"Long Way Round" - A Documentary That Everyone Will Love

“Long Way Round” is a travel documentary BBC series following Ewan Mcgregor, Charley Boorman, their videographer and film crew as they motorcade LITERALLY around the world with motorcycles and 4 wheel drive vehicles. Whether you love motorcycle travel or just travel in general, the “off the beaten path” locations, problems, solutions, locals and candid moments that Mcgregor and Boorman encounter on their 18,887 mile road trip will captivate any one.

- It’s appealing to everyone, not just those who like motorcycles – When I first heard that this was a documentary about motorcycle travel I loudly said “yuck” at the suggestion of watching it. To my surprise, I stayed up until about 4 am watching the whole thing (then bought the DVD set the next day).

- Here’s what’s fascinating:
- The “getting ready” process (they essentially start their own business just to prepare).
- The locations – they don’t ride to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, oh no! They visit neighborhoods and areas not usually on a tourist’s agenda. It’s nice to see new sights from countries including Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia and others.
- The problems and their solutions – For example, at one point someone’s bike breaks down. Being resourceful, the team comes across a local man who uses his collection of tools to fix the bike. And at no charge, I believe. Other issues that pop up – border crossings, gasoline in the eyes, bug bites, a flipped over SUV and … oh yes, unpaved roads and no roads at all.
- The locals – most of these people don’t speak English and you get to watch as everyone tries to communicate. Complete strangers, who have no idea who either actor is, invite them into their dwellings (I say dwelling because some live in tents, mansions, brick buildings with one room, trailers, etc.). Each country brings new characters onto the stage that are not characters at all, but real human beings.

- The preparation takes a little long (which usually makes me hit fast forward), but stick with it, because once they’re on the road, the adventures begin and you won’t be able to stop watching.
- The DVD shows the opening sequence and credits between each episode, which is a little annoying.

Unique Qualities:
- This whole series is unique. How often do you get to see an A list star in the most un-Hollywood of landscapes such as the Road of Bones in Russia?! Um, never, ‘til this amazing travel showcase came along.
- Mcgregor and Boorman are always fun to watch, but the rest of the crew members are just as entertaining and resourceful.

Have you seen this documentary? Did you see “Long Way Down” on July 31? What are your thoughts on travel documentaries? Any you can suggest?

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

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