Long Way Up episode 8 recap – what happened in “Ecuador”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 23, 2020 (Last updated: January 10, 2024)
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Long Way Up Recap
Long Way Up Season 1 Promotional Image - Credit to Apple TV+


Long Way Up episode 8 sees a brief pit stop at Ecuador — but it’s proven that even pit stops can be chaotic.

This recap of Apple TV+ series Long Way Up season 1, episode 8, “Ecuador” contains significant spoilers.

We will be recapping every episode — check out the archive.

The opening

Ewan and Charley arrive in Ecuador. The pair are excited to be in a new country. Their route leads the men to Guayaquil, Ecuador. The city has an artistic vibe to it. The beginning of the episode reminds the viewer that Ewan McGregor is a star as while at a restaurant with the producer and Charley, crowds gather around — it turns into a photo opportunity session. Meanwhile, the production team heads to the port with the Rivians.

Deforestation in Ecuador.

Ewan and Charley head to a hat-weaving store for Panama hats. The store shows them the process that takes days to do. Of course, both men buy a hat as a souvenir. The pair then head to a conservancy — a group trying to maintain forests that are at threat of deforestation in Ecuador. They meet Jerry from the Third Millennium Alliance. He’s trying to allow the forest to grow back as it’s suffered from 98% deforestation mostly due to cattle patching. Jerry has been planting trees for years with the organisation and now they are letting nature take its natural course. Jerry used to be on Wall Street in New York.

This part of episode 8 is fascinating as it shows the damage we can do to nature but it also shows hope in how we can restore it.

Shipment problems

The Rivians make it to an Ecuadorian port and the production crew tell them they need to get their vehicles on the boat. There’s a concern that the port doesn’t know about their arrival as there is no ship. They need the ship to take them to Panama. The producer is worried that if they do not sort out their route, Ewan and Charley will have no support as they split up.

Bike malfunction

Tragedy strikes for one of the bikes in episode 8.

Charley and Ewan are embarking on slippery roads on their way to Tulcan, Ecuador. It’s their last day in Ecuador. All of a sudden, Ewan’s bike will not start due to a possible software malfunction. They ring Harley-Davidson HQ for support — they are told that the prototype had installed a range, and the software is blocked — the battery management failed with the software update. The team are given two options: either send a new bike or a new battery. The woman on support sounded very nervous delivering this news, probably because it’s a major project for Harley-Davidson. Luckily, a lot of the journey to Panama is now on a plane — so they place the bike on the back of a vehicle. Ewan has to ride the camera man’s bike.

The ending

When Ewan and Charley reach the customs at the Colombian border, they initially tell them they cannot go through. But then the border officers realise it’s Ewan McGregor from Star Wars and they are all let through. In Colombia, they visit a famous church. As they continue their route, they hear about a landslide so there’s caution. Ewan and Charley ride in the rain and dark again.

Ewan and Charley could miss the boat as their plane is delayed due to fog. Their gear is also too heavy for the plane. The police send sniffer dogs in to see if the crew has drugs, alcohol or illegal substances. As the fog clears up at their airport, the other airport now has fog. It’s disaster after disaster.

Long Way Up episode 8 sees a brief pit stop at Ecuador — but it’s proven that even pit stops can be chaotic. The series is nearing an end and so far, it’s a good move by Apple to bring this to their platform — Ewan and Charley are wonderful to watch as they embark on a journey.

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