Long Way Down (2007) s01e04 Episode Script

Tobruk, Libya to Khartoum, Sudan

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.
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.
Oh, 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 ♪
This is the Commonwealth grave at Tobruk.
From feeling emotional
about not seeing my kids,
we went straight to the cemetery.
And it was a very moving morning.
There's quite a lot, Charley, of just,
look, "A soldier of the 1939-1945 war.
Known unto God."
There's quite a lot of those.
You see all these young guys
that fought because of some crazy guy in
Europe starting a war, and they all die.
But on the other hand,
it shows that, as a commonwealth,
it's important that all these countries
stick together.
Because it's when it all gets difficult,
that's when it counts.
That's when everyone should come together
and stick together and fight together
for what they believe in.
And that's what this cemetery is about.
Talk about a world war, it really was.
There's soldiers from India
and Australia and Poland
and Czechoslovakia and Britain.
And soldiers from Sudan
and Arabic countries over here.
It made me feel very sad,
and I got really welled up inside.
And my throat really
I shed a couple of tears, I must say.
Oh, dear.
Very sad. I feel very sad today.
I actually thought a lot about my sister.
You know, because all these people
were losing their children
or losing their brothers
- Yeah.
- or losing their, you know, whatever.
And it just all came flooding back,
the loss of my sister.
It was quite I felt very emotional.
I had a good old blubber in my helmet.
It's only been two and a bit weeks.
The Bush administration
has already used the term genocide
to describe what's happening in Darfur.
And in the United States,
public pressure for action,
not just words, is growing.
Hollywood star power
And we beg you on behalf
of the millions of people who will die
and make no mistake, they will die
for you to take
real and effective measures
to put an end to this.
Of course it's complex.
But when you see entire villages
raped and killed,
wells poisoned and then filled
with the bodies of its villagers,
then all complexities disappear,
and it comes down
to simply right and wrong.
Will American sanctions
make any difference?
We just heard on the BBC News,
while we were stopping having lunch,
that the Americans are thinking
of applying sanctions to Sudan,
which I'm sure wouldn't please
the Sudanese.
So we're worried again
that when we get to the border,
Jimmy and Dave
with their American passports,
it might not go down too well.
We flew into Cairo a couple of days ago,
because we weren't able to get into Libya.
Hopefully, the guys are just literally
over there about 20 miles.
Can you see that? That's going
up the Libyan coast, just there.
That's the Libyan coast just beside me.
You see that?
- David just called in.
- Yeah?
- So, they're already at the border.
- So we can't be far now, are we?
- No.
- Almost there.
We're pretty much right here.
That's the border between Egypt and Libya.
And I'm very excited,
because I'm about to get
back together with the team.
It could be a real problem
getting into Egypt.
It could be easy.
But then, everyone said it would be
very difficult to get into Libya,
and that really didn't take long at all.
So, fingers crossed.
It's been a long time.
I think we got there at about 2:00.
Three, four, five, six, seven. Five hours.
They're coming. They're coming.
We are officially in Egypt.
We met up with Dave and Jimmy,
and the team is complete again.
Dave, Jimmy, it's good to have you back.
Nice road, outsized lines, visibility.
Can actually see where we're going.
The bike's upright
and not 45 degrees in the wind.
These are all improvements, you know?
But Charley and I have to decide
what we're gonna do
in terms of how we play it
from here on in because
There's no question it's a long way.
Of course it's a long way.
And the point is
The point of the journey is that we ride
from John O'Groats to Cape Town.
Of course it's a long way.
Nobody's denying to themselves that it is.
But on Long Way Round,
we'd spaced it out a bit more.
We had days off here and there
where you could kind of
recharge your batteries.
And then you'd get back on the bike
and you'd be raring to go again,
even after one day off.
Bit fed up really, I suppose.
And the next day
the plan was to ride to Alexandria,
and then from Alex to Cairo.
You can't drive into Sudan.
You have to take a ferry
from a town called Aswan,
which is nearly at the bottom of Egypt,
into a town in Sudan called Wadi Halfa.
The only way you can get there
is on this boat.
And that boat only operates once a week.
So if we miss it on Saturday,
we have to wait another week.
Riding along towards Alexandria.
And we stopped to take a shot
of some donkeys pulling carts.
So, Claudio jumped off and was running
along with his camera taking pictures.
Anyway, they passed.
And this guy on the other side of the road
started shouting to the donkey guys,
- "Go along, move along."
- I haven't got any money.
- No money?
- No money.
And this guy came across the road,
started shouting.
I don't know what he was saying, but
he was doing a lot of gesticulating and,
"What the hell is going on?"
This guy is coming over very irate.
And he started shouting at Claudio, "Hey!"
And Claudio was just wandering off.
He just walked past me and I went,
"Hey, it's all good.
It's okay. He was just taking a picture."
He went, "No. No picture. No, no, no."
And he was very angry, this man.
And then behind him appeared
this other guy.
Really fierce look on his face,
and I thought, "Oh, my God.
He's got those rocks to use as weapons
if he wants to go for it."
And then he turned to Charley,
and then suddenly became
Mr. Nice Guy and our best friend.
And the other guy looked at him,
took his lead off this other guy
and dropped the rocks.
All right, no worries.
Claudio, get out of there fast.
That unfriendly guy with the rocks
has got under my skin
a little bit, Charley.
Yeah, that shook me a little bit, I think,
because we were doing nothing at all.
So, a little bit
of hard work this morning.
Riding to Alexandria
was about 250 Ks or something.
Yeah, I'm so wiped out
from the last three days.
I can't take this in, barely.
The traffic's quite interesting, isn't it?
I was sitting here and it's just shit.
Because I feel crap.
I'm just knackered now.
Yeah, it's beautiful. But then
we have to get to Cairo this afternoon.
So we can't stay here.
We can't see any of this.
Because all we can do
is have lunch really quickly
and then get back on the road
to drive to Cairo.
And then tomorrow
we have to drive to Luxor,
which is like five, six hundred miles.
Hey, guys.
I just can't go on like this.
Fucking hell. I'm just shagged.
It's just too much.
Just a bit shattered, yeah.
Just a bit fed up, really.
You know, we've just done The last
three or four days has just been
you know, has been hard.
And, you know, we haven't
given ourselves time to recuperate.
I said, "Why don't you add
a week onto the trip?"
You said you didn't want it.
So, if you wanted to try and complete it
on your schedule
If you're now saying, "Let's add
two weeks to the trip," I don't mind.
I'm saying there's a ferry
that goes on Saturday.
If you miss it, you have to wait a week.
I don't make the ferry.
- Absolutely right.
- But I accept that as well, Charley. So
In my opinion
'Cause I'm sitting here saying
we're all here safely and soundly.
What's beautiful is we're
at the northeast corner of the trip.
From here on out, it's down.
- You know what I mean?
- Right.
You actually made it
to the northeast corner.
We're gonna go down from here on out.
See how you feel, Ewan.
But I would like to try and get to Cairo,
and then at least have a lie-in tomorrow.
Also, if you do get to Cairo,
if you stay in that hotel
and you pull those things back
and you see the pyramids,
that will wake you up a bit.
I have realized something
that he had said.
One, we chose the route and the mileage.
The other one was that we hadn't spent
that much time on the route, really.
And we haven't.
So I think we're paying for it now.
Anyway, meanwhile,
we're coming into Cairo.
Oh, my God. It's the pyramids.
Oh, my God! Whoo!
I just can't believe we're so lucky
to have the good fortune
to get in here on our bikes
and get the place to ourselves.
It's ridiculous.
It's all south from here, Charley.
They're so beautiful.
You can see from the top of that one
what it must have looked like,
all shiny and smooth, must have it?
What a feat of engineering.
It really is one
of the Seven Wonders of the World.
It's one of those moments in your life
where you're face to face with something
or someone you've known all your life.
I was standing, looking at the pyramids.
I've known them since I've been aware.
And yet I never saw them
in the flesh before.
And then to go into the pyramid
was an amazing privilege.
On our own, again.
It was just wonderful. Wonderful.
And the sarcophagus
would be dragged down here.
Oh, my God.
So tell me one thing, whose tomb is it?
It's Khufu.
It was built in his lifetime
for his death?
- Or was it
- Yes. It was built in his lifetime.
- But inside here, you find red granite.
- Yeah.
And red granite is not in Cairo,
not in Luxor.
Red granite is all the way down to Aswan,
- a thousand kilometers from here.
- Bloody hell.
A thousand kilometers from here.
And they didn't have motorcycles.
- They didn't have cars.
- They probably had motorcycles.
Yeah. Everyone's got a motorcycle.
I thought it would be really cool in here.
- It's hot.
- Yeah. I thought it
It's his burial chamber.
Oh, my God. Wow.
Do you think you dare get in?
I don't. I think it would be disrespectful
to get in, don't you? Do you?
- Yeah, wow. It's incredible.
- I think that's the thing.
I mean, people couldn't redo it now.
I mean, so how did they have the ability
to make every single stone fit?
That was amazing. Wow.
- Who cut it? It was so perfectly flat.
- How did they work it out?
- Yeah, how did it
- How did they
How did they know each stone fitted?
Do you think we're gonna
come up with the answer?
I probably will. It's in
the Charley Book of Everything, you know.
I'm sure you will.
It's a military beach,
so the military guys came running at us.
They say,
"You're doing gay porn down there?"
Because two gay white people
are naked on the beach of the military.
Americans are invading us naked!
They just took a little swim,
and the military thought it was gay porn.
I'm sad not to have seen Alex.
I'm sad that I didn't see Cairo.
I mean, I was blessed to have that time at
the pyramids, and I'll never forget that.
It was beautiful.
But I never saw any of Cairo.
I saw pictures of Cairo when we were doing
the prep and I was like, "Oh, my God."
I think we had this
very sort of Shangri-la kind of feeling
about that we would go here and here,
and spend time here and here and here.
And in actual fact, the mileage to be able
to go to that place or to this place
or to that place is just huge.
I think psychologically,
since we left John O'Groats,
we've been in a mindset
of trying to get somewhere.
And really the journey isn't about
visiting this place
and visiting that place.
The journey is a bigger, deeper picture
about moving through countries
and its people.
And meeting people and feeling a sense
of where you are in the present tense.
Feeling that we're here and now, not
feeling like we've got to get there then.
We're now in an armed escort,
because there's been some
militant activity shooting Westerners
in this part of Egypt in the past.
We're now driving still at 10:00 at night.
We've still got
nearly three hours to go to Luxor.
They're on a high state of alert really,
aren't they?
I mean, at this time of night,
people with guns.
Checkpoint after checkpoint
after checkpoint.
It's a nightmare.
We must have gone through,
I don't know, 40.
We go to the pharaohs.
No, we're going to
the Valley of the Kings, just over there.
And the fun part of it is
to go somewhere with a very open mind.
You know, I represent 95 percent
of the tourists,
who pretty much knows
very little about it.
And part of the fun thing about that
is going somewhere,
not really knowing very much about it,
and actually learning something
on the ground
and taking something away.
So, we're now in the Valley of the Kings.
It's in Luxor on the western bank.
And it's beautiful. We're gonna go
inside one of the tombs now.
Not quite what I expected.
- I expected
- What'd you expect?
I thought there were going to be
some carvings on the, you know,
frontages made of the things.
But I suppose they've put them in
and then closed them up, I suppose.
The Valley of the Kings
is the place where all the royal kings
had their tombs of the New Kingdom.
- This is the New Kingdom post.
- Right.
Which is the last phase
of the ancient Egyptians,
the most wealthy,
before they fall for the last time.
So which tomb are we going into now?
We're going to one
of the royal king's tombs,
- a king called SETI II.
SETI II was after Ramses II,
the very famous king.
And the problem after Ramses II
He ruled for so much time.
And at that time, people were not used
to kings ruling for that much time.
Oh, my God.
This king didn't rule
for more than four or five years.
So his tomb was never finished.
This is how they started it.
Like scraped it,
like make a croquis of it.
- Yeah.
- And then start doing it.
- And then he died.
- And then he died.
- Didn't finish it.
- But they never finished it.
And this is very important for us now
to know how they made all of that.
- Yeah.
- Wow.
And where
And would they have
all his possessions in here as well?
- Everything. It would be all
- All his gold and
All his gold and everything.
Look at that.
Let's stop for that.
That's the burial chamber.
- Okay.
- That's the sarcophagus.
That's the top lid of it.
My favorite is the fact
that he's got this gorgeous girl.
Underneath, I know. I love that.
A beautiful woman to look at
on the underside of his lid.
Well, we should all have a beautiful woman
on the underside of our lid
when it comes to it, don't you think?
Look. These
These are like bidding prayers.
So individuals would be allowed to say
something about their king who had died.
And it would all start the same.
And they would come down and they
would talk about him and stuff like that.
They would come down with the bidding,
and they would mention the king.
And these symbols here represent the king.
And he had maybe
three or four different names.
So, although you see all of these,
there's loads of them
Some of them are slightly different
to the others.
Because, you know, when he was born
he was given a name.
Then when he became king
he was given another name.
And then when he had a great battle
or something like that maybe,
he had another name.
So through his life, he may have had
three or four different names.
Does that sound good?
An Egyptologist was speaking behind me.
By tomorrow, it will all be gone.
And when I come here
with my kids, I'll go,
"Well, actually,
I know quite a bit about this now.
Back then when such and such and such"
I'll come back to this particular tomb.
- But only that tomb.
- I know.
I'll go, "I didn't go and see this one.
Oh, by the way, did you see this"
And in my mind, I'll be going,
"Thanks, Ramy."
Well, after a peaceful morning
at the Valley of the Kings,
that's now been shattered.
I think partly because
we were taking too long to get ready.
And we've missed the armed escort
down to Aswan.
And now we're having to dash
through this traffic to catch it up.
We've just spent 40 minutes
getting our bikes ready.
I mean, it's just ridiculous.
Forty minutes it's taken everybody
to get together.
I don't think anyone realizes the
Oh, we're gonna have
a traffic light here, guys.
You better speed up. Hurry up.
Right. Well, we're trying to catch
the escort. They've left without us.
Hopefully we can,
otherwise we're fucked, basically.
We've gotta run fast now. Keep up.
Not gonna make this light.
Not gonna make the light.
We're fucked
if we don't catch up with them.
We have to ride like the wind
to get there.
Come on, Dave. Stay tight. Come on, Dave.
Come on, Dave!
Hello, hello, hello!
Well done. We're in.
Well, we caught the convoy up.
So, that was a little drama.
And so now we're on our way to Aswan.
And hopefully it will take
about three to four hours.
So we should be there
between 6:00 and 7:00 tonight.
At the moment, to me,
it feels like an exercise in stamina.
How long can we ride a bike for
before someone has a crash?
Still waiting for my second wind
to kick in. I caught myself.
I almost slammed into the back of Ewan
on that last speed bump just back there.
I think I had fallen asleep, to be honest.
We could end up riding
every single day to Cape Town
and just have a really miserable time.
I don't want to do that.
We made it to Aswan. We made it to Aswan.
And I'm determined that from here on in,
we're gonna get over
this little sad, unhappy hump
- that we've been having the last few days.
- I tell you,
it was a real struggle
getting here this time, wasn't it?
And I'm sorry for my part in it all.
- I really am.
- Yeah
And I think we'll just make every effort
to make the rest of it really enjoyable.
Tomorrow, we have to get the two cars
and the three motorcycles on a ferry
that takes them down Lake Nasser
into the Sudan.
Now, we can't travel with the vehicles.
We've got to take
a passenger ferry on Monday.
So what we've elected to do
with these three days
is we're gonna fly down to Kenya
to visit our Riders for Health project.
And it also coincides
with Richard Branson,
who's presenting six or seven motorbikes
to the Riders for Health.
So we're gonna go down there
and help him do that.
It was a crazy struggle.
We got to the airport,
and then they said that we couldn't fly
because the vehicles and the bikes
were in our passports.
- They wouldn't let us leave Egypt.
- This customs guy is being a jobsworth.
You know, we're worried that this guy
might suddenly go,
"No, no, no. I now want you to drive them
all to the port and impound them,
so I know those cars and bikes
are leaving the country."
It would be letting a lot of people
down if we didn't turn up.
We're trying everything
we can to get there.
But we've come up against
a kind of bureaucratic wall
that we're banging our heads against.
The vehicles are stamped in
in our passports.
He was having to stamp us
out of the country
without the vehicles, obviously,
and he wasn't prepared to do that.
So what he said is he wants to see
the vehicles, and then he'd stamp us out.
So we've come back here
to get the bikes and the cars
to take them to the airport so this guy
can see them and go,
"Yeah. There they are."
And we go, "Yeah, there they are."
And then he stamps our passports
and we go.
But that leaves the two cars
and the three motorcycles at the airport,
with only Jim and Dai
to then ferry them back.
And not here, but probably straight
to the customs compound for the boat.
So we're gonna fly down
to Kenya for Riders for Health,
which is one of our charities.
Which means it saves us doing this huge
big loop when we actually get to Kenya.
This is our first rest since we started.
That's Kilimanjaro over there.
I'm glad we got to see it.
No matter how many times
you've seen photos or read books
with references to Mount Kilimanjaro,
I've never seen anything as majestic
as that mountain sitting there
in the middle of these plains.
- Here we are.
- There's our forms. Here we are.
What a great flight.
It's a bit funny to be in Kenya already.
We're a bit ahead of ourselves
being here, aren't we?
Little bit.
On this project, a team of 15 bikes
with 15 dedicated nurses
and community health workers
get out there and they bring
the drugs to the people.
It's all about motorbikes.
Always has been, always will be.
This is exactly what
Riders for Health is designed to
to get doctors and nurses and
health workers out to see everybody.
Hello. Hello. Hello.
The problem in Africa
and places like here in Kenya
is that people can't necessarily
get to the hospitals to get the medicine,
because they can be four or five,
six hours' walk away.
- Hello.
- This is Ewan.
How are you, Agnes?
Nice to meet you.
Before the clinic was here,
how far would Agnes have had to travel
to get to any hospital or any treatment?
- For HIV care, it's Nairobi city.
- That's it?
Which is about 300 kilometers from here.
This is one of the nets that
we provide the community members with.
Each and every bed in this location
has a mosquito net.
We used to see hundreds of cases
of patients per year of malaria.
But currently, we hardly see
ten cases in a year.
So not only is it
that they've built a hospital here,
they're creating jobs as well.
So, it's like a win-win-win, really.
- That's amazing.
- So someday
But I'm so impressed.
I've been completely blown away
by how effective it is
having motorcycles attached
to, in this case, a clinic.
And it's so lovely to be here
right out in the savanna of Africa
with the Maasai people.
They're very confident, elegant people.
Look at those guys. They're fantastic.
Those just make me think
of Asterix and Obelix.
Met Richard Branson.
He was very nice.
A lot of people said
asked me if I was his brother.
And at one stage,
he said I was his older brother.
These bikes are going to another charity,
a group of girls who are going around
helping other women with HIV
and getting it out to more areas.
So they've been taught how to ride bikes.
Now that we've had a little taster
of what it's like here in Kenya,
oh, my God, I can't wait
to get down here on the bikes
and riding on those red dirt roads
and just putting your tent up somewhere.
Just, you know, I think about that guy.
I think about some of the scary stories
we were told in the prep about people,
and I just can't wait to get here,
because the people all seem
so incredibly friendly, you know?
Fantastic. It's fantastic.
I mean, this is the stuff
of real adventure traveling, isn't it?
I've never seen anything like it.
It's brilliant.
- I've got someone's camera here.
- Okay.
I've got a spare hand.
So this is the boat that's going
to take us from Aswan down into Sudan.
And there's no road. You can't drive down.
There is going to be,
but at the moment there isn't.
In many ways, this is the highlight
of the trip so far for me,
just because of the color and the noise.
There's so much stuff
coming onto this boat.
People up here with, it seems,
their whole worldly possessions.
And downstairs, you've got
all the people on all the benches.
This real kind of
first-, second-class business,
like in the old days, I guess.
People were just piling stuff on.
Apparently, what a lot of Sudanese do,
they come on the boat
with pretty much nothing.
But one of the guys working on the boat
was saying that
everybody just buys everything
to take it back into Sudan.
It reminded me of some kind of scene
from Indiana Jones or something.
It reminded me of that kind of vibe.
Crazy, colorful thing, and snake charmers
and whatever.
Now we've just left at 5:30.
But we got on the boat at 11:30.
I was talking to one of the guys
on the boat.
I was saying, "What time are we leaving?"
"Oh," he said, "you've just gotta
leave that watch behind."
He said,
"That doesn't work in this country."
It's pretty cool, that.
Nice little resting place
for someone important.
The ferry's been amazing.
I feel like it's the closest
I've ever got to my gap year.
You know, the backpacker's experience.
Sitting down there in the crazy café.
At one point, I looked out
and I thought that all the extras
had been released from the set
and they were having their tea.
And then I remembered where I was,
that I wasn't on a film set.
- I was in the real deal, you know.
- You could sit for hours
looking at all these different characters
and families.
- Britannia?
- Ah, Britannia.
- Britannia?
- American.
Yeah. And you?
- I am from Sudan.
- Sudan.
So that's it. We're now in Sudan.
And over here Look at this.
This is now the proper,
Lawrence of Arabia-type desert.
More than anything,
it symbolizes the beginning
of a new chapter in the trip for me.
I think we've got through the really
difficult part, in terms of mileage.
I feel like we've been
on motorways since we left.
We really did a lot of roadwork.
You know, we didn't get off
the main drag really at all.
It's good. It's gonna be a big adventure
these next two weeks.
Go to Sudan, Ethiopia.
And then we'll pop down into Kenya.
- This is for the motorbike.
- Yes.
Endless, endless, endless paperwork.
So they put the wrong sheet
with the wrong car.
That's okay, no problem.
I just calculated that we have
16 more border crossings on this trip
in two months.
And each one of those is, like,
out of a country and into the next one.
So you could multiply that by two.
So that's 32 border crossings.
And each one a minimum of four hours.
That's a whole week spent at borders.
OW-56, yeah. So this one
Why are eight intelligent people
sitting in 44-degrees heat
- when we could be in Surrey, Ewan?
- Yeah. This is the wrong car.
Because it's there, man.
Because it's out there.
Cheers. Do we need any other paperwork
or is that it?
- No.
- That's it?
We are in Sudan.
This is a whole new chapter,
a whole other world.
The adventure really truly begins.
It really is the stuff of dreams.
Little boys' dreams of adventure.
It's those moments,
those slap-in-the-face moments, you know?
When you suddenly realize where you are.
What does a Welshman need more
than a hammock and a sheep?
This is Barbara.
Get off.
So we're gonna go down,
all the way down along the Nile.
This road is not easy.
So what do you reckon, Ewan?
Yeah. Well, it makes sense
that that's the way, definitely.
We are taking the slightly slower route
down to Khartoum.
The other one's more direct,
but there's very little to see on it.
It's gonna be really tough. It's hot.
The road's really sandy.
Bring it on tomorrow. I'm really excited.
First day in the sand.
It's not my most comfortable of surfaces.
First thing's first is I fell off.
So I had a chat with Charley,
and he gave me some clear tips.
And he really saved
my bacon today, Charley.
Get the clutch out as quickly as possible
to accelerate, and you go.
And then keep going up the gears.
And then keep high.
Don't keep it very revved.
Just gotta get the weight back.
Low revs. Tractor through.
If it wobbles,
a little bit more on the throttle.
I just want you to see
some of the landscape.
Look at that. Oh!
Just out into the nothingness.
It's just beautiful, man.
They're building a new road here,
which is gonna be a tarmac road,
which will be finished next year.
Um, not quite enough time for us.
We just stopped here.
I think we're in Semna, I think.
It looks more like a construction town.
It does feel like that.
Let's see whether we get some food here.
Yeah, we've asked for some food.
So maybe we'll see what we come up with.
- And that is?
- Good.
We had a tin of sardines,
bread and some cheese,
which was very nice.
Thank you. Thank you.
- And what's your name?
- My name is man in charge.
- It's nice to meet you.
- Yes.
And all these chaps are building the road,
helping to build the road.
The foreman guy
was terribly friendly and hospitable.
Sudan, come on.
They wouldn't let us pay for the food,
and it was a lovely experience.
See you later. Thank you!
I think the roads took us a little bit
by surprise. They were quite bad.
And plus the fact that it was, you know,
around 40-45 degrees.
The heat's something else.
You can't really prepare for it.
Hello. Salaam.
- How are you?
- Hi.
Then we found that little village
with that lovely little kid.
And they offered us some lovely watermelon
and all sorts of stuff.
It was really nice.
Oh! Yum.
Then we went on a bit more,
and I noticed that Ewan's bike
was just bottomed out completely.
It's just the ruts are impossible, man.
This is hard, man. I'm shaking to pieces.
I thought suddenly the bumps had got
so much worse than they were before.
Then I realized it was my shock.
It's just not giving the bike
any spring at all.
Look. You can see on your shock,
it's nice and springy, like that.
I can get my finger in between it.
And over here on my bike, it's collapsed.
I can't get my finger
anywhere near in there.
I suppose we're gonna have to try
and replace it or repair it or something.
We've got a spare.
What do you need?
- Well, I can't help you with that.
- With my wife.
Every night I tell you
I'm not helping you with that.
- Fucking hell.
- What else can I do for you?
- Well A BJ?
- Can I give you a star?
- The bikes?
- Yeah.
- It's completely collapsed, the shock.
- The shock's collapsed.
Charley and Jimmy
did a great job fixing my bike.
But it did seem to be
a bit of a whirlwind.
The clip's a bit like Race to Dakar.
People pull up in 4x4s.
"Quick! What's wrong?
Oh, shit, the shock! Quick!
Get the shock down. Exchange the thing!"
I don't know.
Why was everyone in such a rush?
Yeah, it's fixed.
Charley and Jimmy did it. Very good.
We managed to change that
and then pop it on.
Then when we were gonna camp
We rode across the desert to camp,
just get off the road a little bit.
And Claudio's suspension is gone now.
One, two, three, go!
- I mean
- That's as quick as
And we don't have another shock.
- Is there any
- It's quite low down in the back.
It's not the kind of thing you
would bring a spare of at all.
It's incredibly hot. Maybe it's just
the heat and the ruts and
Everyone talks about,
in the roads in Africa, these ruts.
They're not just Sudanese ruts.
There'll be Kenyan ruts.
There'll be Tanzanian ruts.
There will be ruts up the wazoo.
Take it easy.
So Russ has gone off
to try and find a van,
which will come and pick
Claudio's bike up tomorrow.
My feet got so wet.
There was no ventilation in these boots.
They got really pruned up
and then blisters, you know?
You know, because I broke
my leg just before we came.
I'm not comfortable
not wearing proper boots.
'Cause the last thing I need to do
is break it again.
So I'll try and make these ones work.
Russ came back later that night,
but clearly had had quite a tough time.
There's a guy coming
in an hour and a half with a truck
to sleep with us tonight.
But when we were driving out,
we hit an almighty bump.
Because the big trucks
have created big ruts,
one minute you're going
along a flat plain,
and then suddenly there's an enormous roll
and it went, "Bang!"
And then both the tires
fell off and smashed on the windscreen.
Oh, God.
The whole roof rack's gone forward.
It nearly all slid off the front.
But the road over there is really bad.
- Yeah.
- So Charley's is probably gonna give up.
So it bent the whole arm.
What a day.
I could end up riding on my own tomorrow.
If Charley's bike goes down,
then couldn't I?
- It's a bit hard-core, though.
- Just go to bed tonight, eh?
We've managed to get
Claudio's bike picked up today
to get it to Khartoum.
Looks like we've got two shocks
going to Khartoum now.
That looks like it's settled.
Claudio's bike's fucked.
Ewan's bike is fucked.
The whole thing is just
a bit of a mess, really, at the moment.
- What are you up to?
- I left England about 13 years ago
to do a circumnavigation
using only human power.
So crossing the Atlantic
from Portugal to Miami in the pedal boat.
And then crossing the US on roller blades.
Across the Pacific to Australia
on the pedal boat.
Well, listen, good luck.
It's a pleasure to have met you.
- It really is.
- You too.
I mean, how hard and how mean
does this guy have to be
to be doing this road, you know?
- Nice to have met you, mate. Good luck.
- Yeah, you too. Good luck.
Yeah, good luck, mate.
- Good luck, mate.
- Yeah, cheers, mate.
In this heat, really, really hard.
And on your own.
How big a pussy do you feel now, Charley?
I really wish him well.
But he was looking pretty gnarly.
I must say, I was very impressed.
We've met some brilliant people.
You know, we've got huge smiles
while we were on the road.
We see loads of kids run out and wave.
And all those little towns down to Dongola
are absolutely fantastic little towns.
An incredible place.
All those pretty villages.
Just so far away from our culture,
you know. It was great.
We were just trying to hang and
Wow! Ooh!
Ooh! Don't tell Ewan, okay?
I've never seen such a long town
in all my life.
Oh, my God. That's fucking hot!
I've been really touched
by these travelers that we've met.
And these two have been riding these bikes
around the world for nine years.
Also three years America.
Two and a half years in Asia.
Then we went to Australia and New Zealand.
Then we went to Africa.
And we spent also
I find myself slightly envious
of the time that they have.
I don't want to appear
like I'm whinging about it,
because it's only my fault
for not making the journey longer.
But I'm envious of the time
that they have to spare.
Look, have you seen this shop?
Just about everything you'd want.
There's pasta. There's oil.
There's crisps. There's
Amazing, huh? Just incredible.
It suddenly became surreal.
You know, the people and the turbans
and the color and the smell and the noise.
I have to say just one thing.
It's just lovely
riding along with Charley.
There's something really sweet
about it just being the two of us.
I'm enjoying it a great deal.
Hello, boys.
Look at that!
There's the Nile, for God's sake.
What are you, kidding?
I wonder what that old fort was?
Most of it just looks like old,
you know
That could be like
in Jesus' time, you know?
What's it called?
The time of Christ.
Now, listen, can we see any crocodiles?
Because apparently,
the place is teeming with crocs.
I don't know.
Why don't you throw yourself in
and see what happens?
Well, that's not very friendly, is it?
Don't touch.
It might be poisonous.
Oh, it's full of juice.
- Ooh.
- Oh, there's something in it. Ew.
What's in there? Oh, these guys.
Like an intrepid explorer.
The tough explorer. "Ooh!"
How do you feel about the fact
that we rode here, to the Nile,
from John O'Groats in Scotland?
Where? No way.
What would you want to do that for?
After riding all day,
about 120 miles off road,
and then the last 10-15 minutes of it
are deep sand.
You're like, "Oh, come on!
Give me a break."
My hands hurt today.
- Your hands hurt?
- Got my calluses coming up nicely.
- Hello!
- Hello.
- How are you?
- Good.
- I'm Ewan.
- Hmm?
Hello. Ewan. Ewan. Hello.
What's your donkey's name?
- You can eat them?
- Hmm?
You can eat them? These?
Here, let me try. Can I try?
I lied.
The reason I'm filming we're filming,
is because Claudio's bike is broken.
And so, there's no one else to film.
A stone came up
and broke a sensor behind my side stand,
which won't allow the bike
to go into gear.
What's happened is
I've been riding along and
And we got on the phone to Steven,
our BMW adviser, and
Okay. Cut this back.
- Mm-hmm.
- Expose the three wires.
And then twist them all together
and tape it up.
Now you gas it.
Done. Whoo-hoo!
There we go. All finished.
I thought, "What a nightmare."
But anyway, luckily it's fixed.
Thanks to
our good old friend Fluffy at BMW.
I'm really enjoying the riding today.
I really am.
Had a little off in some deep sand
a minute ago, but just a very slow one.
And I'm really enjoying it.
I'm enjoying the
I feel like I've got my kind of
off-road confidence back a little bit.
Having a good time.
Here we are.
Just stopped to have lunch.
And it is really hot.
I'm looking forward to some food.
Very, very hungry.
I really like these little towns in Sudan.
They're beautiful.
Had a delicious lunch
in this amazing place
and found this fantastic restaurant
with this lovely chef
who cooked us the most wonderful meal.
Thank you very much. Yummy, yummy.
The food's been great here in Sudan,
hasn't it?
- Mmm. Unbelievable.
- Really, really good.
Okay, boys. Bye-bye.
You know, we're all desperate to get to
Dongola. I don't
Because we think tarmac
starts just shortly after that.
- Dongola?
- Dongola?
- Go on this road.
- This way?
Dongola? Yeah, back there.
Look. It looks like it's flowing
that way, doesn't it?
It is flowing that way.
Well, yeah. But it should be
flowing the other way, shouldn't it?
We're going the wrong way.
We actually went right past Dongola.
Luckily, I was thinking,
"This is not right."
And I flagged down this car.
'Cause I'm always going,
"Dongola? Dongola?"
And he looks at me and he goes,
"No, no, no, no. Dongola!"
The ferry crossing was nice.
And we met this lovely young kid
who was traveling on his own.
Tom, tell us about your trip.
When did you start?
Well, I started in Cape Town
about five months ago at Christmas.
And I've just been coming
up Africa since then.
He said he knew exactly
what he was gonna eat when he got home.
He was gonna eat a pack of crisps
and a cheese and ham sandwich
in front of the telly.
Fucking hell.
This is the worst of all.
This is like deep deepish sand.
Or at least sand that makes your front
fucking wheel go all over the place.
And people mixed into small lanes.
That is just terrifying.
Because you keep losing control
of the front end of the bike.
In the sand,
and I was getting really freaked out,
'cause there was people around
and cars and buses.
And I got all nervous and freaked out.
And then I had quite a big off.
I think Ewan's had quite a rough one.
Immediately, I just thought,
"Oh, I just wanna go home.
I just wanna be at home
with Eve and the kids."
I'm not an off-road rider.
I don't choose to go and ride bikes
off-road for pleasure.
It's not something I do.
I love to ride bikes on the road.
I don't even like to ride them very fast.
Oh, there's a bit of tarmac.
Oh! Look at that!
That's what we like to see!
Oh, that's nice! Oh, yes! That's nice!
A little bit of tarmac under the wheels.
It's not such a bad idea.
Well, that's it. I don't know that
this tarmac goes all the way to Khartoum.
Oh, here we go.
It's like really, really, really,
really nothing.
I think it used to be
the bottom of the sea.
Look at that madness.
Look at that.
That's just everywhere, 360 degrees.
Came down there, saw the deep sand
and just stalled.
Just slowed down, right down,
to try and stop before it.
Went sailing into it
and straight across it
into the deeper sand on the side,
and then fell off.
It was beautiful.
We had a nice evening.
It's always a bit like that
with camping, you know.
It gets to a certain hour
when it gets dark,
and that's all you can do, really,
is go to sleep.
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