'Long Way Up' Episode 8: Ecuador's Panama hat, 'Star Wars' fans and artistic vibe make a delightful watch

At the other end, the crew on the Rivians make a dash for Central America where they have to ferry their trucks across as the Darién Gap blocks their path


                            'Long Way Up' Episode 8: Ecuador's Panama hat, 'Star Wars' fans and artistic vibe make a delightful watch
(Apple TV+)
ADVERTISEMENT

Spoilers for 'Long Way Up' Episode 8 'Ecuador'

For Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor, their journey in the smooth Ecuadorian roads would most definitely have come as a relief after some rough terrain riding. The pleasant weather just adds to the beauty of the episode as the viewers get a look at the rich artistic vibe of the place. The South American country's diverse landscape encompasses the Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands.

ADVERTISEMENT

And the place clearly has no dearth of 'Star Wars' fans. A good five minutes of the episode is actually devoted to fans as they queue up outside a cafe to take pictures with McGregor and share their happiness on camera. "This is a dream come true," says one of the fans as the actor obliges and actually takes time out to get selfies clicked by the fans. McGregor is best known for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in the 'Star Wars' prequel trilogy (1999–2005).

ADVERTISEMENT

Next up, they stop by one of the factories that make the famed Panama hats. Making hats is a tedious and complex process. And adding to the elegance is another major fact: the hats are handmade and the price goes up to $2000. The toquilla straw hat is made from the plaited leaves of the Carludovica palmata plant, known locally as the toquilla palm or jipijapa palm. Making these hats take up quite some time, as one of the local producers along with the duo explains that it takes roughly up to a month to make a hat. 

ADVERTISEMENT

A still of a Panama hat being made (Apple TV+)

At the other end, the crew on the Rivians make a dash for Central America where they have to ferry their trucks across as the Darién Gap blocks their path. On their way, they come across what they call a motorcycle graveyard where hundreds of bikes are squashed together in a huge compound. They also make a quick pitstop at one of the cacao factories to know more about cocoa production and explain that it is one of the economic drivers of the country.

ADVERTISEMENT

With a good 9,169 miles left before they reach Los Angeles, 'Ecuador' gives the audience another spectacular look at a part of the world with diverse cultures and some novelty that we don't see every day. 'Long Way Up' has been on a roll as it has showcased some great places this season and as Boorman and McGregor surge ahead, there's more exotic places and cultures to look forward to.

ADVERTISEMENT

'Long Way Up' Episode 8 is available for streaming on Apple TV+