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Yes, you knew it! The whole Ewan roadshow is on the move again with rumours of a new John O'Groats-Cape Town trip.
Did anybody else see his interview last night, because I didn't and would like to find out exactly when he is going to try and avoid looking for him behind every bush!
More importantly, does anybody else feel that big budgeted trips such as his so-called round the world trip cheapens the once in a lifetime experiences of normal people like us? I am planning a London to Cape Town trip, and part of the reason why I chose this trip was that I could at least say Ewan didn't have the balls to do Africa whenever people ask me if he was my inspiration.(Which, by the way, he wasn't!!)
But now, I feel slightly demoralised by the thought of everybody else comparing my dream trip, with a budget of 4000 pounds, with a couple of guys on free bikes, support crews and a few million pounds in their budget!
Anybody have a suggestion for a challenging, Ewan-free route?
I've nothing against Ewan and reckon he has as much right to follow his biking dreams as everyone else but I know what you mean. I've had several people assuming LWR was what inspired me (forgetting I've been talking about this for 13 years!) and it is annoying. Particularly as the very idea of having a celebrity influence my behaviour is an anathema to me! I reckon the best thing is to try not let it bother you! Maybe we should get a job lot of t-shirts printed up: "Inspired by (fill in blank), not Ewan and Charlie!"
*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
If I could make a small fortune from travelling I'd leap at the chance, so can't blame the guy really.
Think of him as a more adventurous Michael Palin.
I just hope it doesn't encourage everyone and his dog to get on their bikes/into their cars. One of the attractions of travelling is getting away from the British holidaymaker!
Landrover 101 ambie
1968 morris minor! www.plymouth-dakar.com
I agree with the ca-ca opinion of these two weenies with their free stuff and big chase vehicles. This is a fat old man trip. Like me. For the whole world to view this crappy movie as anything other that what it is, it is a MOVIE!! To much reality TV exposure. Anyone can do what they did, with what they had to do it with.
Imagine a stinky feet giggle scene in your summer camp memories. Not presented for the world to see as part of an adventure.
>But now, I feel slightly demoralised by the thought of everybody else comparing my dream trip...
It's shame you feel like that, but I suspect you're going to have to get used to it. The LW Machine has now appropriated this kind of travel - but when done independently by individuals, it is still an exceptional achievement, even if it is something only we here recognise.
>Anybody have a suggestion for a challenging, Ewan-free route?
I've been thinking about that (well, the juicy Sahara section at least).
I believe they will take easy routes coz to the average viewer one part of Africa is pretty much like any other and all they need to do is get the shots, not put the production in any risk (aka "adventure"). Fair enough, it's only telly like someone said.
So it may well be Atlantic (bo-ring; it's all sealed now, but via obvious Timbuktu) or Egypt for the equally re-rigeur pyramid backgrounds. Via coastal Libya (ooh-err, edgy!) Egypt-Sudan-Ethiopia-Kenya will be percieved as adequately colourful for the time, effort and distance and of course not without its difficulties. But as we all know, once you get to Kenya the real adventure is over, unless you purposely seek out the back routes.
I doubt very much it will be:
Libya then trans-Tenere (not possible/allowed without support) to Agadez (Niger).
.. or trans-Algeria to Agadez (perceived as dangereous).
And then round Lake Chad (heavy going in both senses) and down the west side of Central Af via DRC, Angola, Namibia etc (as outlined in AMH, pp186-7).
Longitudionally, it also happens to be a very straight route if you hang a plumb line down from UK to CT, so there is much less chance of falling off on a bend.
Things get better or worse in Africa but right now this route adds up to a just about do-able and truly adventurous trans-Af adventure across the the iconic Sahara and Congo basin (esp, if you chuck in some river barge and monkey meat action out of Ouesso).
Those two regions will be seared into your memory when it's all over because they will have been genuinely hard travelling encompassing everything you will have loved and hated about the place.
Jeez, I'm nearly talking myself into it, but firstly: Trans-Tenere 2007 - come and get it - probably!
------------------ Author of Adventure Motorcycling Handbook 5 and Sahara Overland II
Hey, nothing wrong with being inspired by a huge budget trip. Who would fault anyone for trying to emulate some of the Paris-Dakar rally? I'll bet that the average competitor spends as much on that trip as the boys spent going around the world. (Of course we'll find out when Charlie's P-D adventure debuts!) Even though they spent big bucks (not their own) they did actually ride the motorcycles around the world and that's the point isn't?
I enjoyed watching LWR and still don't mind popping it into the machine when I'm on the tread mill. Doing a trip to Cape Town is good by me as long as the video is available before we start our trip in 2007. :-)
Originally posted by amcwillie: I agree with the ca-ca opinion of these two weenies with their free stuff and big chase vehicles. This is a fat old man trip. Like me. For the whole world to view this crappy movie as anything other that what it is, it is a MOVIE!! To much reality TV exposure. Anyone can do what they did, with what they had to do it with.
Imagine a stinky feet giggle scene in your summer camp memories. Not presented for the world to see as part of an adventure.
What morons, and what morons we are for watching.
Don't forget....it is only a MOVIE!!.
[This message has been edited by moggy 1968 (edited 22 December 2005).]
Hi, the bottom line here is the trip and its experiences, adventure, ups and downs, highs and lows will be yours, not Ewan's or Charlies. You will have planned it, lived it, breathed it and ultimately carried it out. Get on with it; and if someone asks did blah inspire you, give an honest answer and move on. Life isn't long enough to fret over this stuff.
OK there might be an occasional slight annoyance factor when people think you're trying to emulate Ewan and Charlie, but on the whole I think the Long Way Round was nothing but good for both the biking and the traveller communities.
No longer is the biker a faceless menance on a machine that people fear, now he's actually a rather nice guy with a wife and kids at home and a commitment to raise money for charity. I get a lot of ordinary people approach me now and want to talk about the bike, and what trips I've done, which is cool.
I concur. There's been a little too much Tall Poppy Syndrome getting about.
I read the criticisms long before i read the book and (although it won't win a Pulitzer) i thought it was a tougher trip than the naysayers made it out to be. Sure, they should have left the back-up vehicle behind, (i think they'd agree in retrospect) but Mongolia and Siberia are not easy places to travel through by most accounts.
Save your vehemence for the likes of Bush, Blair and Howard who are much more evil and much more deserving of it.
Hey guys, people have (many of you here) done trips like these long before Ewan could even ride a bike. Darkanbad you hit the nail on the head with your views. I also prefer 'our' way of doing it, but at least he did it! the reason to do RTW trips etc. is not to tell other people why you did it, but rather to feel the sand in the the Sahara blow into your face, or to breath the cold air in Mongolia when you try to figure out in which direction to ride etc. And if you want people to 'understand' your trip and reasons for it, the only people who will trully understand it is people who have done simular things or aspire to do them, people like the ones in this forum.
I will not lose a second's frustration in this regard, plan your trip and do it! I guarentee you it will be no less than what it would have been had Ewan not ever gotten on a bike.
WOW, Chris, If I was not such an old, fat old man, I'd go with you. The young bucks who actually do take the time to do these kinds of journeys----well, good for you guys.
The coolest thing to me is seeing the posts from some of these fortunate young men saying "I'm in Cusco and need some tires, anybody know where?" and followed by "just call Carlos at 555-0000 and tell him to give you my old ones."
NAMSA, If Ewan and Charlie had called you on the phone and said "Hey NAMSA, do you want to do an around the world trip with us?" It would have been "Long Way Round..The Ewan, Charlie and NAMSA story". Get a life.
Hey Smitty...tone it down a bit mate. Namsa has his opinion and he has the fullest right to post it here on the boards without fear of insult.
Even though I too agree with Namsa, there have been a good spread of counter opinions on the topic which is always a good thing when mulling over a touchy subject. My opinion is based on primal competitiveness I guess..."We all have to do it the hard way whereas he just snaps his fingers and hey preseto he gets full sponsorship...and then rubs our faces in it by selling a book and movie" At least he is doing it for UNICEF charity but hopefully he will make a bit more of an effort this time in Africa instead of just pooping into one school along the way.
I am also weary of what impact his publicised exploits through Afrcia will have in any future motorcycle trips through the region. Will it result in more attention being drawn to bikers from bandits and the like when they realise the potential value of this small two wheeled vehicle that buzzes past which they didn't bother about in the past. (I hear motorcycle hijackings in South Africa are in the increase...bikes are stripped and parts are sold off. Hijacking is easier than breaking into secure garage)
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