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Comedians Ed Byrne and Dara O Briain embark on an epic 4,000-mile adventure on the Pan-American Highway.
|S01E01||Arizona to Southern Mexico||24/03/2015||Beginning their 4,000-mile journey in Arizona, Dara O Briain and Ed Byrne soon find that their 21st-century trip is just as hair-raising, surprising and enlightening as the original expedition 70 years earlier. Having found out more about the three intrepid travellers from Detroit who first set out to drive this route, the boys speed towards the US/Mexico border. Their journey takes them through the beautiful seaside resort of Mazatlan and on to Mexico City, one of the world's great megacities. Over 70 years ago, the original adventurers met Miguel Aleman who would later become president of Mexico. Dara and Ed meet his son and hear how Aleman Senior was inspired by Sullivan's expedition to begin construction of the Pan-American Highway. After watching Mexico's famous lucha libre wrestlers, Dara and Ed head south, visiting the ancient Zapotec civilisation of Monte Alban, before heading on to Oaxaca. Along the way they experience the darker side of the pan-American dream, when they witness the steady stream of migrants risking their lives to get to North America by riding a freight train nicknamed La Bestia. Just like the original expedition, Dara and Ed stop off in Juchitán to sample the local delicacy, iguana, and visit an iguana sanctuary, before reaching a state-of-the-art coffee farm set high in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountains. The coffee farm is owned by the same German immigrant family who welcomed Ken and Arnold from the original expedition back in the 1940s. This first leg of their journey takes them ten days, compared to the two months it took in the 1940s. Along the way, Dara and Ed discover how the Pan-American Highway has helped transform Mexico into one of the most powerful and dynamic countries in the Americas.|
|S01E02||Guatemala to Nicaragua||31/03/2015||Using Sullivan Richardson's expedition journals as their guide, Dara and Ed continue their epic road trip into Guatemala. After crossing the border they head for Lake Atitlan, the deepest lake in Central America. In this traditionally Mayan area, they stop to pay their respects to the chain-smoking, rum-toting Mayan deity Maximon, who blesses their journey. Back on the highway they find themselves dodging the colourfully painted chicken buses - the main form of transport used by the locals. Whilst Dara catches a ride on one with morning commuters, Ed goes in search of the engineers who take these clapped out American school buses, modify and paint them for a new life in Guatemala. Dara discovers how dangerous life on the highway can be. The buses are regularly held up by gangs who force people to give them money under the threat of violence. The intrepid duo drive on to the ancient colonial city of Antigua, now a World Heritage Site, before scaling the nearby active Pacaya Volcano. Following the trail of the three adventurers, Dara and Ed head to San Salvador in El Salvador, where they track down the newspaper articles that covered the original expedition. Whilst stopping to pick up souvenirs in San Salvador market, they learn first-hand about the gangs that plague everyday life in El Salvador, making it one of the most violent countries in Central America. Skirting through the southern tip of Honduras, Dara and Ed cross the Choluteca Bridge, one of the few to survive Hurricane Mitch, before heading on into Nicaragua. Ed can't resist another volcano and climbs to the top of Cerro Negro to try out the brand new sport of volcano boarding. As they pass through Leon, Dara and Ed meet two Sandinista veterans who fought a vital battle on the Pan Am which helped to overthrow the despotic Somoza regime in the 1970s. Reaching Managua, the duo witness a more optimistic side of Nicaragua as they hook up with international baseball star Dennis Martinez for a game|
|S01E03||Costa Rica to Panama||07/04/2015||In this episode, on the last leg of their pan-American road trip, Dara and Ed travel south through the mountains of Costa Rica to Panama. In northern Costa Rica, the Pan Am follows the exact same trail blazed by the Richardson expedition over 70 years ago. Here, Dara and Ed become Sabaneros or Costa Rican Cowboys for the day, learning to herd cattle on horseback and lasso calves at the El Cojito ranch.|