On the back of Long Way Round and Long Way Down, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman join together and embark on another epic quest. This time for the high ground. Or, more specifically, ascending from the Southern tip of Chile up to Los Angeles.
With the team gathered together again, this time the pair add another layer of challenge through the use of electric bikes.
This happens to be the crux of episode 1 for Long Way Up as both Charley and Ewan try to work out the logistics of charging up electric-powered bikes. With 8 months to departure, they have a lot to discuss. Russ and David join them too and the quartet start to put their plan into action.
To begin with, they test out a prototype bike. Fast, fun and surprisingly quiet, the duo really get in to the groove. However, a trip round the road isn’t enough to instill bags of confidence ahead of their South American trip. Not only that, they need to try and find ways to charge the bikes on the way.
In order to put the plan into action they set up their office, with a nice, big map featuring pins for their hotspots along the way. The biggest questions arise from two crucial components. How do you cart all the gear down to South America and what will the pair do in those large, open spaces. How do you charge the bike up there?
To solve the problem, Rivian (the company responsible for the electric chargers) are going to install 150 quick-charging points along the route. This will help charge up both the bikes and electric cars they’ll be using.
With everything taking shape, the guys await excitedly for their prototype electric bikes. Taking it out for a ride, they stop at one of the charging stations and all seems to be going to plan.
With the team split between America and the UK, Charley and Ewan head off to check out their newly assembled electric bikes. With all these team members spread across the globe, everyone gathers together and descends on Ushuaia for the starting line.
The Episode Review
Patience is a virtue and definitely something needed for the first episode. For anyone who’s organized a trip like this the bulk of the experience comes from the preparation.
The episode does well to set the tone for what’s to follow though and adds a unique climate-saving idea to the mix. It’s a decent start but also one that’s a little slow too.
With the journey about to get underway, hopefully this one will start to inject some pace into the fold.
Expect A Full Season Write Up In A Few Weeks Time!