Charlie and Ewan Take the Long Way Down!

Many of you probably remember the book and TV series Long Way Round in which actors Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor rode their motorcycles around the World. They started off in London, proceeded across Europe, and some very desloate areas of Asia (Russia, Mongolia, etc.), hopped a ferry to Alasksa, and cruised across the states. Well, now they’re off on their next adventure dubbed Long Way Down.

This time they’ll be riding to the southern most tip of Africa, departing once more from London. The show is set to air on the BBC in September, and hopefully will be picked up again and shown in the States as well. The first series, which is available on DVD was a lot of fun to watch. The two movie stars are long time friends, and you could tell they had an amazing time on their journey together. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s well worth the 15 bucks they’re asking for it.

Of course, they’re not the first to do this, as Lois Pryce whose book I recently reviewed has also done this epic trip on her motorcycle, and chronicled her adventures on her website. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing what Charlie and Ewan have in store for us.

Thanks Gadling!

Kraig Becker

11 thoughts on “Charlie and Ewan Take the <i>Long Way Down</i>!”

  1. Yes, LWR was an amazing series. In fact, it was partially responsible for me starting The Rest of Everest because I was thrilled to see the adventure spread out across so many episodes. Would have been a shame to see it condensed into an hour-long TV special.

    If you’re a fan, I highly recommend the delux version of LWR that includes a lot of extra footage spread across 10 episodes instead of 7 (I think) from the regular DVD set. Unfotunately, it’s not available in the USA, but you can buy it from Amazon in Canada at

    I really look forward to the new series.
    Didn’t know about it. One more reason I check this blog daily!!


  2. Thanks for the tip on the extended version of the series Jon! I’ll definitely check that out. Especially as there were times when I felt things were a little rushed and I wanted to see more.

    I enjoyed seeing these two best friends take a journey like this. I’ve always wanted to do something similar with my best friend. He just needs to convince his wife to let him join me on a crazy adventure sometime. 😉

    I imagine your recent trip to Tibet was enhanced because you were sharing it with such a good friend as well.

  3. It sure was.

    We had dreamed of trekking to Everest when we were 19. And broke. And single. I was working at Target and he was working at KB Toys.

    We’re in our 30’s now, and I’m married. He’s a National Park Ranger and I’m a Producer. We both got a bit choked up walking that final 1km to base camp a month ago. How surreal to see what our lives are like now but to still have managed to fulfill that dream together.



  4. While I had seen the book when it came out, I didn’t know they had filmed a television series about their adventure. As soon as I read this I acquired a copy of the DVD and plan on watching it this weekend.

    I’ve been to their starting point, John O’Groats, as I lived not far from there in Thurso, Scotland when I was a kid. It’s the most northern tip of the Scottish mainland. Thats a long drive to South Africa through some pretty sketchy parts of Africa.

    Once they do this all that is left for them would be the Anchorage, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in South America route which is yet another thing on my list of things to do.

  5. I was thinking the same thing. After Long Way Down they’ll have to come up with something for a ride from Alaska to Ushuaia. Of course, Lois has already done that one, so they’d be following her footsteps once again. 😉

    Still, I can’t wait for Long Way Down and I look forward to their further adventures.

    I’d love to do the Ancorage to Ushuaia trip myself. What do you say Carl? Should we set up a road trip?

  6. I loved LWR when I first saw it a while back. I agree that an adventure like that with your best friend would be an amazing experience.

    What really surprised me about the show, however, was to see Ewan be so un-hollywood!

    I mean, the guy is a movie star but he was never too full of himself to refuse a cup of goat milk on some unnamed stretch of highway in Mongolia, or share a meal with some random family (some times with automatic weapons) that had invited them to their home. That really impressed me, that he seemed to be such a down to earth guy!

    Oh, and for those of you who are anxious for the “Long Way Down” you should know that they also have the “Long Way Up” planned!

    Ok, I know this is the longest comment ever, but I just want to also mention that Charlie also did his own show, “Race to Dakar” which was really good too.

  7. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the word on Long Way Up. It’s my guess they’ll start in South America and go the opposite direction and end up in Alaska. That would be just as fun.

    I read about Charile’s Race to Dakar, but never saw it. I don’t think it aired here in the States, at least not to my knowledge. My guess is that Charlie isn’t a big enough “name” to merit the attention here in the States, where Ewan is much better known. It’s a shame though, as I’d like to see it. Perhaps I should look on BitTorrent. 😉

    And you’re right, Ewan never came across as big-shot movie star in any part of LWR. He seemed like just a normal, humble guy. I liked that we got to know both of them and see their personalities.

  8. Hi, i a a real fan of the long way round and race to dakar and am eagerly awaiting the broadcasting of long way down. I personally believe that both charlie and ewan are briliant actors and are completely different to the run of the mill actor. But, i read an article in the times today by a certain “Caitlin Moran” who bullshits about how charley is a spoilt litle brat who had no respect for anyone. Thios is infuriating, i would like her to try and axhieve some of the goals that they have and then she has the right to contradict there efforts. Also this program is mainly for either a traveller or a motorbiker. SO i dont see why some high brow stuck up columnist feels that she can have a jab at what two born petrolheads who are having fun and raising awareness for unicef be doing.;

  9. Everyone has their own opinion. I don’t know Charlie or Ewan personally of course, but they always came across as genuine and personable on screen.

    By the way, I saw a quote from Ewan this week in which he said there would be no more long distance rides. He says he misses his family too much, so it looks like Long Way Down is the last trip.

  10. thats a shame that there wont be any other long distance trips, it was good while it lasted. And it is fair to say that people can have there own opinions but i do not see the point of reviewing something that si loved by many and poo-pooing it.

  11. Some people enjoy poo-pooing something BECAUSE it’s loved by others. It’s a shame that it happens, but it does.

    Like I said though, Charlie has always come across as a rather good guy, very approachable and friendly to me. Maybe the journalist just had an axe to grind or something.

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