools camped.
Sullivan sat just down there, just clattering away on his typewriter all night.
Very romantic place to camp, ~ but an even more romantic place to sit and type.
~ Staring out at that? ~ How beautiful would that be, with the sun going down? ~ Yeah.
'Before we turn in for the night we've decided to have 'a couple of beers where the Fools used to eat.
' This is the beautiful Belmar Hotel.
This place was considered too fancy to stay in by the Fools.
They ate here.
They ate ham and eggs, like, four, maybe five times.
These chairs might have been here as well.
There's any chance Sullivan's bum has worn a groove in this.
I'd like to be romantic about this ~ but I don't want to start thinking about Sullivan's bum.
~ No, OK, fine.
HORN TOOTS Cheers.
'Sullivan fell in love with this place.
'But more recently it's become less welcoming to visitors.
'Mazatlan is the capital of the state of Sinaloa, 'which has seen some of the worst violence from warring drugs cartels.
'Only a week after we left, Joaquin Guzman - 'considered one of the world's most powerful drug lords - 'was arrested here with 200 million in cash.
'A darker side of the Pan-American dream.
' 'Mazatlan is more than 600 miles from Mexico City.
'Without a good road, it took the expedition five days 'and mosquito-plagued nights across desert scrubland to get there.
'At that time, Mexico City had a population of just over one million.
'Today, it has swollen to over 21 million, 'and is now the fourth largest urban area in the world.
' This city's massive.
This is insanely big, isn't it? I imagine their arrival at Mexico City was full of joy for them, having been crossing desert.
And it would have been a lot easier to get around.
Whereas, for us, we've had lovely open road and now we are facing road rage and congestion.
'With an average commute time of three hours 'and no requirements to take a driving test, Mexico City 'is officially - and there are people who measure these things - 'the worst place to drive on the planet.
' HORN HONKS THEY LAUGH You're getting the hang of this.
In any other culture, I would be really ashamed of you.
I know, that would have been a really rude thing to do.
I'm already, like, "Not today, biatch!" 'There's only so much weaving you can get away with, 'and now there's a conga line of salesmen trying to flog everything 'from food to home furnishings.
' ~ Bathroom mirrors.
~ Bathroom mirrors.
~ It's quite the marketplace, this traffic jam.
~ Yes.
No, no, no, no.
Just pointing at you so we can see you.
No, I don't want a paper battleship.
It's OK.
I'm sorry.
OK, look away.
Look straight ahead.
'But we don't mind paying to be serenaded by mariachi.
' Roll down the window.
HE SPEAKS SPANISH What do you want to play? Mexicano song.
That's fantastic.
We're doing a drive-by hiring of a mariachi band.
Yeah, I know, it's excellent.
Here we go.
UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS ~ Great.
~ I feel like I've dropped acid.
HE LAUGHS Despite being flatter than a tortilla, there is something marvellously romantic about these musicians.
THEY SING IN SPANISH ~ Muchas gracias! ~ Muchas gracias! Muy bien.
Muy bien.
Happy anniversary, Dara.
HE LAUGHS 'Well, that's quite enough of that.
We have an appointment to keep.
' SULLIVAN: 'In the Mexican capital we call at Governation to meet young, 'handsome Don Licenciado Miguel Aleman.
'He extends us every possible courtesy.
' 'Sullivan believed that his expedition could encourage 'Latin American leaders to realise the dream of a Pan-American Highway.
'And the first name on his list was Miguel Aleman, 'soon to become President of Mexico.
'Today, his son, Miguel Aleman Junior, 'is dropping by to meet us.
' It's an impressive way to make an entrance, isn't it? Are you sure we're not actually meeting a Bond villain? I feel a bit underdressed now.
I think you should have probably 'Miguel Junior, with his media empires and his own airline, 'is one of the new class of super rich business moguls 'created by Mexico's recent economic success.
' ~ Buenos dias.
~ Hello, welcome.
Welcome to the Aleman Foundation.
'The Alemans are still some of Mexico's most powerful 'movers and shakers.
Miguel Junior seems to have met everyone.
'Including two Popes, 'the Queen, 'and even Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
'But today he has time for a couple of fools like us, 'as his father did 74 years before.
' Your father went on to become president.
At the time he met the Fools he was already Minister of the Interior.
That's correct.
When three Americans came to see him, planning to drive all the way down to Argentina, he thought that they were crazy.
~ Yeah.
~ Did your father think they wouldn't make it? No, my father saw that they knew what they were doing, and the spirit of adventure that they had was good enough to make miracles.
And they did - it was a miracle.
~ Do you think he was inspired by Sullivan's trip? ~ Absolutely.
And he said, "Now I'm obliged to do something about it.
"We must build a central road.
" 'Juarez, Mexico, on the Texas border, 'was the starting point of the recent 'Mexico Pan-American race, opening the newest link 'in the famous Pan-American Highway.
' 'Spurred on by the intrepid travellers, 'President Aleman poured money into the road, 'and in 1950 Mexico became the first Latin American country 'to complete their entire 1,600 mile stretch of the Pan-Am.
'The new road dramatically increased trade with the US 'and transformed Mexico from poor neighbour to powerful ally.
' Clearly your father was a man who had vision, a vision of Mexico.
I think so, yes.
We talk about Sullivan Richardson and his "Viva el Panamericanismo.
" Does Mexico feel closer to North America or closer to Latin America? Are you always torn between the two? ~ Yes.
We belong to Latin America.
~ Mm-hm.
But right now we're closer to North America.
It's our market.
So 80% of what we produce goes to United States.
Senor Aleman, I think we've taken up enough of your time.
I just have one favour to ask.
~ We find driving in Mexico City a very stressful experience.
~ Yes.
I wonder if we could borrow your helicopter? Sure! Of course you can.
THEY LAUGH 'But Aleman is called back to his world of high finance, 'and takes his helicopter with him.
'When I visited Mexico before, I never got a chance to see 'the biggest sport in the country - lucha libre.
'The flying men in Spandex.
'But before we attend a fight, I want Ed and I to look the part.
' ~ I now realise it looks like I'm bringing you to a sex shop.
~ It does.
I'm not.
I'm bringing you to a very famous shop in Mexico.
Buenos dias, senor.
'The Martinez family have been making lucha libre masks 'since the sport began.
' This is the equivalent of the football jersey shop.
~ Exactly.
~ So are these masks from specific wrestlers? ~ Exactly.
~ Right.
~ Did you do the first of these masks? ~ We have the first masks.
~ Can we see the first masks? ~ Yes, of course.
I have it here.
~ Oh, wow.
~ Quite frightening.
It's quite Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Yeah, scary cos it's actually not got a join, wings on the side, or stars, or something.
And who fought in this mask? ~ Cyclone McKey.
~ Cyclone McKey.
He was Irish.
~ You're joking me! ~ No, no.
~ The first lucha libre wrestler was Irish.
~ The first masked lucha libre.
~ There he is.
~ That's an Irish head on him, all right.
~ He's actually almost got a touch of the Colin Farrell about him.
~ He has.
He's a good looking fella.
~ But he covered himself up.
~ He wants to keep his identity in cover.
~ And did he become more famous when he started wearing the mask? ~ Yes.
~ Really? ~ A lot.
~ And because of him, others decided to wear the mask.
Exactly.
After that comes traditional in Mexico.
'The mask, introduced as an attention-seeking gimmick 'by an Irishman in the 1930s, 'has become one of the defining characteristics of Mexican wrestling.
'After the war, lucha libre thrived 'and fighters like El Santo became national superstars.
' May I see Santo's mask? ~ This one.
~ That's a Santo mask.
Shall I? That looks like it's really uncomfortable on you.
I like the history behind this but I don't think this is frightening.
This looks a bit too spangly and showbiz for me.
Rarrr! I'm more of a "Why do we have to fight?" Do you have a mask with the UN colours on it? This one is from the sea.
~ It's from the sea? ~ Yeah.
Exactly.
Now I feel like a very relaxed fighter.
You look like a wasp.
It looks ridiculous.
~ Oh, I look ridiculous.
~ You look ridiculous.
Cos you look really cool(!) ~ You look like someone I don't want to be seen with.
~ This works on me.
~ You look awesome(!) ~ This makes me look tough.
Argh! I love what you're doing with the frills.
'Having chosen our evening attire, we are ready to meet 'one of the most famous wrestlers in Mexico - Shocker.
' Here he is.
Try and spot the guy who's the professional wrester.
~ Aha.
~ Hey! ~ Shocker.
~ Welcome to Mexico.
It's a pleasure to be here, Shocker, ~ thank you very much.
~ Nice to meet you.
It's my pleasure to introduce you to the Arena Mexico, the house of the best wrestling in the world.
This is big entrance.
~ This is where all the people come into the arena.
~ Yeah.
~ OK? This is the history of wrestling, this big mural.
~ Are you on this? ~ Of course.
Right over here.
~ There you are.
To be honest, you look better in real life than that.
~ I'm making my mean face.
~ Yeah, they're not being kind to you there.
~ Cos, you know ~ You're a pretty handsome man.
~ Yeah.
Yet, I call myself Mr 1000% Handsome.
Mr 1000% Handsome, right.
Le Mil Por Ciento Guapo.
~ It's a good name, huh? ~ It's a fantastic name.
~ Are you a good guy? ~ I'm one of the more lovable wrestlers in Mexico.
~ Fine.
Fine.
Good.
~ The people just love me.
So is that your signature move? ~ Yeah.
That's called La Reienera.
~ La Reienera? So you put someone? I put them over my back and I just pull and stretch them and start spinning them around.
~ Do you want to see it? ~ I'd love to.
~ Let's go to the ring and show us.
~ Yeah? ~ Yeah.
INDISTINCT CHATTER Let's start with me coming at you.
Here.
ED ROARS ~ We go right here and you go over here.
~ Aye-aye.
ED GROANS AND LAUGHS And you're spinning around if you like, you know? ~ THEY CHUCKLE ~ How's that, Ed? Is it all right? Oh! That's cured my sciatica.
THEY CHUCKLE What's the biggest person you've done that to? How much ~ Could you do it with him? ~ That's the question he's asking here really.
Feel free to say no, cos you're in a suit and I'm in a suit, you know.
I don't feel we'll gain anything by doing this.
Really, I think I can.
~ Are you sure? ~ You know what? I don't think you could.
~ Prove it.
~ Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! ~ We'll start off with an easy one.
~ OK.
~ Get down.
~ OK.
~ Whoa, whoa, whoa, what's going on here? ~ No, no, no.
~ Hello.
~ This is why they call you the Shocker! ~ What is this? You always try to use your opponent's body, you know.
~ Right.
Yeah.
~ Hang on.
~ It's not going.
Whoa! Ho-ho-ho-ho.
MUFFLED: Oh, it hurts.
It hurts.
INDISTINCT MUMBLES I don't know what to do! That looked like it hurt.
That looked like it hurt.
That escalated quickly.
ED GUFFAWS MUSIC: "Jump" by Van Halen 'We can't wait to see Shocker in action.
'But, first, it's that old classic '.
.
the monkey lady dance routine.
' CHEERING AND WHOOPING ANNOUNCER: Let's rock! Ah, Shocker! Whoo! Good guy Shocker! Come on, Shocker! Guapo! 'Lucha libre is a cross between wrestling and soap opera, 'with a pre-planned and outlandish plotline.
' Oh, man, come on.
Shocker and his team-mate! This is awful! 'Tonight, Shocker has turned into a psychopath 'and he's attacking his own team-mate.
' ~ Boo, Shocker.
~ I can't believe you're doing this.
BOTH: Boo! ~ Boo, Shocker! ~ Boo! CROWD BOOS Look at the crowd.
They used to love you, Shocker.
I'm genuinely gutted that Shocker turned out to be one of the bad people.
He was so nice beforehand.
RHYTHMIC MUSIC 'We've been on the road for less than a week 'and now we're heading south through the state of Oaxaca, 'a journey that should take us about seven hours on the Pan-Am Highway.
'The original expedition had been on the road for a month 'and had travelled over 3,000 hard miles by the time they left 'Mexico City on Christmas Day 1940.
'Sullivan had been warned that 'the road to Guatemala would be treacherous.
'The boys were bracing themselves 'for a rugged road along mountain paths.
'Like us, they drove out of Mexico City, 'under the shadow of its huge, active volcano.
' Unbelievable old Popocatepetl, "Mexico's mighty mountain and volcano of the past, was beautiful.
"We saw him that next morning, with the red light of dawn "on the raw edge of his great cone, "high up in the pastel heavens.
" ~ Popocatepetl.
~ Popocatepetl.
~ Popocatepetl.
~ Popocatepetl.
~ Popocatepetl.
~ Popocatepetl.
Not as good as favourite other words - ~ Quetzalcoatl.
~ Quetzalcoatl.
~ Quetzal Quetzalcoatl - the mythic bird.
Here's another one.
PHONETICALLY: Jabba-no-wanna-wooki.
SULLIVAN: 'We eat what we can get 'and with as little fuss and bother as possible.
'But we often run out, as we do here in these mountains, 'and have to live on native food which we are able to buy 'from the native women along the way.
'Arnold and Kenneth claim that tortillas taste, to them, 'like a cross between cement and leather without salt.
'But I ate them as a boy and like them.
' ~ Get some tortillas? ~ Yeah, let's get some tortillas.
~ Un paquete de tortillas? ~ Paquete de tortillas? ~ Paquete de tortillas ~ Por ~ favor? Oh, right.
Jesus.
~ Uh? Uh? 'Yes, that might look like construction material there 'but it's the traditional blue corn which gives them that colour.
' ~ Oh, gracias.
~ Lovely.
~ Our Spanish is really good.
We got twice as much food as I thought we ordered.
'This kind of tortilla has been made in Mexico for hundreds of years 'but the setting has changed a little 'since the fools passed through.
' ~ We're essentially in East Mimms now.
~ What? Like a service station? The services, yeah.
This is essentially a big Watford Gap.
RHYTHMIC MUSIC Look at that! Cut through the mountain and you see the valley and the mountains beyond.
That is astonishingly beautiful.
Monte Alban.
'Like the intrepid adventurers, we're heading for Monte Alban - 'the ancient Zapotec city that lies 'west of the modern city of Oaxaca.
'In the 1940s, few foreigners had visited this site 'and Sullivan wanted to showcase this sophisticated 'and largely unknown civilisation to the US public.
' Marcus Winter.
Hiya.
Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, Marcus.
Pleasure to meet you.
This is incredible.
~ Wow, I have not seen anything like this that hasn't been CGI-ed.
~ Yeah.
'Archaeologist Marcus Winter first arrived here in 1966.
'He's been nearly half a century uncovering the secrets of 'the Zapotec civilisation which existed here over 2,000 years ago.
' That is unbelievable.
It's the main plaza, the downtown of Monte Alban.
And this was a big town.
I mean, even for its time In Europe, this would have been a big town.
It's a city.
The first city in the highlands of ancient Oaxaca.
Still so much of it that's not yet excavated.
There's a lot to work on still.
A lot of the work was done here in the '30s and '40s by Alfonso Caso, the man that found Tomb Seven - the one that had the gold.
'In 1932, an extraordinary hoard of gold 'had been found in Monte Alban.
'And with a letter of permission from Mexico's future president, 'Miguel Aleman, Sullivan was given unprecedented access to film it.
' 'Fashioned by unknown craftsmen centuries ago, 'most of them depicting the gods of these first Americans.
'They're solid gold 'and absolutely priceless as relics of the past.
' When these guys arrived in the 1940s, ~ it must been very recent that the gold been discovered.
~ That's right.
About eight or so years before that.
But it was once it was discovered, that was the highlight of Oaxaca and it put Monte Alban and Oaxaca on the worldwide map.
'Another attraction were the danzante 'stone carvings, thought to depict the great and good of Monte Alban 'but mysteriously missing certain body parts.
' This is Danzante 55, obviously a high status person.
See his ear spool, there? It's got a big ear spool.
~ Uh-huh.
~ And in front of his head there's a jaguar carved.
And the jaguar is a symbol of high status.
~ And what do we think has happened to his wedding tackle? ~ I don't know.
It looks like at least some blood is coming out right on his legs.
~ Does it look like they've damaged their penises? ~ Yes.
We know from other groups that people used obsidian implements to cut their earlobes, their tongues, penises ~ to let blood.
~ And so this perhaps could be a depiction of that? A version.
An extreme version.
We wish we could be there, right? No.
Clearly not, no.
Especially not if you're an important person who ends up getting his Johnson cut off? No.
Is there any way we've got this wrong and that these are some form of Could it have been an ancient art school? Could it be a load of people lined up trying to practise? ~ "I can't get the penis right.
" ~ OK.
~ "I just "I'm going to have to start again.
" ~ Keeps breaking off.
~ "It keeps coming off.
" Well, there's a theory that it's a hospital.
You could just make up anything for this, can't you? ~ Almost anything.
~ Your job's a doddle.
Your job's easier than ours.
'Whatever the truth behind the mystery of the severed penises 'of Monte Alban, it hasn't put off the tourists.
'The Pan-Am Highway reached Oaxaca 'in 1943, and now more than half a million people a year 'visit this ancient city.
' Monte Alban is an important landmark in the journey because it is the last place on this trip for a while that I have already been.
And so that therefore can lord it over Ed with local knowledge from 18 or 19 years ago.
And all it means is he's going to start reading up in greater detail on the places still to come, so he can continue to be the big know-it-all he is.
RHYTHMIC MUSIC 'South of Oaxaca, the Pan-American Highway follows exactly 'the same route as the expedition's original trail, 'passing through villages that they passed over 70 years ago.
'At one of them, they decided to stop for a drink.
' ~ So, what are we looking for? ~ Las Minas.
~ Las Minas is where they watched a man make mescal.
~ OK.
~ Tequila is a type of mescal.
~ Right.
Tequila's like Champagne.
Tequila's a region.
Oh, right.
~ Oh, there we go.
That's it.
~ I didn't spot that one.
Didn't spot the rabbit there.
Right.
What's the chance that this is the actual, exact same mescal production place? It's possible.
There's only two or three in the town.
~ It's a very small town.
~ Yeah.
It could well be the one that they stopped at.
~ Hola.
Buenos dias.
~ Buenos dias.
~ Hola.
'Mescal's made from the heart of the agave plant, 'traditionally by family run roadside distilleries like this one, 'and then sold for a few pesos 'to thirsty travellers such as ourselves.
' This is the equivalent of, you know, stomping on the grapes for wine or Yeah.
Do you think on every second day he gets to go the other way round? That would seem only fair cos it would get a bit boring.
And the mescal comes out there? Si.
'In the 1940s, 'few outside of Mexico had tasted mescal.
'But when the Second World War limited America's supply of European 'liquor, they looked south for a tipple and mescal production soared.
' Oh, we're siphoning it.
'These days, however, wily entrepreneurs, 'often from the US, are buying up mescal 'direct from the locals and selling it on at vast profit 'to fashionable buyers in London and New York.
' Cuanto cuesta una botella? ~ So that's like a fiver.
Four quid a bottle.
~ £4 a bottle.
How does it feel to know that in places like London, mescal sells for up to £100 a bottle? ~ 2,000 pesos.
~ 2,000 pesos? ~ Um, OK.
~ We have to flip a coin to see who's going to sip it and who's going to drive us home.
Hang on.
Right, in traditional Mexican style, eagle eating a snake, or Aztec calendar? I'll go for eagle eating snake, please.
There we go.
Eagle eating snake? And that eagle eating snake drinks Eagle eating snake means I drink and you drive.
~ Yeah, you win.
~ Oh! ~ SHE CHUCKLES ~ Good luck.
~ Still feeling lucky? ~ That's keen.
~ Is it? ~ That's keen.
Ooh! It warms.
It's warming.
'With an alcohol content of up to 55%, mescal packs quite a punch.
' MIMICS FIREWORKS You're already giggly.
You're already starting to laugh a lot.
Oh, muy bueno.
~ Muchas gracias.
~ Muchas gracias.
~ Actually, can I get another shot? ~ No, you've drunk enough.
~ Come on! ~ You've had enough.
~ I've drunk too much to drive.
I'm not having you drunk in the car.
MUSIC: "Tequila" by Los Lobos How much of that stuff did you actually drink? I don't know.
I had two or three shots of .
.
mescal! It's powerful stuff, this mescal, isn't it? Tequila! 'As we follow the Pan-Am south towards the Guatemalan border, 'we hit Mexico's main railroad line at the town of Ixtepec.
' TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS 'Emerging out of the darkness, this freight train 'known as La Bestia, or The Beast, carries Mexican goods to the US.
'But it also carries another more controversial cargo - 'undocumented migrants.
'Three times a week, La Bestia carries thousands of desperate 'stowaways towards the US border.
' Jesus, look at them hanging off of the train.
That's an astonishing sight, isn't it? 'Most of these migrants come from Guatemala, El Salvador 'and Honduras, where poverty and violence have forced them 'to seek a life elsewhere.
' ~ Some of them are just kids.
~ Yeah, I know.
A lot of them are just kids.
And even as they're disappearing into the town, all these people here.
~ And these are the ones who made it.
~ Yeah.
'Hanging off the train is dangerous enough 'but criminal gangs, or maras, rob, 'kidnap or even kill the migrants 'as they try to make their way north.
' You can easily see why it has the nickname The Beast.
I mean, part of that is because of the damage it has done and the toll it takes, but also it emerges from the pitch-black darkness with people strapped to it.
All this tidal wave of humanity heading north.
But, as they go past, they were waving, presumably because they think their journey is getting better.
It's all about North America and it's all about getting there because the financial inequality is so huge.
Nature hates an inequality and will seek to level it out.
And that is essentially what people are doing.
Slightly heartbreaking looking at those optimistic faces of the young people riding on top of that train, knowing that the journey north through Mexico gets a lot worse than what they've come through.
~ And, you know ~ Yeah.
~ And some of them aren't going to make it.
A lot of them aren't going to make it.
Be harder still not to wish them well on their journey, wouldn't it? It's not a journey I'd ever like to take.
'Migrant shelters have sprung up along the route, 'offering the weary travellers food as well as medical and legal aid.
' ~ Hi, guys.
~ Hiya, Danny.
Thanks for meeting us.
~ Danny, how are you? ~ Dara.
~ Hello.
~ Thank you for showing us.
'Danny volunteers in this shelter at Ixtepec, 'where up to 500 migrants a week arrived on La Bestia.
' What is life like on the train? On the train, well, the problem on the train is that you cannot escape.
~ Yeah.
~ So many people take advantage of them.
You may find gangs on the train that ask for money.
They have guns or weapons with them.
So they ask for money, "If you don't pay me, "I throw you out of the train.
" ~ But they're preying on some of the poorest people in the world.
~ Yes.
Many of the people who arrive here, you'll find that they have lost everything.
Sometimes people arrive here naked.
They have nothing on them.
They steal everything from them.
Most of them know that the journey is really dangerous that maybe only 15% will arrive.
They know that.
And women know that about 60% of them will be raped on the way.
~ And they just accept that that's going to happen.
~ That's the risk.
When you have nothing to lose ~ Yeah.
~ .
.
you go to you take any risk.
We know that many of them cannot go back.
Gangs in their countries are looking for them.
So if they go back ~ They'd be dead.
~ They die.
Yeah.
~ Right.
'Migrants see the US as the answer to their problems.
'Christian is a Guatemalan who's seeking a better life there.
' Christian, nice to meet you.
What has driven you north, then? Basically, my economic status.
I didn't find a job in Guatemala.
And also the violence.
We have a lot of violence in Guatemala, and the maras.
~ The maras are the gangs? ~ Yeah, the gangs.
~ Right.
So, you came north on The Beast.
What was that like, then? Well, the train stopped in one of the places that was supposed to be a dangerous spot.
And one of the guys started to ask money to all of us ~ and no-one wanted to give money.
~ Right.
So he got mad and he took a big machete and try to stab everyone.
Actually, I got slapped on the back but I'd got my backpack on.
I dropped it and I ran away into the woods.
And what is your plan now for the future? Maybe, if the opportunity arises, to go to the States, I will definitely take the chance to get to the States.
~ But not by that train.
~ Not any more.
Not even thinking about it.
Not for even a second.
~ Well, good luck, Christian.
I wish you all the best.
~ Thank you.
'In the 1940s, less than 20,000 Latin Americans a year migrated to the US.
'But increasing violence and instability in Central America 'have pushed that number up to 400,000 a year.
'Considering the scale of this migration north, our journey south 'is starting to feel a bit like 'we're running into a burning building.
' 'Now come our days of real difficulty.
'What we've gone through up to now seems almost child's play 'compared to this.
'We tried to pull the car with bulls hooked onto the rope.
'But the bulls won't pull with the motor 'because the roar of it frightens them.
'So we finally have to send them home and get more men.
'And one day we go only 25 yards.
'It's heartbreaking toil but we're determined not to turn back.
' That was the River Hondo.
~ Oh, well ~ They got stuck here for ages.
This is the section that was unbelievably slow.
Also, the one thing watching the footage of them, you know, hauling the car across the desert and stuff, I know it sounds stupid, but until we got here .
.
I never considered that they were doing it in such blistering heat.
Hats off to the boys.
'While it's only taken us ten days to reach 'the mountains above the city of Juchitan, 'it took the Richardson expedition nearly two months.
'After mountain desert, 'they were now struggling through dense vegetation.
'And running low on provisions, their Zapotec Indian helpers 'suggested that they try a local dish.
' 'So they take sticks and begin beating on hollow logs.
'When they hear a sound, 'they reach in and pull out these long-tailed iguanas.
'Don't these make you hungry?' 'Ed and I have come to Juchitan, 'where iguanas, a traditional Zapotec food, 'are still on the menu.
'He's going to a local research and breeding centre 'and I'm going to have breakfast with Mistica, a muxe 'or transgender Zapotec, who's agreed to be my guide for the day.
' Now, Mistica, show me the market.
'Muxes have been an accepted part of the culture here for centuries.
'And Mistica is a well-known and popular figure.
' ~ OK, let's go inside here.
~ You get a real sense of iguana from that.
You can see the leathery skin.
I'm not seeing much meat on that.
Oh, that's the head of the iguana? Oh, my Lord, that is the head of an iguana.
I can see his teeth! There's no mistaking.
I'm not Zapotec.
I don't know if I'm strong enough to eat the head.
'Thanks to Mistica, it looks like the head's going in anyway.
' THE WOMEN LAUGH OK, why don't we go and eat some iguana? Muchas gracias.
'As Dara has breakfast, I've come to the local iguana research centre.
'While it's still legal to eat them, hunting them is now discouraged 'as numbers are dropping.
'Biologist Eduardo Martinez is trying to persuade locals to buy 'farmed iguanas instead.
' Eduardo, I've seen footage of people hunting iguanas in the wild, from back in the '40s, you know, banging bits of wood, and stuff like that.
Does that style of hunting still go on today? I can't believe I'm going to ask this, but could I hold one? ~ Is that a possibility? ~ Si, claro.
They seem a little bit ornery.
ED CLEARS HIS THROA They don't They don't look like a snack to me.
I don't look that and think, "Yum-yum.
" Oh, hello.
There we go - that's a big bowl of iguana.
Now, don't forget, I also had a really good breakfast - some eggs, some huevos rancheros, you know Oh, my God, that really is an iguana head.
You can even see its little teeth and, you know, I don't want to anthropomorphise my food too much, but he has genuine expressions.
"Hey, don't eat me.
" Ah! As if to go, "No! Don't eat me! "I am not comida, I am not food.
" It's normal food for you, but where I'm from, it is not la comida normal.
OK.
Down in one, eh? Down in one.
It's the first my primero time doing this.
Oh, that's spicy.
Nice.
Is it good, are you enjoying that? OK, fine, we'll try a bit more of it.
SPEAKING SPANISH Oh, is that a good bit, is it? You're essentially giving me a good bit of iguana, there.
Oh, my lord.
Oh, God.
OK, let's try a bit of that.
OK, here's iguana meat.
Here it In it goes.
Mmm, that's all right.
Tastes like chicken.
It's very difficult to get over the fact that that is lizard skin that we're eating through.
It's a very good It's very good.
The soup is very good.
The sauce is really, really spicy and that could hide anything.
Oh, you're very sweet, you're laughing, even though you have no idea what I'm saying.
I wish all audiences were like you.
Yes, my first time tasting iguana.
You know what? I might not make it part of my staple diet.
~ These are the green iguana? ~ Iguana verde.
Is that a major problem, having to respect the tradition of hunting iguana whilst at the same time trying to find a balance with preserving the species? It's a beautiful beast, it has to be said.
I think I shall call him Dara, cos he doesn't have any hair either.
'We're moving on from Juchitan, 'but not without a little present for Ed.
' ~ Look what I brought you.
~ What have you got? ~ Is that iguana meat?! ~ In fact, it's the same iguana you held.
~ No, it's not.
~ It's the same iguana.
We liberated it.
That's iguana meat, my friend.
There may even be some iguana eggs in there, which are quite, quite yummy.
'The plains south of Juchitan are the narrowest point 'between the country's Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
'They are known as La Ventosa, or "the windy place.
"' It's incredible, the wind farms.
How many? Oh, man, I've never seen wind farms like it.
~ Nothing on the scale of this.
~ There must be over 1,000 of them.
It's astonishing.
'These wind farms are the largest in Latin America 'and Mexico is aiming to produce up to 15% of its energy from them 'within ten years.
'But for drivers like us on the Pan-Am, 'the wind brings another less welcome phenomenon - 'brush fires.
' Bloody hell! Wow, look at that! That's a little close to the road, isn't it? This is kind of scary-looking.
Oof! Ho-ho! Came in the air conditioning, you see that? THEY LAUGH 'Sullivan, Ken and Arnold also drove through La Ventosa, 'but by now their car was starting to fall apart.
' 'Down in the jungle lowlands near the Guatemalan frontier, 'Arnold again begins grousing about the car.
'As he finally stands up, he says, '"No wonder the darn thing wouldn't pull.
'"Look, it didn't even have an exhaust pipe.
" 'And the whole under part of the car 'looks as if we'd turned it upside down 'and beaten it with picks and sledgehammers.
' 'After two months on the road, 'Sullivan was forced to fly back to Detroit for spare parts.
'He arrived in February 1941 to find the US 'on the brink of joining the Second World War 'and the lack of a road through the strategically vital Panama Canal 'was becoming an issue of national security.
'While Sully had meetings 'with the State Department about the expedition, 'Ken and Arnold soldiered on towards the Guatemalan border, 'along a winding path through mountain jungle.
' Oh, my lord.
I don't like driving when you can look down and see a drop falling away.
It's precipitous.
It is.
It's vertiginous.
So without me looking, and you know my thing about heights This bit is fine.
This bit, if you came off here, we'd hurt ourselves and we'd damage the car, but we wouldn't die.
~ You're doing very well, though.
~ Thank you very much.
'What Ken and Arnold weren't expecting to encounter 'was a state-of-the-art coffee farm.
'It was run by the Edelmann family, 'German immigrants who arrived in the 1880s 'and are still here today.
' ~ Buenos dias.
~ Buenos dias.
Thank you very much for inviting us.
It's a pleasure to have you here in Finca Hamburgo.
~ What a beautiful location.
~ It's a paradise.
'Tomas Edelmann's family built the Finca Hamburgo 'and the road up to it from scratch 'and his grandmother filmed their life here 'during the 1930s and '40s.
' ~ At that time, this was pure rainforest.
~ Right.
~ Nothing else.
So it was tough for them, but my grandmother would say it was hard work, hard labour, but the best years of their lives, she spent here.
Now, we are following the journey of the Three Fools ~ as they travelled through.
~ OK.
We know that two of them came here, which we find to be an astonishing journey, given we've travelled the road up here and it could do with levelling off.
And we knew what we were coming to.
~ They seemed to wander aimlessly up the hill and found you.
~ Exactly.
Well, they had to drive up here on one side and go down on the other side if they wanted to keep on going south.
~ They were just trying to get over the mountain? ~ Exactly.
I can show you some Do you have photographs of the two of them when they arrived? Yeah, we have pictures when they arrived ~ with that vehicle.
~ The Plymouth? ~ Right.
This is Grandmother and my grandfather.
~ And that's Arnold and that's Ken? ~ Yes.
'Tomas's grandparents also captured Ken and Arnold's visit 'on their cine-camera.
' "Viva el Panamericanismo!" ~ Bits of the car already come off? ~ Yes.
Ruined tyres.
Four tyres on the roof.
~ Your grandfather must have thought they were insane.
~ Yes.
I mean, on saying that, though, there must have been some sort of fellow feeling, as we say - ~ one adventurer recognising another adventurer.
~ Definitely.
'Thanks to the Pan-American Highway, which arrived here in 1950, 'the Finca Hamburgo has thrived 'and today exports most of its coffee to the US.
'Ken and Arnold would no doubt have approved.
' They spoke very highly of the hospitality.
They said they were never looked after better than they were here.
Well, that's nice to hear.
I imagine they liked it here because my grandfather was a specialist in making Martinis.
~ Oh, really! ~ That's an excellent skill to have, ~ should people accidentally drop by.
~ Exactly, yeah! Arnold and Ken must have really felt like they'd landed on their feet when they landed here.
Just imagine them sitting back, drinking coffee, going, "Sullivan would have loved it here.
~ "He would have been delighted.
" ~ Exactly.
"Shame he had to go back to Detroit to get parts.
" ~ Right.
~ "I'm glad we finally got a break "from the 'clack-clack!' of his bleedin' typewriter!" 'Like the original expedition, 'we too have reached the end of our time in Mexico.
' ~ So that would be Guatemala out there.
~ Somewhere there.
We say goodbye to Mexico, which is also in cloud.
We see very little of that either.
And we say hello to Guatemala, which is possibly there, or there, or somewhere out It's not really the best view of it from here, is it? That's the thing about rainforests.
They cloud over quite often.
~ I know.
Did you enjoy Mexico? ~ I enjoyed it immensely.
~ Was it as fun for you a second time round? ~ It was, actually.
It's a huge, exciting country and very diverse.
One thing I have learnt on this journey is that people are people.
~ Oh, God, really? ~ So why should it be? It took this trip ~ for you to learn that banal fact? ~ ED LAUGHS God! ~ See that break in the clouds, my friend? ~ That's a good omen.
That's a good omen.
'Next time, our journey takes us even further south, 'into Central America' MAN CALLS OUT IN SPANISH '.
.
where paint jobs' IN SOUTH AMERICAN ACCENT: How you like my new ride, huh? '.
.
volcanoes' There seems to be a bit missing ~ from the middle of the mountain.
~ Yes.
'.
.
and baseball' LAUGHTER AND CHATTER IN SPANISH '.
.
are all on the menu.
'