Tag Archives: adventure travel

Long Way Up coming to Apple TV+

The latest Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor adventure, the Long Way Up, will be shown on Apple TV+ in the next few months.

In the third and probably final “Long Way” series, the Brits ride Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire motorcycles from Tierra Del Fuego at the bottom of South Africa to LA.

Apple TV+

There is no date for the series to start, but when it does, you can get a free seven-day trial and binge-watch the series.

If you enjoy Apple TV+ you can then subscribe in Australia for $A7.99 a month.

Unlike their previous adventures on BMW GS machines, this one was on Harley’s new electric LiveWire which will be available in Australia in September for a whopping $A49,995 ($NZ53,995).

That’s more than the feature-laden Ultra Limited tourer at $A41,495!

While the specially modified bikes did get the pair to their destination, Ewan admits he ran out of “juice” a couple of times and even had to hitch rides with cars by hanging on to the B pillar.

The admissions came in an interview on the American Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in February 2020.

In the interview, he explains that they chose electric motorcycles because they “wanted to be part of that new wave of transportation”.

“It proved to be amazing and quite tricky at the same time,” McGregor tells Fallon.

“Charging is the issue. There’s no real infrastructure for charging in Patagonia, for instance.

“We’d just knock on people’s doors and ask if we could plug them in.

“They usually do let us. We’d camp in their garden and we’d plug in.”

However, he said charging two bikes at the same time would sometimes blew the houses’s fuses, so they would charge one at a time.

“People were so generous and lovely about it,” he says.

“We’d ride all morning and then if we stopped to look around the town we’d find somewhere to plug in at a restaurant or a cafe or something.”

Out of juice

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan on a LiveWire in South America

According to Harley, LiveWire range is about 150km on the highway and about 235km in the city.

So, what did they do when they ran out of “juice”, Fallon asked?

“Hope for a hill,” McGregor replies.

“I got towed a couple of times. I was the only one that ran out.

“Charley never ran out of juice and he’ll tell you it’s ’cause he’s a better rider than me and it may well be the case.”

(We suspect Charley did not do his usual frequent wheelies!)

“But I ran out a couple of times, so I’d just hold on to a car.”

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan and Charley pack their LiveWire electric bikes

He explains how this stunt was performed and we assume it was at slow speed and could have been using one of the back-up vehicles.

“If you open the back windows and the front of the car you could get your arm around a pillar and you just muscle along like that for a while,” he explains.

Ewan says the first time he saw this done was in New York when he was about 21 or 22 riding in a yellow cab.

“A Harley-Davidson guy — a Hells Angels guy — who’d run out of gas or his bike was broken down clattered into the side of the cab, grabbed hold of the pillar and he shouted the address of the Hells Angels clubhouse to the driver who just took him there and didn’t ask any questions; just drove there like that.

“I think the Hells Angels owe me $5.26.”

Not sure if we believe that, but it’s a great story.

And it sounds like Long Way Up on Apple TV+ will also be another great series.

It’s been a long time between trips for Ewan and Charley.

From 14 April 2004 to 29 July 2004, they rode across Europe and the USA in Long Way Round and from 12 May to 4 August 2007 they rode from the top of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa for Long Way Down.

With Ewan becoming increasingly busy with Hollywood movies, Charley squeezed in the 2006 Dakar rally for his series, Race to Dakar, and has produced several other travel shows.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Will coronavirus affect your ride tour?

If you’ve booked an overseas motorcycle tour this year and are thinking of cancelling due to the threat of coronavirus, will your deposit or full tour fee be refunded?

A lot of adventure motorcycle travel is in countries that may not have high levels of hygiene and quarantine procedures to cope with a pandemic.

So we can understand the concern about coronavirus.

However, the media hype needs to be fully studied before making any decisions about cancelling tours as you may end up out of pocket.

Terms and conditionscoronavirus

Most touring companies have terms and conditions that include cancellations, so start by reading that.

It may say that there is a no-refund policy or a part-refund policy and it will usually be restricted to a certain period before the tour starts.

This is because the tour company pays for various things such as accommodation, transfers, etc, a few weeks before the tour starts.

Even then, you may not get the full discount with companies withholding some money for administration costs.

If you decide it’s too risky and still want to cancel, contact your tour company for a friendly chat.

Tour companies want your repeat business. Keeping your deposit in such a situation may not be in their best interests.

So they may suggest you switch to another tour or postpone your tour for a year.

Some may even consider special requests for compassionate reasons, or offer a discount on another tour.

You may also be able to talk a braver friend into taking your spot on the tour.

If the coronavirus threat is real and a government advisory is issued, the travel company may also cancel the tour in which case they should offer a full refund or propose switching tours or dates.

Travel insurance

Most travel companies will require participants to have travel insurance and will need to see evidence before you throw your leg over a bike.

But not all travel insurance is the same. Check out our article here about what is covered for riding and what isn’t. You might be surprised.

Your travel insurance may cover you for cancellation for various reasons, so check the terms and conditions.

If you have booked and secured travel insurance, then the government issues a “Do not Travel” advisory, you should be covered by your policy.

Travel companies

We contacted several travel companies to find out what their policy was.

An Extreme Bike Tours spokeswoman says some of their customers have raised a few concerns and asked about the situation with upcoming tours.

She says last year’s Sir Lanka bombing was a similar situation.Sri Lanka Royal Enfield Classic 350 even tours turban

“This affected all the tourism in the country as well as some of our tours. Luckily, nothing else has happened and Sri Lanka has returned to its normal island life in a very short period,” she says.

“This time we cannot yet say what’s going to happen but we are optimistic and all the 2020/2021 scheduled tours are confirmed.

“These kind of events are unpredictable but if we take a look at the recent global history, there has been precedents that were contained (SARS, MERS, etc).”

Click here to read their full and fair cancellation policy.

Craig Jackson of Compass Expeditions says the industry is in “uncharted waters at the moment” with the coronavirus threat.

Compass Expeditions tours screened on TVCompass Expeditions

He says their terms state that any cancellation within 90 days is non-refundable.

“This isn’t because we simply want to take the money and run but it’s because huge amounts have already been spent pre tour to secure the hotels, buy staff airline tickets and secure the support vehicles and bikes,” he says.

“We certainly don’t get a refund from any cancellations we make.”

If a customer cancels their booking up until 90 days before departure they will receive a refund of all payments less a $200 cancellation fee.

Nomadic Kinghts invites daredevil riders to join their first tour of the Cliffhanger track in the Himalayas (Photo by Iain Crockart)Nomadic Knights Managing Director Alex Pirie says he is very flexible and would consider several options: Offer a full refund; postpone the ride until it’s safe to go and carry the money over; offer a ride in a different part of the world; keep the payment as credit for a later date.

For a limited time, they are offering a $US500 discount on their two-week “Rode to Everest” from Kathmandu, Nepal, on 9 May 2021 if booked by 31 March 2020, using the code EVEREST500.

Denise Ferris of World on Wheels says it is not an issue because they haven’t received any cancellations, not even from people going to Nepal/Bhutan next week with her husband, Mike.“But this is precisely why we insist people take out comprehensive travel insurance, so that they’re covered,” she says.

“If the destination country is declared a high-risk area by our government, the clients would then have a bona fide reason to cancel, and lodge an insurance claim for reimbursement.”

Ferris Wheels travel insuranceMike and Denise Ferris

Coronavirus media hype

Craig of Compass Expeditions points out that the media hype does not match reality.

For example, their African trip is some 8500km from the only case of coronavirus in the entire African continent.

“In most countries outside of China it is business as usual in regards to the impact of Caronavirus on our tours,” he says.

“The one exception is our latest major expedition, the 100-day Asian Overland Expedition that departed from Singapore last week and will be heading through Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and hopefully into China and Tibet.

“The group are in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands at the moment and contrary to the media’s reporting South East Asia has not been devastated by the virus.

Compass ExpeditionsCompass Expeditions

“The issues will hit once we arrive at the Chinese border around the end of March. It is possible that the border with Laos, which we intend to cross will be closed or that the Australian Government will still be warning against travel in China, which is certainly possible.

“At that stage, if either of those things happen we will have to instigate a ‘Plan B’ which includes returning to Bangkok via Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. 

“So at this stage we have two massive tours planned and payed for and only one will be used. The original 100 day itinerary has taken over two years to plan and the financial cost to the company is huge even if we do get to complete the original itinerary. But that pales in significance to the damage our reputation would take if we pulled the pin on a major Expedition, so we push on.

“The hype around the Virus has also seen a number of cancellations for our Central Asian destinations like Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Siberia, none of which have even reported a single case of Caronavirus.” 

He says some customers have switched to one of their Australian tours, but international reports of the bushfires and recent flooding have also not helped.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Moroccan Magic tour with World on Wheels

(Moroccan Magic in Dades Gorge. Image: World on Wheels (Sponsored post)

There are no methods to this crazy life we lead

No secret paths to walk upon

Just hang Love’s portrait in the cathedral of your heart

And warm the landscapes of your soul

– Billy Thorpe

Aussie rock legend Billy Thorpe’s passion for Morocco was well known and well documented. When he passed away in 2007 he was working on his final compilation, entitled Tangier. With subsequent help from another famous Oz guitarist Ian Moss, Thorpey’s album was released posthumously to great acclaim. Berber string arrangements can be heard prominently in ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, from which the lyric above is borrowed.

Music has long been the thread holding together the fabric of Moroccan society. Minstrels in blue robes, still to this day wander the deserts with simple instruments like the gimbri, a three-stringed lute, and the darbouka, a single-headed drum played between the knees.

Jimi Hendrix was fond of visiting Morocco. Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Cat ‘Yusuf’ Stevens and Sting have all recorded there. Crosby Stills and Nash first rose to prominence on the back of their 1969 smash hit, Marrakech Express. Countless feature films have also been filmed in Morocco’s harsh and barren landscapes.Moroccan magic World on Wheels tour

And World On Wheels have been conducting their popular motorcycle tours here now for more than a decade. One of the oldest international tour operators in the world, Australia’s WOW started way back in 1995 when it was considered by many to be simply too dangerous to contemplate riding a motorbike in foreign lands. Times have changed since those days and motorcycling is now more widely accepted as a bona fide transport option for global roaming, and WOW are still leading the way.

Their 20-day Moroccan Magic tour takes in the varied geographical regions of this diverse country, from the Mediterranean coastline to the forested Atlas Mountains, to the windswept Atlantic, to the deserts of the Sahara. Riding the latest GS range of BMW dual-purpose tourers, you’ll be staying in traditional riads and auberges and dining on authentic fare of cous cous, tagine, kefta, harira. There’s a camel ride into the desert for a night’s bivouac under a million Sahara stars, listening beside a campfire to the Berber minstrels mentioned above.Moroccan magic World on Wheels tour

This September departure is a fully supported tour, with a luggage van bringing up the rear and an Aussie tour guide leading the way up front. All meals are included except on rest days, all fuel also included, all hotels are booked in advance with your name on the reservation sheet. World On Wheels can also help you get your Travel Insurance and airfares sorted.

Check out the fully detailed itinerary at World On Wheels Moroccan Magic

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Spanish woman honoured for Africa ride

A Spanish woman who rode her Ducati Scrambler 15,000km through Africa has been honoured with the Spanish Geographical Society’s Journey of the Year 2018 award.

Alicia Sornosa set off on her bike down the backbone of East Africa to raise money for Amigos de Silva.

The Spanish non-government organisation provides humanitarian aid projects such as water supply and health care, initially in the Afar region of Ethiopia, but later extended to other African countries.

Alicia’s ride started in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and crossed Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho before finally arriving in Cape Town, South Africa.  

The only hiccup along the way for the Ducati ambassador was two punctures.

Round the world

It’s not Alicia’s first big adventure.

In 2011, she set off on her BMW F 650 GS on what would become a round-the-world ride that included Australia in 2012.

She rode from Spain to Asia, then Australia, North America down through South America and back to Europe in 2014.

Alicia became the first Spanish woman to circumnavigate the world on a BMW.

She has continued her travels through the Americas and Asia.

Other awards she has won include:

  • Illustrious Visitor of the City of Tarija, Bolivia;
  • The 2016 Penguin Honorific Award for “The Legend Continues”; and
  • In 2017, she took third prize at the I Madrid Motorbike Film Festival for “Adventure in India and Nepal” (below)

Epic adventures

Here at Motorbike Writer we love to share stories of epic riding adventures.

We also love to share stories of female riders and young riders to encourage others to join our pursuits.

If you have an epic adventure you would like to share, please click here to send photos and details via email.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com