Long Way Round

CHARLEY Boorman went off-grid with best friend Ewan McGregor but has not been able to find work since.

Since the pair returned from their motorcycle journey in aid of UNICEF, very few job offers have come his way. Charley has had to make do with promoting the DVD and book of the pair’s Long Way Round adventure.

McGregor, on the other hand, is one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. He is currently in Los Angeles filming the sci-fi thriller The Island with Scarlett Johansson. 0316728683-02-mzzzzzzz-5117158

He said: “There has not been much since I got back. As for other stuff, I will just have to wait and see what happens.” Charley, 38, and Ewan, 33, reached New York at the end of July after completing the three-month, 20,000-mile journey through eastern Europe, Mongolia, Siberia and Alaska.

The pair now plan to travel through Africa from north to south in their roles as UNICEF ambassadors.

After ploughing through thousands of kilometres of mud, gravel and rivers on non-existent roads across Asia, McGregor and Boorman reached their main target of Magadan in Mongolia.
And there are plenty of thrills. We meet Igor, the mysteriously wealthy Ukrainian former Soviet submariner who owns the biggest house in town. At a party for the intrepid travelers, he bursts downstairs brandishing a Kalashnikov and guitar. Then all the men go outside to compare the sizes of their weapons. Literally.

The book is written in the form of a two-man account, with alternating voices taking us from their early fascination with bikes to the decision and planning to ride around the world. The accounts come across as honest, with much bickering as the journey progresses.

Early on, the romance of two mates setting off across Asia is spoilt when you learn of the two-car support group shadowing them, along with a third biker – the cameraman. Because of the way they structured the trip, paying for it with film and television rights, such a set-up is inevitable. In fairness, the support crew spent most of the time in behind-the-scenes preparation.

However, you can’t shake off the feeling that no matter what hardships Boorman and McGregor undertook, they did it with a support team, and that it detracts from the overall experience, and they knew it.

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