Following my recommendation of a series of YouTube videos made by Pedro Mota, two of my friends responded with how much they liked an Amazon Prime documentary, “Himalaya Calling – Overland to the highest passes in the world.” They were right! I’ve watched three of the four episodes, and they are great. Plus, these have far broader appeal than Mota’s videos. Maggie loved the incredible scenery from a part of the world that is rarely photographed because it is so remote and empty.
This 4-epsisode film stars two German guys, Eric Peters and Alain Beger. They are not super jocks, handsome movie stars, or killer riders. They’re mostly normal, although trained and experienced enough to take six months and spent it on an incredible adventure to a part of the world few visit. Their real skill is the way they managed to capture this adventure with only hi-res cameras mounted on their helmets, bikes, and a drone. No supplemental film crew, chase vehicles, or backups, and rarely cell phone coverage. They got spectacular footage and edited it into a smoothly compelling movie series. You don’t have to be a motorcycle rider to appreciate this amazingly ambitious accomplishment.
The original was made in German but the Amazon Prime version has an English language soundtrack. I’m guessing the guy’s actual voices would have been better, but as I don’t speak German, this is an acceptable compromise. Oh, and there is some salty language at times, but it’s not overdone. Check it out and let me know what you think.
For more hardcore riders, I also have to recommend Pedro Mota, who’s ridden his Transalp just about everywhere. His videos are on YouTube and are all genuine, unpolished, rough, and transparent. They show what it’s like to explore roads and trails you’ve only heard about but never ridden. This totally meets the definition of “adventure,” unlike the hyper-staged media extravaganzas like “The Long Way Down,” and its sequels. Mota chronicles what actually happens, and does it all alone, without a camera crew or backups.
The first video is enlightening. I think I felt grit from his ride in my own teeth! Skip down for notes and links to the second.
His second video, below, is a continuation of the one above. It shows one of the most wonderful things that happen when adventure riding. You meet incredible people. You learn so much about what humanity is all about. You get to really touch the world.
These aren’t professionally produced, the editing is spotty, the camera angles are sometimes horrible, and forget about the soundtrack. And sometimes, things happen in languages you won’t understand and he forgets to translate. To me, however, that is the magic of these things. They’re raw and real and so reminded me of some of my rides in uncanny ways. If today’s camera technology had been around back then, I could have made some cool movies, I think.