The Long Way Up

| Johan van Rijswijck

From Ushuaia to Los Angeles

In these special times when we unfortunately cannot travel, I look forward to a new episode of The Long Way Up on AppleTV+ every week. In this series, actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman drive from Ushuaia to Los Angeles. The series shows exactly why I love travelling. You can literally see the landscapes and people change. What's more, you end up in places and situations you never thought they were possible. It provides experiences that enrich your life.

With the electric motorcycle from Ushuaia to Los Angeles

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman ride electric Harley Davidson motorbikes. Their escort team travels in two prototypes of the electric SUV car brand Rivian. After the start in a wintery Ushuaia, the gentlemen follow, among others, the Argentine Ruta 40, the Chilean Carretera Austral and the Panamericana. The Panamericana is considered to be the longest road in the world, connecting Tierra del Fuego with the town of Fairbanks in Alaska. However, this road is interrupted by a 110-kilometre wide strip of impenetrable jungle on the border between Panama and Colombia, called the Darien Gap.

More The Long Way

Because I couldn't wait for the next episode after each one, in between I also watched all the episodes of the previous trips McGregor and Boorman made. In 2004, the two started their adventures with The Long Way Round, where they drove from London over land to the east and ended up all the way in New York. During that journey, they drove their BMW engines through 12 countries, passed 19 time zones and drove more than 30,000 kilometres. In 2007 they drove from the Scottish hamlet of John O'Groats to Cape Town.

Experiences for life

The beauty of these series is that they so well reflect the feeling that makes this kind of travel an unforgettable experience. You come to places you hadn't imagined before and suddenly they make a great impression on you. I myself have driven more than 80,000 kilometres in Latin America. Half of these kilometres I did in a classic Volvo Amazon 123 GT without power steering. In tropical places I had to turn on the heater to cool the engine and with this gem I was dragged over 150 kilometres over an unpaved pass of the desolate Bolivian plateau. For lovers; I wrote about this experience in an earlier blog. Yet I would do it again tomorrow. These trips are considered my most beautiful travel experiences. Really nothing can compete with this.

What I have remembered the most of all these trips and what is reconfirmed when watching The Long Way series, is that no matter how crazy or hopeless a situation may seem, it always ends up back on its feet. Not least because local people extend a helping hand, simply disinterested, because they find what you do special and because they like the fact that you are interested in their country and their culture. Actually, I advise everyone to make such a journey, because then you will notice how beautiful the world and its inhabitants in general are.

Looking back on your own experiences

The travel series of Ewan Mc Gregor and Charley Boorman have inspired me to look back on my own experiences. In my next blog I will go into a number of situations that went differently than planned, but ultimately led to very beautiful and unforgettable experiences. In the second blog I will go into why these kind of car trips are so great to do in a group. McGregor and Boorman drove together, but were accompanied by a small team of 6 people. You can see the dynamics in this group that I so recognize from my own travels. Journeys like this create friendships for life.

LatinAmeriCar - Exclusive car trips

Based on my experience, we have created a special series of car journeys with Sapa Pana Travel, called LatinAmeriCar. During our exclusive car trips you will drive in your own or rental car, with the help of our experienced Dutch, German, English and Spanish speaking guides and an expert technical team. You will travel through the most beautiful continent in the world in a fully catered manner. Adventures you will cherish for the rest of your life!

More about LatinAmeriCar

Would you like to join us on one of these exclusive car trips? Then take a look at our page of LatinAmeriCar. Do you have questions about a unique journey through Latin America, would you like a tailor-made travel proposal or would you like to make an appointment at our office? Feel free to contact us. Send an e-mail to or call us on +31 73 610 62 04. We are happy to help.

More about LatinAmeriCar