Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May attempt to drive from the heart of Bolivia to the coast of Chile in three 4x4s bought from the local small ads.
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Hello, everybody. Hello. Thank you.
Hello and welcome to a Top Gear special,
which tonight comes to you from South America.
Yeah. The brief was simple. Each of us would be given a pittance.
And we were told we could buy any car we liked
from a second-hand car website in Bolivia.
Yeah. And the only bit of advice we got, rather worryingly,
was that it would be best if we chose a car with four-wheel drive.
We were then told we would be united with our cars
somewhere around here in a place called Spidertown,
right in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest.
These are the views that greeted us from our helicopter.
Except they're not,
because the helicopter booked for us had crashed.
That meant we had to borrow these pictures
from Bruce Parry's programme...
..and go to the start point in a boat...
utterly bewildered by everything.
-Look at that purple tree!
-The butterfly's more amazing.
-No, the purple tree's the best.
-No! The butterfly was the size of a bat.
Another crocodile over there.
It's not a crocodile, it's a lump of wood.
-We're close to the Equator.
-We're very close. Perhaps we're on it!
No, we'd see a big dotted line.
'And we weren't the only fish out of water.'
It jumped in the boat! It jumped in the boat!
-In the boat!
-I've got it with my knife!
Ha-ha! Is that a piranha?
It's not a piranha, they're long and thin.
-No, they're not!
-They're short and fat!
Oh, that's sharks.
'Eventually, the boat dumped the three worst explorers in history
'on a bank, in the middle of nowhere...
Have we just been abandoned here to die? Whoa-whoa! What is it, what?
-Are those zips?!
-Well, they're outdoor trousers.
-You can unzip the bottoms?!
I'm sorry, on the kit front, chaps... James, what's all this?
-This is my belt of many things.
-What is that?
-Don't touch it.
-That's a dental healthcare kit.
-Don't touch it!
That is a shoe-polishing kit.
-A shoe-polishing kit!
-Thank God for that(!) If we get hungry, we can eat his Kiwi boot polish!
-Basically, what you've done is buy a "My First Explorer" kit, put it on your belt...
-Don't touch it.
'Hammond then revealed a little secret.'
So all these insects, where are they?
Why, are you frightened of insects?
Don't mess about. Seriously, I am. It's a phobia.
It's like you and heights.
It's not you're scared of falling off, it's a phobia.
-You are scared of heights.
-This is the same, it's a phobia.
-I just don't...
-Phobia? Manual labour, you know that.
That's not a phobia, that's bone idleness.
-That's not a clinical thing, that's just cos you're lazy.
'Since we didn't know what to do, we just sat down and did nothing.'
-I'm sure there's spiders in here, there will be.
-..in harmony with nature?
Stop playing ethnic tunes. Boys...
'Plainly, there had been a terrible mix-up
'because one of the cars on the raft was a little Suzuki.
'None of us would have been that daft.
'But then we remembered... James was with us.'
-..Wine bar specials.
Famous for being able to stay on their own four wheels...
No, no, no. Falling over.
I presume then the Land Cruiser, by power of deduction, is yours.
Yes, it is. Correct choice, everyone will agree.
And you have, if my eyes are not deceiving me, a Range Rover.
The best 4x4, by far, as we know.
-I had one of those.
-Yeah, classic. I had one as well.
-Did yours ever...work?
How is that raft steering itself?
There's a little boat behind it, look.
'The driver of the little boat pushed the raft vaguely near the bank...'
Right. Well, we can get... No, don't do that, we need to get it...
'..and then went home.'
-Is that him just gone?
Oi! You haven't parked it!
'We tried to pull the raft nearer to the bank but it was very difficult.'
-It's not moving!
'So we gave up.'
That's it, lads. Up the gang plank.
Ow! There's a thing there.
-We are good. It's like literally being with Livingstone...
-Do you want a hand up?
-Probably quite painful!
It was. Don't worry, I'm all right.
'Eventually, even Indiana Clarkson was onboard
'so we could get our first look at what we'd bought
'from the Bolivian classifieds.'
Notoriously long-lived, sturdy, reliable, small, agile.
What does it say in the advert in the Bolivian Auto Trader?
I'll tell you what it did show in the picture. That it was blue.
Did it say, in the advert, that all four tyres would be pumped up?
-Oh, bloody hell.
-We did buy these long distance.
'The only thing saggier than my tyre was Hammond's roof.
It wasn't always a convertible, was it?
No, it's been converted to a convertible.
It's been converted by someone who is A, of Spanish descent
and B, a communist.
It's a tasty car all round. I'm very pleased.
I like the see-through...
I like this. The window's not here, it's here and there's no winder.
I don't need one, it's hot.
'To demonstrate what fools the others had been,
'I showed them the beating heart of my mighty Ranger Rover.'
-Behold, gentlemen, the 3.9 litre V8 engine.
-They had injection, didn't they, Hammond, the 3.9?
-All of them were fuel-injected.
What are those on top?
-I believe they're carburettors.
-They look like carburettors.
-They ARE carburettors.
-They are carburettors, yeah.
That can't be a 3.9, mate, that's a 3.5!
-It said in the advert is was a 3.9!
-It said mine was blue.
OK, so there's some issues.
-You'll be opening the bonnet a lot.
You will! That's what killed these off, globally. Why does everywhere,
all over the world, anywhere difficult and inhospitable use a Toyota Land Cruiser?
First Aztec bird we come across,
she'll make a bee-line for me in this.
'We could've continued arguing, but we had to leap ashore...'
'Well, come on, then.'
'..Because our challenge had arrived.'
Thank you very much.
OK. It says, "You are in Bolivia.
"And you will drive to the Pacific Ocean, which is 1,000 miles away."
-So we have to go 1,000 miles.
-There's a jungle in the way.
And the jungle would just be the start of it,
because on our journey we'd have to negotiate active volcanoes,
utterly lifeless deserts and perilous mountain passes.
But before all that, we had to get our cars off the raft.
Which, as you can plainly see, would not be easy.
Oh, come on!
'Trying to move the raft soon led to a problem.'
I am sinking.
-It's getting deeper! Pull yourself out.
-I cannot pull myself out.
-Every time the bubbles come out,
-you go in deeper.
-Oh, God, no.
As I sank into the ooze,
my colleagues became increasingly concerned.
His plums are in the Amazon, look! THEY LAUGH
Go and get a rope or something, just to tie around my waist.
All right, we'll get something.
'Eventually, and rather reluctantly,
'they decided to pull me out with my Range Rover.'
-What are you bloody doing?
-You want a proper knot, don't you?
Just any old knot.
Will it start?
You brought the wrong car.
-You coming up?
-Yes! Oh, yes!
-Here we go.
-Ow, my arm parts.
-Is it loose enough?
-Stop, stop, stop.
-So, as we can see, my car's best.
Well, it didn't let you down there, when it really mattered.
'Trying to move the raft had resulted in nothing more
'than some muddy tide-marks on my trousers.'
My jeans are ruined!
And so, with half the day gone, we had to come up with a new plan.
You know, in the Second World War, when a submarine was grounded?
When it had hit the bottom?
They used to get the crew to run backwards and forwards and it would sort of shuffle it along.
Are you suggesting we run backwards and forwards?
No, no, no! Use the cars.
If we go right to the back of the boat,
that weighs the back down and lifts the front up.
We then charge forward. The act of doing that will shuffle the boat
-nearer to that bank.
-That's a good idea!
'All we needed to do, then, was back our cars up a bit.'
-Has anybody got any jump leads?
-It won't start.
Just want to get this completely clear again.
Range Rover - starting, working well. Already saved a man's life.
Land Cruiser - broken down.
-Oh, smoke! Smoke, smoke, quite a lot of smoke.
-Something's on fire!
The starter motor's burn out.
'Despite using the correct technique,
'Hammond couldn't get his car going.'
It's on fire again!
And so, with the sun sinking, I offered to help.
Why don't we simply attach it to the back of the Range Rover
and I'll you a pull from here?
Because I'd rather drown myself, but, yeah, it's... All right!
What's that noise?
-Millions of them.
-Just hurry up, quickly!
-All right, move forwards.
Mind your head!
'As the light faded, we lined up
'for the most ambitious jump-start in history.'
Three, two, one, go!
-What did you do that for?!
-My breaks aren't very good!
-Did it work?
Three, two, one, go.
Try again! That's the good thing about Range Rovers,
they can do this all night.
Yes, yes. When this thing starts, it'll brilliant.
'The morning light revealed our progress.'
Sitrep... Everything we tried in the night didn't work.
But we have found peanuts.
'Rather embarrassingly, James then discovered something.'
These planks are longer than that one you've been falling down constantly.
If you get in here and grab the other end...
-Are they long enough to...?
-Two together will.
'Soon, we had a ramp and our first car was ready to disembark.'
Watch the long-haired man.
-Let's see his back wheels on.
-Don't stand there.
Do you want us to help you? You're all right.
You're all right this side.
You're all right.
-It is four-wheel drive, you half-wit.
Well, why are the front wheels not doing anything?
-Don't tell me they don't work.
-It's not good!
That's stuck now.
'The whole weight of James' three-wheel drive Suzuki
'was resting on our ramp.
'So we had to build another one.'
-You're all right.
Range Rover, British engineering, don't let me down.
To the left.
Poo is coming out.
Here we go!
Now that's what I call four-wheel drive!
Having rescued a man from the ooze,
the mighty Range Rover would now rescue the Suzuki.
There's only an ounce to pull.
Please be gentle with this, Jeremy, and not a yob.
-Stop, stop, stop!
Yes, that's it!
What a pillock!
'I then lined up to pull the brakeless,
'powerless Toyota down the ramp.'
We were supposed to be averaging 100 miles a day.
So far, we've done, well, I've done, about 20 feet.
-Right, he's ready. Gently.
Oh, dear God.
Ha, ha, ha!
'Finally, we were all off the raft.
'And, as a reward, the producers gave us a box of things
'to help us survive the perils that lay ahead.'
Chainsaw. That's good, that's useful.
-What is this?
-I know what that is, that's a winch.
Some rubber tubing.
-I know we're gonna be in the jungle together,
-but that's a bit extreme.
-What kind of party are they planning?
'We loaded up the Ann Summers box...'
'..jump started Hammond's car...'
-Is that working?
-Now you're gonna see!
Go! Fire it up! Jungle!
'..and got cracking.'
'The jungle was a worthy adversary.'
'But, for hour after hour, we battled our way through.'
Do you want more?
This is the marker!
Guys...I left my phone down by the river.
-I'm going to have to go and get it.
Just wait here, I'll go get it.
Oh! Oh, mate. Finally, we are making progress.
Did I leave it on that rock?
No, it was on the stump I tied the raft too. Just by the rock.
-OK, got it!
Now we're making progress, let's keep up the momentum.
'Soon, we found a logging track
'where finally we could get to know our cars.'
Time to find out what is working on my Range Rover.
All these dials in the middle made by Smiths - so, no.
The Range Rover was designed by a man called Charles Spencer-King,
who was, no question, a genius.
Unfortunately, it was then made in the Midlands,
just "that'll do". Everything was "that'll do".
An UNBELIEVABLE piece of design, ruined by minkies.
That said, however,
I seem to have bought the only 1980s Range Rover in the world that works.
Given that Land Cruisers are legendarily reliable and bulletproof,
this one isn't.
Oil pressure gauge, not working. Temperature gauge, not working.
Brakes not working.
That makes this one more special.
I have bought the only malfunctioning Land Cruiser in the world.
And it is unique and therefore probably priceless.
'Sure, my Suzuki only had three-wheel drive,
'but I wasn't going to let that tiny detail spoil the day.'
You're probably looking at this Suzuki and thinking,
"It's small and comical, it's a toy off-road, it's for hairdressers,"
And all the rest of it, but I'll tell you what it is - it's plucky.
It's a bit like Finland in the war.
Look at Jeremy's Range Rover lumbering along
this great, heavy beast of burden.
-this is like a little mountain goat, it just skips along.
Talk of the devil. Hello.
Just to let you know, one of your rear lights is hanging off,
but it's OK, I can mend it for you with a small Phillips on my belt.
The voice there of the missing member of Van Halen.
'Darkness fell, but the temperature didn't.'
How can it be this hot at midnight? How's that possible?
'Hammond, however, had more to worry about than the heat.'
Ow! What the BLEEP is that?
There's something in here squeaking at me, I'm... Oh, ho!
Oh! OH! What is that?!
I can't stand that! I can't stand that! I've gotta get out!
'Blashford-Hammond insisted we made camp,
'where, to cheer him up, I read him some bedtime stories.'
This is a book about all the creatures
that live in the rainforest that Mr Sting hasn't told us about.
Would you like to hear about the...
Brazilian Wandering Spider?
Not really, no.
"Causes around five human fatalities a year...
"lives on the forest floor."
What is that?
Head torch. I'm looking for... What's it called? Wandering Spider.
Ooh, the botfly. Now, this is a marvellous thing.
"The botfly cannot sting a human directly,
"but catches smaller insects,
"lays its larvae upon them and then releases them.
"If the smaller, host insect then bites the human,
"the botfly larvae are impregnated into the skin.
"The larvae then pupates inside the skin,
"at which point they EAT their way out and fly away.
"The BBC Natural History Unit reports the case of a man
"who was bitten behind the ear and kept awake at night
"by the sound of the botfly larvae eating the flesh inside his head."
'Hammond didn't have a good night.'
There's big things on my head!
Oh, what is that?!
There's something just flew in my hair and it's squeaking at me!
It's big! It's really...
'And, to be honest, he didn't have a great morning either.'
Who has done this?!
'To get away from the creepy-crawlies, I sought refuge in my car.'
Ooh. There is a snake in your car.
He's coming up here. He's coming up here.
It's known locally as "the big vicious killer snake."
Our raggedy convoy hit the trail with Hammond still moaning.
Who's got my trouser-leg?
Has your trouser-leg gone missing?
'We soldiered on with the Range Rover up front, forging a path through the dense jungle.'
Look at it - rescuing other cars, ploughing through here.
My sweat being soaked up by the floor!
But soon, the strain of point duty began to show.
This is now smelling hot, this car.
I can smell Jeremy's Range Rover from back here - it smells of imminent failure.
'I was right.'
Range Rover's just stopped working.
That honestly wasn't very funny three series ago and it's not funny now.
I'm not doing it on purpose. No, I haven't got any brakes. That's how I stop.
Oh, no. Oh... No. James, it's over-heated.
What a rotten bit of luck.
Your fault, because I have been forging a path through this stuff.
Bamboo has gone into it and broken my fan and now my engine's overheating.
The plucky Brit has wounded itself helping you out.
Your plucky British car has been defeated by... What was it? Bamboo?
How did it get in there? What kind of design is it if a piece of bamboo can get in there and break the fan?
Without this, would you still be on the boat?
-Yes, you would.
-Yes. You would still be on the river-bank.
This is the hero of the day.
We passed the time by bickering until the engine had cooled down.
-I love the V8 rumble.
It's very mighty.
The mighty Spitfire is down, but not out.
'We battled on through the undergrowth.'
There, that's a gear.
We did that without breaking anything.
'Eventually, Hammond and May stopped.'
Because we had reached a small gully.
That's pretty steep.
-That's a bit of a gully, I think they call it.
-I'm just going to drive down and out the other side.
No. You can't.
What is the biggest strength with the Range Rover?
The wheel hits the bottom before the front of the car.
If you look at a Porsche Cayenne or your car,
there's about 18 feet of car in front of the wheels.
This car cannot do that. It won't make...
I'm going down. You two, stand back.
Watch and learn.
If you believe something will happen, it will happen.
Low range. That was reverse.
Pointless handbrake off.
Yeah, so you're now stuck in a whole.
Just lock the diffs. Just...
You great, dozy, woolly-haired pillock.
-It needs to be winched out.
-I knew that a while back.
'I fired up the winch on my Suzuki.'
James, winch me up.
Is it moving?
-It's trying hard.
It is coming free.
-Oh, my God. Uh, James.
-It won't stop.
That didn't work.
-Go on, then. Drive it out.
-It won't drive out. It just won't.
'Mystic Hammond was right.'
That nearly worked.
'At last, my Toyota could regain some dignity.
'First pulling out the Suzuki and then the idiot's Range Rover.'
Whoa! I'm hanging.
Look at my little donkey pulling the Range Rover out.
'We realised we'd have to build a bridge,
'which made one of us very excited.'
I am the god of hellfire.
Has he got a chainsaw?
'We set about building our bridge.
'And since James had the lightest car, Jeremy and I decided he should go first.'
I declare this ready, steady, strong. Get in your car and drive over.
Looks like your back wheels are beautiful, actually.
I think you're about right from this side.
'What James really needed at this point was clear instructions from us two.'
If anything, a little bit left. Little bit left, James.
I'm sorry. On this side, I would say, not left.
Left or right?
James, what I'd do at this point is power.
You're going to need to engage... There you go. There you go.
Now, we're talking.
'Eventually, the three-wheel drive Suzuki made it.
'So then, as night fell, it was Jeremy's turn,
'in the much heavier and much wider Range Rover.'
Left hand down. Think of it as going on the outer log on this side.
-It's not looking good from where I am.
-No, I imagine not.
I can't see the back wheel.
It's all right. Keep going...I think.
You're about to touch down.
Nice work! Oh.
God almighty, that was scary.
'As I lined up, it was almost completely dark.'
Hammond, I'm afraid, we simply can't see anything.
We don't know.
-Left a bit.
-This is quite frightening.
Oh, I've got no brakes!
Hang on. Hang on.
Right, you've got the front wheels on, mate.
Make it so. Let's see if it can make this verge.
Oh, that feels good. Ha!
'We drove on through the night with the charms of the rainforest starting to wear quite thin.'
It is extraordinary if you think about it.
In South America, there are no elephants, kangaroos,
lions, hyenas, honey badgers.
There's nothing interesting at all. It's all just insects designed
to make you have a debilitating, agonising death.
I'd love to know how hot this engine is.
Very is what I'm thinking.
'So when we made camp that night,
'I decided to cut some vents in the bonnet.'
-Jeremy, my car's on fire.
-Well, put beer on it.
There's a fire extinguisher in the car.
-You set my car on fire.
-I haven't got my glasses.
Pull the bloody pin out. You burned my Toyota!
Thank you. Yeah.
Right, day three... Four!
Uh, it clings.
Ladies and gentlemen, David Lee Roth in the morning. Here he is.
What we've done... Don't do that.
What we've done is accidentally camped on a road.
Who's this bloke on a bike?
He's going to work and we're camping on the A1.
I can't remember if I took my malaria pill this morning.
If I were a girl, I'd be pregnant a lot.
If you're watching this in smellovision, I apologise because the smell in here is disgusting.
I absolutely reek!
Luckily, we then got a shower.
Well, one of us did.
-How wet are you getting in this rain?
It's not bad, actually.
It's quite a lot wetter here.
How can the rain be heavier there that it is over here?
That's a river.
'It was indeed a river and one that we'd have to cross
'which meant that we'd have to use stuff from the Ann Summers chest to waterproof our cars.'
-Right. These are condoms.
-Do you two need some time to yourselves?
-Have you got those Tampax?
-What are you planning?
-I'll tell you my big problem.
It's my fuel filler cap. If water gets in there...
You're in a lot of trouble.
If I put a Tampax in there,
it will expand width-ways and I've seen the adverts.
I'll be able to go roller-blading with a poodle
or drive a Range Rover through a river in the Amazon delta.
James was suspiciously skilful with the Vaseline and the condoms.
And soon, we were ready to enter the river.
Now, do I follow in Hammond's wheel-marks on the basis that we know how deep it is,
or do I think, "He's an incompetent fool and go somewhere else?"
'As it turned out, I was an incompetent fool.'
That's looking DEEP!
Please, keep going. Little donkey, swim!
Swim, swim. There you go.
This is when, suddenly, the Land Cruiser comes into its own.
Yeah, there's maybe more comfortable things that will get you there,
but the Land Cruiser will always get you home.
Aah! Water's coming in to my car.
'This caused problems for James.'
You're going to have to go round the outside.
Straight ahead there. I'll tell you when to go right hand down.
Good, good. That's two. OK.
Why did I listen to you, you imbecile!
'Rather than accept another winch from the Toyota, the Range Rover decided to start on its own.'
'Thus removing the obstacle James had been trying to avoid when he got stuck.'
As far as I can work out, he's dragging it even deeper.
Hoi, it's floating.
There's a lot of bubbles came out of your petrol-filler cap.
-But they've been replaced with water.
'This whole episode made James very angry.'
If you hadn't tried to be clever and if your car wasn't so unreliable,
I wouldn't have had to go round the outside in my small off-roader and I wouldn't have sunk.
-It stalled! It stalled!
-It started again.
Mine will start again.
The rainforest is just getting worse.
I'll tell you something, if you look over there, would you not think it's getting thinner?
'It was and soon, our battered cars emerged from the trees.
'At last, we were out of the spider-infested sweatbox.
'But ten minutes later, James and Richard wished they were back in it.'
Just answer me this simple question, how comfortable are you two right now?
It's like a big, feather mattress. I really am...relaxing. Yeah.
Have I broken James' spine? There will be two Ted Nugents in a minute.
Oh, I'm so sick of that noise! Stop rattling at me!
# Oh, Grace, you're getting away with it
# Words but nothing to say with it
# Smile and take what you need
# In any way that you please
# Grace, you're getting away with it... #
We spent the night in a town where there were baths and bedrooms
and then we hit the road once more.
Oh, here we are. This is cocaine country.
Kate Moss's delicatessen.
Obviously we can't drive through this region
without registering our disgust at the violent, reprehensible drugs trade
that brings misery to so many millions.
May, have you seen what Hammond has written on his car?
Yeah, I don't think he's understood what we're trying to do here.
Hammond, are you feeling ashamed of yourself?
-There was an opportunity and I took it.
-But what about the untold misery to millions?
"Untold misery to millions"? Are the ratings really that good?
Ha ha ha.
As we left town, we started to climb and that was a problem for the Range Rover.
Every time we go up any form of gradient, for any period of time,
the engine gets very, very warm. Still nothing's working apart from the demist.
'Soon the engine became so hot, I had to get radical.'
The scope of my engineering genius, literally, knows no bounds.
Because, as you can see, the vents I cut in the bonnet
are now windows.
So I can see where I'm going, the engine is cool. All is well.
Sooner or later, Jeremy has to admit that the Range Rover isn't working properly.
We were only 110 miles from La Paz, but between us and it was the Camino Del Muerte -
the death road - the most dangerous highway in the world.
Over the years, the sheer, unguarded drops have claimed hundreds of lives.
And to make matters worse, Captain Terrified-of-heights didn't really have the car for the job.
I don't know about the rear suspension design on a Suzuki.
The shock absorber is traditionally attached at both ends. That's not absorbing shocks.
It's bouncing around on the spring.
That does affect your control quite badly - not having a shock absorber.
I'm glad you said that up here, Hammond, on my favourite road.
-Hang on, before you go.
I genuinely don't like heights. It's my biggest failing, among many - I accept.
You know the, you drive into the back of my car and it's very funny, joke?
Oh, you want me to drive into him?
I'll cut your BLEEP head off. You will need a beep there, BBC Two.
I can understand that.
Uh, my car is perfect in every way, apart from it not starting.
So could you, if you wouldn't mind, push me?
-So you want me to push your car with my car, now, on this road here?
There's no alternative.
OK, here I come.
I wasn't as careful as I could have been. Sorry.
Pretty soon, we saw why the road had earned its name.
God almighty, that is high!
That is a massive, massive drop!
This is insane.
The grasses stick up and you don't necessarily see what a long way down it is,
then you get one of those gaps...
..and you see down and it is a long way.
There's one there.
'The dust didn't help either.'
Oh, gee. Look at that. That's narrow.
I don't understand the rules on this road.
You seem to drive one minute on the left and one minute on the right.
Sometimes the lorry stops to let you go through. Sometimes they don't.
Some lorries pull over, others come barrelling up behind you doing three and a half times the speed of sound.
It's completely baffling.
I'm coming up against the truck. I've got to go past him
and that means going on that side.
Looking straight ahead.
Moments later, James slowed down to let a mad local get past.
Does that mean there's one of those maniacal taxi drivers?
..and I didn't.
-Sorry, I was watching the taxi.
-You're now going to get macheted to death.
-I was watching the taxi!
-I don't care. Did I or did I not warn you?
James is killing Jeremy, but things are going well.
-I was watching the taxi.
-I was watching the taxi.
-Did your co-presenter just attack you with a machete?
-Yes, he did.
-He was quite cross cos I ran into him.
-That doesn't happen on clothes programmes or gardening shows.
'As we climbed higher, life in the already battered Toyota became truly terrifying.'
That's my steering. I'm inches from death, there.
The steering wheel doesn't do anything.
My brakes stick when I'm going uphill so the clutch slips.
I can't breathe because the dust gets in.
Oh, God! That's real fear now.
Going downhill, the same brakes that stick on going uphill, don't stop me.
'The Suzuki too was showing the strain.'
-What is the matter?
-It's got dirt in the fuel system from the river.
-So it's broken?
-It's not broken. Occasionally, a bit of it goes through.
Your simple, cheap car is broken.
'Sticking to the code of the Top Gear brotherhood, I left James and Richard behind.'
It just goes to show they are badly-made these Japanese cars. They're badly-made.
'James and I decided to stick together.'
He's never going to go round us. My God, he is.
Right. I'm in a ditch.
I didn't see this.
Whoa-ho! What a thing to miss.
'No biggie, though, because my colleague would winch me out in a jiffy.'
-The winch isn't working.
I'm now all on my own on Death Road. I have no idea where Ray Mears and Ted Nugent are.
They've just disappeared. We have no phones. They're not on the radio.
They could be dead.
'We would, in fact, be dead quite soon, judging by the mood of the angry, stuck locals.'
-Handbrake off etc.
-The ditch is going to level out so it'll be fine.
-There you go.
What a nice man.
'Soon, though, I wished I'd stayed in the ditch because the Toyota developed yet another fault.'
Something's broken on that back corner.
This is pretty close to unbearable now.
Meanwhile, very far ahead...
I'm now 5,500 feet above sea level and still climbing.
Oh, God, crosses.
A lot of crosses there.
And then, underneath a waterfall, I learned why there were so many crosses up here.
Oh, my God.
That is going. That is going.
We were still miles back.
It was almost dark and, worse still, James' alternator wasn't charging the battery.
How much is running your car with headlights on going to shorten the life of the battery
and then kill the engine?
I don't know exactly, but by quite a bit.
They're already getting a bit dim, to be honest.
God, this is murder.
Pretty soon, the inevitable happened.
My car is now dead and without a new battery.
'Since the alternator was one of the few things working on the Toyota,
'I swapped my live battery for James' dead one.'
-I think it was good of me to donate my battery.
-Yes, it was.
Yes, it was. This time, we're not going to run with your lights off.
No, OK. We'll use the torches.
Hang on a minute.
OK, I've waited till nightfall here at the summit of the death road.
My colleagues aren't here, which means they must be dead.
I've therefore made them these rather touching memorials.
With the torches fitted,
this was my view of Death Road.
Hammond, I want to say something to you that I wouldn't say at any other time.
Please don't leave me.
Oh, God, those words will stay with me. I'll struggle to get over that. No, I won't.
The next morning, we were all reunited in La Paz,
the world's highest and worst capital city.
But as we waited for our next instructions,
the mood was frosty.
-Are you ready?
-I still haven't actually forgiven you as such.
It's not like we're being all matey now and have forgotten you abandoned us to die, just so you know.
I couldn't go back to the hotel, eat steak, have a beer,
-and go to bed feeling good if I'd just left my mates...
-I had to go to bed.
Then tell your mates the steak wasn't very good.
I thought you were dead.
-I had a simple ceremony up there for you.
-Then what did you do? You went on.
I said kind words about you.
-What are we doing? Come on.
-"Between La Paz and the Pacific Ocean,
"there is the Altiplano where the altitude will cause you to have a pulmonary oedema.
"Then there's the Andes where you'll have a cerebral oedema.
"And then the Atacama which is 50 times drier than Death Valley.
"It has never rained. It's the driest place on Earth
"and there is no life, not even bacteria."
Given that our lungs and brains would explode in the deserts
and mountains that lay between us and the Pacific,
we decided to modify our cars a bit.
So it was time to find a workshop and cue the music.
# Theme to "A Team"
Have you got "Spider In Car" for Hammond?
You can't see through the window!
Stick to hammers.
That's the precision tool board. The hammer lives elsewhere.
The next day, we left La Paz well prepared for the trials that lay ahead.
So, I've lifted the Land Cruiser, obviously. Very simple.
Gives me room for the bigger, wider tyres I need for the desert sand.
Roll cage for safety, obviously.
Then to get rid of some of the weight, I've lost the doors
because they were very heavy, and the roof and anything else I didn't need.
What I've done to prepare for the desert is team a rather fetching hooded cardigan
with some old combat trousers and some big wheels on my car.
Wow, James has been busy.
You've modified that, mate.
As you can see, what I've done with my car is mended it.
The modifying brothers were very pleased with their results.
-I'm liking this.
But after a few miles, the smiles had gone.
Hammond, I've made my car worse.
-It won't ride properly and the tyres are catching on the wheel arches.
It's got no power any more.
I am having to work my engine quite hard.
The problem is, you put bigger wheels on, it has the effect of gearing it up.
First gear is like starting in third...it's hard work.
The long and the short of it, I've rather ruined it.
James has just overtaken me in his 1 oz box.
That face is smug, I don't like it.
Because I'd made my car better,
as we climbed onto the Altiplano,
I could relax and enjoy the backdrop.
Look at that sky.
That's one of the best skies I've seen for a very long time.
James, does it get hotter or colder when you're at altitude? I've forgotten.
I'm pretty sure it gets much hotter. No, no, hang on. Colder.
There's only one way we can accurately determine the temperature and that's by asking our colleague.
I know what you're thinking, I'm fine.
As darkness fell, we pulled into a petrol station.
In the shop, we found a bit more than Kit Kats and pies.
Wait a minute. Caramelised cocaine. That's something you don't see in every motorway service station.
-You take it and then you talk for hours.
Let's have that.
In fact, the sweet is made from coca leaves which are legal and used by locals
to ward off the effects of altitude sickness.
Hammond found them very moreish.
They're nice, they're caramelised. I've had about six.
Luckily, this had no effect at all.
..all the camping gear, then when you got there, this was before the M5,
there was like a high bit and a low bit and we used to say, "Is this the high/low bit?"
And Mum and Dad would say, "Yeah". And then we knew how far it was to Weston.
I always thought Bristol was a bit scruffy, but actually it's quite nice...
The next morning, we woke on the staggeringly beautiful Bolivian high plains.
We couldn't see this in the dark but it's absolutely breathtaking.
-Look at it.
-It's took my breath away.
-There's no breath to take away.
We're at 14,000 feet according to the gizmo.
-This measures your sats.
On Casualty, they always do this. They put one of these on their finger,
and it's something to do with how much oxygen there is in your red blood cells.
If it's less than 98 or 99, you've had it.
-And Tina Hobley comes.
-Where's Tina Hobley, then?
-Just try yours.
I bet you can't go less than 87.
That's how ill I am.
-89? You're nearly dead.
I AM dead.
-88, I'm not much better.
-If you went into a doctor's surgery in England,
-with sats of 88, they'd put you in hospital.
In fact, the only thing in a dodgier state than me
were the modifications on my car.
-I've broken my front right spring.
-Completely clean. Sheared it off both ends.
So that is supposed to be connected to that?
Yep. It's snapped clean off.
While trying to mend the modified suspension,
-there was another problem.
-Your prop shaft fell off.
-Your prop shaft just fell off.
Since there was no AA to call, it took us all morning to get it fixed.
But eventually, we were off.
And apart from James driving into a village well...
..we made good progress toward the Chilean border.
I'm in a fantastic desert, with my two mates.
All the cars are working, look at that, look at that.
It's great. It's an adventure.
And soon, we reached a big milestone.
One mile, James, and we've done it. Bolivia.
Let's roll in as a threesome.
You look at these three, you'd never believe they were still running!
Most scrapyards would reject them.
At the border post, we were given the traditional welcome.
I hope he doesn't find the tampons. Or, rather worryingly, the Viagra.
Drugs check over, we entered Chile, where the scenery became even more sensational.
Those are flamingos, they actually are flamingos.
I've never seen them in the wild. Wow.
Unfortunately, we were still climbing.
Are you ready? 45 feet to go.
30 feet to go.
Here it comes.
5, 4, 3... We're there!
-We are now higher than the highest peak in Europe
and we're still driving.
Soon, the altitude would become a big issue.
But the next day, Hammond had an even bigger one.
-His clutch had gone.
Oh, come on!
It won't come out of gear.
I'm trying to rock it on the starter motor... Ah!
There you go.
We're away, into second, match the road speed...
Ooh! Hey-hey! There we go.
We've just pulled over here to wait for Hammond.
Is that him?
-We're back as a three.
-The donkey lives!
-Oh, yeah! It lives on.
At this point, we had a decision to make.
We can either go that way,
which is very long,
or we can go that way,
which is short,
but does mean driving over an active volcano.
-Let's do it.
As we climbed, the air became thinner and thinner.
We are, definitely, the highest motorists in the world.
Apart from George Michael, obviously.
Hammond's really got to think ahead with no clutch.
He's gotta think ahead with a brain starved of oxygen.
What is frightening is when I need to come to grab first to get up a steep bit.
Changing down is harder.
You have to guess how high the engine needs to be revving and slot the gear lever in
without a clutch.
James too was having problems.
JUDDERING AND GRATING
Oh, God, chaps, my transfer box is jammed.
But these niggles were overshadowed by the big one.
Up at this altitude, this engine is really struggling.
For every litre of fuel vapour it gets through,
it needs 14 litres of air.
And there isn't any.
-So, it's just like me...
That means it's so down on power.
'Up here, James's car had, at best, 20 horsepower.
'And as we climbed higher,
'we started to suffer as well.'
The breathlessness now is pretty acute.
Just talking is...hard work.
I'm starting to feel a bit...
Jeez...no...I'm feeling really
'The terrain levelled out so we pulled over to catch what we could of our breath.'
-Do you feel sort of drunk but it's not pleasant?
Exactly that. My whole head... I've got room spin.
'It was time for drastic action.'
-Is this the time?
Apparently, Viagra, for reasons unknown to science
stops you having an oedema in your lung.
-I thought it was more the trouser department it concentrated on.
-That could be a side effect, yes.
-Down the hatch.
-Here we go.
-Doesn't work. Nothing's happening.
-I can't swallow it.
-I need a drink.
I'm going to get a massive neck if I don't get some of that.
Apparently...that will save our lives.
I've just taken Viagra!
-On top of the Andes.
'Sadly, it didn't seem to have any effect at all.'
I'm getting a headache and I'm feeling sick.
Come on, come on.
'The big question now was this -
'which would give out first, the cars or the men?'
Come on. Come on!
Every gear change is so critical now.
I get tense about it, that raises my heart.
And then I need oxygen all the more.
-Still there, Hammond?
-Yeah, I'm still here. I have to go slow
because I daren't risk changing up to third. I won't make it.
'OK, mate, we'll slow down.'
We're a team up here. Cos this isn't funny.
God, Jeremy's talking about being a team.
Must be the altitude.
'At 16,700 feet,
'the Toyota broke down again.'
'I think my transfer box has just gone.'
'James and I stop to help.
'And then we couldn't get going again.'
The engines just aren't getting any air.
There's just no...er...
James can't get his started.
I can't get mine started.
I haven't got any air to work.
Once we get the Range Rover going, that's the most likely to start,
-we can get everything started. Right. Can we move it?
-Three, two, heave!
'Pushing a Range Rover at this altitude damn near killed us,
'but eventually the big beast fired and once again,
'the most unreliable car in the world got the others going as well.'
My lips are now tingling.
I get the feeling something's gotta give soon.
Jesus Christ, my head!
'At 17,200 feet, we pulled over - again.'
Even if...the cars could get over that and I seriously doubt that, I can't.
Just pushing on's just stupid.
-Seriously, I'm calling it a day.
-I think you could be right.
'We really were in trouble. So, we turned round and headed back down.
16 two. Still feeling weird.
With every foot...
the engine's gonna run smoother.
My body's gonna run smoother.
'We then went the long way round and finally, drunk on oxygen,
'we made it to the other side of the Andes.'
THEY INHALE NOISILY Air!
-It's so...so underrated.
It's like breathing soup.
You can bite off pieces of it and chew it.
It's like lung nectar.
There is just one small thing that's occurred to me, chaps.
Where the hell are we?
We were in the Atacama Desert
where there is no life at all.
Not even on a cellular level.
Richard Hammond was the smallest living organism for miles.
There was nothing here at all.
Except for one road.
The Pan-American Highway.
Running is smooth.
The view is spectacular.
Temperature is low.
'But the mad dash down the mountain had been too much once again
'for the modifications on Hammond's Toyota.'
Better stop. Oh, God.
Didn't sound good.
-You heard something?
I think, James, we can safely say that what's happened there
is my prop-shaft has fallen off.
'And the prop-shaft was only half of it.'
Good God. I'm surprised that didn't somersault the car.
I've just heard on the radio that Richard Hammond's Land Cruiser
is in serious trouble.
'Happily, the Top Gear orang-utan elected not to stop and help.
'As a result, James and I quickly got the Toyota working again.'
We reconfigured it, it's now running.
Front wheel drive only so it's now just its front legs
dragging itself along, still working.
'We were now tantalisingly close to the Pacific Ocean, the finish line.'
There can be no doubt this has been our toughest assignment ever.
No question about that. It's nearly killed us,
it's nearly killed our cars.
'It is incredible to think that these cheap cars
'bought unseen on the Internet had crossed the Amazon rainforest.
'They'd scaled the most dangerous road in the world.
'They'd still been working when their drivers had broken down in the Andes.
'We didn't just respect them. We loved them.'
I have a teddy bear, I've had it since I was born.
One of its arms has fallen off, one of its eyes is missing,
its head's come off more times than I can mention.
To you it would be worthless junk.
But to me, it means everything,
and it's the same story with this car.
Yeah, the ride's terrible, it's a bit noisy, doesn't handle that well,
and I'm always worried it's going to fall over,
but it's done everything the big boys have done, hasn't got stuck any more often,
and the only time it's really gone wrong is due to its dunking in the river.
I think the plucky little car's done all right.
From the very start of the trip when I couldn't start it on the raft, I thought, "Oh, no."
But I didn't know it then, I didn't know how determined it was.
This thing is like that Black Knight
in that Monty Python sketch
where they're fighting with swords and he gets his arm cut off.
"No, no, 'tis but a scratch!" It's a great little car.
'As our exhausted convoy drew nearer to the coast,
'weirdly, the road started to climb again.'
40 miles to go and we've got to drop 2,300 feet to sea level.
It must start going downhill in a minute!
'But it didn't.
'The punishing climb continued.'
I can smell... I can smell...
a boiling engine.
Is the drop at the other end just sheer, because we're nearly at the Pacific now?
And we're 4,000 feet up.
'Soon, though, we turned off the Pan-America and headed through the dunes to the finish line,
'where, unfortunately, there was one more obstacle in the way.
'A big one.'
Hang on a minute.
-Look how bloody steep it is.
I can see now why they said four wheel drive.
-Er, I've only got three wheel drive.
-I've only got two.
-What if you dig in?
-If you dug in and started to roll,
the chances of you being alive at the bottom...are nil.
'We therefore decided to get some practice on a smaller dune first.'
Are we ready, chaps?
-'Hold on, hold on.'
Give me strength. Give me strength.
-Just before we do this, I wanted to say...
-Oh, my BLEEP!
His wheel's come off.
'Donkey was dead.
'And in some ways, I was relieved.
'Because it meant I no longer had to drive down that dune.'
This is utterly, utterly, utterly stupid.
I wouldn't do this in a brand-new Range Rover.
James, are you ready?
Yeah, I'll be going for second gear, Jezza.
Second gear, low range, and I've got my diff locks in. Have you?
-I haven't got diff locks.
-'Good luck, boys.'
Oh, my God.
I don't know... Oh, Christ, I don't know where the wheels are pointing.
I don't think so.
It's going sideways.
Whoa. Whoo oh oh!
Don't you dare go sideways again.
'The soft sand was a nightmare and the gradient meant pretty soon
'we were fighting to keep control.'
Get in a straight line, you metal BLEEP.
Come on. Oh, it's going a bit fast now.
I'm in a 900-year-old utterly ruined Range Rover.
Levelling out. It's levelling out.
It's levelling out.
Argh! We're down!
'Once again, we had shown what the car, even when it's an old croc, is capable of.
'Well, two of us had.
'But when we finally regrouped by the water's edge,
'Hammond still believed he'd chosen wisely.'
-Are you going to try and argue...?
-It's extraordinarily good. It's led a very hard life.
It died a noble death, I think valiant.
I think rubbish. It has been a constant source of problems and delays.
It was old and arthritic and had been beaten every day of its life, sick old donkey.
These two were old and arthritic but they are here,
and the Land Cruiser is 2,800 feet above us up there.
Forever. Can I just make the case for the Suzuki
cos I know what you're thinking? Plucky little car.
-Helped you out a few times.
-Technically, never really broke down.
It didn't survive very well in the puddle.
But I'd like to say most importantly...
-..the ride is rotten.
Yes. And because of that,
because it's almost ruined your spine,
and because yours isn't here,
we have a startling conclusion to the show.
It turns out that the most unreliable car in the world...
is the most reliable car in the world.
Yeah. It's fair enough.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Range Rover.
-Not what I'd ever expected it...
-Nobody expected that.
-Come on, we can be proud of that.
-Proud to be British...
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are dropped deep in the Bolivian rainforest armed only with three shabby 4x4s, which they bought from the local small ads for a maximum of £3,500 each.
What follows is one of their most extraordinary journeys. They attempt to drive from the heart of Bolivia to the coast of Chile, encountering local drug lords, the debilitating effects of high altitude and the terrifying sheer drops of the infamous Death Road along the way. But before all that, they've got to escape from the deep, dark centre of the rainforest.