Cool Travel Documentary Recommendations
March 31, 2008 9:44 PM   Subscribe

I loved The Long Way Around and The Long Way Down - can anyone recommend anything similar?

I just finished watching The Long Way Around and The Long Way Down and really enjoyed them. I'd love to see something similar, can anyone give me any recommendations?

What I liked about this series was the camaraderie, the way they traveled and interacted and the challenges they encountered. Not so much the bike aspect (though I'm not adverse to it, just not the key factor from my point of view).

Also, does anyone want to see their wives do a travel doco or is it just me? :)
posted by Admira to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If you were a young Bauhaus educated architect in the 1930’s what would you do? Why, don a pith helmet and argyles and hop aboard a customized Douglas Dragonfly with many clever features including a motion picture camera as well as a concealed revolver(!), and ride off to places that would give pause to travelers from any era! Of course! A real-life ‘Indy Jones’ of sorts, Robert Edison Fulton Jr. had himself an adventure that makes for riveting reading. Places like Afghanistan, Siam, Waziristan(?), and Malaya roll under his wheels as the story unfolds. Believe it or not, R. E. Fulton was able to shoot about 35,000 feet of dramatic documentary film during his amazing 1932 round-the-world ride. This is the very best of it. Each minute is filled with incredible long-lost images of roads, riding and experiences.

'Tis available here, along with many other interesting reads and goods.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 10:01 PM on March 31, 2008

Peking to Paris: On May 15 2005 a crew of 15 - ten drivers and co-drivers and five support crew - set off in five 100 year-old cars on a 14,000 kilometre journey. It was to be a daring recreation of the Peking to Paris Raid and a journey that took them more than a third of the way around the globe. This is the story of their spectacular adventure, told as a four-part documentary on ABC Television. That's ABC in Australia; they have a DVD for sale.
posted by AnnaRat at 10:06 PM on March 31, 2008

Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days. I have no idea if you've seen this before as it was filmed nearly 20 years ago. Also, I doubt if it could be replicated nowadays because the trip goes through the Middle East. This gets shown on PBS sometimes, too.
posted by moonshine at 10:41 PM on March 31, 2008

10mph is a movie of a segway ride across america. I watched bits and pieces of it -- it gets really interesting when they're around Chicago and a cop pulls them over and goes off on them all half-cocked.

My personal hope is Charlie and Ewan do another Longway down type movie where they ride from Alaska to the southern tip of South America.
posted by mathowie at 11:18 PM on March 31, 2008

Also, if you haven't seen it already, the Race to Dakar documentary, in which Charley and a couple of other people enter the Dakar Rally on motorbikes is also enjoyable. Like you, the motorbikes are neither here nor there for me, but I enjoyed this one (as well as Long Way Round etc). Race to Dakar has plenty of challenges, despair and camaraderie. Ewan makes a brief appearance or two.
posted by AnnaRat at 11:32 PM on March 31, 2008

Yeah, if you haven't seen the Michael Palin programmes then start with those. Himalaya is the pick of the bunch IMO.
posted by fire&wings at 3:22 AM on April 1, 2008

If you don't mind reading the stories instead of watching them then this site has many entertaining motorbiking across the world travel tales. The interface is a bit clunky but click on a story and then look at the archives on the right hand side to get to the beginning of it and enjoy. My friend Simon has one on there about riding from London to South Africa which made tea go up my nose from laughing many a time. Some probably NSFW content in many of them but then the whole point seems to be about doing something that is neither safe or work.
posted by merocet at 5:47 AM on April 1, 2008

Your a tease, fire&wings. Either my Google fu is failing me or The Michael Palin Collection is not available in Region 1 format for purchase here in the US. At least some of the other documentaries listed in this thread are.
posted by onhazier at 5:57 AM on April 1, 2008

Best answer: I loved these series as well, and I love the travel docu genre, so I'll offer up two others that I enjoyed:

Discovery Channel's Everest: Beyond the Limit -- follows a group of climbers as they make their way up the mountain. Some professionals, some who were rich enough to pay to climb.

A Map For Saturday - One guy's solo backpacking (as in hostels) journey around the world. Focuses on the life of a backpacker and the friends you meet.
posted by nitsuj at 7:14 AM on April 1, 2008

Yeah, I know they're available in separate parts. However, it would add up to more. Also, it would be nice to have it as a single collection. Then, I could give the whole thing as a gift to someone I know would love it.
posted by onhazier at 10:04 AM on April 1, 2008

The Michael Palin shows are definitely great, and with a similar feel of an entertaining celebrity with a small production crew travelling round various places, both hospitable and inhospitable.

Here's a list of them from Wikipedia:
* Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days (Travel 1988; Programme release 1989): travelling as closely as possible the path described in the famous Jules Verne story without using aircraft.
* Pole to Pole (Travel 1991; Programme release 1992): travelling from the North Pole to the South Pole, following as closely as possible the 30 degree line of longitude, over as much land as possible, i.e., through Europe and Africa.
* Full Circle with Michael Palin (Travel 1996/97; Programme release 1997): in which he circumnavigated the lands around the Pacific Ocean counter-clockwise; a journey of 80,000 kilometres starting on Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait and taking him through Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
* Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure (1999): retracing the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway through the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean.
* Sahara with Michael Palin (Travel 2001/02; Programme release 2002): in which he trekked around and through the world's largest desert.
* Himalaya with Michael Palin (Travel 2003/04; Programme release 2004): in which he travels through the Himalaya region.
* Michael Palin's New Europe (Travel 2006/07; Programme release 2007): in which he travels through Eastern Europe.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:30 PM on April 1, 2008

Mondo Enduro, a bit like the Long Way Round, but with ordinary blokes.
posted by wilko at 1:09 PM on April 1, 2008

Response by poster: I know its been a long time, but I just wanted to say I finally received "A Map For Saturday" and really enjoyed it.
posted by Admira at 11:47 PM on May 13, 2008

« Older Help me type without ever needing to look?   |   Why is iphone buzzing? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.