Friday, November 03, 2006

Travel Series Review: "Long Way Round"
Starring: Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
Appearing on Bravo (USA) and Sky One (UK)

While many celebrities book their tickets to visit Caribbean spas for facials and yoga retreats (not that there's anything wrong with a little R&R, mind you), Ewan Macgregor and best friend, fellow actor, Charley Boorman, set out on an adventure most people in their right mind would pay not to go on...Sponsored by BMW, they set out to cover roughly 20,000 miles around the world by motorbike, through largely rough and unpopulated areas. While supported at occasional border crossings, they were for the most part alone. Crossing Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia on outrageously slippery, flooded, and muddy roads and non-roads.
The first episode was slow in the beginning and in need of more hip editing cuts, but eventually the momentum of their journey carries you. Equally admirable is the fact that you rarely see Charlie or Ewan fight. They both have three characteristics which make for the perfect adventurers: a healthy sense of humor, a sense of wonder, and dogheaded persistence to finish what they set out to accomplish. Although the last episode seemed rather hurried, I found myself wanting more. And just like them, I found myself yearning the harder parts of the journey....the mosquitoes and swollen river crossings over the urban pavement...if at the very least to be reminded of the vigor that only a healthy adventure can bring to one's perspective of the world. I would heartily recommend this to any motorcycle enthusiasts, adventurers, and around-the-world travelers.
You can buy the series on or rent it on Netflix. Their homesite is:


  • This year, Charley set out to ride the 2006 Race to Dakar, arguably the world's harshest cross-country dirt bike race in which riders cross the Sahara Desert. You can access his team's home page at: