Seven young explorers relive the legend of Sir Walter Raleigh. Four of the explorers help herd 100 cattle on the plains of Guyana, before lassooing and branding calves.
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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.'
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 awful out here.
I hate this.
Are you having a laugh?
It's just too scary.
..hanging by a rope 10,000 feet up...
Felt like I was flying.
..and a fearless Megan is queen of the cowgirls.
-Well done, Megan!
Previously, four of the explorers brushed up their horse-riding skills
in preparation for a major journey.
They reckon that El Dorado is on this lake somewhere.
But as they rode off in search of the legendary lost city,
top rider Megan's horse bolted.
Oh, my God!
It was a bit scary, that's all.
You were amazing and you did everything right.
Meanwhile, 10,000 feet up, on Mount Roraima, the other three explorers
were attempting to be the youngest to reach the furthest point,
known as the prow. Nikita was soon moaning...
I've never been so bored in my entire life.
-Build that back up again.
-That's so ridiculous.
Blocking their way was a 200 foot wide ravine.
-Yes you can.
After three hours of treacherous climbing
they finally got to the other side.
Fantastic. Go and enjoy your summit.
And as the rain lashed down, 14-year-old Michael
and 12-year-olds, Jake and Nikita entered the record books -
the first children ever to stand on the prow.
I think it's a massive achievement to get here.
I'm really proud of myself and it's really exciting.
It's mid-afternoon on Roraima,
and there's no time to relax for the record-breaking team.
Right, let's get out of here. Let's go.
They've got several more challenging days ahead,
retracing their steps all the way back off the mountain.
The first obstacle is the treacherous ravine
they tackled just a few hours ago in the pouring rain.
From this side, a team of expert climbers have been able to rig
a series of ropes for a much quicker route back.
You've got a big ravine. And it drops off 80-90 feet.
But literally about 30 feet that way
is the sheer drop down the face of Roraima.
The explorers will need to clip onto the rope and drag themselves across.
Pretty scary...to see, like, 10,000 feet.
That is a massive drop.
Looks pretty fun.
How can you find this fun?
Nikita, you're going to go first, OK?
I'm really cold, and it looks like I'm scared.
But I'm really not scared, I'm really excited.
There is not another young girl
that's ever done this before on Mount Roraima.
Walk down. Yeah. That's it. Well done.
It takes a lot of guts to trust the rope 10,000 feet up.
That's it, now you're hanging. That's it.
Despite the dizzy-making drop, Nikita shows nerves of steel.
Go on, Nikita!
And she gets a real buzz from the crossing.
It was amazing. Felt like, I dunno, felt like I was flying.
Jake, go for it, mate.
I was a bit nervous, like, going over the cliff and getting on the edge.
But as soon as I got going - brilliant.
It was really amazing to get out in the middle of nowhere
and just hang there. Felt like a bird.
I could just lay there and look around
and I just enjoyed every single second of it.
I'll always remember that.
The team will spend the night on top of Roraima
at the camp they left only this morning
and, after some atrocious weather, everything is sodden.
Ben, yours is running with water.
-Look how much water fell in that amount of time.
Er, do you have to add to the puddle?
-I feel like a giant flannel.
A giant flannel, cos everything I'm wearing is wet.
Nikita's got the right idea, she's gone to bed. She's in there
steaming it up with her dinner, unlike dumb and dumber.
Just sit out here. It's absolutely soaking wet.
But even the bone-chilling weather can't dampen their spirits
after a day of record-breaking achievements.
Today's been amazing, it's been one of the best days of my life.
It's been really satisfying.
I've never been the world's first or the world's best at anything,
so it's the first time. Hopefully, there'll be loads more to come.
That's amazing, that. I'm the youngest boy in the world
to stand on the corner of the prow.
It's so emotional, like, in a good way.
Meanwhile, Polly's team are down in the lowlands of Guyana,
camping by Lake Parime, where they hope to find the lost city of El Dorado.
And it's a special wake up for young explorer Megan.
THEY SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY
I can't keep these lit!
# Happy birthday to you. #
14 today! Woo-hoo!
Happy birthday. What a place to celebrate your 14th birthday.
Right next to El Dorado lake.
And I've got a lovely day of riding as well. Yeah.
And there's a very special extra present.
After two weeks away from her family, Megan gets a first phone call home.
PHONE RINGS 'Hello.'
'Hello, Megan. Happy birthday.'
-'Don't cry, honey.'
-I'm sorry, I haven't heard you for ages.
'Where are you now, sweetheart?'
You know El Dorado? We're by El Dorado lake.
-I slept in a hammock, right next to it.
Yesterday I went western riding and we're carrying on today as well.
'Oh, my God! That's fantastic. Is it easy to do?'
It's really different to how we ride back home but it's so nice.
'It's a birthday you'll never forget, sweetheart.'
I know I won't ever, ever forget this.
'We're so proud of you and just keep going, have a lovely ride today.'
-Bye. Love you all.
Roraima has seen more torrential rain overnight
and, as dawn breaks, it's just a few degrees above freezing.
-How are you doing?
If you feel just a little bit damp you're doing well.
Jake's so cold, he's in danger of getting hypothermia.
It were raining last night.
I got in my sleeping bag and it was soaked anyway.
So...just soaked all over.
It's just a horrible day and I just want to get going.
You're going to have to put damp kit on, which is miserable
It's going to be horrible, I know that.
But you've got nothing else to wear. You will soon warm up.
Oh, I'm cold.
We're going to go at a pretty good lick to try and get our bodies warm.
Let's get out of here. Yeah.
You're tired but you don't know it.
All right, let's get warm.
The record-breaking team still have an epic journey
to get back off the mountain, heading eight miles across the top
before descending the steep ramp into the valley below.
# Consider yourself at home... #
Despite the dreadful conditions, spirits are surprisingly high.
Once we've got going, it's been good. I've really enjoyed the walk.
But it's so boggy that my feet feel like they're in a swimming pool.
I'm enjoying it, like the terrain and stuff. The rocks are amazing.
When Sir Walter Raleigh sailed to Guyana to search for El Dorado,
tribes-people constantly talked of Lake Parime as the location of the golden city.
Maps of the time even highlighted El Dorado by the lake.
According to Raleigh, "The tribe told me they gathered gold on its shores,
"in grains as big as small stones".
Unfortunately, before Raleigh's expedition could locate the lake,
bad weather forced them to turn back.
The Serious Explorers have done better than Raleigh in reaching the legendary lake.
But sadly, there's not the slightest sign of the legendary city.
-How are we doing, guys?
-Lily, lily, lily.
It's a bit overgrown. Not easy.
So, instead, they're going to see if they can find gold
on Lake Parime's shore, just as Raleigh's journal predicted.
Right, can we let Tommy show you the technique?
A local cowboy demonstrates how to pan.
You hold it top to bottom, right?
With the pan full of earth, any gold should sink to the bottom.
I think the trick is not to be too delicate. Just get in there.
You want to take the big stuff out.
-He's done that before.
The explorers are keen to begin the quest for gold.
It's quite exciting.
We're bound to find something.
Here is probably a good place to start.
-You do it.
-I want to do it.
That's it, get in there. Stick your hand in there.
That's it. Get rid of some of the bigger stuff.
I'm being really careful because I want to find some gold.
-They find it's far trickier than it looks.
-You've got to be very patient
and you're never sure if you've found something or not.
Give it another sluice.
I'm seeing something shiny in my pan. I'm not sure if it's gold but I hope it is.
There's definitely something shiny in there.
Enthusiasm soon starts to wane.
It's so tedious and you keep on doing the same thing over and over.
And, before long, tempers start to fray.
When you're going like that, the water's meant to be coming out.
-Do what Megan's doing.
-Do you want to come over here and check me out?
I don't think he'll do much better, at the moment.
-We're just trying to help.
-It's not as easy as it looks.
There's no point arguing.
With no gold in sight, they throw in the towel in less than an hour.
We're doing rubbishly and there's no gold at all. Nobody's found any.
It doesn't take ten minutes, OK, to find gold.
It takes time, it takes patience.
The guys that sit and do this for weeks and weeks, they must...
I've got so much respect for them now. They've such a tough job.
I'd rather wear the gold than find it, to be honest.
Back on Roraima, the prow team are tackling the ramp down the mountain,
but Nikita is also finding things pretty tedious.
I'm not enjoying the walk.
I hate going down and uphill, they're the worst things ever and that's all we're doing.
-Oh, yeah, get on with it!
Their overnight camp is still several hours away
and Nikita is well and truly back in moaning mode.
My knees are hurting.
I can't be bothered to catch up with the others.
I think I'm tired.
It makes me feel frustrated because she's been lagging behind, moaning.
Jake decides to go slow on the straight bits,
then when we go uphill he decides to try and run up it or something.
We're gradually building up speed and height.
I'll get good pace towards it.
-He's doing my head in.
-No, I don't!
-Yes, you do!
I was right behind you so you started going faster on purpose.
You do it every time. Every time I get behind you, you do it on purpose.
I think it's pretty funny.
They're just arguing about something ridiculous and stupid.
You go faster on purpose.
I'm just trying not to laugh.
It makes no sense.
Back near Lake Parime, Megan's birthday is about to continue
with a treat beyond her wildest dreams.
-This afternoon, we are going to go and find 100 head of cattle, OK?
We're going to round them up
and we're going to drive them back to the ranch.
Back home in the UK, Megan owns her own horse, called Chester,
and she also works on her school farm, helping look after the cows.
It's all a million miles from rounding up cattle, cowboy-style.
I never thought I'd really herd cattle of that size on my birthday.
The cattle have been grazing on the savanna,
and they need driving more than four miles back to the ranch.
Go out slightly left. See the cows are moving over left.
-It's kind of like rounding up sheep.
-Hey, hey, hey!
They need to keep the cattle surrounded
and make a lot of noise to keep them in line.
There's quite a lot of escapee cows so you've got to be on the ball.
It's hard work and it's very, very hot.
Megan helps gives chase as one of the cows makes a break for it.
I had to go sprint and try and get it back in the group. It's so fun!
-It's chasing after a cow. It's amazing!
-Good job, Megan.
Oh, I love it. When I had to go get one back, it was so much fun.
-I feel like a proper cowgirl.
-Up to the left. Go on!
Two hours into the cattle drive,
Megan gets the ultimate vote of confidence in her riding ability.
She's given the job of leading the whole herd.
They said, "Megan, go in front. You're going to be the head."
I was like, "What do I do in the head?"
You had to go further enough away from the cows so that they didn't know you were a horse,
so they thought you were a cow, but close enough that they knew they got to follow behind you.
And just before they reach the ranch,
Megan even helps lead the cattle through a river.
He'll stand up. Hold on!
Hold on, Sammie! Good girl.
It was incredible to be able to do that.
I've gone from just being a normal boy to a rootin', tootin' cowboy!
I will never forget this birthday, ever, ever, ever.
We've herded cattle, we've trotted through a river
so, no, I'm never, ever going to forget this in my life.
In the foothills of Roraima, Ben's team have finally made it to camp.
-How are we feeling after today?
And who was the most whingey person, this afternoon?
-The most whingey person, I think, was definitely Jake.
You're having a laugh? What?!
Let's vote for the most whingiest person this afternoon.
Right, Michael, you're only allowed one vote.
The two groups are about to get a first chance to talk to each other
since they split four days ago.
A satellite link-up has been set up between the two remote areas.
The ranch team are anxious to know if Ben's group got to the prow.
-Did you make it?
I was the first girl in the world to reach the prow.
Well done, Nikita.
They must be well jealous.
-How's your horse-riding been?
-Except for Josh.
I am allergic to horses.
-Who's the best horse-rider?
-She's a natural.
-We had showers and proper meals.
-We had spag-bol.
Spaghetti Bolognese and stew. How'd the noodles taste?
All right. We've had them for seven nights in a row, so...
-Nikita, did the boys look after you?
Sammie, just so you know, Nikita has taken over as the queen of whinging.
-How'd that happen?
-Constantly whinging about everything.
I feel sorry for you, Nikita. You're with Ben, Jake and Michael -
-the worst combination ever.
-I know! I feel sorry for me too.
We're going to have to go but, Megan,
-can I just say a really massive happy birthday.
Can't wait to see you.
I can't wait to see them again cos I miss them all.
I'm missing Sammie and Megan.
I'm getting quite sick of being the only girl.
It's the last day on the ranch
and time to learn some more cowboy skills.
Megan, that was brilliant!
That's not bad.
-Yes! She's got it! Good girl!
-I got the cow!
They'll be helping the local cowboys catch their calves
so they can brand them, putting the mark of the ranch on each animal.
The only way to do that is to lasso them,
bring them to the ground, so you can do what you need to do.
-I'm actually looking forward to trying this out. It's going to be quite fun.
I feel so sorry for them cos they're going to have something burning hot pressed against their bum.
Who's going to go first? Megan, right, there you go.
-This is going to be fun.
-It's going to be good.
-Oh, good effort!
-You nearly had it there.
I am determined to get that little one there.
Megan bravely holds her ground and her determination pays off.
Regan helps hold the calf for the branding.
It's not actually as bad as I thought it would be.
It's actually all right cos you know then that calf belongs to this
and it won't get lost now.
Josh volunteers to actually carry out the next branding.
The cow hardly flinches at all. It's very quickly over and done with and the cow's happy enough.
And, having seen the others, Sammie also decides to have a go.
It didn't flinch, which helped.
It didn't feel as if I was actually hurting anything, so it was OK.
But the explorers may be less comfortable helping with the next task.
What we've got to do next is pretty gruesome.
-We need to neuter...
-..the one-year-old males.
It's a quick operation to remove the animal's testicles.
The reason we're doing this, guys, is it keeps the males calm.
When you're a boy, you kind of imagine something like that happening to you and it's not nice.
It's a bit real, to be honest, and, as Regan says, it's a tiny bit awkward, so it is.
The actual operation is carried out by an experienced cowboy
but Regan volunteers to give the animal a jab to prevent infection.
-Go, go, go.
The final task is perhaps the most sobering of all.
With the record-breaking Roraima team due to arrive later in the day,
Polly's group want to make a special meal for them.
They've had a really tough time so we're going to go and slaughter a cow. Yeah?
-Happy! Oh, my goodness.
-You're a bit strange that way.
While Regan appears thrilled, Megan is more reflective.
As someone who looks after cows back home,
the thought of killing one is unsettling her.
It'll probably be a bit emotional cos I do work on a farm.
It probably affects me a bit more but I want to watch it as much as I can.
It's important that anybody who eats meat
sees this is where it comes from, this is how it's done.
The cowboys slaughter the animal quickly and painlessly.
Done. OK, see how quick that was?
The great thing is, absolutely nothing is wasted.
They use every single part of this animal.
All but Megan help with the preparation of the cow.
-Will you get involved a little bit later?
-Yeah, I will later,
-it's just when it still looks like a cow.
It's basically now starting to look like a piece of meat,
rather than a cow.
Even so, Megan is getting more and more upset.
-You seen enough, huh? Shall we take you away for bit?
So expedition doctor Henry takes her back to the ranch.
A few minutes ago, it was literally running around
and now it's dead on the floor.
It's not for the faint-hearted. Not at all.
As Sammie's about to discover.
Sammie, do you want to go round and just help?
Grab it here.
-Good, tight grip. That's its lung.
-Oh, my God!
It's absolutely disgusting.
I just touched an animal's lungs. That is rank. Oh!
But Regan is in his element.
I'm enjoying this a bit too much, I think.
I'm enjoying getting my own food from cow.
MEGAN: I'm a bit annoyed with Regan. He's not respecting it.
He's like, "Oh, we get to kill it!" He's taking the mick a bit, really.
It shouldn't be done cos it's just went and died,
you don't have to treat it like... I know it's an animal but still,
you need to respect it.
It widens my career choices - I'd be a good butcher.
It's a race against time to get the meal prepared before Ben's team arrives.
And finally, after six long days apart...
-..the teams are reunited.
Oh! Hello, hello!
You're looking like the true cowboy now.
Congratulations, you're a proper mountain woman.
It's really nice to be back with the girls. I missed them quite a lot, actually.
Woah, that looks really nice!
While the others catch up, Regan looks after the cooking on his own.
But as night falls, the other boys mount a takeover.
Regan's cooked it and it's, like, just off a spot of sun tan.
-So, it's a bit bloody?
-No, it's raw!
I'm not feeling in the best of moods.
I just feel that I've been quite nice to people,
in every way, even when they've been fairly rude to me,
and then they've just carried on being quite rude.
-It's like a whole cow.
-It is a whole cow! Well, it was this morning.
That has been my favourite tea, so far.
The meal's a great success, but Regan's nowhere to be seen.
Regan's disappeared off to his hammock
and I'm just worried that now everyone's back together,
he's getting excluded from the rest of the team.
I don't know what's wrong with Regan. I feel sorry for him
cos we're all into the same stuff and Regan's not
so it's kind of hard for him to get along with us.
-Is that you, Regan?
-We got dinner.
-I'm not hungry.
-Nothing. I'm feeling a bit full.
Not really that hungry. I'm just really tired.
We've spent all that time doing it and it's ready.
It's OK, I'd probably eat it all by myself anyway
Polly also tries to persuade him to return.
-What's up, buddy?
-I'm not feeling too good.
-Not feeling great?
-Are you happy the others are back?
What I'm slightly worried about is you becoming separated from them.
Let's go over, just for five minutes.
If I come over in a minute...?
While Regan does finally return to the camp fire,
he still keeps himself to himself.
With the expedition heading into a challenging jungle phase tomorrow,
it's a real concern to the leaders.
It's from the mountains to the jungle.
There's going to be some incredibly tough new challenges for them.
The jungle magnifies any weaknesses, any cracks, within the team
and therefore they're going to have to pull together.
Next time on Serious Explorers...
..close encounters of the creature kind.
-No, he's not.
I'm getting out!
And a major bust-up in jungle camp.
No, Nikita does not have your head torch!
Four of the Serious Explorers are having the ultimate cowboy experience on the plains of Guyana, helping herd a hundred cattle, before lassooing and branding calves. Slaughtering and preparing a cow for dinner leads to upset in the group. Meanwhile, the other three explorers face a daunting challenge - a dizzy-making rope crossing over a ravine nine thousand feet up.