Long Way Round

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[edit] General Information

Travel Documentary published by Others in 2004 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: Long-Way-Round-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

Long Way Round (LWR) is a documentary documenting the 19,000-mile (31,000 km) journey of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman from London to New York on motorcycles. They travelled eastwards through Europe and Asia, flew to Alaska and continued by road from there to New York.

From 14 April 2004 to 29 July 2004, McGregor, Boorman, motorcycle riding cameraman Claudio von Planta and their support crew travelled from London to New York, via Western and Central Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia and Canada, for a cumulative distance of 18,887 miles (30,396 km). The only sections of the trip not undertaken by motorcycle were 580 miles (930 km) by train in Siberia, which circumvented the Zilov Gap; a short impassable section towards the end of their Russian journey, which was undertaken by truck; and a 2,505-mile (4,031 km) flight from Magadan in eastern Russia to Anchorage, Alaska.

Upon encountering numerous swollen rivers and a serious lack of functioning bridges while travelling along the Road of Bones to Magadan, the riders got their BMW motorbikes through some fairly deep rivers. However, the summer run-off from the Siberian winter was in full flow and after a valiant effort, the bikes eventually had to be loaded into the trucks of passing drivers and ferried across a few of the deepest rivers.

The journey visited twelve countries, starting in the UK, then passing through France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, USA and Canada, ending in New York. The team mainly stayed in hotels while travelling in Europe, North America and populated parts of Russia but frequently had no option but to camp after reaching Kazakhstan and Mongolia. They took time to visit a variety of sights and landmarks while travelling, including the Church of Bones in the Czech Republic, the Mask of Sorrow monument in Magadan, Russia and Mount Rushmore in the USA. They ultimately arrived in New York on schedule and rode into the city accompanied by a phalanx of bikers, including McGregor's father Jim and the Orange County Choppers crew.

[edit] Episode 1

Trip preparation - Ewan and Charley get ready for their adventure
Ewan and Charley start mapping out their route, talking through the countries that will make up their 'Long Way Round' the world. They have meetings with fixers and officials to get more information about the places where 'people never come back from'.

Next comes the physical and mental preparation for the trip: fitness training, kidnap avoidance and first aid instruction, gathering and testing of equipment and clothing and of course, getting the required vaccinations.

[edit] Episode 2

More preparations - Ewan and Charley leave London
Prior to riding up to Scotland and a visit to Ewan's parents, we hear Ewan's thoughts on leaving his family. In turn his mother and grandmother air their feelings about the trip. In a later visit with Charley's family his wife, Ollie, daughters and grandmother all give their views on his adventure.

The day of departure and all final bits of gear are packed into the bikes and cars. Ewan and Charley with heavily-laden bikes are sent off from HQ with a planet-shaped cake, banners, cheering and applause from the crew, family and friends. Charley almost drops his bike. Final thoughts from Ewan and Charley accompany shots of them driving through the streets of London.

[edit] Episode 3

Through Europe - Adventures in Ukraine
Charlie and Ewan are off on their trip, with their adventure leading them to Prague, Slovakia, and the Ukraine.
Ewan and Charley are finally on the road, all happy and excited to be there. Once in Slovakia, Charley and Ewan admire the landscape and stop to visit a castle in Bojnice which they end up getting thrown out of. Just before the border out of Slovakia and into Ukraine, the guys are warned by a local about 'grossa mafia' in Ukraine.

On their bikes again, Ewan and Charley comment on how different culturally and yet so close geographically Ukraine is. In Kiev, Ewan and Charley visit UNICEF's project with the children of Chernobyl. The visit reveals the importance of the charity's role in the trip (i.e. that it's more than just a vanity project).

[edit] Episode 4

Driving through Kazakhstan
A short hop into Russia and they are on board a ferry heading for Kazakhstan.
Almost immediately they encounter the horrible roads they've been dreading. Claudio (the cameraman) falls first. Later Ewan admits to being scared about falling off and nervous about the bad roads.

More terrible roads: Ewan talks about wobbling all over and Charley, the experienced off-roader says they are the worst roads he's ever seen. On cue we see the guys struggling with their bikes in the sand.

At their second camp Ewan reveals a bug bite on his forehead and explains how being scared of failing on the bike has exhausted him. Ewan is very down. Charley shares some of the same concerns.

[edit] Episode 5

Entering Mongolia - Roads get difficult
Before Ewan and Charley enter Mongolia, they have a small portion of Russia they must travel through first. They are thrilled to be on decent roads again, and make good time driving to Barnaul, a rather large Westernized city. The guys are shocked to be back in modern civilization, but quickly push on.

Ewan and Charley are taken by surprise by the stunning gorgeous Altai region they find themselves in. Snow-covered mountain passes and lush green valleys greet them as they make their way to a river to clean up. After a quick skinny-dip in a freezing stream-and a night camping-the guys drive to the Mongolian border. Ewan is feeling tired, which is not a good start as Mongolia will demand all they have.

There are literally no roads in Mongolia as we know them. Instead, the guys must follow tracks marked in the earth by trucks. Passing a heard of elk, we quickly realize Mongolia is the poster child for "middle of nowhere."

[edit] Episode 6

Through Mongolia
Ewan and Charley push on through Mongolia despite their setbacks and their spirits are lifted by the beauty and kindness of the people, but they know the Road of Bones lies just ahead.
An accident, combined with the days and days of horrendous roads they've just endured, causes Ewan and Charley to look at the map to see how much farther they have to go in Mongolia, as they are only covering about 25 miles per hour, at best.

Ewan sees a possible solution to their problem-they can simply bypass the rest of Mongolia and head north back into Russia, where there are paved roads. Charley is obviously scared at the prospect of driving through the rest of Mongolia, but doesn't know whether to take the bypass or not.

[edit] Episode 7

Russia - The frighting Road of bones
Ewan and Charley are battling in the remote, hostile and marshy conditions on the Road of Bones.
Pushing on despite many setbacks, Ewan and Charley immerse themselves in the rich culture and their spirits are lifted by the beauty and kindness of the people of Mongolia. They know that the Road of Bones in Siberia (built by Stalin's prisoners) lies ahead and will surely test them further.

After getting on the Road of bones the boys are battling against the remote, hostile and marshy Siberian conditions, and lack of food plus impenetrable rivers and collapsed bridges. Their fighting spirit takes over and Ewan and Charley determine to make up for the lost time.

[edit] Episode 8

Enter Alaska - Bears, glaciers, forest fires and more
The home stretch through North America holds unexpected dangers, but it's all worth it to reach the finish line.

[edit] Episode 9

Final stretch through the USA ending in New York city
The home stretch through North America holds secret dangers. Weeks of off-road driving take their toll with the risk of falling asleep at the wheel on one long tarmac road. In Canada a reckless driver causes a near fatal accident with Ewan. But it's all worth it when they are greeted with a triumphant arrival in NYC with a convey of bikers.

[edit] Episode 10

Looking back at the trip, interviews and more.

[edit] Screenshots

Image: Long-Way-Round-Screen0.jpg

[edit] Technical Specs

  • Episode Size (MB) . : 744 MB
  • Total Size (MB) ..... : 7443 MB
  • Duration .............. : ~44 minutes
  • Video Codec ....... : XviD MPEG-4 codec
  • Resolution .......... : 720 x 400 (416 some of them)
  • Aspect Ratio ....... : 1.80:1
  • Video Bitrate ...... : 2108 KB/s
  • Framerate .......... : 25 FPS
  • Quality Factor ..... : 0.292 B/px
  • Audio Codec ....... : FAST Multimedia AG DVM (Dolby AC3)
  • Audio Bitrate ...... : 256 KB/s (CBR)
  • Channels ............ : 2 Ch
  • Sampling Rate .... : 48000 Hz
  • Ripped by ......... : Obelisk, released on Usenet

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