Long Way Down (2007) s01e03 Episode Script

Rome, Italy to Tobruk, Libya

Back in 2004
my friend Charley Boorman and I
rode from London round to New York east,
and we called the trip "Long Way Round."
We did it! New York!
It's Ewan and I living out a dream
on motorbikes.
Shortly after we got back, we decided
it was definitely something
that we wanted to do again.
We started talking about Africa.
And we're calling this trip
"Long Way Down."
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.
We're gonna give these guys video cameras,
and they'll also have cameras
with microphones on their crash helmets
so they can film as they're riding along.
Oh, there's a bit of tarmac. Look at that!
A third motorcycle
will travel with them.
And on that motorcycle will be Claudio,
a cameraman.
In addition, Russ and I
will travel in two 4x4s
with Jimmy, another cameraman,
Dai, our medic,
and Jim, a cameraman
who will help with security.
We'll be filming the guys
from the vehicles,
linking up with them at borders.
But otherwise the motorcycles
will be on their own.
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 ♪
We're now just north of Rome.
It's called Orange Garden.
You can see old,
beautiful trees of orange.
It's a fantastic place,
because you have a beautiful view of Rome.
Wow, look at this.
This is one of the seven hills of Rome.
- You know, Rome has seven hills.
- Right.
This is the Aventino.
I love it.
It's amazing.
This is the oldest road in Italy.
This is the Via Appia,
that I believe was on the front cover
of my Latin book when I was at school,
I seem to recall.
It's about the only thing
I do remember of my Latin lessons.
Yeah, lovely. It's amazing to be riding
on a road that's so old, you know?
I mean, it's tested our suspensions.
It's quite bumpy, don't get me wrong.
But you can see where the carts have been
going over it for thousands of years.
The cobbles are all smoothed off.
Very nice.
When in Rome!
We're riding with the boys this morning
to go around the Colosseum
and some of the sights here.
At the moment,
we're still trying to find our feet,
whether we should be traveling together
or letting the guys ride
on their own, et cetera.
You know, we haven't settled
into a routine yet.
An Egyptian pyramid in the middle of Rome.
It's not real.
It's made of plaster of Paris.
You don't want to believe everything
you read in the tourist brochures.
You know what I mean?
No, I don't It's not the Colosseum.
Hot, hot, hot, hot, very hot!
I think we're completely stuck
in the middle of Rome.
Gridlock in the middle of Rome.
It's like that scene
out of The Italian Job.
I mean, look. This is just
We're all like this.
Italian traffic!
It's madness.
Let's get the fuck out of here.
I mean, I love Rome and everything,
but let's go.
Jesus Christ!
I must say, it's quite nice
just to get on the open road a bit again.
I was getting very hot and bothered
and all that kind of stuff.
So it's nice to get on the move
and be on our way.
We've got about
a two-and-a-half-hour drive
now to get to just past Napoli.
And then down to the Amalfi Coast,
which is just stunning.
2514.9 miles since John O'Groats.
This is Sorrento.
This is great fun. What a great place.
There you go, sir, with your ice creams.
Ah, nice little ice cream there.
Yummy, yummy, yummy ice cream.
This place is unbelievable.
It's fantastic.
Look at the buildings on the right,
just clinging onto the rocks.
Incredible roads.
After days of straight motorways,
I mean, this is just
what the doctor ordered.
And it's kind of
bum-clutchingly dangerous as well.
If you mess up one of these corners,
you go straight over the wall and
down you go.
Just popped out. Jesus!
There's a lot of snogging going on
on this road. It's fantastic.
Every lay-by,
there's people snogging and kissing.
There's a great deal
of love and affection going on in Italy.
I love it.
This is our nine-hour, three-hour trip
from Rome to the beach.
Nine hours later, but what a coastline!
But after about three hours of it,
you're like, "All right.
Any chance of a straight bit
with no fucking cars on it?"
The Long Way Round team
wind their weary way
through the crowds
of marauding Italian partygoers.
The intrepid adventurers,
too tired to think,
too scared to stretch out on their own.
There's nothing like camping in Italy,
because they actually love cooking
for you, you know?
Oh, you think it's over there?
No, these ladies are gonna prepare
dinner for us. How nice is that?
Oh, that's very good.
It's cool when you're
with hospitable people like this
who cook for you.
She wouldn't let us leave
without fruits and nuts.
They're so nice. Aren't they, Charley?
And I speak English.
We were just gonna get to Sicily tonight.
We'll camp somewhere, I guess,
and then we'll blat across to Palermo.
And then we'll have
tomorrow afternoon in Palermo,
and then we're going
to Africa the next day.
We're going to Africa the next day!
I feel I've slowly come to terms
with the fact that,
you know, as we go through the country,
we've got to just choose a piece.
I absolutely think
the schedule is too tight.
I think we fucked up on the schedule.
Part of the reason
that there's pressure at the moment
is that there's one ferry
that goes from Egypt to Sudan.
It's the only way of crossing the border.
And it only goes once a week.
And if we miss it,
it puts our schedule back massively.
We've got quite a long way,
about 270-odd miles.
Just need to power through, sadly.
Just grit our teeth
and get on with it, really.
Here we are, just me and Saint
I don't know what saint it is.
But it's very nice to have him
along for the ride.
Ciao. That's nice.
Down the southern tip of Italy.
Almost down to the end of the Boot.
We've made it all the way down
to the edge of mainland Italy,
and we're just about
to cross over to Sicily.
So this is our ferry coming
to take us over to Sicily.
- From?
- Reggio to Sicily.
- Six euros, the thing will take us.
- Yeah.
That's really cheap, isn't it?
To get to Sicily?
I don't suppose
we'll get strap page for that,
- would we?
- No.
We get to have the day off
in Palermo tomorrow,
and then the next morning,
we sail to Africa.
Sicily. How fantastic!
It's so thrilling to be somewhere new.
And doubly thrilling to have ridden here
on my motorbike, you know?
If we can get to Palermo tonight,
then that gives us the whole day tomorrow
to kind of get everything ready
for Africa.
So, right, let's see
what it's like here, the driving.
That's how to exercise a horse.
Thought we should get going, really.
It's 8:55
Yeah, we should go and get the knobblies
put on the BMWs.
We're running road tires on at the moment,
and we'll change
to the knobblies for Africa.
Better grip off-road, you know?
We'll take the bikes to a BMW dealership.
They're gonna change the tires for us.
We'll come back, pack,
pick up the bikes
and take off to the hotel,
which is nearer the port,
where we leave tomorrow for Tunisia.
- All right, guys. Let's go.
- Hi.
We'll follow you there.
That's lovely. Thank you.
You see? Someone will always
turn up and help.
It's just a lesson you have to learn.
He was on a BMW website
at 4:30 in the morning last night,
and he saw that we were in Palermo.
He found out that we were at the hotel,
and they came to look for us.
Shall we go?
It's a bit hidden,
but, you know, it's okay.
These guys are the real best mechanics
around here.
I had a French girlfriend
before I met my wife, called Marie,
and she took me on my first ever
motorcycle trip, on the back.
She was a tiny little girl. And she
I would have to put my feet down
when we stopped at the lights,
to stop us toppling over.
But it was on one of these.
Memories ♪
- Thank you for everything.
- Nice to meet you.
Take care. Thank you very much.
Farewell! Parting is such sweet sorrow.
- Ciao!
- Ciao! Thank you very much.
It's nice, those little surprises.
You always worry that
you might not bump into people
- or things might not happen or whatever.
- Yeah.
And then suddenly, just out of
Completely unexpected,
you know, you get taken on
a different ride and someone comes along,
and it's lovely.
It's that whole faith of people, isn't it?
Every time, someone
will come along and help.
It would have taken us quite a while
to find that place, I think, otherwise.
- Wouldn't it?
- Oh, my God.
It's quite complicated to get there.
Constant stream of two-wheeled vehicles.
I love it. Don't you? Oh, here we are.
Mille grazie.
So there we are: knobblies.
Nice new rubber.
- Bang on twelve o'clock.
- Twelve o'clock.
See you later!
I love the south of Italy.
I think it's really crazy.
I feel a real passion for life.
And riding around,
you get a real sense of vitality.
I just love it here.
I think it's really exciting.
It's made me reflect on Britain,
thinking we're a bit buttoned-down,
and there's so many rules and laws,
and you can't do this
and you can't do that,
to the point where everyone's
sort of afraid to have any fun.
Now here we are,
at the edge of Italy, in Sicily,
and ready tomorrow morning,
off to Africa.
So a little bit pensive about that,
a little bit, you know,
not quite sure of what's to come.
But, you know, it's all gonna be cool.
I embarked on this journey
under complete excitement about Africa.
And then was scared by several people,
who we met or encountered
through our prep,
who scared the bejesus out of us.
And then I've realized that, well,
if that's the case, then you shouldn't go.
Either you do it or you don't go,
you know?
And I think you have
to give yourself into it,
and you take it as it comes.
And if there's scary things that happen,
then there are scary things that happen.
And that's why you're out there,
in a sense.
You're out there for adventure,
and it becomes a question of how you deal
with the situation you're in.
You can't control what's gonna happen.
And the whole point is that you're
out there to let what happens happen.
That's why you're here.
If you knew it was gonna be
a safe and smooth passage
all the way down there,
would there be any point doing it?
You know, I don't know.
- There's no ferry today.
- What?
Not another one for a week.
You're such a bad liar.
So then, we're sitting here working,
while Ewan is sitting in the car there
waiting for his passport.
You know?
It's what these people are like, eh?
He does a couple of movies
and thinks he's somebody. You know?
- What
- I've done 29 movies and I'm still nobody.
And we got the last laugh. We just tipped
diesel in Claudio's motorbike.
Grazie. Ciao.
Russ did a lot of running around,
signing carnets and whatever was done.
And here we are. So, that's good.
Off to Tunisia.
Although we're heading for Africa,
one problem we still haven't solved
is getting the Libyan visas
for the Americans.
I don't think that I'm going
to be getting the American visas.
Dave, it doesn't look like
you're gonna get the visas.
- Are you pulling my leg?
- No.
Can you take your sunglasses off
when you tell me?
- Yeah. No, I'm not.
- Really?
Well, I'm a bit gutted
that Dave and Jimmy can't come to Libya.
Because it's quite a big deal, you know?
But it's a blow. I'm sure
that he's gutted, Dave. I'm sure he is.
Okay. I'm just gonna go through
the safety, security stuff
that everyone's got
for the Africa side of it.
Quite often in Africa,
it'll just go pear-shaped,
like, fairly quick.
I suppose I'm a little nervous
in the security briefing.
I suppose a little bit.
Jim was talking about when things
in Africa kick off,
there don't seem to be
any of the normal signs
that something is about to go off.
But it just happens very, very quickly.
So I suppose that made me
a little bit nervous,
just thinking about what that might be.
over to Kenya, where you've got
the big groups of Somalis
and people coming in,
doing all the poaching.
You know, they were working
in 30, 40-man armed groups,
fully tooled up, like a platoon.
So, they all then think,
"Oh, well, we've got all these guns.
Let's do a bit of robbery on the side."
And that's probably our biggest threat.
I think we were all very tired.
And I think what we're talking about is
what to do if something goes wrong.
And I suppose that makes people nervous,
and therefore, anxious.
You know, disease doesn't choose
whether you're a high-profile person
or a low-profile person.
Disease just gets you.
The two big risks we've got
going through these countries
is road traffic collisions,
as Jim's already mentioned,
and disease.
What's the protocol
on not pulling wheelies?
Bring it on, ese.
No wheelies.
Just lay down the law, Dai.
Charley, you're at big risk of having
an RTA by pulling wheelies all the time.
I can't say, "Don't pull a wheelie."
What about BlackBerry?
But we're talking about wheelies now.
It's a completely different thing.
I'm not calling my girlfriend,
for Christ's sake.
-Don't take it personally. I'm saying,
-No, we're directing it.
- What if it goes out on the thing?
- I'm not making phone calls while driving.
And that's all I'm saying.
I'm saying, in a very lighthearted way,
if I give up the wheelies,
what is everybody else doing?
I think basically what people
are worried about with Charley
is that he pulls big wheelies,
and very often,
the bike goes over to the side
and then he lands
and the bike, he scoots it around.
And he'll feel completely in control.
I'm sure he does.
But it looks very scary to the eye.
Now, I was making a serious point,
by the way.
Because I don't like the fact
of you pulling wheelies.
Or you veer off 'cause you're using
the phone and you crash.
Or you drive too fast and you
Yeah, I'm not trying to knock your fun.
- I'm really not.
- Oh, I know that.
Okay, I'll think about it.
I'll think about it.
You've got your family
and you've got your kids and everything.
I must say, I was feeling
very sort of edgy and jumpy,
kind of worried about Africa.
I was looking at some of the mileage
that we have to do
in some of these countries,
and it's kind of just mad.
It was a very strange boat trip,
like ten and a half hours on this boat.
But it was quite weird what happened.
We all kind of fell out at one point.
It's just gonna happen.
You've got eight guys traveling together.
People are gonna fall out.
It's just gonna be the way it is.
It's always over
silly little things like that.
I've got 36 degrees, 47 minutes,
51.21 seconds.
Well, here we are.
We're in Tunis. We're out of the border.
That was a little bit tricky, the border.
We just left
the customs,
having given the customs guy
four bottles of vodka in a plastic bag.
God Almighty, right off the boat,
fleeced at customs.
And now here we are, on my bike
that I rode down from John O'Groats.
And I'm now in Africa with my mates.
And that just feels good.
We stayed in the hotel at night
just because it was late by the time
we got through customs and everything.
And then took off the next day
and left the guys,
because Dave and Jimmy
couldn't get their Libyan visa,
and they were trying
to do last-minute attempts to get visas
so that they could come with us
through Libya.
Why even bother?
If we don't get the reference numbers,
we're not even gonna try.
- What did he say?
- That the Tunisians
don't let them pass at the border.
The problem is that the Libyans
will take your passports,
and you will stay there
until they clear the thing.
So maybe it will take
a very, very long time.
You can't get stuck between borders,
David, whatever happens.
That's a crazy risk.
I'm not gonna hold
the expedition up for this.
We'll send the bikes through
and the cars through.
Everybody has their visa. Fine.
And then after that,
the Americans will try to get in.
So let's see what the day holds
in store for us.
We're gonna head down to El Jem
and then have a look at the Roman ruins,
the coliseum and such,
and then maybe try and find somewhere
to camp on the sea,
which would be really nice.
I've been told where there's
a nice place on the side of the road
to have some nice lunch.
Apparently very nice lamb
that you can get on the grill.
Personally, I'd rather have,
you know, a little cutlet.
Don't fancy his much.
It's very, very hot.
It's our first day in Africa,
and I'm absolutely melting already.
It's nothing compared
to what it'll be like in the Sudan.
Yum, yum, yum.
They say this Roman ruin is
a little bit better preserved
than the one in Rome,
because it's much drier
and there's less pollution
and all this kind of stuff.
From around the same period of time.
- What, the Roman period?
- Yeah.
Ah, very good.
Can you imagine the noise?
- Everyone braying for blood.
- Thank you, thank you.
You can imagine the noise
of people screaming
and baying for somebody's blood
down below,
some poor so-and-so being eaten by a lion.
It was an incredible place.
We stopped off to get some bread
for our campsite to eat with our food,
and we met some really nice people.
We met this lovely man
who spoke about his life
and about how things were quite difficult.
The condition of life is very, very bad.
- Yeah.
- It is bad.
Because my father is dead,
I have my mother,
my two sisters, my brother.
That's a responsibility,
big responsibility,
because I am the bigger one in the family.
- Hey, you have to do it.
- It's our traditions here.
- Yeah, it's
- But it's what we can do.
- Yeah, you just gotta live day by day.
- It's our life.
It's important, family.
- It's very important here.
- Yeah.
- You are welcome at any time.
- Oh, thank you very much.
- Thank you.
- If you'd like to drink something
Oh, we've gotta get going.
And drinking and driving the bikes
is not good.
It was very hot actually,
thinking about it.
It was 36 degrees at one state
and I was just sweating away.
It was lovely to have a camp here,
and we went down to the beach
and rode a little bit off in the sand.
It was nice to do that as well.
It's good.
Charley wants to invent
and manufacture the camping rake,
which is a stick that folds out
into a kind of rake
and you rake the ground
where you're gonna camp.
Put your tent on top of raked ground,
and therefore, you've got a nice, soft
It's a great idea.
It's a rake-shovel.
You see? It's half rake, half shovel.
- There's a shovel as well?
- Yeah.
They laugh,
but I'm just softening up my bed.
Our first African camp, Charley.
- Hey!
- Isn't it fucking great? Yeah.
I think it's good.
Oh, this bov reminds me of home.
I just DEETed my tent.
You're amazing.
- Can you say that with conviction, please?
- You're amazing.
- No, no, really.
- Oh, okay.
Hang on, no, no.
You're amazing.
We camped here last night.
It was really nice.
The boys joined us a bit later on.
So what's up?
Are you guys crossing the border today?
Try and just burn on today.
Just want to try to avoid seeing
any of Tunisia.
I want to avoid trying to get to know
its people or seeing any of its landmarks.
I just want to get into Libya, and then
I want to do the same thing in Libya.
I want to burn through Libya. I don't want
to meet anybody or see anything.
I want to burn down to Cape Town
and try and avoid meeting anyone
or seeing anything on the way.
And then we get to Cape Town
and we have a huge party
and everyone thinks we're great.
It's all a bit, you know:
"Well, we should go here, maybe go there."
Having said all that,
we should get on though.
I don't know. I'm aware of this
desire to push on all the time, you know?
It gets a bit annoying after a while,
because you think,
"Well, we came here to see stuff.
We didn't come here
just to get to Cape Town."
My worry is that we just don't experience
enough of the country we're going through.
But at the same time,
we've got this time restraint and
What do you do?
Absolutely gorgeous road as well.
Look at this.
Today we're gonna head down to that place
where they shot the first Star Wars film.
Where they shot the stuff
with Luke Skywalker
and his uncle Owen and whatever.
We'll have a look at that, and then
I guess we'll assess what time it is then
and whether we try and get across
the Libyan border or not.
Charley just came on the radio and said,
"Yeah, you're going home, Obi-Wan."
That made me laugh.
So up here is the Star Wars set
from the original movie.
There it is.
- Oh, my God.
- That's it.
That's brilliant. They've just kept it all
since then, since the '70s.
Amazing, isn't it?
I bet you they've redone it
a few times as well, do you reckon?
Well, they've repainted it.
Yeah, all the pipes and all that stuff
is what they did, isn't it? And the steps.
Yeah. It's just drain pipes. Wasn't it?
Bits of hairdryers.
- You know we used those hand-dryers?
- Yes.
You can see the hand-dryer funnels
on the sets everywhere.
Here. Charley, look.
You're right.
They have changed it a little bit.
Look, the piping is still there.
- All this garbage is gone, here.
- Yeah.
- Okay.
- Okay?
I'm glad we made the effort to come here.
We could have easily just decided,
"No, we'll just push on." You know?
But it's been great.
I think Ewan's really enjoyed it as well.
It's such a big thing in his life
to have done three of these movies.
A Star Wars bar?
Do you think they've got
those little monkey things in there?
It's an iconic film.
So to come back where it all started
is pretty impressive.
It's only one of the few touristic things
I enjoyed doing, actually.
I don't think anyone
has recognized Ewan at all,
which is kind of cool that he's
I think maybe people's minds are fried
from the heat, you know?
Mine certainly has.
Right, I arrogantly thought I'd be mobbed.
I'm actually slightly disappointed.
Are you slightly disappointed?
I understand.
Anyway. What can you do?
It's obviously the Star Wars playhouse
has turned it
into a bit of a tourist draw.
And there's amazing views and people
do live underground here and stuff.
But it's a different vibe.
People come up and want
to take you around and show you things.
There's a guy who came up on his bike
and he was like,
"You know, I take you
to a troglodyte house."
In the summer, it gets to like 50 degrees,
he was saying,
and that then their families move back
into the troglodytes.
Because it's nice and cool.
Wow. Oh, my God. It's
How do they get in?
We would jump.
Nice to meet you. Hello.
- Hello.
- Hello, nice to see you.
- Thank you very much.
- Thank you.
- Tea?
- Oh, thank you.
Oh, that's brilliant. It's great.
- She has a lovely face.
- She's got a very smiley face.
God, it's hot!
I can't tell you how hot it is.
See that water bottle
on the back of my bike?
You can just put a tea bag in there,
squeeze it in and it'd be like
a proper cup of hot tea.
It's absolutely boiling water.
Right. Let's get on the road
and see if we can move some air
past our very hot bodies and faces.
See if we can cool down a little bit.
We're just going down the back route.
Instead of going all the way down
on the main road and then down,
we decided to cut across
over these kind of mountain roads.
And they turned out
to be real old, dirt tracks.
Fantastic fun to ride on.
I'm not usually the off-road guy,
but I'm loving this. This is great.
This is where
all the New Zealanders built this road
to get all the army in
to flank the Germans
and eventually win the war.
Ah, we couldn't have missed this,
Charley. This is awesome.
Feels like a cowboy film or something.
We're leaving for the Libyan border
in the morning.
I don't think I'm gonna get my visas,
so I'm gonna split, I guess.
There's really not much else to do.
And I'm very, very disappointed.
Yeah, I'm just fucking disappointed.
And I just want to disappear,
so it's just not
you know, so it's not an issue.
Because I think everybody's been worried
about it and everybody's been trying hard,
but it doesn't look like it's gonna happen
so I'm just gonna get to the airport
and just get to Cairo.
And then we'll drive to the border and
you know, meet up in a few days.
It's funny because three days
doesn't sound like a big deal,
but when you're living like we're living,
three days is a lot of time.
So that leaves Dai, Jim, and me
with two cars and the three bikes
to try and get over tomorrow.
We found this place just off the road.
There were some farmers here,
and we said hello to them.
We stopped here. We thought
it would be nice just behind this bush,
just to give us a bit of cover
from the wind and stuff.
We met Mushbad just here, didn't we?
And he's got some sheep
and some goats here.
And we asked him
if it would be all right to stay here,
and he goes, "Absolutely, no problem."
And, as everybody is here in this country,
is incredibly generous and kind
and open and nice, aren't they?
He brought us almonds
and fresh almonds, didn't he? Was lovely.
They told us not to camp too near this,
because of all the snakes.
We were ready to set up
around here, you know?
Of course, you can see
all the snake holes there.
- And scorpions, apparently.
- Yeah.
He was saying.
But we sadly didn't come across any.
Well, happily didn't come across any.
Anyways, so we backed off a little bit,
and then we saw some thunder and lightning
last night as well,
some real cracks of lightning.
They're quite big, some of them,
aren't they, those holes?
If that's a snake,
it's a very, very large one.
Well, nothing's been down there
for a long time, has it?
It's quite a recent one, isn't it?
- And then a nice sleep.
- Ready for Libya.
Ready for Libya.
What we thought we'd do is just sit down,
have a cup of tea,
and then look at all the papers
that we've got to present at the border.
Tunisia first, then we'll talk
about Libya. Is that okay?
- Shall I keep going on? All right?
- Let's crack on, yeah.
Just had a bit of briefing
about what we should and shouldn't do
and make sure all our documents
are lined up,
because it's quite important
that we get across this one.
But I think we're okay.
We've got fixers on this side
and the other side to help us.
And we've got lots of paperwork.
This is our nemesis, the Libyan border.
With any other border,
we've got a plan B that would allow us
to make another travel arrangement
to get around it.
But not this one.
This one we're being naughty.
So here we are in Libya.
We just got through the border.
We just found out that
the Egyptian crossing can take two days.
It was actually worse getting
into Tunisia than it was into Libya.
And now they're all saying,
"Oh, you're going to Egypt!"
We literally thought, "All right,
we won't put the cameras on
and we'll take the cameras off the helmets
and all that stuff through the border."
Well, that's the border down there.
And we just stopped to put them back on
right here in plain view of them all.
How covert is that?
Any tourists in Libya have
to be accompanied by tourist police.
And this is a guy from the media,
a media agency, a Libyan media agency,
to help us with our paperwork
through checkpoints and so on.
- Are we going?
- Yeah, yeah.
This is Gaddafi country.
Can you fucking believe it?
Well done, Charley. Here we are in Libya.
We have to kind of stay a bit
with the cars.
We can ride along, but we're only allowed
to go on this coast road,
because that was the plan,
that was what we applied to do.
Crazy, crazy, crazy.
I mean, it's like being blasted
with a hairdryer.
A bit dusty here.
It's just the heat that's unbelievable.
You just said it was like
someone opened the door of an oven.
It was exactly like that.
A fan-assisted oven.
You here to see the lions?
No, I'm here to see
that famous Charley Boorman gladiator.
- Oh, yeah, yeah.
- Heard about him?
- He's not all he's cracked up to be.
- Isn't he?
- Sherry for the missus?
- Sherry, please.
That will be 15 Roman shekels.
Shekels. There you go, mate. Cheers.
- Wow!
- Look at that!
Oh, my God! Look at that!
Everywhere you look!
- It's just some big Roman city.
- Fuck!
- Four thousand years
- How many years old is it then?
- Well, 200 years BC is 2,200.
- Oh, well.
- Anyway, they know what we mean.
- We'll just have to post-sync that.
So what we'll do is you just stand
out of shot here, right? Ready.
All of these Roman ruins are
- Two thousand
- Years old.
You know, you think about
those huge stages in London, like
None of them are this size, are they?
And then from here, of course. Oh, yeah,
you can hear it kind of ping back.
- Can you?
- Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
One Roman ruin starts to look
like another, you know what I mean?
It's like join the dots.
Of course we're taking the first left,
Ewan, to city centre.
Thanks, Charley, for keeping me
in check there, mate.
I told you that I spent
12 years learning how to speak Arabic.
And then about six months
learning English!
Here we are. Tripoli, Libya.
Our first night in Libya.
Another short day.
The trouble is we've got this boat
to get in Egypt,
the south of Egypt,
to take us into the Sudan,
like, next Saturday.
And it's Saturday night now.
So we have to get through Libya
and all of Egypt in six days.
Five days. Because it takes at least a day
to get through the Egyptian border.
I don't know how
we're gonna do that. Do you?
Saw those two little kids today
just as we were leaving the Roman ruin,
and I must say, I felt quite homesick
for my kids, actually.
Two little sisters, they were about
the same sort of age separation as mine.
They were a bit younger,
but they were cute as cute could be,
with their little matching dresses.
Olly and I used to always dress
Doone and Kinvara up in matching dresses.
I suppose there are certain people
who are travelers
and certain people who just aren't,
aren't there?
You know, I think the acting profession
is a real gypsy's profession,
and people who are in television
or in news or something like that,
there's definitely a gypsiness that goes
Thank God
there's not scratch-and-sniff TV,
because you'd all fucking turn over.
Scratch and sniff.
Bloody hell
Oh, well. Heigh-ho.
We're just leaving the hotel
and we are going to see some sights
and go camping tonight.
Quite a mad place, really.
There's cafes, there's beach life,
and all sorts of stuff, you know?
An amazing place, really.
Look at that horse.
He's just standing there.
That is incredible.
Let me tell you, what's awful
is we can see, everywhere you look,
there's just plastic bags
strewn everywhere.
Leptis Magna is by far
the most touching and moving
Roman ruins I've ever visited.
It was three-and-a-half square kilometers
of ancient city from 700 BC, 600 BC.
This arch was built
on the two main streets of Leptis Magna,
the Cardo, which comes
from the harbor of Leptis Magna,
and goes 44 Roman miles
deep into the desert.
Which goes nearly 65 kilometers.
We've ridden on that Roman street in
- In Rome.
- In Rome.
We were lucky to ride our motorcycles
down the Appian Way in Rome.
And then there we were,
walking on these Roman roads today.
Look at that.
That's We call it the gate to Oea.
You can kind of sense
what it might have been like.
There was so much of it there.
It was originally from Syria
It was just absolutely breathtaking.
And to see the city and to walk
down the streets,
and to see these corners of the streets
with little carvings
and a winged penis
of a human being.
We thought the tour guide
had said something wrong
so Ewan and I were there sniggering away,
Like two school kids.
Then he showed us this little plaque
and there was this flying penis
warding off the evil eye.
- How old is this?
- The wall is original.
- From?
- From the 2nd century AD.
Bit of good luck.
I can say I've touched
a winged penis from the 2nd century.
- Open-air swimming pool.
- Swimming pool
We went to the place
where there's the marketplace
and where all the shops were,
right in the big sort of town hall area,
where these beautiful carvings
were in marble.
And all this marble came from Greece
and from right across the other side
of the Mediterranean.
I mean, how those guys built this place
is just awe-inspiring.
It is just an incredible place
to go and see.
This is a sauna or a sweat bath.
The floor of the sauna
is up to this level.
The way that it was engineered
was extraordinary.
And I just thought it's not that different
from our gym memberships and stuff.
We go and work out,
then we go and sit in the sauna,
and then we go and sit in the steam room,
and we pay our membership.
It's just the same deal.
But this was happening 6/700 BC.
How How are the slaves?
Yeah, just got a great, good new one.
- Oh, really?
- Yeah.
So, yeah, there was flowing water
underneath here.
So as you did your business,
it would just be washed away.
And then there was running water
through this trench,
so that when you finished your business,
you would just
Scoop and clean.
And you'd just hope the guys up there
haven't double scooped. Know what I mean?
Because when you go down here,
he's done a double scoop,
so you're picking up his
Anyway, you get the general idea.
No double scooping.
It's always too far.
I feel a bit sorry
for Dave and Jimmy Simak
because I think they so wanted to
go there, and they've missed out, really.
Probably one of the greatest parts
of the whole journey ever.
Oh, my. Just beautiful. You've got to go.
But if you're American
you've got no chance.
In a way, the fact that Dave
is over in Egypt
is probably a blessing in disguise.
Because he can maybe try
and find us another boat,
or certainly a boat that we can travel on
would be better than sending the cars
and the bikes off in one that we can't.
We finally get the sea, eh?
Look at that!
It's beautiful.
We've had a beautiful ride this evening.
This is unusual.
We've stopped in daylight. You can relax.
So we camp up here?
Or where did you want to put the tents?
Yeah, well here.
How does he do it so quickly? Charley.
I'm still unpacking my bag,
and he's in his tent.
I don't understand
how he does it so quickly. Look!
Why is it experience? He's camped
a million times less than I have.
It's just his pace. His internal rhythm
is much quicker than mine, I guess.
The only time I did it first
was at that Shadowhawk training course.
I got my tent up before him then.
It felt so good.
Those are some original bed end logs.
Yeah. I found that
- round the back of the house.
- Oh, did you?
- I think it's somebody's bed.
- The bloke's gonna want
to put his bed together tomorrow.
And she goes
Stop it. Stop it.
Try that when you're pissed.
We're having a bit of a crisis here
in the old tent.
It's all very well,
but I'm slightly worried.
I mean, we've got a massive ride tomorrow.
What the hell is going on?
You okay?
This could go on for hours!
It's 3:24 in the morning.
Oh, look. A tent peg.
I don't know how we're gonna deal
with for 445 miles
after not having slept a wink.
It's like a sandstorm in my tent.
And it just got everywhere.
And I've got sand in the crack of my arse.
We've spent all night awake.
Just This bloody wind.
If it stops in the morning,
at least we can pack up
and try to get the sand off everything,
you know what I mean?
- Okay.
- All right, mate. See you in the morning.
Everything is
just completely covered in sand.
I mean, I've gotta tidy this all up,
pack it away, put it on my bike
and push on.
We've gotta do about 450 miles
across the desert road,
in heats of, you know, 46 degrees
this afternoon.
The thing is, it's 4:00 now.
- Yeah.
- And we wanna try to get to Tobruk,
which is 250 miles away before nightfall.
We're averaging around 60 miles an hour,
but let's say 50 if this keeps up.
This wind is awful. It's horrible.
It's like we're riding through
a cup of tea or something. You know?
Milky tea.
I just see Charley's silhouette
and his hazards.
And the edge of the road, that's it.
Look at it!
It's just nuts, man.
We either follow the coastal route round
to Tobruk
or we cut through the desert,
and there's nowhere to stop.
So we either get to Tobruk or we don't.
You're taking a risk overtaking
in this, eh?
- No.
- Wow, look at that!
I don't know how
we're gonna drive in this at night.
This day has turned
into a bit of a nightmare, really.
Blasting along at 70 mph in the dark
with a side wind.
The bike's almost at 45 degrees
on its side.
My neck's killing me.
Stupid wind. Stupid.
Not content with a sandstorm
and the wind and everything,
I'm hoping you'll be able to see
the black smoke belching out of it.
Jim found out that the air filter
is full of sand.
So he's gonna blow it out,
but look at it all.
Just what we didn't need, eh?
We've been going since 8:00 this morning,
and it's now ten to 9:00.
But it'd be nice to get this over with.
It really would.
I was just thinking,
if I get hit by a camel,
will you tell my kids
that it was very important
that I had to get to Tobruk tonight?
I don't know why,
but it seemed to be important.
It's very scary,
because you just can't see anything.
And it's kind of
You sit there thinking,
"Why am I doing this?
All just to catch a boat."
It's a little bit mad, really.
450 ball-breaking miles
Get me in that hotel.
I feel like I've been punched.
What a day.
Egypt's arrival date is the 28th.
Departure date: 29th.
So we don't stay anywhere
more than 12 hours max.
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