Friday, September 07, 2007

long way round


What have we let ourselves in for? I mean this is, really is the back and beyond of absolutely nowhere. I mean, it's just extraordinary.
-Charley Boorman


Ewan McGregor must've flipped his nut after doing those Star Wars movies, because in 2004 he filmed a 'round the world motorbiking adventure with his exceedingly likable friend Charley Boorman. The trip took them from London to New York, going east through the lot of Europe, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, Russia (again), Alaska, Canada, and finally, the United States. The result is Long Way Round, a travel series documenting their 115 days on the backs of their BMW motorcycles.

I don't know why I added this to my Netflix queue. It was done long ago (I don't know why I add half the stuff I do to ye olde Netflix queue. It happens in the wee hours). I like Ewan McGregor well enough. He's an engaging film actor. Turns out, he's an engaging travel companion and adventurer.

I've always kinda-sorta wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle. Now I really really want to kinda-sorta wanna learn how to ride a motorcycle. I have a few strikes against me at the moment: 1) I never learned to drive manual transmission, 2) I'm on the small side to be wrangling the heft of a motorbike, 3) I don't have the dough to be taking lessons and buying a motorcycle. Dammit.

I made up a Long Way Round drinking game. Take a drink anytime...

  • Ewan McGregor falls off his motorbike
  • They get stuck in the mud in Mongolia or Russia
  • They try cuisine featuring boiled animal genitalia
  • They think local hospitality is mafia-related and they are being led to a place where somebody is going to put a bullet in their brains and steal their motorbikes
  • Ewan compares the landscape to the landscape of Scotland
  • Ewan claims his family is responsible for the construction of Mount Rushmore
  • You sense despair
  • Camera-man Claudio fucks up big time
  • Charley or Ewan says something "wise"
  • Charley or Ewan say "Fantastic!" (you don't have to drink: their charming brogues are intoxicating enough)
I've always wanted to write a travel book a la Bill Bryson. Watching Long Way Round stirs up those feelings of wanderlust and open-road travel and creative documentation. Anybody out there want to fund me?