Seven young explorers relive the legend of Sir Walter Raleigh. Half of the team undertake a long horse ride in search of the legendary lost city of El Dorado.
Browse content similar to Episode 4. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Seven young explorers are taking on the toughest challenge of their lives...
an extreme expedition in South America.
That is mad!
They're attempting a series of astonishing world firsts.
-Oh, my God!
-..going where no children have been before...
-..to get to some of the most awesome places on earth.
-We've reached the top!
-Land to starboard!
The team are following in the footsteps of the great Elizabethan, Sir Walter Raleigh,
the first Englishman to explore Guyana as he searched for El Dorado,
the lost city of gold.
Led by survival expert Ben Major
and record-breaking adventurer Polly Murray,
the epic journey will push the seven explorers to the limit...
-It's all fine.
-I hate it so much.
-Are you having a laugh?
It's too scary.
-..a top treat for one lucky explorer.
Happiest kid on the planet right now.
-Tackling a treacherous ravine.
-Yes, you can.
-And drama down on the ranch.
-Oh, my God!
It was just a bit scary, that's all.
Previously on Serious Explorers,
Chanelle had a bad allergic reaction to insect bites.
I look like the Elephant Man at the moment.
And had to return home after just a week in Guyana.
Nikita was devastated.
Chanelle's going. I'm really upset because she was like one of my best friends on the whole trip.
-The remaining seven regrouped for a massive challenge...
-Right, let's go.
..to climb the spectacular 10,000-foot Mount Roraima.
With Nikita's spirits at a low, she found the trek really tough.
-I can't do it.
-See, I think you can do it.
And Sammie also struggled badly.
-Don't worry, it's all fine.
-You're fine. Go.
But Michael encouraged both girls to keep going.
And after a two-day trek, the remaining seven explorers made it up Roraima,
the youngest team on record to stand on the table-top summit.
-I can't believe we're here. It's amazing.
I wouldn't give this up for the world, seriously.
-Well done, everybody.
-Well done, everybody.
As the team celebrate their stunning achievement,
a helicopter is on its way to join them on the summit.
It's been called in by Ben and Polly
to give one deserving explorer a very special reward.
The treat is going to be a ride in a helicopter
flying over the top of Roraima
and that person is going to be, Polly?
We've decided that person is going to be Michael.
You've been a star, mate, OK, encouraging other people up the hill.
I can't think of anyone who deserves it better.
-Michael, come with me.
All the way through today he's been helping me get up the mountain.
Every time I complained he just kept pushing.
He's really amazing.
I don't think they could have picked someone who deserves it more.
This is crazy.
Oh, my... Whoa, that is cool.
Happiest kid on the planet right now.
The unique table-top summit of Roraima is like a lost world,
full of weird, ancient rocks.
It is like landing on the moon.
There's nothing like this I've ever seen in my life.
Wow! Oh, my...!
That is mad.
We've walked all the way up there.
Rock stars and royalty should do that, not me.
That was just...
I don't even know how to describe how cool that was.
After their marathon climb, the explorers will spend the night on the top of Roraima,
sleeping in a cave.
Check it out. This is it for the night.
-Let's get our sleeping areas sorted.
-Roll mats out, sleeping bags.
I thought about sleeping in the middle of nowhere with no shelter but it's pretty nice.
Not many people can say they've slept in a cave,
10,000 feet up.
The Serious Expedition is exploring in the spirit of the Elizabethan adventurer, Sir Walter Raleigh,
who came to South America 400 years ago to try to find El Dorado,
a fabled lost city full of gold.
His search led him to the foothills of Mount Roraima
and he also heard legends about a lake in the plains of Guyana,
which was thought by some to be the location of the golden city.
So the leaders are about to split the group in two.
I know that for her to go horse riding would mean an awful lot.
Polly's group will head down the mountain to live on a ranch,
from where they'll go on horseback to try to find the El Dorado lake.
The Prow's going to be a tough ask.
Ben's group will explore the top of Roraima,
aiming to be the first ever children to reach the furthest point of the giant table top,
known as The Prow.
The young explorers have no idea what's in store for them.
-You guys are going to split.
-I've got a bad feeling about this.
The guys who are going to come with me,
we're going to go and play cowboys
-and we're going to go horse-riding...
..and we're going to do lots of very exciting things.
And then Ben's is hell!
Er, right, for my gang,
whoever they may be,
we are going to try and complete a world first,
heading to The Prow of Roraima.
-So they're both really good. I don't mind either.
Ben, Ben, Ben, Polly, Polly, Polly.
Nikita's keen to be picked by Polly.
-Cool. Well, we have made a decision.
-We have made a decision.
I'm going to take Megan.
I know that Megan has a real passion for horses and animals
and I think you'll get a lot out of it.
I'm going to take Michael.
-Oh, thank goodness!
-I think you'll get a real kick out of what we're going to be doing.
-..you're going to come with me.
-Obviously, I want to take a girl with me.
-No, no, no, no.
And that girl is going to be... Da-da-der da-der...
-For reasons being, believe it or not...
-I can't do it. I'm not going.
..I think you surprised yourself today
and I think you can achieve a lot, lot more.
The final member of the record-attempting Prow team is Jake
and completing the horse-riding team are Josh and Sammie.
I've never been happier in my life.
Most are really pleased with the leaders' decisions.
I'm so happy that I'm going to the horses because I absolutely love horses.
I feel really privileged
to get chosen to go to where nobody my age has been before.
Hopefully, we'll make it.
But Nikita's less happy at the prospect.
Today, coming up here, I was crying nearly all the way
because it's so painful, so they want me to do it even more.
I hate it. I'd rather go home. I would.
Back at the cave, Nikita takes herself away from the rest of the team.
Come over and join the gang, grab some food, yeah?
It really annoys me because it's so painful
and I've had enough of it.
It's really nice to look up here for five, ten minutes or something
because it's pretty or to spend a night
but I can't spend two more nights up here.
As they prepare to bed down, Regan crashes out in seconds.
I think he's had a hard day.
He's fast asleep and there's no waking him.
That is so funny.
Expedition doctor Henry has just rejoined the group,
having treated Chanelle and seen her off safely.
He's brought back a surprise video message for Nikita.
Nikita, I just wanted to show you something.
'Hi, Nikita. It's very upsetting that I have to go home
'but I guess it is for the best.
'I'd just like this message to say that I miss you loads and loads
'and loads and loads.
'And, like, even though I'm not there, still enjoy yourself.
'Don't get upset or anything,
'otherwise I'll hunt you down
'and make sure you're not upset again.
Oh, I think that was so nice, like, that she made that for me.
It's just the boost Nikita needs to take on The Prow.
I do want to do it now.
Chanelle told me I have to do it, so I'm going to do it.
It's 7am on the day of the split.
OK, guys, wakey-wakey.
Time to wake up, yeah? GRUNTING
-How are we doing, team? Did we sleep all right?
The explorers will be apart for six days.
Polly's team will head down off Roraima
to a cowboy ranch in the lowlands of Guyana,
while Ben's team will begin their record attempt,
aiming to be the first children to trek nine miles across the summit
to The Prow.
But a treacherous ravine stands in their way,
so today's goal is to make camp just short of the ravine.
Take care, mate, all right?
You're going to be the first girl to stand on that Prow.
The Prow team of Nikita, Michael and Jake have to tread carefully
over the uneven rocks.
Whoa! Whoo-hoo! That was close.
They've hardly started before Nikita's best intentions seem to be forgotten.
Right, at this very, very early stage,
where we've only been going for about 10 minutes, I'm exhausted.
I want to sit down and my feet are hurting. Yeah.
-We're due for our break.
I don't know whose watch you've been looking at.
Meanwhile, Polly's ranch team are heading back towards the steep path down the mountain.
-It's mad, this place.
On the way, they pass some of Roraima's strange rock formations,
carved by the wind over millions of years.
-This is called Indian Camp.
-I can see faces with massive noses.
It's really cool.
They call him The Guardian. He stands there and watches over.
I thought it was a proper person when I saw it.
This rock's like Scar from The Lion King.
It's quite funny, actually.
OK, guys, steady, steady.
The descent of the mountain is a little easier than yesterday's journey up.
But it's not to be underestimated.
Imagine water flooding down here.
That's fine. Let's move on.
Back on the summit, the Prow team still have three miles to go to camp
and Nikita's mood is plummeting fast.
At this moment I would rather drop down dead.
There's no point in it at all.
I'm exhausted and I've never been so bored in my life.
-I've never heard anyone whinge so much as you.
-I don't like it!
It's boring. It's so boring.
-How can you call this boring?
You're privileged. If you pull your finger out, we might get there.
I doubt it.
-No, no, no!
That is a cairn, yeah, which marks the route.
-Build that back up, Nikita. Seriously.
-What do you mean?
Build that back up again. That's out of order.
-It's bricks. There's plenty of them.
-No, it's not.
-Yeah, there is.
That's been made deliberately so when the weather is really bad, you can find your way.
That's so ridiculous.
It's a pile of bricks someone's probably sat and done when they were bored.
Nikita is at her worst, being difficult for the sake of it.
I can't believe you made me build that thing.
You kicked it over. It was totally unnecessary.
Back in Elizabethan times,
Sir Walter Raleigh was desperate to get to the top of Roraima,
which he'd heard was full of jewels and minerals.
Unfortunately, his expedition never made it,
as they couldn't find a route to the summit.
And Ben's party are about to see why he was so keen to come here.
We're just entering what is known as Crystal Valley,
so this sort of towering gorge and you can see the crystals littering the ground.
Nikita, no vandalism, please.
Vandalism? How can you vandalise this?
You'll find a way to vandalise anything.
Look at all this lot.
A sea of white, glinting in the sun.
The ground is full of natural quartz crystals
and in the magical surroundings, Nikita's like a different person.
I think it's beautiful. It's literally like a crystal carpet.
-I mean, look at that. That is phenomenal.
-They're so shiny.
That's very cool. You get huge great things like this.
All naturally formed.
-Can I buy this?
Roraima is a protected area,
so even if Raleigh were alive today,
he wouldn't be allowed to take any of its treasures.
Oh, my gosh, you just stole that from my bedroom.
I wonder how it formed all the flat bits like that pyramid on top.
-That's amazing. Where'd you get that one?
-On the floor.
-Where'd you get that one from?
-This is so pretty.
Sammie will be so jealous of me. Yeah, she will.
After a six-hour descent, Polly's team have made it to their old camp.
-Well done, Megan. Well done, Sammie. Does that feel good?
I'm so relieved to finally be here.
Just looking at that mountain now, it's unreal.
It's like we didn't climb it.
After trekking eight miles over the summit,
Ben's team have also made it to their campsite.
-Not a bad spot, though, is it?
-It's just amazing.
-Can you see that red sandstone cliff?
Right at the top there, you can see there's a little sort of rock.
That is The Prow.
That's what we're trying to get to stand on top of tomorrow.
But in between where we are now and there,
is a massive great ravine
-and that's what we've got to breach tomorrow morning.
Conditions can be severe on the summit,
so the explorers will spend the night in individual tiny tents
known as bivvy bags.
-It's like a mini tent.
Over supper, Nikita reflects on her severe mood swings.
I keep giving up on things and I'm annoying myself by doing it
and the people that I'm saying it to must get so frustrated with me
but by the end I'm so glad I did everything,
so I'm going to try not to say, "I'm not going to do this or that."
As the temperature drops to just a few degrees,
the team bed down in their cramped bivvy bags.
It's claustrophobic. My hands keep burning up because of sunburn,
I've burnt all my ears, so I can't lay down sideways,
but apart from that, I'm good.
It's virtually a five-star hotel.
I'll ring up room service in a minute.
Overnight, the weather on Roraima takes a serious turn for the worse,
making the day's huge challenge even tougher.
Their goal is to be the first children to stand on The Prow,
but barring their way is a 200-foot wide ravine,
which cuts right across the mountain top.
Let's come onto the shelf. This is our ravine.
The Prow is over there somewhere in the mist.
To get across here is extremely a, dangerous, and b, difficult.
They'll have to use ropes to abseil down and climb back out.
-Looks pretty scary.
-There's loads of big drops,
so it should make it more fun.
It's a world away from Polly's ranch team,
who are about to have their first riding lesson.
Looking good, Sammie.
This is a real experience. I was just happy when I got the hat.
Neither Regan nor Josh have ridden before
but the girls are very experienced, especially Megan.
-I really like that.
Back home in Britain, Megan helps on a farm
-and rides her own horse, called Chester.
A little bit of a kick.
On the cowboy ranch, it's a very different sort of riding,
called Western style.
You hold the reins in one hand and you've got longer stirrups
and it's all just more laidback, really.
-It's just so much nicer.
-Well done, Josh.
Go the other way!
I'm enjoying myself. I think I'm doing OK, so far.
For a first attempt, he's doing pretty good, actually.
They've got the stubbornest horses. It's quite funny, actually.
But Josh has a more serious problem.
He seems to be allergic to the horses.
So expedition doctor Henry checks him out.
-Do you feel wheezy at all?
He's clearly very allergic and he's only getting worse,
and I think it's pushing our luck to continue to expose him to what is causing the problem.
-Let's get away from the horses.
After Chanelle's insect allergy just a few days ago,
it's an unhappy coincidence.
Go and have a sit down.
They decide, for safety, he'll need to stay away from the animals.
I've never known that I would be allergic to horses,
so it's a bit of a disappointment, really.
As Raleigh tried to track down the golden city of El Dorado,
local tribes people constantly referred
to a lake in the lowlands of Guyana.
"They told me they gathered gold on its shores
"in grains as big as small stones."
Some legends claimed the city itself was on island out on the lake.
So Polly's team are going to take a ride out to it.
We've got here an old map that was actually made in 1599
-and they reckon that El Dorado is on this lake somewhere.
At the moment we're just by this range of mountains,
which is probably about a 10km ride.
I'm really excited, actually.
It's like loads of people have tried to find it and not found it.
Maybe we'll have some luck this time.
-Get your leg over!
OK, let's go.
It's a three-hour ride to get to El Dorado Lake,
which is quite a challenge for new rider Regan.
It's just when he gets a bit too bouncy it gets a bit painful.
Even the girls have their work cut out on unfamiliar animals.
Megan's horse, Tom-tom, keeps trying to go really fast
and the other animals speed up to follow it.
Before long, Sammie loses control.
-Whoa, whoa! Stop!
-Sammie, Sammie, Sammie.
-You all right, mate?
-Yeah, I'm fine.
-It's a trot!
I didn't hurt myself. I'm all good. I still love him.
My horse got into a gallop and I was so scared. I was like, "Aargh!"
I was just holding onto the reins.
He's a bit of a speed demon, this one,
but it's all right because I pull him back eventually.
He's a good boy. He does what he's told.
On top of Mount Roraima, Ben's team start to cross the huge ravine
that blocks their way to The Prow.
Abseiling is slippery and dangerous in the mist and rain.
-You all right?
-I'm on the hard bit now.
-Good girl, that's it.
That's it. Got it.
They're safely down but the hardest part is yet to come -
climbing 100 feet to get out the other side.
We're going to go up that face onto the shelf
and then we're going to work our way up and we curve back to the left
-and we're out at the top. What do you reckon?
-Not very good.
-Very easy, obviously.
-It looks pretty fun.
That's it. Push, push, push.
-Right leg over.
-Go on, Jake.
Go on, Jake. That's it. Work hard.
-Nice one, Jake.
The first task is to climb an almost vertical rock face.
Oh, that's a hefty drop.
-Oh, God. Press it.
Go on, that's it.
Drive off that left leg into that crack. That's it, well done.
Stay low, stay low. Use your boots. Use the friction of the boots.
Get that big flat. That's it. Keep going.
Good man. Well done, Jake.
-How does that feel?
-BEN LAUGHS Did that get the adrenaline going?
Nikita finds the climb pretty scary.
-What have I got to do?
-You need to get your weight over here.
-Yes, you can.
Push with your left leg. Grip with your right hand.
-And then drive off your left leg and you're there.
That's it. Go for it.
Er, that was pretty good. I thought there was a lot more.
OK, there is a lot more.
They've climbed less than halfway out of the ravine.
Down on the plains, Polly's team are just an hour from El Dorado Lake.
Experienced rider Megan has been leading the way.
Hold on. Just a trot, just a trot.
-But suddenly, her horse, Tom-tom, bolts.
Oh, my God!
It's so powerful, she has trouble reining it in
and a local cowboy has to race off to get her.
She shot off like the wind.
Megan's brought back safely but is badly shaken.
Are you OK, honey?
It was just a bit scary, that's all, but it's all right, I'm fine, so...
It's all good. Just a bit overwhelming, really, I think.
I've never been going that quick, ever, before.
My God. If it was anyone else, I think they would have fallen off,
I'm sure they would.
I don't like to fall off, so I held on for dear life.
You were amazing and you did everything right, everything right.
The cowboys change her horse
and she bravely gets straight back in the saddle to continue the journey.
And they complete the seven-mile ride just before sunset.
That was good. I loved that. It wasn't scary at all.
Yeah, that was good.
Right near the end, I started going quite fast.
It was lovely. My horse was loving it as well.
The kids - amazing. Absolutely amazing.
In the growing gloom, they get their first glimpse of the legendary lake.
I bet that tastes good.
Well done, guys. We've just arrived at the El Dorado Lake, yeah?
Beautiful. There must be gold somewhere.
We might find some gold lying around somewhere. You never know.
I'm very happy now.
On Roraima, the weather's now appalling,
as the team press on upwards to get out of the ravine.
It takes real guts in the treacherous conditions.
-You all right? I need you to go across.
-Yes, you can. That's it.
Yeah, and then out on the top.
Superb. All right?
Good stuff. Well done. Brilliant.
That's one way of doing it.
After more than two hours, they make it out of the ravine,
leaving just a short walk to The Prow.
You've done all the hard work, guys. Now for the rewards.
Let's get moving, OK?
In the driving rain, 14-year-old Michael and 12-year-olds Nikita and Jake
set out on their final steps into the record books.
OK, we're going to stop here.
I know today hasn't really worked for us weather wise
but it still is a very special place, all right?
Can you see that pile of stones? That is The Prow.
And it's a virgin site for you guys,
so I think you three ought to go up there together, yeah?
Go and enjoy your summit, OK?
Soaking wet and freezing cold,
they're the first children ever to reach the furthest point of Mount Roraima.
Jake, would you like to do the unveiling?
You've sweated blood, sweat and tears to get here.
Fi, come on in here. Our three world-record breakers.
-Well done, team.
'I think it's a massive achievement to get here.
'We shouldn't let the rain spoil our day.'
I'm not smiling very much but inside I'm emotional.
I am the first girl and the youngest girl
to get to The Prow.
'I'm really proud of myself and it's really exciting.'
I am chuffed to know that all our hard work paid off and we have got here.
Even though it is raining, we need to remember where we are and what we've done.
In the thick cloud, it's hard to appreciate that they're standing on the very tip
of a unique 10,000-foot rock overlooking Guyana.
Today, Mount Roraima threw everything it possibly could at us and more
and we got to The Prow and that is a phenomenal achievement
for those three young explorers.
You really have to have guts and determination to see that through,
so I'm just chuffed to bits. What an amazing day.
Next time on Serious Explorers.
-Hanging by a rope 10,000 feet up.
It felt like I was flying.
And a fearless Megan is queen of the cowgirls.
Go! Go, Megan.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Seven young explorers relive the legend of Sir Walter Raleigh. The team splits in two, with half undertaking a long horse ride in search of the legendary lost city of El Dorado, while the others attempt to become the first ever children to stand on the furthest point of Mount Roraima's triangular table-top summit. But to reach it they will have to cross a treacherous ravine more than nine thousand feet up, and the weather is closing in.