Certainly a different type of adventure.
The Grand Tour has taken its roaming studio on tour again, but this time the hijinks planned for the episode are so grand and elaborate that there’s no time for an in-studio session – no jokes, no Conversation Street, and definitely no Celebrity Brain Crash.
1. Ah, yes, the Volkswagen Beetle
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have one simple tip for making for making your classic, air-cooled Beetle more fun: remove the bodywork and turn it into a beach buggy.
2. The beach in question? It’s in Namibia
The boys have each created rather different types of beach buggies, though Hammond’s is judged to be more of a Dakar/safari machine than the typical designs Clarkson and May have brought.
3. Soon it’s time for a 1,000-mile journey
How hard could it be to drive a thousand miles (1,609 kilometres) across the desert to some crocodile-infested river? The boys have taken on bigger tasks before, right?
4. But first, a shipwreck
Hang on, in the desert? How does a ship become shipwrecked in the desert?
5. There’s also a mine here
Abandoned, meaning there probably were no diamonds to be found. Better luck next time. But this is perhaps the first sign that the trio is seriously lost.
6. It’s morning, they’ve driven around all night and…
They’re back at the sea again. “I never knew Namibia had two seas,” says Clarkson. Um, it doesn’t. They’re just lost.
7. Being by the water means that it’s easy to get stuck in soft sand
As Clarkson easily demonstrates. While it’s generally tradition for his colleagues to leave him stranded, Hammond feels generous and gives Clarkson’s buggy a gentle nudge out of the sand.
8. An uphill struggle, even on dry land
The thing about sand dunes is that they’re steep and hard to climb. Unless, say, you’ve got a V8 or a beach buggy with lots of ground clearance. If not, it’s going to be tough. But what goes up…
9. …Must come down
Some of the drop-offs the trio must descend are enormous, rollercoaster-like slopes. “I wasn’t scared,” Hammond confirms after one particularly harrowing descent.
10. And finally, a road
It may not be a good road or a major road or a paved road, but it means there’s no more sleeping on the sand in the cold.
That’s all for part one of this episode. The second half of the Namibia special airs tomorrow.