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Five billion kilometres of roads network the planet.
Our desire to develop means new routes are being forged through increasingly difficult terrain.
Across arctic wilderness...
That was a game of chicken, there.
..over high mountain passes...
That's as big as a drop as we've seen so far
..and through dense jungles.
Good work, very good work.
These roads may be a testament to man's ingenuity,
but driving on them requires skill...
I'm going to get out the car. I can't bear it.
..and a steady nerve.
This programme contains some strong language.
Good friends and fellow comedians Ed Byrne and Andy Parsons
have teamed up to drive across Siberia.
Quite a dicey bit, I'm starting to get the willies, ever so slightly
Only one road crosses this vast and inhospitable land,
the Kolyma Highway.
Built in the 1930s,
it claimed the lives of over one million prisoners
during its construction, earning it the name the Road Of Bones.
Keep it dead straight. Dead straight.
Their aim is to reach the coastal town of Magadan
known as the Gateway To Hell.
I mean, that is a complete whiteout.
The road they are taking has some of the most brutal driving conditions
either of them have ever encountered,
on one of the world's most dangerous roads.
Ed and Andy start their journey in the world's coldest city, Yakutsk.
Temperatures here rival those deep inside the arctic circle.
It's a bone-chilling minus 27 degrees Celsius,
and forecast to fall even lower.
First stop is one of Yakutsk's many heated lock ups.
Not even cars can be left out in the elements.
I'm guessing it's that one there. Hello. Zdravstvujtye.
How old is this car, Sergei?
Is there anything we need to know in regards to the engine and the running of the car?
Fuel stops are few and far between, so Sergei is showing them
how to refuel on the go.
-Wow, it's actually...
You've got to suck it.
How did it taste?
-It's a bit...petroly.
-That's a '94.
I just think it's going to be an adventure,
a proper, old-school adventure.
The cold, I'm definitely going to be nervous of the cold.
If we ever need to have a wee in the snow, when its past minus 30,
you've got to keep spraying, keep moving,
otherwise it's liable to freeze back up towards your penis,
and nobody wants that, do they?
We've known each other some 17 years.
We haven't really gotten on each other's nerves yet,
but I think this could be the tester, this could be.
I think I could possible push him right to the brink
of what is humanly possible to stand from another person.
We are on the road.
Let's put it there.
Sorry, I should've smacked that.
It was nice to get a hold.
Rather than just hold your hand like the end of Thelma & Louise.
-Don't do it!
-Let's just keep going! Let's just keep going!
Stretching almost half way round the planet,
Russia remains one of the world's true great wildernesses.
Nearly 5,000km east of Moscow
is the frozen city of Yakutsk.
And their route will take them over 2,000km
to the coastal town of Magadan.
It's actually quite nice, this stretch, the way it kind of wends its way through the hills, isn't it?
Ed and Andy begin their journey on the Kolyma Highway,
built to access the vast gold, oil, and iron reserves,
buried deep inside the Siberian mountains.
I say... Oi, it's quite a nice bit, this,
where it wends its way.
You just keep your eyes on the road.
Today they have to cover over 300km to reach their home for the night.
They'll be staying with reindeer herders
high up in the mountains.
We'll be sleeping in a yurt tonight.
I have slept in a yurt before.
And how was it? Was it a good experience?
No, it was a load of shit.
Is there not a Premier Inn nearby?
We'll light a fire. It'll be lovely. You and I could cuddle up.
-You and me could spoon.
I was trying to picture you and me spooning in a yurt, you know...
You don't need to picture it,
it's going to happen in a matter of hours, it'll be taking place.
I'm sleeping with the reindeer.
Ed's been behind the wheel for the past six hours,
making good progress and they've covered almost 200km.
This is quite a dicey bit,
I'm starting to get the willies, ever so slightly.
That looks fairly sharp.
They've come off the road in the path of oncoming traffic.
Spotting their immediate danger, passing drivers waste no time
and pull them out.
Thank you, thank you.
You weren't expecting the car to do that either, were you?
I only passed my test about three years ago.
Apparently he only passed his test three years ago,
now he didn't actually tell me that before we left the UK.
Had he told me that,
I might've asked for a slightly more experienced co-driver.
Reindeer herders are traditionally nomadic communities,
living in makeshift camps.
With no fixed address, Andy and Ed have arranged to meet them
on the side of the road, but they're not sure exactly where.
We should see them in the next 20k, or so.
Yeah, so we're looking out.
But over 60km on,
and there's still no sign of tonight's accommodation.
Let's not imagine all the things that could go wrong here.
-It could be you and I sleeping in our 4x4...
..with the engine running all night.
I can see some lights ahead.
Yep, this could be our man.
This could be our contact, our reindeer connection.
Let's get down here. Let's have a look.
Cheers, fellas. Now, you go, we'll follow you?
With the temperature now well below minus 40,
they head out across the frozen tundra
following their hosts for the night.
The Yakuts rely on reindeers for their survival,
providing them with transportation, shelter,
clothing, medicine and food.
-Let's get in.
Oh, we're very late.
Yeah, sorry about that.
It's lucky we're having stew.
How do you decide which reindeer you're going to eat of an evening?
Old reindeers who can no longer pull a sledge?
I love your cutting skills, there.
I mean, that is a chunk and a half, isn't it?
It's very good
Valentina runs the herd with her four sons.
How many reindeer do you have?
A thousand? Is that considered quite a large reindeer farm?
And you have done this all your life?
So, tonight, we are supposed to be staying in a yurt,
now you've probably heard of "glamping" - glamorous camping.
Let me tell you this certainly isn't "glurting".
This is the accommodation,
that is ice, this is my sleeping beauty over here.
That is the toilet facility for this evening.
Solids will just have to wait for another day.
With the morning sun comes light but no solace from the bitter cold.
It's minus 51.
So, last night was pretty horrific.
Turns out we were actually sleeping
in the kitchen of the reindeer farmers.
So they were coming in every hour to, in fact,
put on more logs onto the stove,
as you can probably see a little bit of stove there.
So, in-between the massive heat coming off the furnace,
and the ice on the side of the yurt walls,
and the cars running continuously,
I was having massive anxiety dreams,
thinking that maybe I was going to be boiled alive,
or frozen to death, or run over.
Before the 1930s,
there were no roads in Siberia.
The only way to cross this vast and inaccessible land
was on sledges pulled by reindeer.
You have some good looking reindeer and some fine looking sleds,
-can we have a go?
-This one has only one horn.
OK, it's perfectly natural. He's not the crazy one
We don't have to worry. Get on him.
Take it away, Ed.
Oh, we're off!
Oh, my goodness me. Here we go. Crikey!
We didn't really know exactly what was going to happen,
and the next thing you know, he jumps on me.
And I was like, "Oh, OK. We're friends now, are we?"
Wow, look at this!
Mine's having a poo! Mine is having a poo!
It was good, it wasn't as bumpy or as fast
as I thought it was going to be, but my penis froze, I think.
The next settlement on the highway is Khandyga,
first established to build the Road Of Bones.
Carved out of the mountain side by gangs of prisoners,
the road is remarkable, not only for the sheer scale of its engineering,
but also for the cruelty and inhumanity
that was carried out during its construction.
In the 1930s, the discovery of gold
in the mountainous interior of Siberia
prompted dictator Joseph Stalin
to set up a network of forced labour camps known as gulags
to construct a road to access the region's precious resources.
Arriving in Khandyga,
Ed and Andy meet up with Sergei, a local history enthusiast.
So, these are all gulags, these are all sites of gulags?
Far east territory.
And so that is the Road of Bones?
-From Khandyga to Magadan.
So, it's basically... the road is a mass grave?
And can you tell us, in total, how many people actually died?
A million people died?!
It's a very sobering thought that the people that built this road
probably died doing it, and you're actually rolling over
a testament to slavery and imprisonment.
So, can you tell us,
what sort of things did people actually get sent to the gulags for?
And is it right that you could just tell a joke against Stalin,
maybe to a friend, and if somebody overheard the joke
that was enough to send you away to the gulag in Siberia?
I'm guessing a stand-up comedian never existed in Stalin's time.
Even if you got one joke and told that to somebody,
that was enough,
and not only was it if you told a joke -
whoever heard the joke,
anybody who was related to you over any period of time,
anybody could be done.
All over the world, there are people, even today,
who can't do what we've taken for granted
being able to do for a long time.
We can make jokes about our government
and jokes about our leaders and it really doesn't matter.
After Stalin's death in 1953,
the majority of the Gulag camps were closed,
the inmates left to fend for themselves.
With nowhere to go, many decided to stay,
their former prison became their homes.
Kyubyume, is that right?
I wonder... like, the fact that people stayed
after it stopped being a gulag,
and then they turned it into a town,
how bad did life get then as a town that they finally decided to leave?
Yeah. Do you fancy having a little walk round?
I think we ought.
You go first, Ed.
That's an old projector.
That is a projector.
-Is it a cinema?
-It's an old cinema, maybe.
It must be, this must be the old projection room.
That is incredible - somebody's cut it all up,
didn't like what was in there.
It's an old episode of Have I Got News For You.
It'd be really cool if I could identify what film it was but I can't see anything.
Let's go round into the cinema bit.
I wonder if it doubled as a theatre, as well,
You going to do me a quick five minutes, Ed?
Hey, anybody here from Khandyga.
Yeah, we know what you guys do with reindeers, yeah, am I right?
Am I right?
There's something really eerie about deserted places, it's just horrible.
If the sun wasn't shining, this would be particularly scary, wouldn't it?
Yeah, I'm not a man who believes in ghosts
but I wouldn't really fancy hanging around here at night.
No, a town built on an old gulag that is now deserted, grim.
-It's a horror story waiting to happen, isn't it?
-Let's get out.
Ed and Andy have reached the only junction on the Kolyma Highway,
for the first time they have a choice of routes.
They can either take a short cut along the old road
which heads directly east -
it's a less travelled route
and the conditions are notoriously unpredicatble -
or they can continue on the modern highway,
but this is an extra day's drive further north
and adds over 500km to their journey.
It's, sort of, make-your-mind-up time, isn't it?
Because this is the old road.
And we've just passed the sign to the new road that goes north
to the gold mines and is the longer route round.
But the safer route, the longer, safer, easier route.
-So, which route are we going to take?
-What do you think?
-The short one to the coldest place on Earth.
It's a no brainer. A, it's shorter.
-And B, it's more exciting
because we get to visit the coldest inhabited place on Earth.
-We're not going to miss out on that, are we?
Right, let's do the old road.
This is a very different sort of road, isn't it?
The snow is freshly packed, it's much narrower, all single lane.
Guess it'll save us 500k but it could cost us.
It could cost us one Nissan Safari.
WHOA! Just... foot off the gas.
Did the verge just get a bit too soft there?
I don't know, it suddenly lost the wheel on the right hand side.
But I will keep the speed down a bit.
Andy and Ed are aiming to reach Tomtor by nightfall.
Along with its sister town Oymyakon,
they both claim the title of the coldest inhabited place on Earth.
In such extreme conditions, monitoring the weather is vital.
Siberia has over 2000 weather stations,
and the boys arrive as Sergei is sending through his latest report.
In the time you've been here, what's the lowest temperature you've seen recorded?
So, there is a competition between Oymyakon
and Tomtor as to which is the coldest.
What is the answer?
OK, Oymyakon, that's the champion.
I wonder if a town or settlement
holds the record as being the coldest inhabited place on Earth,
do you reckon its inhabitants also hold the record
for the most bloody minded people on Earth?
"I'm living here. I don't care how cold it is."
Andy and Ed have made it Oymyakon.
Life in the coldest inhabited place on Earth
presents a unique set of problems.
Locals have come up with some ingenious solutions.
Some cows on the right hand side, there.
Indeed. Hello, ladies.
Oh, look at that! One's got a little contraption round it,
warming up its bits.
-Did you see that, back up now. Have a look.
This one has got a jock strap.
It's a bra!
-It's a bra over the udders.
-That is something else, isn't it?
It's not the most aesthetically pleasing bra, though, is it?
It does look like a thong, doesn't it?
It does, it is weird to think all the cows we've ever seen
this is the first decent cows you and I have ever witnessed.
You certainly realise just how wanton and disgusting
the cows back home are.
Hi, are these your cows?
And tell us exactly what are they wearing?
And is it a matter of personal pride
that you live in the coldest inhabited place on Earth?
Have you ever thought of moving 40 km to Tomtor
because it's a little bit warmer?
It's colder than I could've comprehended.
You feel it on your face,
but you're wrapped up against it
and you're all right for about ten or fifteen minutes.
You can go out into it for short bursts
and then you can slowly but surely
feel your core temperature start to drop
and you know you have to get back inside.
It does feel like a very hostile environment.
Arriving in Tomtor, they're parking up in a heated garage,
and for the first time in four days
they can finally switch the engine off.
We've done about half of the old road.
We've got 320km to complete tomorrow to finish off the old road.
Apparently this is the tricky part of the road -
the locals don't do it they use the new road,
which we decided we weren't going to do,
apparently quite a lot of snow would have been blown by the wind,
the locals reckon, which would've covered certain bits of the road
so you can't even tell it's the road.
Some of the bridges have not been maintained since the 1930s or '40s
so it's certainly a challenge.
If you are looking behind me thinking I'm in a wood - no.
That's just the Russians idea of a cracking bit of wallpaper.
Tomtor marks the last settlement on the old road.
Now out of town, they will need to be totally self-sufficient.
Try not to hit any potholes, I've got coffee in my hand.
That could be going in your lap. There could be a court case coming.
I'm telling you!
This coffee is OK.
Today will not be a bad day.
This coffee is a good omen.
Have you burnt yourself?
No, it's fine, it's OK.
I'll be all right, just think of the mission.
We've a long day of driving ahead of us so we can't dawdle.
No, we're not quite sure how long.
All we know is we've either got to get there or turn back.
There's nothing in between, is there?
How will we?
Do you think it's a bit premature
to work out how we'll celebrate this evening?
And do you think it will involve vodka?
I sincerely hope so.
Here we go, this looks like...
Oh, no. It's just a big dip.
Maybe, let's have a look at it first.
Yeah, it looks fine, doesn't it?
Sorry about that, mate.
That's all right, mate.
Can you reverse? We'll be all right.
OK, that's just spinning.
-We'll try a bit of forward back, forward back.
I would say that is well and truly stuck, wouldn't you?
Maybe if we put the whats-the-name, the differential lock on,
we might be able to do it,
put it in, you know, low 4-wheel drive.
Ed, shall we tear those branches off to get it out?
Do you think that's going to help?
Well, it's blocked on this side, at the moment,
so we're not going to go forward there.
OK, I need to sort my boots out.
-You all right, mate?
-You get back in and I'll see how it looks from out here.
Put it in second and see what happens.
Second, and just see what happens.
OK, here we go, there we go.
There we go!
OK, we have to go, we have to go.
So, another dip coming up.
Take this one quite gently, if that's all right with you, Ed?
I would be more than happy.
The gentler you take this, the happier I'll be.
OK, Ed, here we go, good luck us!
Look at that! Smooth as!
-Got to be happy with that, haven't you?
This is a bridge, Ed.
Ed and Andy have reached the Indigirka River,
the only way across is over a 180m bridge.
It's a big old bridge
Built by gulag prisoners in the late '30s,
the devastatingly frigid conditions have taken their toll.
The snow covers years of neglect.
You seen this bit here, Ed?
You can see all the way down.
-That's not very encouraging, is it?
-It's not great, is it?
Somebody's put a blank across it, by the looks of it to protect it.
Let's hope it stays.
See, the edges of the bridge have come away, here.
-They've just rotted down.
I don't want to be a nervous Nelly or a pessimist
but it doesn't seem very safe.
Can't we just stay here and admire the view?
-We've got to get off, let's just do it.
No, I'm not happy with it but I think we ought to do it
-because we don't really have any choice.
Ed will walk ahead, guiding Andy and their two-ton 4x4 across.
Just keep it dead straight, keep it dead straight!
I can actually feel the bridge bending, ever so slightly.
There's another massive hole, there.
There's a bit of a bodge repair job, there.
What's going on there Ed?
It's the newest part of the bridge, we can rely on it.
But Ed is very skinny
so it's a slight difference between having Ed Byrne jump on something
and having a car go across it.
Ed's across, I'm across.
Thank you, very much!
There was our first rickety bridge.
The first of many, I'm sure.
These tracks have got narrower and narrower, haven't they?
We haven't seen anybody going in either direction.
This is not a well-used road.
It's definitely fair to say that if it's like this for too much longer we haven't got a hope, have we?
I'm hoping we're going to get through this bit of mountain
and come down the other side.
Over five hours behind the wheel
and they've only covered 80km.
Nothing's happening, is it?
No. They're not even spinning. There's just nothing's happening.
It's not looking good, mate.
What is happening with the rear wheels?
This one's spinning,
and the one on the left hand side isn't doing anything at all.
-We're in deep.
So, we have to get under the vehicle and dig under the vehicle. OK?
It's minus 36.
At this temperature,
Andy and Ed must be back in the car within twenty minutes,
or they will risk hypothermia.
Let me know if you find a bone.
That is a horrible thought!
Again, you want to try rocking the vehicle?
-See what you can do by pushing it from the front.
-I'm not moving it.
-It's not going to do anything, is it?
All right, mate, go for it.
-Let's just try reversing,
let's get all the rocks and put them behind the wheels.
One of the first signs of cold taking hold is frostbite -
as the blood vessels under the skin start to freeze
causing irreparable damage.
Hands, ears and nose are the most vulnerable.
Do you want to just give me a quick buddy check?
My nose is feeling pretty cold.
You want me to check your nose?
Yeah, just a quick check of my nose, no white?
I'm not talking about bogeys.
No, you're all right, you're red.
Let's give it a whirl.
I'll stand to the side just in case.
Yeah, you're getting somewhere. Yeah, it's good.
It's good, mate. Yeah, come on.
Is it moving?
Yes, straight back, straight back, yeah, good, good keep going!
It's great. It's cool.
Put it there, buddy.
Do you want to drive?
I'm happy to have a little go.
This has stopped being fun, now.
I think we're all good, mate. Let's take it slowly.
Having spent hours driving in the most extreme terrain,
they've covered just 160km,
with another 80 to go.
Come on, you bastard!
I'm now of the opinion
that there is absolutely no point in going on, mate.
I think our chances of getting to our destination are zilch.
I thought we were going to do it.
What it feels like right now is -
if you imagine you've spent you know, four or five hours
constructing a beautiful model out of matchsticks
and then you're dad came in and just stepped on it.
The sun is about to go behind that mountain.
-We don't want to be stuck here in the dark.
-Take it away.
They've got no choice
but to turn around and return the 160km back to Tomtor
for a second night.
Yeah, we're very disappointed.
You never want to go back, do you?
We tried hard
and I'm just sad we've not been able to make it.
It's like trying to push water uphill, trying to drive in this.
It's beyond the skills of someone
who only passed his test three years ago.
So, we're back in Tomtor.
When we arrived here last night,
I was delighted to see the place -
warm beds, our own flushing toilet,
the chance to have a bath,
Tomtor was a sight for sore eyes yesterday.
Coming here again today feels really depressing.
When we made the decision to turn round,
I really felt sick, although that might have been
the amount of carbon monoxide I breathed in,
whilst trying to dig the car out
Having failed to make it on the old road,
they must now double back 180km
to where the old road re-joins the highway.
From there it's another 155km through the Chersky mountain range
to the gold mining town of Ust' Nera.
It's well passed midday by the time they reach an all too familiar spot.
Shall we take the old road or shall we take the new road?
What do you think?
Well, my feeling is that we're probably better off on the new road.
I think it's more reliable. It seems like the more sensible thing to do.
-We'll only get depressed if we don't make it.
I reckon let's go on the new road and it may take us a little bit longer but we get a chance to go Ust' Nera.
Because the last thing we want is to head off from here
and find ourselves back here in the exact same place, ooh,
some 48 hours later with nothing to show for it.
-We'd be depressed about that.
This way, going on the new road, it's apparently a mining town,
and we all know how beautiful heavy industry can make a town.
-Yeah, that's sounds like a plan.
-Shall we do it?
-Yeah, let's do it.
This newer section of the Kolyma highway
was upgraded in 2008 with new bridges
and a paved surface.
The road will take them over 1,000 feet into the Chersky range.
Mountains that have some of the largest gold deposits in the world.
That's pretty spectacular.
Not bad, at all, is it?
We wouldn't have seen that if we'd have made it on the old road.
What, the sun?
I don't mean the sun, I meant that vista.
We weren't seeing no mountains yesterday ,were we?
We were seeing some. They weren't as spectacular a view as that, though.
-It's very impressive.
-I'm just trying to look on the bright side.
I'm enjoying it.
I'm trying to keep my eyes on the road at the same time.
You keep your eyes on the road. I'll admire the view.
You describe it to me. I'll try not to get over excited
It's really quite something.
We haven't seen this level of icing on the trees until now, have we?
-Even though we've possibly been colder than this.
It certainly gives the Scottish Highlands a run for their money.
The mountains are remote and exposed.
There are no settlements or fuel stops
for another 100km.
How we doing for fuel, then?
I was hoping you wouldn't ask me that,
the light hasn't actually come on but it's about to,
I don't want to...
we have to refuel before the engine konks out or otherwise the engine will freeze, so,
we should probably think about making a stop
and sticking some diesel in
So, were we thinking that whoever done the most heinous
driving crime so far should take a sup of fuel for the team?
We did say that, but...
..that would mean I'm the one who has to do the sucking, doesn't it?
Well, I think that's probably why I've remembered that agreement.
I have a feeling had it been me,
I'd be less keen to have remembered what we'd agreed.
Which end you fancy?
I'll do this end, yeah.
OK, this ends going in.
I've got a great view from up here.
Warm up the throat.
-It's like if it was clear, you could see it coming.
I think you might hear it and smell it.
Pretty smooth, is that definitely going?
Absolutely, it's filling.
-Blimey, how much you get?
-Only a tiny bit.
It doesn't even taste that bad.
That Galloping Knight from Wetherspoons
tastes much the same, does it?
-Yep, yep, we are full.
-Lovely. Good work.
It does smell of diesel in here, now, doesn't it?
It does, I don't want to get too close to you.
Isn't sucking diesel some sort of Irish phrase?
Yeah, for now you're cooking with gas, now you're doing well.
Now you're sucking diesel. Now you're motoring.
You were sucking diesel now we're motoring.
-Ust' Nera city limits.
This gold mining town was established in the 1950s
as a gulag camp to house prisoners
forced to work the town's gold mine.
Look at that!
Have you ever had the most beautiful drive of your life
and then felt a need for balance?
Ust' Nera, twinned with Port Talbot.
With temperatures averaging below minus 40,
life in such a cold climate depends on heat.
A central coal fired boiler house warms the whole town -
pumping out heat through a web of raised pipes
that crisscross the frozen streets to every home.
Hello and welcome to what's apparently the finest hotel
in Ust' Nera.
And I've decided to have a bath so I started running the bath
and this is what it looks like.
That's inviting, isn't it?
That's like where the blood coming out of the taps scene
in Amityville Horror came from.
I think I am still going to have a bath, though.
Right, let's get out of here.
If we never have to come here again, it'll be too soon.
Look at that, the mist is covering the beauty of Ust' Nera.
Ust' Nera - it looks better in the fog.
Ed and Andy are now on the final stage of their journey.
From Ust' Nera they are heading South for another 750km
to the end of the highway at the coastal town of Magadan.
The road here is good, but with that comes an increase in traffic,
colossal trucks hauling materials between the mines in the north
and the ports in the south dominate the road.
He's a big fella, isn't he?
Yeah, and a bit on our side of the road, as well.
This vital transport link must be kept open all year round,
and to do that requires some serious kit.
This is amazing, isn't it?
This is what keeps the whole road running.
Look at this thing!
You wouldn't want to get your car in front of this one, do you?
That is massive.
It's one and a half our height.
Yeah, dobre dein, dobre dein, Andy.
Do you drive these as well as fix them?
And what are they like to drive?
I'd say it must be very exciting driving such a big machine.
We are driving from Yakutsk to Magadan.
It's supposed to be quite a dangerous road,
what advice do you have for us on the Kolyma highway?
That's a great proverb!
So, the advice is if we see a lorry, and it's a big old one,
they've only got eyes for themselves looking straight ahead,
pull over and let them pass.
-Let's just hang on here, I think.
-Take it easy.
The road has many steep hills and vicious corners,
and when heavily loaded
these mega trucks give way for no-one.
Braking on such icy roads
is next to impossible.
We are on a proper, narrow, high bit, here.
We really, really don't want to meet anything coming the other way, now.
-I thought you were just mucking me, for a minute.
No, you could just feel the whole thing just drifting offline.
The sooner we're off this stretch of road the better.
Russia has one of the largest road fatality rates in the world,
with over 30,000 deaths in 2011, alone.
I've also noticed, I don't know if you've seen them,
there's various gravestones at the side of the road
and the Russian tradition seems to be
to put the steering wheel of the car next to the gravestone,
-and that seems slightly...
-It seems distasteful, doesn't it?
Well, it does. Because you're wondering whether, maybe, the steering wheel
was to blame for the actual crash in the first place.
Yeah, it does seem a little bit distasteful, I think.
A bit like putting a toilet seat on Elvis Presley's grave.
Yeah, or 700 burgers.
Oh, yeah, I can see a little, can you see something on there?
-It's quite extensive.
-There's a town up there.
Once the home to over 10,000 people, Kadykchan now lies abandoned.
On the right hand side,
it looks like you could be in some third world war zone, doesn't it?
Dependent on the heating provided from the town's boiler house,
Kadykchan's fate was sealed when it failed,
causing all the pipe-work to freeze and burst.
With no heating, everyone was forced to leave.
You know like that Japanese prisoner of war who didn't give up
until 1970s or whatever, do you think there might be one person
who's still living here?
Who's going, "No, I'm never moving."
I'm not keen to get stuck in the snow here, Ed.
Today the boys are aiming to cover the 320km
to the coastal town of Magadan,
which marks the end of the Kolyma Highway
and the end of their journey.
So, our final day and it's snowing for the first time.
And there is good news and there is bad news with snow.
The bad news is that it makes the conditions on the road more treacherous.
It makes the visibility lower.
The good news?
The good news is it's very pretty
The road remains open for now,
but a severe weather warning has been issued.
Isn't there a Ranulph Fiennes quote like that there's no such...
Thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.
Did you not want me to finish the quote?
I don't think it's Ranulph Fiennes. I think it's wrongly attributed.
I'm pretty certain it's Ranulph Fiennes,
it would have been nice to complete it, though, wouldn't it?
-This is what happens when travelling with you for ten days,
is that you start completing my sentences.
I read you like a book, Andy Parsons.
I already know what you're thinking.
Out of the shelter of the town,
Andy and Ed are quickly hit by the full ferocity
of a Siberian snowstorm.
What do you reckon visibility is at the moment?
It's not even 50 metres, is it?
I mean, that is a complete whiteout.
Some of this is now just guesswork
as to where exactly the side of the road is, isn't it?
You don't want to be meeting a lorry come the other way
at the same time, do you?
Are you trying to...?
He was holding the middle lane.
That was a game of chicken, right there.
He was not getting out of the way.
You know that once you they go past it, you won't be able to see anything for a few yards.
What happened to that Russian proverb, the slower you go the faster you'll get there,
what happened to that?
What's horrible is, when you get a whiteout,
you want to just stop completely but then there's a chance
somebody from behind will crash into the back of you,
so, you've got to keep going,
even though you can't see anything.
We've got a taste of just how horrible this place can be.
Even on the widest, most well maintained part of the road.
Here we go,
the sign we've been looking forward to for 2000 kilometres.
For the last 10 days,
Andy and Ed have driven the full length of the Kolyma highway.
right to the end of the road to the port town of Magadan.
Founded as a transit centre in the early '30s for prisoners
being sent to labour camps,
it also marked the way home for the lucky few
that survived their sentence.
I've never seen a frozen sea before.
Every day really has been an adventure,
we've seen a part of Russia that most Russians haven't even seen.
You know, we've seen absolute wilderness,
as well as really ugly gold mine towns.
So, it's been an absolute adventure.
-Well done, sir, well done.
-Very fine work.
-Maybe a little chest bump, perhaps?
-Eh! Why not!
-There we go.
I would definitely do it all again,
going to the coldest inhabited place on Earth
you're going be able to talk about that for some time.
I think, considering I've only been driving for three years,
and it feels like most of that has been in the last ten days,
I think I've done pretty well. I'm quite pleased with myself.
Part of me doesn't want it to be over. We should go a little bit further.
You want me to drive, with you, off some ice? Shall we?
Let's keep going, let's not stop, keep going.
And that is Alaska over there.
-Let's face it. Shall we keep going?
-Let's keep going.
Come on, then.
For me it was the dream team.
As it's gone on we've grown together,
I thought for a moment on the last day
we were actually going to get it together
but it's not happened
but I'll definitely miss him and I hope he writes.
We've had whiteouts, we've had wipe-outs,
we've had to dig ourselves out of holes.
We've dug ourselves out of holes,
we got a little bit of frost nip on the nose.
-Not my good strong Irish nose.
Your weak-arsed, West country nose got frost nip.
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