Video Review – The Long Way Up Episode 7

In Reviews by AbhiLeave a Comment

As expected, the cliffhanger from Episode 6 turns out to be nothing. They’ve really got to stop adding fake drama at the end of each episode. It’s a travel story, not a murder mystery – it’s OK if an episode just ends with “Yay, we got somewhere. Now we’re looking forward to tomorrow!”

Episode 7 – Peru (45 minutes)
8,542 miles to LA!

The boys leave Bolivia for the last time, and Ewan makes it clear that we’re stopping at Machu Picchu because he’s wanted to visit there since he was a kid. He also notes that when he was a kid, he would have laughed a lot at “Lake Titicaca”…then both the guys remember that they’re still not that mature and chuckle anyway.

Continuing the theme, we stop at the Temple of Fertility, and you can probably figure out what the statues are supposed to represent. People come here when they have fertility issues, and the local fixer says that “lots of women who have had twins claim that it’s because that they came here…” Ewan chimes in to finish the sentence, “…and sat on the little mushrooms.”

It seems to work, because the next few scenes show a couple kissing, some alpacas about to go to town on each other, and then a dog who’s also in the spirit and has Ewan’s leg in mind.

Today’s goal is Cuzco, which is 243 miles away. At the beginning of the trip, that would be an impossible goal. Now it doesn’t seem to merit a second mention, which is nice because we get more time for cool stops like a Condor sanctuary.

They take a 2 hour train to get to Machu Picchu, and they have to wake up at 4am the next morning check out the landmark. Ewan’s ecstatic – he says that he used to have a poster of it on his wall as a child in school and used to daydream about it when he was in class. Only 2,500 people a day (pre-COVID) are allowed to visit, so it’s a bit of a bummer for that day’s visitors as the area is quite foggy. Machu Picchu actually just opened up again to the public (675/day) after 8 months due to the lockdown, but they amusingly opened up a bit earlier just for one Japanese tourist that had waited for seven months.

Most of the crew hikes up a bit of the way, but Ewan’s excitement has him keep going towards the top. He hopes that he’ll see less people the further he goes, but his guess is wrong and he’s swarmed by a bunch of tourists who seemingly suck the life out of him with every selfie they ask for. I feel bad for him because it seems (at least the way the video is edited) that he barely gets the chance to enjoy his childhood dream in peace. The sacrifices one makes for fame, I guess.

Eventually the fog mostly clears out, and even from a screenshot of a video it’s staggering. The team basically spends the entire day at the site, and it’s no wonder why. Here’s hoping Ewan was happy with his day there.

They’re now 39 days into their trip, and the next morning forces our travelers to don their rain gear, and navigate some slippery wet cobblestones. That evolves into a muddy road where they get hit with splashback from trucks going the other way. Fun times.

Even more fun times.

Don’t feel too bad – conditions improve very quickly.

They end up meeting a para-cyclist who covered 40 miles (mostly uphill) in three hours and still had to head back as part of his training routine. They didn’t share his name but he’ll be representing Peru in the Paralympic Games in 2021.

The next day they leave the bikes behind for a helicopter ride into the Amazon Rainforest to meet with the villagers of Cutivireni and the Cool Earth partnership in place that helps minimize deforestation by providing the locals alternative sources of income that don’t require cutting down trees or burning agriculture. Many local chiefs come together for a ceremony to greet Ewan and Charley which involves face paint.

Next on the touristy stops is the Nazca Lines – seeing as they’re meant to be seen from the air, they hop on a plane. The pilot notes that whenever they get to a landmark, he’ll bank the plane hard to each side so that all passengers can see what’s going on. The constant rotations mean it’s Charley’s turn to feel queasy.

Impressively, Rivian has figured out a way for the trucks to act as a generator for the cars – Ewan claims that the trucks can now fully charge the bikes in two hours, which is better than they’ve been doing in most cities. I was hoping they’d give an idea of how much range that kills for the trucks, but we’re left to guess that ourselves. One would have to assume that this functionality would also be available for the production trucks, whenever they’re available. It’ll be perfect for taking your electric MX bike to the track!

No fake cliffhanger this time around – the episode is called Peru, so it wraps up right after they cross the border into Ecuador. There’s a little teaser, though: seeing as it’s highly recommended not to go through the Darien Gap, we’re told that the two options are plane or boat but the trucks are too heavy for the former. Looks like we’ve got a boat trip coming soon…

On to Episode 8!