Long Way Round and Long Way Down are two British TV series featuring famous actor Ewan McGregor and his friend, less-famous actor Charley Boorman, taking extreme motorcycling trips around the world. Jason and I watched both series on DVD and found them very funny and enjoyable. In Long Way Round they travel from London to New York by going across Europe, Mongolia, and parts of Russia, then over to Alaska and down through and across North America. Long Way Down takes them from the northern tip of Scotland to the southern tip of South Africa. Along the way they have plenty of adventures with their bikes, with each other and the rest of their crew, and with the people they meet.
The two books are companion volumes to the series and are told in the voices of Ewan and Charley alternating with each other as they describe some of the behind-the-scenes elements of their adventures. Frankly, I don’t think they’re fascinating enough as examples of travel writing to stand alone if you haven’t seen the series, but if you have watched the series (which I highly recommend) these work great as sort of “DVD-extras,” showing you more of the story. I enjoyed both, and like many Long Way Round fans, am hoping Ewan and Charley do another road trip sometime soon so that we can enjoy watching.