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Arizona to Southern Mexico

Dara O Briain and Ed Byrne begin a 4,000-mile road trip along the Pan-American Highway, taking in Arizona, Mazatlan, Mexico City and Oaxaca.

Dara O Briain and Ed Byrne take a road trip along the Pan American Highway, driving all the way from North to South America. The route was first driven by three intrepid travellers from Detroit in 1940 when it was at best a dirt track.

Beginning their 4,000-mile journey in Arizona, Dara and Ed speed towards the US/Mexico border and soon find that their 21st-century trip is just as hair-raising, surprising and enlightening as the original expedition 70 years earlier.

Their journey takes them through the beautiful seaside resort of Mazatlan and on to Mexico City, one of the world's great megacities. Over 70 years ago, the original adventurers met Miguel Aleman, who would later become president of Mexico. Dara and Ed meet his son and hear how Aleman Senior was inspired by Sullivan's expedition to begin construction of the Pan-American Highway.

After watching Mexico's famous lucha libre wrestlers, Dara and Ed head south, visiting the ancient Zapotec civilisation of Monte Alban, before heading on to Oaxaca. Along the way they experience the darker side of the pan-American dream, when they witness the steady stream of migrants risking their lives to get to North America by riding a freight train nicknamed La Bestia.

Just like the original expedition, Dara and Ed stop off in Juchitán to sample the local delicacy, iguana, and visit an iguana sanctuary, before reaching a state-of-the-art coffee farm set high in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountains. The coffee farm is owned by the same German immigrant family who welcomed the original expedition back in the 1940s.

This first leg of their journey takes them ten days, compared to the two months it took in the 1940s. Along the way, Dara and Ed discover how the Pan-American Highway has helped transform Mexico into one of the most powerful and dynamic countries in the Americas.

59 minutes

Last on

Thu 10 May 2018 23:15

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Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Dara O Briain
Presenter Ed Byrne
Executive Producer Fiona Caldwell
Series Producer Leo Burley
Director Leo Burley

Broadcasts

  • Tue 24 Mar 2015 21:00
  • Tue 24 Mar 2015 23:50
  • Wed 25 Mar 2015 23:20
  • Sat 28 Mar 2015 21:05
  • Sat 11 Apr 2015 02:40
  • Sun 14 Jun 2015 20:00
  • Sun 5 Jun 2016 19:00
  • Thu 10 May 2018 23:15

Five reasons to watch

Five reasons to watch

Discover who is the best driver and who ate iguana on Dara and Ed's road trip.

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