Long Way Up (2020) s01e05 Episode Script

Atacama Desert Into Bolivia

Got sun on my face
Sleeping rough on the road
I'll tell you all about it
When I get home
Gonna roll up the sidewalk
Gonna need letting up
Comin' round to meet you
The long way up
We're gonna ride 13,000 miles through 13 countries.
From Ushuaia, in and out of Argentina and Chile, to the Atacama Desert,
heading up to La Paz before we cross Lake Titicaca,
continuing along the Andes to Colombia, over to Panama,
through Central America and Mexico, arriving in Los Angeles 100 days later.
We're gonna give these guys video cameras,
and they'll also have cameras mounted with microphones on their crash helmets
so they can film as they ride along.
Is this a road? Oh, my God!
A third motorcycle will travel with them,
and on it will be Claudio, the cameraman.
In addition, Russ and I will travel in two electric pickup trucks,
along with cameramen Jimmy,
Anthony and Taylor, who will also help with logistics.
We will be filming the guys from the vehicles,
linking up with them at borders,
but otherwise, the motorcycles will be on their own.
It's really, really beautiful scenery.
It's difficult to describe it. Cactus everywhere.
Just this army of sentry cactus standing guard along this huge glen.
I just love this. I love seeing Mother Nature like this.
Watching the land change as we go by.
It's really, really touching me and
what I was looking for in terms of feeling closer to the world, the earth.
This feeling of appreciating the beauty of it as we ride along.
Feeling very energized today.
God, it's freaking awesome in this valley.
We're riding through the Calchaquí Valley on our way to the final border with Chile.
And this will be our first proper dose of extreme altitude.
It's spectacular.
It's rare to be in such open space, isn't it?
But that was really bright red this morning,
and then you get the dark green cactus in front of them.
It's lovely.
And that feeling of, every morning-- Don't know if you have that, Charley,
every morning waking up in a different place.
And sometimes you have weird-- you know, weird dreams.
And sometimes you just don't know where you are.
You wake up and you think, "Where? What?"
Well, often I don't actually know where we are.
Hey, lovely doggy.
Well, come and say hello. Yeah, you're so nice.
You've got such orange eyes. Your eyes are so bright.
Yes, that's Claudio. He's got the camera.
It's okay.
Look at all the chickens.
Oh, dear. It's a bit rough, isn't it? A bit brutal.
I don't know that-- I'm thinking this trip is making me--
I'm seriously, seriously thinking about being a vegetarian.
I don't know. There's so much meat to be eaten.
You should eat--
Reduce your intake of meat just to once or twice a week.
That would help the environment,
-if everybody did that. -Yeah.
Less cows would need to be produced and less chickens,
and there'd be less pressure on the environment.
Yeah, they're vegetarian. There's no animal products in this.
Hey, guys!
Oh, my God. Look, our Brazilian friends. Hey, guys.
-Hola, hola. -¿Cómo estás?
-Muy bien. -Muy bien.
We'd love it if we could ride along with you.
-Or we could follow you or-- -Can go together.
We'd love that.
Here we are. We've met up with our old friends.
The lovely father and son who are doing this big tour of the Highway 40.
Here we go.
It's so nice to see their bug. I love this Beetle. It's just great.
Wow. That is the coolest thing in the world.
Put a smile on your face, Beetles.
When I was a kid, my mom and dad had three in a row.
-They had three in a row? -In the '70s, yeah.
They had a red one when my brother was born, a white one,
and then an orange one. And I remember the orange one the best.
We'd go camping every summer.
My mom and dad would drive from Scotland to France.
It was brilliant.
That's probably why I love them so much,
because they remind me so much of my youth.
See you, guys. It's been fun riding with you.
Hola. Hello, hello. ¿Cómo estás?
-Jimmy, do you know what I need? -What do you need?
Nail varnish remover.
For your toes?
It's growing out, the blue.
The blue's growing out and I'm getting these little grow-out marks.
I'm not happy with it anymore. But I'd like to do it again.
I'm in this film. I mean, I--
Do you think this is, sort of, like someone's playing a joke on me?
I'm in this film.
I got to see me in it, just for a minute.
I'd quite like to hear my Spanish, you know.
That was me saying, "Come on, Jack" in Spanish.
"Come on, Jack."
-Isn't-- Aren't you in this, Ewan? -I am.
I play Elmont, a knight with fantastic hair.
I don't know. I don't remember where I am at this point in the story.
Here we go.
-I never watched-- -There you are!
There we are.
Did you see? Look.
-That's an ending. -Hey, that's it? Bad guy's done.
Great. I'll do a tattoo with it here.
-There we are. Gracias. -¡Gracias!
That was hilarious.
And your Spanish.
Spanish is pretty good, yeah. It's amazing how much--
how quickly you lose it, you know, over the years.
This is the Gorge of Shells.
It gets its name from its unique-looking rock formations.
We're gonna stop by a natural amphitheater known for its amazing acoustics.
Apparently, only a few people come here. It's quite unknown.
So, nobody knows about it.
Wow, look at that.
Got a whole bunch of them, a couple of busloads.
Wow, that is
something else, isn't it?
It reminds me of like, a-- like some kind of chocolate cake.
All the layers of crispy chocolate.
And then they're--
And then there's thin layers of cream in between.
Do you see? There's sort of layers.
And it's all kind of sunk a little bit, you know?
It's gone a little bit-- The sponge has got a little bit soft.
That kid's just knocking them all down.
Someone spent ages-- ages putting that up.
-He likes the ones on the edge. -Yeah, they fall nicer.
They fall further.
-Please? -Yes?
-There -Yes, of course.
I will go there.
-Thank you very much. -Make sure you like them.
-Thank you very much. -Make sure you like it, and I can do more.
-I did a few. I don't know. -You are--
You know how to-- Thank you. Thank you very much.
-Great. Good. -Thank you very much.
No, no. My pleasure.
We're gonna go on the Cloud Train.
It's called the Cloud Train 'cause under certain circumstances
the train journey is above the clouds.
But you have to be lucky to have that happen on your trip.
And now we're seeing the clouds have lown.
It takes us on a short round trip through the highest part of the Andes.
So, we're sort of keeping our fingers crossed
that the train will be above the clouds.
-We're quite high up. -I know. We're 12,000 feet.
It's quite a good altitude, no?
Yeah. That's nice and high.
Twelve thousand feet, and we're still going up.
They're getting higher, the mountains, aren't they? Over here.
Higher and higher.
Definitely higher than we've ever been,
and it's clearly starting to affect Taylor.
He's really starting to show signs of altitude sickness.
Now we're dealing with some real elements.
Nobody knows how elevation affects them until they're in it.
It's a funny thing, you know. It's nothing for some people, and it--
and it does affect other people in a big way, so
Really, the aim of the day is just to get to this train.
And I've been looking forward to sitting on this train for a few hours
and enjoying the ride.
How many miles did you say it was to the train?
It is 20 miles to go, and I've got 21 miles left.
I'm chewing through the battery.
Gonna be touch and go, I would say.
I'm gonna have to knock it back. Just too uphill.
Straight into the wind, as well.
There's really nowhere to go here, you know. This is--
These are big, vast, empty expanses.
No place to find petrol or a charge.
Those bikes, the range has been-- It's been wide, you know.
And every day is an experiment out here.
It's really-- You have no idea.
Winds, Jesus.
It's all we need.
I can't see how we're gonna get through this one.
I'm at the point now where I'm just-- I don't think I'm gonna make it.
Let's get behind that Sprinter.
-Right, Ewan? -Yeah. Okay.
The boys are right behind you,
so don't brake under any circumstances.
They are very, very close behind you.
Look at that. How dangerous is that?
A foot off his back bumper to try and reduce the wind resistance.
We told them in that van not to brake under any circumstances.
Totally crazy.
-Totally crazy! -Crazy! What are we doing?
Ewan is literally 6 inches off your back bumper,
so keep it dead, dead smooth.
We are in cruise control and not braking.
So the guys are drafting behind the Sprinter van that we have.
And Russ is even taking some of the wind resistance off the left too.
It's like driving in a vortex. No winds.
I've had 14 miles on my range for quite a while.
I've got-- Yeah, 16. So it's working.
It's working. And what's the actual mileage?
-Twelve. -So this is working.
-Good job. -This might just get us there.
It's probably not the most relaxing way to do this trip but, you know.
So long as there's no extreme braking, we're fine.
We made it.
San Antonio de los Cobres is our last night in Argentina,
and this is one of the highest towns in the world.
I'm really starting to feel the altitude now.
All right. Well, that was good.
As soon as we were close to the Sprinter, the mileage just didn't go down.
It just didn't go down. It's all wind resistance.
Got quite the headache starting, the altitude.
Taylor's sick.
When you go uphill,
the number of red blood cells in your bloodstream goes down.
So there's less oxygen reaching your brain.
We were driving up here
and it was really cold.
I just sort of
huddled in and got sort of warm and
felt like the center, and then right--
Relax. Esta todo bien.
Taylor's not great.
Would you mind just, you know, maybe just give him a little cuddle?
-And just tell him he's gonna be okay? -Yeah.
Oh, man, I'm sorry.
If I had put money on who would've gotten a bit of altitude sickness,
-it wouldn't have been you. -I know.
-So, I'm sorry, mate. -It's so dumb.
-It's awful. -Is he okay? Because--
The best thing to do if you're feeling altitude sickness is to just get back low.
-Yeah. -Just go back down again.
You're all right, man. Don't worry about it.
Well, we're gonna miss you, Taylor.
Good luck, and we'll see you in a few days' time.
He looked really in bad shape and was gutted that he couldn't continue.
But, you know, when you get altitude sickness, it's just debilitating.
You can't do anything about it. You have to go back down low.
He's-- He'll meet us again in Bolivia.
Really thin air. It's giving me a bit of a high.
I'm just totally going with it.
Wow, aren't they great?
I mean, it's schoolkids.
Here we are at the sky train
And I haven't got any--
I can't really breathe at the sky train
And we're so high up with my orange
You ready for the old Malteser thing?
-All right, here we go. -Ready?
-Do it, Charley. -I might pass out
'cause we're at altitude.
Can you do it with your other hand, Charley?
You're gonna pass out. That was good.
-That was almost good. -They can just freeze-frame it.
-The air is too thin. -Try with the other hand, 'cause--
Here we go. Sit back and relax.
Called the Cloud Train because it's so high
that clouds form underneath the train.
-Right. -It's about 3,200 meters, I think.
-They started building it in around 1920. -Yeah.
And I think it took about 30 years to complete.
Look at this gorge. Look at that down there.
Oh, my God! Look at that! Really horribly high.
It's giving me real vertigo.
Okay, man up, just man up.
I'm loving it. I love it!
I found some
nail varnish remover and cotton wool.
I'm ready to move on.
I haven't told my kids yet, but
Jamyan and Anouk, I'm sorry, but the blue is coming off tonight.
It's gonna a big day. It's over 200 miles.
We're going over to the Chilean border, and then we're climbing up.
It's a big climb up to 4,000 meters.
Now we are at
We're at, well-- We need to climb another 700 meters.
The wind is gonna start increasing every time more in the afternoon.
-Okay. -Which is very strong.
It's gonna drop minus ten, minus 15 at this altitude.
Look at these.
These guys are dealing with the same elements that we are,
but on push bikes.
Because there was that terrible headwind.
It's a tour. Look. It's "MTB Adventure Salta."
Adventure Salta.
That's amazing.
So we're going up, up, up.
Bad gravel, quite a-- quite a ways.
And if there's wind and stuff up there,
the issue, of course, is that we might run out of juice.
And if we run out of juice before we get to the Chilean border,
we could be in trouble.
So we have to be a bit ginger with it as we go up.
A ginger climb.
Chile, here we come.
-Look where we're going. -Uppity up.
-Bumpy, bumpy. -All right.
Rough riders of the world, unite.
This could well be the two men pushing bikes up the Andes.
Up the Andes.
Look at the dust from down there.
-Look at that view. -Stunning, isn't it?
This is one of the great roads.
-The highlands of Argentina. Oh, my God. -The highlands of Argentina.
-Let's stop. -Yeah.
Wow. That really is something.
Spectacular. And we're only gonna continue to just wind our way uppity-up, up.
I almost dropped the bike.
There's no question that this is one of the most remote corners
of the Andes.
And I think this is one of the highest borders in the world.
Ice in the water there. Frozen a bit.
It's really, really cold. Really cold.
So, Ewan, what's this?
Just riding along and it-- it smelled really like sulfur.
And I was thinking it might be warm, and it is warm.
It's obviously a hot spring.
-Oh, my gosh! Feel it. -Is it really warm?
I mean, it's not really, really warm, but it's warmer than it should be.
Oh, yeah. It's definitely warm.
-It's amazing, isn't it? -Yeah, that's cool.
Straight out of the earth, man.
God. It's hard to catch a breath, isn't it?
Yeah, it's 15,000 there. I think we do get to 15,000 in a minute.
-We're 14 something at the moment. -Yeah.
Yeah. I don't think that's a good idea.
It's so beautiful, the way the road is cut into the hill.
Look at that. It's so gorgeous.
That was almost me down.
-Yeah. -Yeah. Almost lost the front there.
It's so cool, this road though.
-I know. It's awesome, isn't it? -Yeah.
Are we going the right way?
This is the name-- This is the name of the border crossing.
Right? "Paso Internacional de Sico."
-Now, unless they're all called that. -Yeah.
But that one--
What's funny about that one is that one says Paso de Sico on the 51.
And that's the one that we want to go on, the 51.
That's what we were told. But this
51 is telling us to go that way.
Paso Internacional de Sico. This way or this way?
-It's this one. -This way?
-Route 51. -Paso Internacional de Sico.
This way? Not this road.
-No, no, no. -No, this one. Okay. Gracias.
Do you think they're all called Paso Internacional de Sico?
Yes, I do. Yeah.
Okay. So that's not an indication of
the border.
-Hola. -Hola.
Very well.
Do you guys know which way the border is?
I don't know. Whichever you prefer.
-Okay. Gracias. -Okay.
-My instinct is it's that one over there. -Okay, so here we go.
Right. Well, let's do it.
I don't know if we're going the right way
I have a bad feeling about this
You know, I don't know anymore.
Oh, well.
Well, it's a hell of a road to see anyway.
Be even nicer if we were convinced it was the right road.
-You could enjoy it more. -I know.
I just get the feeling
there are very few people who pass this way, you know.
Don't see any signs of a border at the moment.
Not a soul in sight.
I think there is a border crossing here, but unmanned.
And if we come across it and there's no one there
I'm seeing something on the road.
Could it be a cameraperson?
No, it's a road sign.
Might be up there on the right where all those buildings are.
-Do you see? Are they buildings or snow? -Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-It could be up there. -Yeah, that's probably it.
Bloody hell.
-Think I can see people. -I think I can see people.
-I hope they're our people. -Yeah.
Unless we get there and it's a bunch of total strangers.
-I see a tripod. -Yeah.
Yeah, it's us.
Whew. I've never been more happy to see people.
Hello, people.
This is it. Here's the border.
You're driving over here for, like, forever.
And none of this is getting any closer and you're thinking,
-"Is someone just moving the road?" -Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Is someone doing that on the other side of the road?
Going like that.
And you're going, "Look, hang on a minute. Stop."
Oh, boy.
Who's got a packet of peanuts? Come on.
In altitude, that's what you eat.
Please, sir. Please. Please.
Could I have some, please? Thank you.
If I have any advice to any travelers watching the show
when you're gonna do a trip like this
just before you leave, learn your passport number.
Saves such a lot of-- Did I do that? No.
Is it like just learning someone's phone number? Yes.
Do we do that anymore because of our smartphones? No.
I'm just doing what I know.
My name is McGregor
of the Clan McGregor.
My first name is Ewan.
Nationality, American.
Bet all the people in Scotland, like, just losing their shit right now.
"Scotland not good enough for him?"
Where are you from?
-Brazil. -Brazil?
Nine thousand kilometers, he's done.
That's a lot.
-That's a lot. -One year and three months.
-One year and three months? -Si.
He must make these and sell them on the way.
Isn't it cute?
He made this little bicycle, and I put it on the front of my bike.
We're leaving Argentina, which is bittersweet,
but sweet because we're moving on up.
But sad because it's just been amazing, Argentina.
It's been such a lovely place to visit.
The people have been wonderful and friendly,
and it's just sad to be leaving it, really.
But when you look at it, we're already halfway up South America now,
which is really exciting.
We're heading across the Atacama Desert
to San Pedro de Atacama,
the last town in Chile before we cross the border to Bolivia.
The soil samples here are similar to the samples they've taken on Mars.
NASA uses this area to test new instruments for future missions,
could you imagine? That's pretty cool.
-How are you? -Saturnino.
-Ewan. Nice to meet you, Saturnino. -Hola.
-Saturnino. -That's a great name.
Maybe you can tell us a bit more about the salt mine,
because we don't know anything about that.
Extracting salt from this place has always been difficult
because of the hardness of the ground around here.
So they have to dig many meters deep
to find the crystalized blocks of salt.
Crystalized and pure.
Because most of it is impure.
They used to cave a lot, very deeply, in order to get this block of crystals,
in order to have a clean piece of salt to cook.
So, what's the story with this bus?
This bus they used to bring like workers, miners
to salt mine
-Right. -to come and stay here.
So they would drive them up and they would sleep in the bus?
-Yeah. -But not because it was stuck,
but they would just leave the bus because that's how they--
Yes. And then they continues living.
Since it was stuck, they create this refuge.
-Yeah. -But now stay here forever,
and it's getting more rundown than ever now, no?
I'd love to do a big trip in a bus.
It is amazing here. I might find an old bus.
I'd like to find an old bus. I just can't imagine how it got here.
-Imagine trying to drive this bus here. -Well--
Well, no wonder-- It's no wonder.
You can see what happened. They got here and it broke. That was it.
We've definitely got to leave our mark on this bus.
Think you have to do a little cock and balls somewhere
-Okay. -because there isn't one.
All on our journey, wherever we've been, you see graffiti tags and you see--
But it's the most, you know--
There's always a cock and balls, isn't there? Always.
And there wasn't one in here, so I think we've left one.
Wow. Look, it's everywhere. Look, do you see it?
-Yeah. Tastes heavy. -I wonder how many people have--
-Have done that? -Exactly.
Don't say that.
Wow, look. It's just all salt.
How beautiful that is. Look at the ridges.
There we go. I don't want to take too much.
-That's plenty. -Wow.
-Do you know what it tastes like? -What?
-Salt. -No!
-Yeah. It's really salty. -God!
Here we are, a little bit of salt.
And I'm gonna just crumble it up and put it in my egg in the morning.
I think one of the things I love the most about these trips
is being in these huge spaces, you know.
In modern life, you're very rarely in that kind of scale.
And you said something yesterday when you said it's sort of humbling.
And I think it's true. It sort of puts you in touch
-Yeah, it does. -with yourself and the world, in a way.
And you realize, it's the beauty of it and the vastness of it.
That's a bit scary.
Your mustache is quite-- Well, it's a bit longer now.
This is my favorite thing in here.
Just need some panpipes now.
-It has like a Nepalese feeling, no? -That's nice. Yeah.
-Gracias. -Gracias.
-Gracias. -Gracias.
Don't wrap it. I'll wear it out.
-She likes it. -She likes it, yeah.
-She likes it. -I'll tell you what though, I would feel--
What I'm doing here is just blending in.
-Hola. -Hola.
I think she was taking the piss out of my hat, you know?
Some people just can't take a hat.
It was Ewan's idea to start pimping up Claudio's bike,
and so he found these.
So we're just gonna stick 'em on.
We have to think-- I'd like to get those round his headlight.
Round there? Can we do it if we did them like that?
-Maybe just-- -And just cable tie 'em.
Cable tie 'em. That's good, actually.
-Have you got the snippy snippers? -Yeah.
That's good. On his new forks.
Pretty good, though.
-Looks good. -Little splash of color.
It's gonna be-- It's gonna be such fun to follow him.
I will fly through customs at the Bolivian border with this.
Has to work.
Oh, my God, here we go. We're gonna be in Bolivia shortly.
I've got too many clothes on. I have got too many layers.
I assumed it was gonna be cold.
And it might prove to be when we get out on the open road, I don't know.
But right now I am sweating my off.
There it is, there. There is the volcano ahead of us.
There's, like, seven volcanoes along this ridge.
We go up, round, behind that volcano, and that's where Bolivia is.
Super excited to get going up there. Really, really, I am.
-Hello? -There you are, Charley.
Hello! I forget to turn it on.
I was just telling the people back home
how excited I am to be going up round that volcano to Bolivia!
Yeah, but I'm kind of sad to leave Argentina and Chile.
I've really enjoyed the two places.
Although the two of them run side by side, they're both very different.
So it's been incredible.
This is the Chile border here.
-You're feeling good? -How are you doing?
I'm good. Looks like you're altitude-proof.
-Why? Is this highest point we'll be? -One of the highest points.
We're at 4,700 meters above sea right now.
-This is 4,700 meters? -Yes.
One of the highest points, yes.
-You feeling okay? -Yeah, why?
-No, 'cause this is the highest point. -Is it?
-Yeah, one of the highest points. -This is 4,700 meters.
Is it 4,700 meters? I thought it was 2,200.
That's San Pedro de Atacama.
Now I feel crap.
Oh, my God! Call a doctor.
Wait a second.
-Breathe, breathe, breathe! -I need mouth-to-mouth.
No, not Dave. Not Dave. I'm fine.
I'm fine.
-God. -How's your--
I saw Dave coming at me out of the sun with his tongue out.
How you feeling now?
The trouble is our documents are always getting mixed up,
'cause we're always doing it next to each other.
So I gave the gentlemen Charley's paperwork.
Let's say goodbye to Max. I wanna say goodbye to this guy.
Oh, no, Max! This is a joke I like
I can't say goodbye. I don't wanna say goodbye.
I can't say goodbye, so let's say au revoir.
Nope, I can't say that either.
You guys
I don't know. It breaks my heart to leave, actually,
because this really felt like a year, you know.
It's just very hard to leave a family, man.
Yeah, dude.
And I'm glad to meet you all. Just that. Yeah.
Well done, mate. Well done. Take care. Well done.
That's it.
Argentina and Chile for five weeks. It's taken us a long time.
-It's just been fantastic. See you soon. -See you later, guys.
-Take care, Max. -Sorry, Ewan.
Okay. We are out-- officially out of Chile.
We are now in no-man's-land.
We'll arrive at the Bolivian passport control.
The next few days, I think, are gonna be a little rough.
I like their flag. The Bolivian flag is cool.
-Beautiful flag. -Yeah.
Look, dry meat. Just hanging out the washing.
It's very fresh. Amazing.
-Documents? -Si.
Photocopies of your passport?
Why? He is British.
No, he's American.
He wants a photocopy of the passport?
-Do you have your UK passport? -Yes.
You can use that one.
-Why? -Because you'll need a visa with this one.
-Okay. -He has two passports.
It doesn't matter that I've come out of the other one on this one?
No, it doesn't matter. Huh?
The Chilean stamp is here on this passport.
But he can enter with that one, right?
No, no.
We don't have the papers for his visa.
So, he can't
-Yes, he can. -No, no.
Now that's interesting.
I've come in with my American passport and it needs a visa.
Where is the officer, so we can speak to him?
Turn off the camera, please, because you can't record it.
Can you turn off the camera?
They might lock him up. I saw a prison back there.
We've crossed so many borders, you know,
Long Way Round, Long Way Down, now Long Way Up.
But every time you come up to a border,
you have absolutely no idea what's in store.
You just came in on your American passport, didn't you?
Used my American passport all the way through the trip.
And when you stamp into a country on a passport,
you have to stamp out on it.
Otherwise, they're like, "Where-- How did you get in?"
So that's what I've done.
But an American passport requires a visa to get into Bolivia.
I don't have a visa to get into Bolivia.
Yeah, I need 160 bucks off Ewan McGregor.
Ewan, please.
I've heard that before. 160 bucks, Ewan McGregor.
I don't know. We were told to leave.
-Yeah. -Anyway, it's resolved.
We bought an American visa, and now I'm legally in Bolivia.
Bolivia, here we go.
With a beautiful lake, the flamingos.
My God! It's just beautiful.
This is amazing. The colors.
The red and then the green.
And then over there, the yellow and orange.
What's that?
Is it like Omar Sharif coming on his camel?
Or is it just a road sign?
Oh, my God!
That just totally-- A dust devil just happened here.
You okay?
It really sandblasted my nose, man.
Look at that.
We're heading into the Siloli Desert now,
here in the heart of this volcanic landscape.
But there's no roads now. It's just tracks like this.
And it's gonna be quite a rough ride, I think.
Wow. This road is bumpy.
It is, like, bumpy, and it is soft sand and--
It is hard work.
Sort of get stuck in a lane.
You can see a smooth bit, and you wanna get over to it, but
you get stuck behind these piles of gravel and--
I worry that when you cross them, you know
it could sort of throw you off.
It's really corrugated. The ripples are really bad.
Got 87 miles
to where we're supposed to stay tonight.
Here we go.
It's horrible here.
Oh, my God!
Horrible. Horrible.
You've just gotta really look for the smooth bits,
otherwise you're just gonna destroy yourself.
Oh, God. My hand's getting so sore on the throttle.
That is bad. That is bad.
Oh, my goodness. These roads might be a little bit--
Wow. I'm falling off!
You okay? You all right?
Good, I'm fine.
I was lucky. I just started climbing the soft edge.
So it just threw me off onto the soft stuff, so--
-As long as you didn't hurt anything. -No, no, no. Not at all.
Yeah, I'm so scared of falling off these days.
-Are you all right? -Yeah, no. I mean--
Yeah, no. I'm sure. I think about it a lot.
You know, I don't bring it up with you because I--
I don't want to bring it up to you, but I do think about it.
It's dangerous, really.
I think you've been incredibly ballsy, if you don't mind me saying so.
This is a little bit more than we were expecting, but we'll get there.
-Are you okay there? -Yeah, I'm just waddling through.
Should we stop here?
I'm scared for myself when my bike shakes its head in the sand.
And I'm scared that I'm gonna hurt myself.
And then I'm riding behind Charley, who's smashed his legs up,
and I'm scared for him when I see his bike shake its head.
I have real fear, right? I don't want anyone to get hurt.
I don't want anyone to get hurt. So, all of that--
was that journey this morning.
And I think we were just, like, weren't really expecting it.
And it was hard work. And we had a laugh.
-Like, we were-- -We were laughing a lot.
We're quite good at keeping each other going.
And that's a beautiful thing about us, is that we're--
When it's tough, sometimes that's when we have the funniest times.
-Gotta get in. -Wanna go in with the guys.
We can chat to them, see where they come from.
These guys are from Germany, Austria, and they all speak English.
Jeez, thank God you haven't got Smell-O-Vision. Jesus Chr--
Oh, my God!
-Yeah, I know, right? -Oh, my God! That's so nice!
-Are you guys cyclists? -Yeah.
-They're bicyclists. -Wow, fantastic.
When did you start?
-Different. -Different.
-I start in Alaska. -Actually, we are all--
-Yeah, yeah, yeah. -Seven months ago.
-Seven months? -Seventeen months.
-That's pretty good going, man. -Wow.
And you guys?
I started in Cartagena, Colombia seven months ago.
-Santa Cruz four weeks. -Four weeks.
-With a bike, it's tough. -Yeah.
-It's tough. -Is it very corrugated?
-Yeah, sometimes. -Very sandy.
-Sandy and washboard, yeah. -Sandy and steep sometimes.
And the altitude is also a problem.
-It's only half oxygen. -Yeah.
The last month, I spent almost around 4,000 meters all the time.
Like the Altiplano in Bolivia and in Peru.
The southern part is also relatively high. So, I'm quite--
But you're gonna be like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Pedaling like this, and you'll be going, "My God! I'm going faster and faster."
Let me see your hands.
Can I see your hands?
-Yes. -How long have you been in here?
-One hour. -It's 45 minutes.
-Oh, really? -An hour, I think.
We gotta get back on the road 'cause darkness comes very quickly here.
What's the plan? What are we gonna do? Are we between a rock and a hard place?
-Yeah, absolutely. -We're-- 'Cause it's 5:05.
You have an hour and a half to the next refuge
-Yes. Okay. -to the Red Lagoon.
Another hour beyond that to get to the hotel that we planned to stay at.
They say the roads get a little bit better, they think. No?
-Have they been on that road yet? -No.
-No. -So they don't know. That's a good point.
They don't know what they're talking about.
Yeah. They have no idea what they're talking about.
This area that we're going into now is probably gonna be the most remote,
and some of the harshest environment that you guys are gonna come across.
And when I say remote, I really mean it.
Like, absolutely nobody lives out there.
You know, we're in a situation where it's very hard to evacuate.
Wow. Look at that.
This is like endurance at this stage. It's just survival.
We're committed and we gotta do it.
I would say dark, for sure, by the time we get there.
And this will be quite dangerous to ride in in the dark. And also
so bitterly cold.
The minute the sun goes down, it just drops temperature.
Oh, my God. Just
so exhausted.
If we have to do the rest of it, I need to change.
My socks are wet.
No, we can't. We can't. I don't think we can do the rest of it.
Well, if we can't-- If there's nowhere to stay
Yeah. Yeah.
then we might have to.
But then all I'm saying is I'd have to change.
I can't feel my toes or my fingers anymore.
We're going to the Red Lagoon.
Isn't the hotel we're supposed to stay at. I have no idea what it is.
Is it a hotel with walls or is it just shacks?
Somebody told me these are just shacks with no heating.
You have to stay in there with blankets. That's it.
But I have no idea.
We don't know if we can charge from this place,
and these Rivians need a charger.
I can see a light on the left.
If there's light, that means there's electricity.
If there's electricity, that means there can be heat.
If there's heat, that means that there can be food.
-We're staying here. Yeah. -Stay here.
But we gotta charge the cars, right?
I think we better get to the hotel.
'Cause we need to charge our cars up overnight.
'Cause otherwise we're dead tomorrow. We ain't goin' anywhere.
If we follow you, everyone else stays here--
Yeah, literally just the two SUVs.
Get the Rivians to the hotel, we plug it in, charge in the morning.
Yeah, yeah.
Jeez, I'm so excited to be here.
I just-- It's just that
that feeling when you're
where it gets dark and it's cold and you're
you just want a refuge, you know.
It's like ancient travelers or something. Just something--
It's like you get in touch with some ancient way of life.
You're like, "Okay, now I need somewhere to sleep for the night,
somewhere to keep the wind and the cold off."
This is excellent. This is that.
We were gonna head on because, obviously, we've got these massive batteries,
and if we don't charge 'em then we would be stuck
-for, like, a 24-hour period. -Okay.
I mean, it's not the end of the world, but we can do it.
So the thought is we're gonna try to--
I don't even know if I have enough juice to get there-- to try to go.
Two Rivians and the Sprinter, follow the Land Cruiser.
We take a-- It's gonna be difficult, but we got an hour's ride to this hotel.
So ridiculous. We're always saying how we're not gonna ride at night.
Next thing you know
we're riding at night.
I've got 25% left in my car.
But Dave, he's down now to I think 7 or 8%.
But it's dropping fast. Must be the temperature outside.
So it'll be touch and go whether he can make it.
And the rut's big enough that it doesn't matter how you try to correct.
It's gonna take you wherever you wanna go--
wherever it wants to go, and there's a cliffside right here.
If that keeps dropping, it'll mean we'll run out before we get there.
But I'm thinking we just keep--
I think we just keep going.
Jesus, the suspension.
Can you hear that scratching?
That's the wheel on the wheel arch, and there's a big dark-- Watch it!
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