Into The Wild | An Epic E Bike Adventure In The Scottish Highlands With Hannah Barnes

Into The Wild | An Epic E Bike Adventure In The Scottish Highlands With Hannah Barnes


– At the end of Britain’s
longest dead end road, is the Peninsula of Knoydart. It is as remote as any of the Hebrides. Of there no roads and no communication. The only way on to Knoydart is by boat. And so, with only deer and
golden eagles for company, No ones as regarded as
Britain’s Lochs wilderness. (upbeat music) (Global EMBN logo music) Over the next few days,
we’re gonna be attempting to cross that wild peninsula, by bike. To remote village of Inverie. Once we get there, it’s a
quick boat journey back here, to Mallaig. And then on to the train,
the Harry Potter train, back to Fort William, once
regarded as one of the greatest train journeys in the world. Now, to do this trip, it’s
gonna be pretty precarious. So, I’m gonna be calling
on a friend, an ex racer, Hannah Barns. (upbeat rock music) (pipe rock music) We’ve got eight hours to get
across the Knoydart Peninsula. – [Hannah] It’s gonna be
so good, and we have til mid afternoon to beat the rain. So, we got to get going.
– [Man] Heavy rain. – [Man] I’m glad you’re upbeat about this. – It’s gonna be good. It’s nice now.
– Eight hours to get across the peninsula,
and there’s a bridge… – A nonexisting bridge.
– Nonexisting bridge. – So we’ll… – This is actually making
me feel sick, cause if we get there, and we’re halfway
through the peninsula, and there’s no way across that river… – We gotta come back and
call a taxi driver back. (laughing) – But there’s no signal. – I’ll bet you. (laughing) – [Hannah] We’re gonna
make it, we’ll find a way. (upbeat country music) – [Man] Take care, you
are entering remote, sparsely-populated, potentially
dangerous mountain country. Please, ensure that you
are adequately experienced and equipped to complete your journey without assistance.
– [Hannah] Without assistance. (laughing) – [Hannah] Can we do it? I’ll assist you, and you can assist me. – Yeah, the dog can assist us both. – Yeah. (slow music) – When you come to the river, – Yeah. – Okay, you cross a big salts flats, – [Hannah] Okay. – And then you’ll see on
the other side of you, you’ll see a road, which is
actually coming from the lodge. When that road comes down to
the river level, and you’ll see the corner of a wall, there’s a ford bit, and that’s the shallowest bit. Then you turn right, and you
go right up the man middle, and that’s a long haul. (acoustic guitar music) – [Man] Wow, Hannah, this
really is out there, right? – [Hannah] It’s incredible,
it’s so cool, yeah. – Do you know what, I
think this is what E-biking is good at, is these adventures. – Absolutely, like within
half an hour we’ve really just blasted into the middle of nowhere. – But, now we’re already in
the middle of nowhere, now we get through this last
little forestry, and we are on to open mountain. – Yeah.
– This is where it starts to get a little bit dicey, right? – Yeah, definitely. We definitely left to our own
devices, and we’ve got to be quite self sufficient. – Yeah. Before hitting the river crossing, which we don’t know about. – Fingers crossed. (country rock music) The tracks build us on
to the open mountains. This is when things
started to get serious. As we transitioned into a
zone where there simply was no going back, we were in. – [Man] Woah. The last couple of hours really
have hammered home the fact, how far removed we really are
from the safety or, I feel like, predictability of the trail center. These really are big mountains. And you gotta take your hat
off to the day stalkers, that live in this terrain. – Hannah, it’s a harsh environment, right? – There’s a really harsh environment. We’ve just been riding for,
it must be two hours now, and,
– Oh super technical terrain. Technical, hard, rough, boggy. Pretty rough, yeah.
– I think that every single foot, meter, is a hazard,
it’s something to overcome. – Seriously.
– It’s hard going isn’t it? – Yeah, yeah. Always concentrating, and looking out for bugs, rocks, and yeah. There’s no letter…
– I’m pretty hungry. – I’m hungry, have you brought any food? – I thought you brought the food? – Josh, you brought
– Josh, have… The food, right? – Have you got the sandwiches? (country rock music) – [Hannah] This a long 16 miles isn’t it? (laughing) – [Man] You seem to be
skimming across those bogs. There’s definitely a bog
technique there, right? – There seems to be. – Avoid the path just skim.
– I think you’re too heavy. (laughing) – I’ll tell you what,
we’ll just skim that, let’s just skim over. We Just skimmed over a couple
of munros, Garb Kenmore, What’s that one there? – Sgurr na Ciche? – Sgurr na Ciche. Wow. 1,04o meters.
– I’m not sure. – I’ll tell you what,
you wouldn’t want to be doing this later here, right? – You would not. It would be freezing. – I mean, we’ve been
walking through rivers. – We’re just drenched,
so it’d be colder, yeah. – I think that was pretty much
wilderness terrain up there. – Definitely. (Hannah laughs) Definitely. – We’re not even a third of the way. – No, we’re not. We got to go around two more headlands. – [Man] That way. Look at it, look at it.
– [Hannah] Yeah. (laughing) – [Man] It’s proper out there. – It’s okay, we’ve got two jelly babies between us, we’ll be fine. – I’m glad you brought the dog biscuits. I’m going to be eating them within the hour.
– Yeah, they will be eating Libby’s biscuits. – [Man] Our progress through
some of the oldest mountains in the world were steady. We were simply in awe
of some staggeringly, beautiful terrain. Through Saddle, we saw
the sea come into view for the first time. Knoydart gently rolling
out of the Atlantic. Now, we found out, really
last minute this morning, before we set off, the really
important bridge on this route had been taken put by high water. However, we did speak to
the stalkers, and they said it was probably doable
through some of the water. So, we’re right out of Bothy. Half way on out trip, we’ve
reached the sea, however at this point, the only
way out of here is to, either, go backwards or cross that river. Now, we’ve bumped into a bunch
of guys here, from Germany, and one of them got a really bad ankle. This shows just how dangerous,
and how isolated a place like this could be. So, next part of the
journey is really crucial. Can we make it across the river? And the days getting on, Hannah. – It is. – Lights fading, we… – We’re taking longer
than we expected anyway. – Yeah, cause its been
really hard going, right? – Its been really tough. (rock drum music) – [Man] We’ve come to
expect the worst at the crossing of the river Carnach. The approach is wide open. Exposed to mountains now
towering lake Norwegian Fjords. The reality was knee level, at the worst, but ahead of us was a real test. Some of the team began to
question the judgment of taking on a mountain pass in such poor weather. Tension, engulfed the group. – This is pretty cold. – [Man] Huh? – I need to get up, and get down, cause it’s pretty cold. Trying to keep spirits up, keep Libby fed. – [Man] Hideous, Hannah? – Hideous. – [Man] We’ve just come
down a really challenging, what would you call it, Hannah? – Oh I don’t know.
– Pass. – It’s too cold to… – Honestly, we’re so cold. I’m so glad to get off the
top of the hill, Hannah. – Very glad.
– But, still… We’ve totally got enough
daylight, so it is, it’s taken us so much longer than we ever thought. – We’ve still a long way
to go, so that could have gone horribly wrong, cause there’s only one way out of the valley. – [Man] So, in rapidly fading light, we actually made it across Knoydart, here, to Inverie, on the west of the island. We might get a hotel, and dry clothes off, and have that much
needed super hot shower. So, here we are at the remotest
pub restaurant in Britain. Early morning, and the Western
Isles Ferry arrives with supplies, and to carry the
locals across to the mainland. It’s the only public
transport off of Knoydart. We climb aboard and bounce
back across the Atlantic, with the raw and touched
mountains of this remote peninsula, staring at us. They’re still wild, but
seen in a much gentler mood, in the day before. (rock music) – [Man] That journey from Knoydart, on the Western Isles
Express, that boat across back to the mainland. An amazing, amazing journey. And now, we’re gonna head
to the train station, to get on the Harry Potter Express. – [Man] The line opened in 1901, to serve the West Highlands,
but was closed in 1967, as part of modernization,
which said the diesel was far more efficient than steam. In 1984, British Rail
reintroduced a steam service. In 1995, after privatization
of the train network, the operating license was
given to West Cost Railways. 41 miles between Mallaig and
Fort William, the Jacobite train was used in the Harry Potter films, as the Hogwarts Express,
and used this very route. Florence, what’s all the fuss
about with the steam train? There’s a lot of people here. – It’s a very, very busy train,
it’s a Harry Potter theme, it’s the views, it’s the whole package. – It seems like there’s people
from all over the world here. – All over the world. They come form every corner of the world, just to travel on the
Jacobite steam train. – [Man] Yeah, right, we
better jump on then, won’t we? – [Blonde Woman] Jump on, yeah. Enjoy the ride! – Hannah, that was a pretty
challenging few days, right? But, here we are, rolling
first class on the (laughing) Harry Potter Express,
– [Hannah] Heading home. in one of the most beautiful environments in the world, right? – [Hannah] It’s incredible. – [Man] It’s mental. – [Hannah] Mhm, it is. – And I didn’t realize, that
we actually in one of Europe’s last wildernesses,
– Mhm. The last few days. – [Hannah] Yeah, it was pretty out there. – [Man] Yeah, let’s
talk about what we did. Like, we traveled by miserable
taxi driver, and then we started going into the
woods, and everything. It was a stalkers track, right? – [Hannah] Yeah.
– [Man] Quad bike track. – [Hannah] Mhm.
– [Man] And then, we went on to Oak More, it’s
Oak Mountain, sorry, and then some pretty tough,
precarious, challenging terrain. – [Hannah] Yeah.
– [Man] I think you have to be careful with
a E-bike, to go into places like that, right?
– [Hannah] Yeah, definitely, because you’re able to get way further into the wilderness
quicker, because you have the extra assistance.
– [Man] Yeah. But, at the same time, that
you are out in these really challenging environments,
– [Man] Yeah. A lot quicker, and more able than before. But, then you’re out there
and you often have to get your bike up and over a mountain,
and then there’s a walk mode, which is amazing, but also,
sometimes it’s not really, you’re not able to use it. So, there’s a lot of pushing
– [Man] You’re pushing – Pushing, as a really, really
heavy weight, if you, yeah. – [Man] You know, yesterday afternoon, we were in a difficult position. – Yeah. – We pushed about, you know,
pushed a couple thousand feet, up a really steep bank. – [Hannah] It was tough,
I’m really sore today. (laughing) – It’s gonna take a long time
to dry out from that one. – Yeah.
(laughing) And get over it. – Yeah. – So, here we are at our final
destination, Fort William, HQ, Hannah Barns’ hometown. Home to all those World Cup
Downhill races, from 2002. So, I think all that needs
to be said, really is, Hannah, thanks for an amazing few days. – Thank you, Steven, it was really cool. – Absolutely, out there. If you want to see more E-bike adventures, check out this one I’ve
done with Dotty, down here, and there’s also the Mid Wales
trip to the dicey valley. That’s down there. Give thumbs if you like this
video, subscribe to EMBN, if you haven’t already done so. Hannah, it’s time for beer. – Time for beer.