It’s been a while since Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman have done one of their epic motorcycle trips. Thirteen years ago, in 2007, they gave us Long Way Down. The trek south from John o’ Groats in Scotland to South America’s Cape Town was a massive undertaking. It was a journey that gave us a glimpse into the cultures and scenery of the UK, Europe, and Africa. It was fun to watch, though perhaps not as much so as their prior series: Long Way Round.
2004’s adventure from London eastward around the planet to New York was a massive undertaking. It was the first major video release of its kind and showed us the world in a way we had never seen. The drama unfolded in the riding, the border crossings, the wilds of Russia, and so on and so on. Led by McGregor and Boorman, we were treated to a Top Gear Special-esque film series that graced our screens with equal parts cultural/country education as well as a thriller of a fairly hardcore motorcycling docu-series. It opened eyes and helped expand hobbies. Adventure-focused motorcycle trips as well as that of the expedition and self-sufficient overlanding finally got screen-time. Things were very different when they completed their round-the-world trip in 2004 on their BMW GS bikes, and they’ve come a long way for the newest installment.
It’s been a long time coming, and amidst endless rumors, we finally have Long Way Up coming soon. This journey starts at the tip of South America in Ushuaia, a place my co-host Chris and I have discussed multiple times recently on our podcast. the film begins with Charley, Ewan, and the support crew and follows their journey north. Along the way, they visit Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Central America, and, Mexico.
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the newest McGregor-Boorman story is their choice of transportation. Eschewing conventional gas-powered bikes, they did the whole ride on Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycles. Furthering the difficulty of their task even further, their support crew ditched their Mitsubishis and Nissans for Rivian electric vehicles, as well. How did they fare? We’ll have to wait to find out.
Long Way Up will be available streaming on Apple+ on September 18th. I’m truly excited about this– I’ve watched Long Way Round and Long Way Down more times than I can count and have read the books, too. I can’t wait to see how Long Way Up pans out. Only a few weeks left…