Long Way Round and Down

Do you like learning about the world? Do you like motorcycles? Do you think that Ewan McGregor is easy on the eyes? If you have answered yes to any or all of those questions, then keep reading.

In 2004, actor Ewan McGregor, who some may know from Trainspotting, the Star Wars prequels, or Moulin Rouge!, and his good friend, actor Charley Boorman, decided to ride around the world on motorcycles. Starting in London, their journey took them through France, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada before arriving 115 days later at their final destination, New York City.

 Ewan and Charley met on the set of a film and have been friends ever since. Their obvious love and care for one another, their kind-hearted ribbing and enthusiasm for meeting new people and seeing new things make Ewan and Charley the most congenial of hosts. You will truly want to follow them anywhere.

Ewan and Charley also made their dream of riding around the world on motorbikes into much more, by becoming involved with UNICEF. They visit orphanages and rehabilitation centers at many points along the way, and you learn about the wonderful work UNICEF is doing for children and families.

Watching Long Way Round, you almost feel as though you are on the adventure with Ewan and Charley, hitting the tarmac or the remote, rocky roads with them. I used to love the show Amazing Race, when it was still about seeing different countries and learning about different cultures. This has the same adrenaline, the same fun and excitement, but you get a much richer portrait of the places visited (of course!) than on a reality show. However, you will notice that Ewan and Charley are not proper travel documentary hosts, in the sense that they don’t know the names of all of the animals or flora and fauna; in other words, it’s no David Attenborough. But the hosts’ lack of encyclopedic knowledge just makes them all the endearing.

If you enjoy Long Way Down, you will be able to follow Ewan and Charley on another amazing trip. In 2007, they rode from Scotland down through the continent of Africa, ending at Capetown. You’ll get to see Libya, which doesn’t allow American tourists, and learn about the great continent of Africa, visit the gorillas in the mist in Rwanda, see wild zebra and elephant and meet a lot of interesting people along the way. The view that you get of Africa is breathtaking. As a result, my husband and I are now daydreaming about how to go there someday.

So check out Long Way Round and Long Way Down on DVD, or check out the accompanying books Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World and Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle from Scotland to South Africa by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman for some fantastic world travel.

3 thoughts on “Long Way Round and Down”

  1. Misha, thanks so much for this posting about Ewan and Charlie’s latest ridfe–I LOVED “Long Way Round” and had no idea they had been up to some more adventures… I am putting a hold on this right now! Thanks again!

  2. Charley has completed a series called ‘By Any Means’ where he departed Ireland and made his way to Australia by any means of transport. The aim was to aviod any large scale commercial aircraft flights and undetake tradtional forms of transport local to the area within the country the team was travelling through. A fresh take on the motorcycle adventures Charley undertook with Ewan. There is a smaller crew documenting the travels and Ewan was unavailable to commit to this adventure. Charely is brilliant solo and for me has always been the highlight. I believe that Charley is undertaking ‘By Any Means 2’ so I look forward to the next instalment.

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