Some guy and his wife did this, except they started in Alaska and went to Tierra del Fuego, on a BMW R69 back in the 60's. They showed the progress in BMW ads in CW each month. The funniest picture was one the of the R69 axle deep, literally covered in mud and hung all over with spare tires, etc.
Since I seem to be only one who understands anything about the South American geography (another hook to catch shortride again but unfortunately he might not understand this since he skipped his school), I will tell you this:
Anything below Colombia is a walk in the park. You can ride all day long on a long strech of pretty much on tarmac if you so wish. But LETS SEE how do these guys go from Ecuador to Panama (or Venezuela-Panama if they come from the east, which is the worse choice). You see from any map Colombia is in between... Darian Gap makes the so-called Pan American Highway a complete mockery. I´ve read lots of travel stories but this bit is usually hushed up.
Doing it with a film crew and a back-up truck isn't really adventure touring, is it? Not for me, anyway. The trip to the bottom of Africa done the proper way can be read in Johnny Bealby's beautiful and romantic book 'Running With The Moon', while Andres Carlstein's 'Odyssey to Ushuaia' covers the South American trip. But we'll wait and see - perhaps McGregor and Boorman can surprise us.
BMW Club types - like me - here in the States have ALL read the late Ed Culberson's book: "Obsessions Die Hard" - his telling of his ride thru the Darien Gap on his old R80GS known as "Amigo". He was an old pharte when he did it, too.
Assuming I recall correctly, Amigo is still on display at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Metro Columbus, OH.
As for everything below Colombia being a "walk in the park" ...that pesky Uwe Krauss & Ramona Eichhorn a writin' in "RoadRunner" Mag really needs to quit publishing pictures of difficult roads down thar.
If Ewan & Charlie had not had the film crew & trucks following, we would not have had "Long Way Round" - at least not such a polished product.
Another point - the whole thing had a charity aspect to it - some UN collectivist nonsense - but they ARE Euro's....so to bring in the contributions they HAD to have a polished, professional video which dictates the chase crew.
Finally, if you recall - the "chase" crew was frequently many miles away...
And, in my annoyingly Columbo'ish fashion (no oil droolin' 403 in MY driveway!!) may I not so respectfully point out that the book "Long Way Round" is not as good as the DVD. Ewan & Charlie are not at the Peter Egan level. The book was entertaining, but workmanlike at best from a style point 'O view.
There are many ways to fuel your habit (none of good mind you):
(1) Rob banks or sell drugs as you go and you'll have good reason to "pick up the pace" between stages. (2) Come up with the next infomercial "must have for $1" -- you'd be amazed how gullible people are and how quickly that'll add up. Then, with your rep, you can get some famous actors to join your cause. (3) Or, become a teacher and live frugally during the school seasons, so when holiday arrives you can take off for months at a time. (4) Get a sugar mama or daddy to spring for next adventure... though you'll have to pay for it between the sheets!
Hmmm... on second thought, maybe just get a better paying job or become famous on your own. I hear they're casting for the next American Idol and Survivor! *smirk*
Now, that's interesting...because to me it seemed the other way round, with the book revealing far more than the DVD did. What really annoyed me in the book, though, apart from MacGregor mentioning how much he missed his missus on almost every page, was the ridiculous amount of kit he took with him, as detailed in the appendix. Finding glorious isolation in the Mongolian steppes but looking at it while plugged in to your iPod is just plain wrong. You need to enter into the world of where you are, not view it like some giant movie. The DVD, at least in its early sections, seemed to show nothing more than how determined they were to put none of their own money into it, and how they expected to be given things (like bikes!) for free; and no matter how punishing the roads in Kazakhstan were, it was hard to believe in their suffering when you knew there were two big 4X4s, a guy with a camera, and a guy with a sound boom just out of shot. " ...Cut! Take five, everybody, that's good...drinks for everyone, please?..." The only bit where I felt the DVD got into its stride - and where Ewan and Charlie had really come to terms with what they were doing - was the crossing of the rivers before Magadan. As for the charity aspect, let's just say that it was, erm, transparent, and leave it like that, shall we?
You are right there. I know best since I have lived here the past 7 years. Lots of bad bad roads, impassable at times, tough conditions, poor people, some butt naked indians, some short women with unprobably large heads, unforgettable photographic moments, extreme adventure, romantic settings - if you choose it.
If you do like the locals do, the motorway, well, its like blasting down the New Jersey turnpike.
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