Central America

Image for Central AmericaNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 50 minutes

Mark Beaumont, who broke the record for pedalling around the world is back on the road. This time the adventure promises to be more exhilarating and agonising - Mark's journey will take him from Alaska, USA to Ushuaia, in southern Argentina; cycling the length of the Rockies and Andes, 13,000 miles through 12 countries. He'll also attempt to reach the summits of the highest mountains in North and South America. For nine months, Mark will self-film his intimate adventure at bike speed.

Mark crosses into northern Mexico, a region notorious for drugs-related killings and kidnappings. He is joined by a local photojournalist who gives him a tour of his home city, Juarez, possibly the most dangerous city on earth.

After 98 days alone on the road, Mark arrives at the 16th century town of Zacatecas on Mexico's Central Plateau. He's just in time for the Mexican Independence Day celebrations, which means tequila.

After conquering the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, Mark arrives at the Pacific, but this beautiful backdrop has a dark side. He stumbles across a makeshift shrine flanked by murals of the Grim Reaper. It is a place where the locals worship La Santa Muerte - the holy death, a saint-like figure which has been condemned by the Catholic Church but adopted by drugs gangs.

Pushing on through Guatemala and El Salvador, Mark hits the wet season and the road ahead is soon plagued by thunderstorms and what seems like a dead end in El Salvador. Neighbouring Honduras is under military lockdown and the ferry to Panama has sunk, but after a few phone calls to the authorities he makes a dash through Honduras with the bike in the back of a truck.

In Panama in torrential rain, his bike develops a serious problem and his only hope lies in the hands of a street side bike shop where they take to his bike with a hammer and a carving knife.

  • Photo: Mark Beaumont at a chilli farm in Mexico

    Photo: Mark Beaumont at a chilli farm in Mexico

    After conquering the Rockies and crossing the border into northern Mexico, Mark Beaumont discovers the many sides of the country and makes it just in time to enjoy the Mexican Independence Day celebrations.

Credits

Narrator
Bill Paterson
Presenter
Mark Beaumont
Director
Nick Shoolingin-Jordan
Producer
Tony Nellany
Producer
Nick Shoolingin-Jordan
Executive Producer
Neil McDonald

Broadcasts

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