Mexico & USA
Episode 11 of Long Way Up sees the final leg of the journey about to begin. Only, before that we’ve got an impromptu pimp-my-ride segment as Charley and Ewan join the crew and fix up their bus. Together, they take out the seats and prepare for their journey up through Mexico.
With welding, screwing and painting all well underway, the producers remain confident they can get it done by the cut-off point that following day.
Ewan is briefed over the route they’ve been advised to take by the security department. They’ve told them the best route is to go through El Paso. Only, they have bigger problems right now – the bikes may not actually fit on the bus.
It’s touch and go but the morning arrives and the crew have worked tirelessly to make this bus ride a success. And a success it is.
So off they go – the crew begin their journey up to Tehuacan-Cucatlan Valley. With an army of cacti lay before them, Ewan and Charley admire the views. They even get their very own birds-eye view of all this – courtesy of a hot air balloon ride.
As he sun sets, the crew gather together on their bus and make it through the first night completely unscathed. Ewan and Charley remain determined to get off the bus and start riding in the morning, itching to go despite the drizzle surrounding them.
Together, they’ve made it toward the Northern end of Mexico and contemplate whether they can get up to the border before sun-down.
Before that though, the group make it into Juarez where rainfall has turned the streets into a river. The rain continues to fall as the bus and our bikers crawl closer toward the border. Despite a navigational issue, they all manage to get there unharmed.
The crew are humbled by a refugee camp nearby housing numerous tents from families that have arrived looking for asylum after coming under fire (quite literally) from gang warfare.
Because of the way the border works at El Paso, the crew have to split up to get their stamps but they eventually do so and make it through to the other side.
As night turns to day, the final day of this extraordinary bike ride begins. Ewan and Charley decide to try and travel 200+ miles in one go, from El Paso up through Texas to LA. It’s a smooth, easy ride and the pair let loose and join a whole group of motorcyclists who follow them along.
Eventually the pair make it up to LA as the trip is a complete success and everyone celebrates a job well done.
The Episode Review
Phew, what a journey! From Chile to Bolivia up to Mexico and LA, Long Way Up ends with a satisfying conclusion while showing off the beauty of Central and Southern America. Personally it would have been nice to see Canada squeezed in there as well but that’s wishful thinking from the keen traveler in me!
All in all though, Long Way Up ends with a satisfying enough finish, one that’s made the journey well worth watching across these many weeks.
Expect A Full Season Write Up In A Few Weeks Time!