Long Way Down (2007) s01e01 Episode Script

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Back in 2004,
my friend Charley Boorman and I
rode from London round to New York, east.
And we called the trip the Long Way Round.
Long Way Round has changed us all,
I think.
You know, we made our dream come true,
and it's not very often in life
that that happens.
Fundamentally, it just boils down to
hanging out on bikes is what,
you know, Ewan and I love to do.
We did it! New York!
When we first met up in London
after we hadn't seen each other
for a little while,
we started talking about Africa.
we were on there in the rain.
It's something that Ewan and I
feel very passionate about.
And it's that sort of
last mad place in the world.
I did the Dakar Rally.
There is something about riding
a bike through Africa
that is incredibly addictive.
But I think what turned it for Ewan
was when we were in Dakar,
all those massive trucks and bikes
came screaming into the big holding bay
at the end.
And I could see Ewan's eyes
just lighting up,
and he just turned to me,
and he just said,
"Charley, whatever happens,
we're doing Long Way Down. That's it."
And I think we were only together
for maybe 30 seconds or a minute
before we looked at Charley,
he was fine, he had that big old smile.
Russ seemed fine.
And it was, "We're doing this thing."
There was this flash of light
that we were back again,
the four of us,
doing another exciting project.
And so at that point,
the trigger was pulled
and Long Way Down was happening.
We're gonna ride 15,000 miles
through 18 countries.
From John O'Groats,
through Europe and into Africa.
Across Libya to Egypt,
following the Nile south into the Sudan.
Crossing the equator
and over to the Skeleton Coast.
Arriving in Cape Town 85 days later.
So here's to Africa.
- Africa.
- Long Way Down.
Got sun on my face ♪
Sleeping rough on the road ♪
I'll tell you all about it ♪
When I get home ♪
Comin' round to meet you ♪
The long way down ♪
Today, Ewan and I have come
to the Royal Geographical Society.
It was the first thing we ever did
for Long Way Round.
And so today we thought we'd come back
and look at some of their maps.
From the long way,
we could go through this bit
There's something incredible
about the idea of going to tackle Africa
from top to toe.
First thing people think is
Africa's one country,
and the second thing people think
is that it's just full of AIDS.
And then the idea was
What I'm really looking forward to
is riding with Ewan again,
which will be really nice,
having him by my side.
First thing we wanted to do
was find a new base.
And we ended up finding
this extraordinary place in Olympia.
Great. Nice to see you, Charley.
Ewan and I need to do a lot of work.
But it's gonna be our headquarters,
where we can prepare the bikes and trucks
prior to our departure in May.
We wanted to go back to the old team.
So we had to find out
if Claudio von Planta was free.
He was one of the cameramen
that shot for Long Way Round.
And our friend Jimmy Simak,
who's busy filming in New York.
- Hello!
- Hello.
- Hiya, how are you?
- I'm all right. How you doing?
- Are you married yet?
- Not quite yet.
- Got a while.
- How are you?
- Are you married yet?
- No.
Any plans?
- When you ask me.
- Okay.
This is our gym, Chris.
And as you can see,
it's a work in progress.
The focus of my work
over the next ten weeks
is gonna be
a lot of strength and conditioning work.
Because they're gonna endure
really tough conditions.
They've got a lot of rough terrain,
mountains, off-road.
So the focus of my work is gonna get them
prepared for those kind of conditions.
To get ready for the Dakar,
- I did a lot of
- Did you do the Dakar?
- Yeah. Did I not tell you about the Dakar?
- I'd forgotten all about that.
Different continent,
you know, same people.
Dime a dozen, you know?
- So we should start with Tunisia.
- Tunisia.
We take this motorway down here
The A542 to the A15 onto this B72,
- to cut to P5.
- Avoid the motorway.
- Down to Dougga.
- To Dougga. Okay, cool.
I filmed there
in the first Star Wars films,
and it was so hot.
We were in these
air-conditioned makeup buses.
We'd sit in there,
and we'd get all made-up,
and then we'd walk out
The doors would open. We're ready.
They'd be, "Ready?" and go
You'd walk out,
and your makeup would just go
All down your beige cloak.
"Just like Beggar's Canyon back home."
It was just great to be back with Charley
and to hang out with him again,
'cause he just makes me laugh
like a drain, you know?
And to ride a bike through Africa,
that's just gonna be mad.
You know? All the countries
that we're gonna go through.
What's going on?
The warehouse is really coming together.
We're getting it set up how we want.
You know, it's starting to fill up
with our own bikes and cars and stuff.
Just that, really. Just bits of that.
We think the trip's gonna take us
about two and a half to three months.
And one of our biggest problems
will be the bureaucracy and the paperwork
centered around all the border crossings
that we have to do.
I am now drowning in paperwork.
Asia's doing all the visas.
Thank God.
I need to, basically,
do 90 visa applications
to cover the eight members of crew
and all the countries they're going to.
I'll feel better
when we're halfway through,
and we've got some stamps
and passports and everything.
"11:15, fine-tune your senses.
Blindfold and barefoot walk."
Some of the areas they're going to
are very much off the beaten track.
Which means they need to be able to learn
to cope on their own.
Here we are,
at the Shadowhawk survival experience
where we will be surviving,
generally surviving around.
"Shadowing over here, hawking over there."
"Peg it out."
It's good. It's nice to put a tent
up in the forest. I'm really excited.
Like a boy, I'm excited. Whoo-hoo!
This is a tent I
got in Australia when I did my very
first ever motorcycle trip on my own.
So this tent is the proverbial
very old friend.
Ewan got his tent up before me.
- That's never happened before.
- We're not competitive.
That's what makes our partnership so
successful in these round-the-world trips,
it's that there's not an ounce
of competitiveness in our relationship.
- Is there?
- None.
I mean, the fact that I beat you
putting my tent up just now
doesn't even irk you a little bit,
does it?
When you're in a survival situation
you have to give over to the environment.
If you fight it, if you fight the desert,
if you fight the rain, it becomes harder.
So the sooner you give over to it,
the better.
Right. Do you guys have anything
to cover your eyes with?
- My hat.
- My hat.
Can you just cover your eyes
and see how it goes?
See, Charley. All the way down, Charley.
Past your nose.
- Can't see a thing.
- Well, so is mine.
- Okay, how many fingers have I got up?
- Three.
This one and those two.
Now, listen,
someone's just laughing at me here.
Okay. Sit down.
Take your shoes and boots off.
This is not a race.
This is what I'm talking about,
slowing it right, right down, yeah,
and thinking where you are at the moment.
Well, I was using my hands to
sort of sweep in front of me.
But there was moments where you
were kind of aware of a tree being there
before you touched it.
And there was something quite surprising
in the confidence that you got,
you know, moving through
and not being able to see
You guys were, without doubt,
out of probably in excess of a thousand
people who have done this stuff,
- you were the fastest ever.
- Really?
- Yeah.
- Oh, that's cool.
In the spirit of no competition, whoo-hoo!
Gonna go back up there
to build the improvised shelters.
I really liked the shelter-building.
I really took my time with it, you know?
Color-coding confuses your enemy.
And it also makes for a better sleep.
I tried to make the walls as, kind of,
as many sticks as I could along the sides,
and I covered it,
and I took quite a lot of care with it.
That to support, yeah?
Basically, the way Charley's gone in,
everything's gotta be in, yeah?
If his head is sticking out
I have a friend whose facial mask
was taken off in one bite of a hyena.
His head was just
sticking outside of a tent.
Yeah, it's not budging an inch.
He was painting a pretty bleak picture
about camping in Africa, wasn't he?
Do you feel confident in there, Ewan?
That it's structurally sound?
- Yes.
- I'm gonna walk on it.
What I'd ask you to do
is just to cover your face
in case it collapses on you.
Ewan, where are you?
And then he just knocked it down,
and that was really annoying.
Shame, I put quite a lot of love
into that thing, there.
Made me feel like a child, I was annoyed.
I felt like someone had come along
and broken my toy.
Things got really negative,
and I found that
when we were sitting round the campfire,
things just plummeted into this
one horrific scenario after another.
This time of night is
a really dangerous time of night, yeah?
So you can never
really sit around a fire safely.
Max presented them in such a way
that it was very negative.
By the end of it, I was
terribly fearful of the whole thing.
I I've never been scared
about this trip before.
We might have to think about
getting some armored plating
built into those rally suits, you know?
Stab-proof vests and stuff.
Oh, this is so cool.
I'm very excited
about them doing another trip.
It's great for Charley.
And you can work out here,
tinker with your bikes.
He's doing his favorite thing,
riding his bike
and going on another adventure.
It's fantastic.
It's great, Charley. It's lovely.
What kind of animals
do you think I'm gonna see?
- Giraffes and zebras.
- A lion.
- Lions. Tigers.
- All the animals that you see in the zoo,
- apart from polar bears and penguins.
- Oh, snakes.
My wife, Eve, said that she wants to
come and join us for part of the trip
and wants to ride a bike,
and surprised me totally with it.
But she hit me with it
yesterday afternoon.
And I was really excited
about it yesterday,
and then this morning,
I felt that maybe it was
first of all, dangerous,
because she's never ridden a bike, ever.
It's difficult, 'cause half
I'm very split about it.
I mean, I want to protect what we have
in terms of the experience
and keeping it real,
and also the change in dynamic
halfway through,
or towards the end of the journey
would be weird.
But at the same time, the idea
to ride with her would be just fantastic.
And so I I don't know.
It was an epiphany.
I woke up a Sunday morning
wanting to go on the trip.
And being terribly envious of
Ewan and Charley's new adventures.
Between you and me, or between all of us,
I am frightened about the possibilities
of her being on a motorcycle in Africa.
The worst-case scenario, of course,
and it's worthwhile thinking about,
is both Eve and Ewan
are together on two bikes,
and it does happen
that things can go wrong.
And you've got
a mother and a father of a family,
both on the same crazy expedition.
Do you think it's a terrible idea?
- Truthfully?
- Yeah.
- Probably. Yeah.
- Yeah. Okay.
I think it is.
But I just thought I can't not go.
My first thoughts are,
"Why is she getting involved in this?
This is Ewan's and my trip."
And I found it quite awkward
to bring it up, because
'cause everything would change,
and I didn't know
how Charley would feel about it.
So I don't know
what's gonna happen with, you know,
how that is gonna change
the dynamics of the project,
and what, you know,
if that's gonna affect relationships.
We haven't ridden together for ages,
and we're gonna, sort of,
have a refresher course.
My missus is here.
She's gonna ride a bike.
You've never been on a bike before?
I've never Yeah. Never.
Not even a scooter or
- Have you ridden a scooter at all?
- I've never
- Nothing at all? Okay.
- Never touched it.
I haven't suddenly become, like, a biker.
I haven't, like, read biking magazines.
I haven't
The bike is a means to do something.
I just wanna show you
taking the bike on and off the stand.
- Yes.
- And starting the bike.
- And switching the bike off.
- Okay.
Do you think it will affect
your relationship with Ewan?
I think if Ewan had said, you know,
"Listen, Eve is gonna come
for the whole trip,"
I think, then I would sort of feel,
you know, like a spare prick.
The first thing I noticed with Charley,
and it's incredible to see
how his riding has moved on.
The first part of the day
was interesting for me,
in that I felt much better
and really felt a sense of improvement.
And I was pleased that those skills,
when you do those skills in isolation,
I was much better at them
than I was before.
I was really happy about that.
Oh, that's nice. Thank you.
That is absolutely brilliant.
It was very steep and overhanging
and loose with rocks and stones,
and I fell down,
and it was interesting that
How mental a game it is, you know?
That, as soon as you kind of go,
"Oh, shit," you just close down,
and then you're falling off all the time.
Yeah, I probably came round
and looked up there and thought,
"I can't go up there."
And the next thing, I'm on the deck.
Oil's pouring out of my bike.
It's only this little crack here, so
That's what it looks like to me.
I don't know. I just lost the mojo.
You just have one spill
and then your, kind of, head dives
Or mine does, and then
If I'm on the bike
and I've lost a bit of mojo,
I grit my teeth and go, "Come on!"
And I really shout at myself,
and it gets me fired back up again.
I was plummeted back into the feeling of,
"Oh, my God. I can't do this."
But it didn't last for so long.
Charley kind of pulled me out of my funk,
and on we went.
We did some stuff
that we would never ever have done
when we came here the first time.
Just no way. The improvement was huge.
There's gonna be a lot of sand
and dirt tracks in Africa.
The bikes will be very heavy,
so it'll require
a certain amount of off-road technique.
Learning to ride was a scary process,
because I felt old
in terms of learning new skills,
and I didn't realize that you had to
coordinate four limbs, effectively.
And I thought, really,
I will never feel comfortable with it.
I'm sorry you fell just now.
That's not fair.
That's all right. I saw you,
and then I just got
You know, I just
I have to so concentrate.
Ewan and Charley have decided to use
the same make of bike
as they used on Long Way Round,
'cause it's so reliable.
But we're waiting for the latest model
to arrive from Germany.
The Libyan coast.
I just think this will be gorgeous.
Who do you know that goes
to the seaside in Libya for their holiday?
So we've done
Africa's big, and we only have
three months to do it in,
and if anything, that's my only concern,
is that of overcommitment.
Okay, well, that's pretty much done, yeah?
We happy with that?
- Happy, Ollie?
- Yeah.
I'm a bit worried that Ollie doesn't think
we're taking it seriously enough.
I'm a bit worried.
I think it is quite a bit further
than everyone's initially thought.
So, then we're working our way down here,
and we're gonna meet Eve somewhere
before Malawi.
We could just spend the night on the lake.
'Cause I'll have my wife there,
then I'll get a nice
Forget that. We're not going there.
- Definitely. No, no. Definitely.
- No, no, no.
- It looks nice. A couple of nights there.
- No. No. No.
- No. No.
- All right.
You can be there. You can go out,
- have a lovely sail with Russ and Dave.
- Oh, yeah. I'll just
And then not see you for three days,
because you're in your little thing,
you know, making whoopee.
You wanna try and get used to it,
lift it, take the side stand away,
walk round the bike.
- You've gotta do all this stuff.
- Yeah, I know, I know.
- The BMW can do all this.
- I know, I know.
One of the things
which I'm a bit surprised about was
I thought that Eve was gonna be coming
for about ten days.
It looks like now Ewan's talking about
two and a half weeks or so.
It makes me a bit worried
that it's such a long time.
But, you know,
maybe that's just me being silly.
I don't know.
Ewan, how do you feel
about going off
for the first ride with your wife?
I'm excited.
It's not starting.
No, it's got a push-start here, darling.
Oh, yeah.
So you wanna make sure
it's in neutral, always.
- The green light.
- Yeah, that's why I missed it, like that.
It limits us a lot to what we can do.
That we can't just go off
down some path or down whatever, you know?
So I don't know.
I don't know.
I think the fact that we're going through
places like Sudan, Ethiopia,
near the Eritrean border,
and even northern Kenya,
these are all places
where there have been issues.
So the likelihood of going through
without any problems is remote.
There are realities
and there are concerns and safety issues
that, sort of behind the scenes,
we're constantly worried about.
The dangers are human dangers.
Everyone thinks of snakes
and things like that.
That's not the problem. The problem
is going to be human beings.
We're gonna do a more African-orientated
hostile environment training course.
Same place, same people,
but very different.
"Hello. Oh, bloody out in the cud."
Whilst there may be
thousands of weapons swirling about
in the former Soviet Union,
not many people have actually used them
in anger though.
Whereas in Africa, obviously,
the use of weapons
is something which is almost endemic.
Shattered windows,
blast damage to their cars
tell of the last few terrifying minutes
before the five Britons were kidnapped
and disappeared with their abductors
into the desert.
Nothing has been seen or heard of them
for five days.
Good evening.
There's deepening concern
for the safety of five Britons
missing in northern Ethiopia.
The Britons are missing in one of
the world's most inaccessible regions,
noted for its lawlessness.
If somebody has taken the effort of
putting together an armed convoy,
there is a risk.
It's simple.
Nothing's worth getting killed for.
- Like in robberies
- I'd die for my friend Charley.
You would? Fine.
Charley's worth getting killed for.
I'd take a bullet for Ewan.
The key point to remember
with any block in your route with guys
official or semi-official people
who have weapons of some description
is that, at the moment, they win.
- ID?
- ID? Yeah, sure.
So it's all down to negotiation.
It's all down to
practice diplomacy and respect.
Turn off? Okay.
Organize among yourselves in each vehicle
who's gonna do the negotiations.
Whoever's doing the speaking
does the speaking.
Did I ever once butt in on Long Way Round?
No, 'cause you were
always doing the speaking.
- No way.
- Yeah.
I was just suggesting, if I was
if you wanted to
have a drink on us tonight,
maybe if I gave you some money
to have a drink tonight on us,
and then maybe we could go on our way.
- I take the camera.
- Okay. Well, look. That's for you.
And then we'll be on our way?
- Please get in the car.
- Okay. Thank you very much.
Okay. Thank you.
- Thank you very much.
- Thanks, guys.
- Have a nice day.
- Thank you.
No, I thought it was generally What
I liked about it was that everyone else
Russ and everybody else just kept quiet.
Part of the course was an exercise to see
how we'd deal
with a possible attack scenario.
- Jesus!
- Okay. Okay Reverse, reverse.
- Just go back.
- Go back a bit.
Go back.
- Go back!
- Reverse. Go back.
Watch out. They're there. Go! Run!
Out! Out! Out!
Stop. Stop.
Out! Out! Out!
Out! Out!
Okay. Okay, out.
We're here. We're here.
We're just tourists.
We're working for UNICEF.
UN. United Nations.
- Shut up. Shut up.
- Money?
When he took me out of the
away from everyone else,
- I thought he was just gonna cap me.
- Shut up.
And then when we were sitting there,
I was looking over,
I was thinking, "But, Christ, they're all
there. They're busy with those guys."
Do you think I should leg it at this time?
Where's Charley? Where's Charley gone?
- Shut up.
- Shut up.
- Did they just get Charley?
- Yep.
Shut up, I told you.
- Charley, you stupid fucking bastard.
- I'm dead.
I thought I was gonna run round
- And do what?
- and then help.
I don't know.
Charley took the option of running,
which was great,
but then hid behind that tree.
But the idea was that
if I'd run, I would've
- You should've kept going.
- I would've kept going.
- Yeah. Okay.
- That was the idea The chances
It was a good one. If you're gonna go,
you've just gotta leg it.
- You gave me an excuse to kill everybody.
- To kill everybody.
So you just killed us all, Charley.
Thanks, mate.
You know, that dilemma of Charley's
was a serious dilemma, you know?
Charley was off on his own,
and they left him there.
So you're in a serious quandary
as to what to do.
I think, in hindsight, when you look,
and you break down the situation,
I think that, in hindsight,
what you should do is stick together.
Certainly, we'll leave this training
with a little bit more respect
for what we're about to do.
We were delivered one of the expedition
vehicles. It needs a little bit of work.
Most of it we'll do here.
Dave wants to put the tents on the top,
'cause I don't think
he wants to camp down amongst the hyenas.
You know, one off the back
and one off the side.
One goes this way, one goes that way.
I mean, the biggest controversy, really,
in the camp at the moment
is whether we go with bulletproof glass.
I just think, it's £8,000 a car,
I just think it's a lot of money
for something which I don't think is
I don't think that something's
gonna happen.
This is the problem they said, right?
- If you have bulletproof glass
- Yeah.
if you roll the car,
they can't break it to get people out.
If it does, they'll all be going,
"Oh, Charley"
We needed a security guy,
which we found in Jim Foster,
to advise us of any threat levels
that we'd have in countries
and whether we should
have armed guards, et cetera.
But he was also
a very experienced cameraman,
so he was sort of doing two jobs for us.
What's your gut reaction
on this bulletproofing the cars?
Wear body armor.
'Cause I'll tell you,
if you're stuck in an armored vehicle,
you'll never get out the thing.
And if someone does open up, you wanna
get as far away from the car as possible,
because they all fire at cars
'cause it's the biggest target.
It's the day before we're going skiing.
Ewan's just called.
He's come off his motorbike
on the Shepherd's Bush roundabout
on the way home.
- I'm with my wife, Eve.
- Oh, hi.
Someone stepped out
into the traffic without looking,
and I had to swerve, and I actually
bumped into them a little bit
and I fell off my bike, and I've
trapped my ankle underneath the bike,
which is now quite painful.
So I'm going to the casualty
just to have it X-rayed.
He's on his way for a family ski holiday.
We gotta find out how bad this is,
you know?
And that roundabout,
we've all been around it
thousands and thousands of times,
and we're planning to go through Africa,
and he crashes at Shepherd's Bush.
I hope he's okay, but he sounds
really bummed out right now.
Oh, my God.
It just shows how fragile one is
on a bike.
And that's the truth.
Tell us exactly what happened.
Walk us through that.
Hobble us through that.
A line of traffic,
and suddenly a guy comes out from nowhere.
So I start shouting,
"Watch out, watch out!"
And then he turns, and I hit him.
And I ended up underneath the bike,
facing the other way.
So then another guy
appeared from somewhere
and lifted the bike off my leg.
And I got up and put weight on it,
and something just clicked here.
I don't mean to be big headed,
but I think everybody was going,
- "It's fucking Ewan McGregor."
- Did they know?
Well, I was wearing an open-face helmet,
and I went and sat on the steps.
And I just could feel
that everyone was going, "It's fucking
Shit. It's Ewan McGregor."
I think I kick-started the bike
on the bike.
I think I got on it, started it
and then rolled it off the stand,
got over the pavement,
and then just fucking
God, that must've been so painful.
I mean, I'm out the game.
I can't ride anything
or drive anything for six weeks.
Here we are, skiing,
and we are going over to Méribel.
I'm just really sad that Ewan's not here.
It's a real sad disaster.
Well, when he snapped it, I just had
this wave of hatred against motorbikes.
And now I just feel sad
because he didn't come with us.
Spent the whole weekend
kind of hobbling around.
It's been quite hard work
getting up and down the stairs
and, like, getting ready for breakfast,
and it's quite interesting doing it,
you know,
like, making a pot of coffee and thinking,
"Okay, how am I gonna get that upstairs?"
I've come up with some quite nice
little routines.
I have to say, it's been up and down
kind of being on my tod doing this.
It's been a little bit tricky.
My leg's got this temporary cast on it.
And so today, in about ten minutes or so,
I'm gonna go in to get the full cast on.
That's not too sore
I have to have an MRI scan.
It's broken because my knee
and my ankle twisted like this,
which caused it to break.
I have to have an operation and stuff.
Doctor wanted a MRI scan
to make sure that it wasn't an ankle
twist injury that had caused the break.
They took pictures of the whole leg
and then close-ups of the actual break.
Bloody noisy.
We're all on tenterhooks here
at the moment.
When Ewan comes back today,
we'll find out
the results of his MRI scan.
If he does need an operation,
that will certainly delay the trip,
and because of his other commitments,
it might even mean we have to cancel it.
One of the things that bothers me
about the trip at the moment
is we don't have a B plan.
Slow down.
I think it's been
a really rough road for Ewan
these last three or four days
while he's been waiting
for the test results back.
And they've come back,
and everything is okay.
So it's just a clean break,
which is a real relief.
I don't have to have surgery on it.
So that was really good.
At least
they can just leave it to heal now.
Look at that!
I'd say that's me sorted, isn't it?
- Fuck, Ewan. You all right?
- Yeah.
You look good.
Bit of sun on the ski trip.
Yeah, no. It was hot there.
You know, we had good sun.
What do you wanna do?
Still carry on, or
Oh, yeah. Let's still carry on.
It's a massive setback.
I'm really I'm totally shocked.
When I walked in and I saw him,
I thought
"It's a joke."
'Cause the guy said, "He's in the gym."
So he came out of the gym and I thought
he was gonna go, "Ta-da!" and take it off.
But it was real. It really broke, so
- Whatever. We'll see. Anyway
- See you later, mate.
It's really buggered up my life
for six weeks, this.
I'm now completely over
the novelty of going around on crutches,
and it's just boring.
It's just tedious.
Well, we've managed to escape
the office for one day
and the mayhem of preparation.
We're doing this off-road training day.
These are the actual vehicles
that we're gonna be taking on the trip.
As long as you've got
your right lock on when you tilt,
then it'll drive down.
What you never wanna do
is tilt with left lock on.
I hope we don't go through
this sort of stuff.
- Doing all right.
- Well done, Dave.
Don't touch that clutch.
There's still some uncertainty over
how long Eve is joining us on this trip.
Surprised us, but Charley
got really amped-out about it.
I think it would
be unfair and unprofessional
for us to leave it
with this sort of open end
to what Eve is gonna do.
I think at some point you've gotta
have a chat with Ewan, I think.
Calais down to Reims.
Spend the first night
just on the other side of Reims
or somewhere, maybe.
How do you feel about
my mother-in-law and my father-in-law
meeting up with us that night?
- In Reims?
- Yeah.
Oh, should we just do
your whole family now, do we?
Can we get Eve's brother down here
somewhere in Italy?
How about that? Would that be okay?
Well, he's actually riding with us from
- Oh.
- I didn't mention it, but
just through Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.
Just before we pick up Eve?
- And then Okay.
- Yeah.
Eve's coming to ride with us
for about ten days.
She's gonna ride down
the length of Malawi,
into Zambia and down to Victoria Falls.
She's slightly disappointed,
I think it's true to say,
that she's not coming
for as long as she thought she was.
But I can't wait to be riding along
with her. I can't wait.
So I came in this morning,
and when I got here,
I discovered that we have two
BMW 1200s.
I'm gonna start it for the first time.
I reckon I could ride it.
I don't need to use the back brake.
I could just ride it.
I'm chuffed. It's nice that it's here.
'Tis the time of cheer ♪
Tra-la-la-la ♪
Feels a bit like Christmas.
Tra-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la ♪
Happier than the proverbial pig in shit.
It's quite fun, this.
I've been looking forward
to doing all this for a long time.
Jesus. Oh, my God.
I'm taking the fuel tanks off
so we can get to the shock.
So then we got all new,
lovely suspension on the bike.
Just give you a nicer ride.
Guys, can you keep it down?
I'm trying to work here, guys.
You know?
- How do you get it off?
- With a saw.
What stops it going into my leg, the saw?
It's an oscillating saw.
Oh. Don't do that.
All right. Now lift up.
Oh, bless.
My skinny little leg. Ugh.
I am quite worried about it.
'Cause even if it's fixed and fine,
you know, the actual walking around on it
and stuff could be
I mean, I don't know. I don't know how
quickly you get confident with walking.
Hopefully it's fine.
Doesn't look so good that way.
This way it looks better.
Move it up and down for me.
This should heal.
But if we push it too hard and there's
too much movement, it may not heal.
So, boot on, I can put weight on it,
but with the crutches.
I can take it off to have a bath.
I can take it off to go to sleep?
Great. That's great.
He didn't say anything
about not riding a bike.
He didn't mention bikes at all,
so I just assumed
that meant that that was okay.
That was my first bike ride
since the accident.
My bike. Charley's bike. Eve's bike.
Team Long Way Down!
It's the atmosphere
of being on the journey, you know?
'Cause this is all great,
and the prep's great fun,
as it was the last time.
But there's nothing really
like the feeling of
being on the trip, you know?
Going to bed knowing that you just have
to wake up in the morning and ride more.
How come you're not wearing your cast?
I just took it off
just to stretch my legs a bit.
I can use it. It's fine.
I'd be doing the same.
I'd be getting on the bike
as soon as possible.
I can't sit in a people carrier
on the Westway anymore.
Can you give us a call when you get home?
- Call us when you get back.
- Give us three rings. We won't pick up.
Just to know you're safe.
- Don't go via Shepherd's Bush roundabout.
- Yeah.
I am. I'm gonna conquer it face-on.
I'm facing my fears.
It was nice to see him ride.
He was loving it.
Couldn't wait to get on his bike,
could he?
I'm quite nervous
when Eve's out on the bike. I am.
I get quite nervous about it.
If I'm anything less than enthusiastic
about her riding the bike,
she's going not great.
So she wants me to be enthusiastic
about her riding the bike
because she wants to ride the bike.
Eve? You okay?
Guess where I am.
- Where?
- Just give me a guess.
Ace Cafe.
Yeah, you're good. You're good.
It's Eve at the Ace Cafe.
How brilliant.
Well, listen, have a nice lunch.
I'll speak to you later.
All right, my darling.
You know, it's nice,
because Ewan comes here.
And now I know where he hangs out.
I wanna be excited at the moment,
but for some reason
there's so many things yet to be sorted.
Helmets. What's going on with the helmets?
We haven't even seen the designs yet.
Equally, we don't have any jackets.
The jackets are being produced
especially for Ewan and Charley in Italy.
Look at all this stuff.
- What is this? A pillow.
- Pillow, yeah.
No. They're fucking good, pillows.
I missed a pillow last time.
- And then
- Hard-core. Let's We take less stuff.
These are little seats.
Seats, pillows
Where's your telly?
The V1, the A1, backups, laptop,
tape stock and then more tape stock.
And a tripod.
So we'll have a helmet camera
and it'll feed straight into our unit
in our jacket.
We've finally been granted
our visas and film permit for Sudan.
Okay, bye.
Now we've just gotta wait for Libya.
We've hired a new doctor to come onboard
who just seems to
have the greatest personality and style.
He's a big old monster of a guy.
The biggest concern
that I've got so far is Sudan.
And specifically,
the lack of medical facilities
within the whole of
the largest country in Africa.
Coughs, colds, diarrheas.
And then dressings.
So if they get sore bums off the bikes,
then give 'em some padding.
So that'll be in here.
And then the trauma side,
if anybody gets severely injured,
there'll be a major pack there,
with the drugs.
I suppose the worst-case scenario for me
would be a severe injury
involving maybe the spine,
which causes the movement problem.
with no flying doctor service
to come in and pick them up via aircraft.
When I was in boarding school, the lady
who looked after us, her name was Di.
And so every time I call Dai
Although he's actually a little bit more
attractive than Di Baker was.
- Should be an entertaining trip.
- And he turned out to be a doctor,
and he's gonna look after us,
and so I sort of see him
as my little wet nurse.
In a purely plutonical
plutonic relationship.
Platonic. Plutonic?
- Platonic.
- I'm dyslexic, hey. You know?
That's my excuse. What's yours?
I'm Welsh.
Lock it down.
It's four days before we leave.
We haven't got the Libyan visas.
We've been told that even if we did
get them, the Americans won't get in.
Two of our team have gone
to the Libyan embassy in London.
All right. Look at that!
Where you going? Africa?
Something like that?
Looks brilliant.
If he does that through Sudan,
I'm gonna smack him round the head.
Hey, dude. You all right?
That looks impressive, doesn't it?
There was a meeting in Libya yesterday,
and they still haven't issued them.
So we're not too sure what's going on.
But at the moment,
we can't get into Libya.
We first applied for these visas
about three months ago.
I mean, we've done everything we can.
A, they come. B, we fly 'em down to Tunis.
C, we've now thrown in the towel
for Libya,
and we figure out a way
to get to Egypt by boat.
I'm telling you, I know
there's nobody that's out there
advertising themselves as,
"If you're trying to take two SUVs
and three motorcycles to Egypt,
we've got the boat for you" dot com.
It'd be amazing to go
Switzerland, Slovenia,
Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, Greece.
It's a complete change of plan.
But the truth is that this is
more adventurous than this.
But this is not more adventurous
than this.
Packed most of the stuff.
Just gotta get the toolbox
and tool kit in there now.
Just don't wanna take anything.
It's weight on the bike,
but also it's kinda weight on your mind,
and to just stop and put your tent up,
and that would be it, would be nice.
One, two T-shirts.
A pair of shorts. And a pair of trou.
We're gonna take
two inflated tires on the support vehicle.
And then these spares here.
And that's it, really.
My warm jacket, my waterproof stuff
and my Therm-a-Rest.
'Cause the tent's going on the back.
That's a small bag.
I think that's what
we'd all like to do now, is get going.
You pack and you plan and you book,
and eventually you just actually wanna go.
This is me for the next three months.
I'm ready to go now.
I'm quite nervous.
A quite excited nervous.
I did have a sleepless night
the other night.
I woke up panicking
about what shoes I should take.
"Should I take tennis shoes
or walking shoes?"
Nothing to do with,
"What am I gonna do without my children?
What am I gonna do without my wife?"
No luck.
"Still waiting for approval from Tripoli.
Come back tomorrow."
Basically, we're going
through all this faff
just to get the Brits
and Claudio the Swiss in.
We haven't got them yet,
you're going in tomorrow,
and then the American visas,
if we get them,
will come while we're actually on the run.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Oh, hello.
A lovely little helmet.
- Looks nice, doesn't it?
- Looks good, man.
- It's a good design.
- Brilliant design, isn't it?
That looks great.
- We need to try and crack it, if we can.
- Mm-hmm.
- So good luck.
- Hopefully, today,
- it should be sorted. Hopefully.
- Okay.
That's what they said yesterday.
That's the plan, we gotta stick with it,
you know?
When I spoke to you on the
The idea today is that you try and get
the stamps in the five British passports,
and then you're gonna pursue the
application for the American passports.
There's confusion around here for me.
It's just the law at the moment in Libya.
I mean, Americans, since last March,
they haven't been allowed into Libya.
In my opinion, if you walk into a room
feeling as though
it's already not gonna happen, guess what?
It's definitely not gonna happen.
But if the mood is at the right moment,
they might go,
"Oh, yes, because this is fine.
These are the other ones
that are actually part of it."
- Bang, bang, bang.
- Right.
but let's give it a shot, eh, Jo?
- Mm-hmm.
- But, hey, you never know. We'll see.
He's a charmer, Nuri. Probably fine.
Being told the day
before departure is like Whatever.
What can you do?
When you have people
who are trying to help you do things,
you take what you get, I guess.
I mean, the good news is
most of us can make it through.
The bad news is I'm just not part of
the "most," you know what I mean?
A bit tense this morning, isn't it?
Got here a bit ago,
and they said to come back in 20 minutes.
So we're just waiting now.
Olly, unfortunately, has got pneumonia.
- Who?
- Olly.
Charley's wife?
Yeah. She's going in hospital
to have a biopsy on her lung.
You're kidding me.
- Is Olly all right?
- She's okay.
She's got
They take a biopsy
to see how they can be treated,
with which type of steroids
to get rid of it.
You know, 1 in 30 times they do it,
it can collapse a lung.
And so her lung's collapsed.
Talk about going incognito.
Thought it was gonna, you know,
just be a little bit of sticker-ing.
I didn't quite realize
it was gonna be like that.
- And this is the
- Jesus.
It's, like, really standing out, I think.
- It's nothing to do with me, but I
- Well, it is now.
You've said, "I don't wanna go around
the world if I don't like the vehicles."
No, I don't care. No.
I think it looks amazing.
- But I think it looks like
- Nothing to do with you.
- What are you talking about?
- No, no. The cars aren't.
Fucking Charley.
He's just all nervous and angsty and
Fuck. I can't believe
that Olly's God, fuck.
Shat myself.
They're saying, you know,
"Your wife's got a collapsed lung." What?
You know? Fucking hell.
Oh, my God. There they are.
Bloody tight, actually. Look.
There's just no way on earth
I'd even get close.
Oh, no.
David, I'm really sorry,
but I hope I didn't offend you
We have them.
We have five passports with visas in.
We've just got to
transfer out the Americans.
Who wants to go to Libya?
the American visas are still a problem.
We haven't got them. So we're gonna
have to sort those out on the road.
You know, my first reaction
is to cancel it for three or four days.
You know, the trip.
But I think it would just stress her
tremendously if
She'd try and recover quickly
so you could go, and then
that could make her worse, couldn't it?
We've gotta be sensitive, that if you
need to be back here to be with her,
then we'd make sure you come back,
and if we have to delay the trip,
because we would do.
- Yeah.
- Poor Olly.
Poor love.
This is my GPS unit. It's cool, huh?
And this is where we're starting
our trip from. John O'Groats.
And then we'll zoom out. Ready?
That's awesome.
Long Way Down
officially starts at John O'Groats,
which is the northern tip of Scotland.
So we're sending the bikes up in a truck.
The cars are gonna be driven,
and Ewan, Charley and I will fly up.
It also gives us a chance
to test all the equipment in the trucks
before we actually come back to London.
You nervous?
No, I'm only nervous
about missing cable or
But riding to Cape Town
doesn't bother you?
No, that's fine.
We're on the Gatwick Express.
We're going to Gatwick Airport
to meet up with Russ
to fly up to Inverness to start
the Long Way Down tomorrow morning.
So, I've just had a call from Russ,
telling me that
due to an unfortunate incident
at the airport,
Charley is currently being interviewed
by the police.
The police are outside talking to Charley,
'cause unfortunately he used
the "bomb" word when we're at an airport,
because the person
that was dealing with us at this lounge
was being really officious
and rude and aggressive.
She's called the police.
They're threatening to
pull him off the plane.
We're waiting to start the expedition,
and it's suddenly all going wrong.
We thought the problem would be at Libya.
Not at Gatwick Airport.
I felt terrible for Charley.
It was terrible to see him so upset,
and I thought,
"God, you know, we gotta get up there
to start the trip tomorrow."
And I felt terrible for Charley.
- No, no. It's fine.
- You all right?
It was four policemen.
They took me outside.
Asked me a whole load of questions,
quite rightly.
And quite rightly this went on.
Quite rightly.
I should never have said that word.
And then, very kindly, Russ saw
the situation was getting kind of ugly,
and he said,
"Listen, Charley, I'll stay with you."
I'm just finding it difficult to believe
we're leaving without Charley.
It's crazy.
It could just only happen to us, you know?
It's a perfect disaster.
Silly. Silly, silly.
My brother and my dad are waiting
at Inverness Airport.
My brother,
he just would've given anything
to come with us on the whole thing.
Charley's got on a later flight.
He's gonna fly up about 2:30,
I think, this afternoon.
And they're not gonna press
any charges, thank God.
- So, how'd it go with the doctor?
- He said to ring you straightaway
and to tell you not to worry at all.
She's very adamant that I carry on.
'Cause I think she would
put her under more stress, she said,
if we canceled the trip
for two or three days.
- Slowly.
- Yeah?
It's such a relief to see Charley.
Now the trip can really begin.
It was fantastic.
We arrived just as there was a fly-by,
which Ewan's brother,
an ex-Royal Air Force pilot,
had organized.
It's the morning of the first day.
What a last fucking few days, my God.
Quite happy
to get out of this country, really.
Ain't nothing stoppin' us going now
but the leavin' of it all.
I feel a bit sick today, actually.
And I woke up with this black eye.
Don't know where it came from.
Haven't got a clue.
So anyway
- Can only get better.
- Lot of stress.
It was quite good having these four days,
I think, running up to London, isn't it?
You know, we can debug things,
get rid of clutter.
Let's get to John O'Groats.
Bye-bye, sausage. Thanks a lot.
Bye-bye, guys.
I just feel really good
about the whole thing. Really happy.
Looking forward to all the challenges
and all the difficulties.
I love that vibe of stopping
and setting up a camp.
It's just such a lovely feeling, that.
Tired from the day and looking forward
to riding all day on the next one.
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