FIRST TASTE OF FREEDOM CENTRAL OTAGO
POST-LOCKDOWN, NZ4WD CONTRIBUTOR RICHARD SOULT WAS HANGING OUT TO GET OUT IN THE NZEXPLORER.CO.NZ TOYOTA PRADO. SO HE TEAMED UP WITH ‘YOUTUBER’ JONO HITCHCOX FOR A QUICK IMAGE-GATHERING TRIP THROUGH CENTRAL OTAGO.
I suspect that like many people, I found lockdown enjoyable. We don’t have children or pets, but we did get to spend, however long it was, in our small community, getting to know everyone by first names, waving to everyone that we crossed on the street and getting things done that we had been putting off because “we didn’t have time”.
We found out how little we needed to spend to live and adjusted to a new relaxed pace of life.
In saying that we were working hard on developing the Adventure Tours side of 4x4Explorer and planning trips away. One we arranged was with Jono of Lost Sheep Adventures to meet up for a trip down to Central Otago to do some filming for our new 4x4Explorer Adventures website.
In fact, probably the most stress that we had during Lockdown was that it would not be lifted before the snow arrived therefore ruining our chances of filming promotional videos for summer trips. Luckily the snow didn’t arrive and freezing conditions don’t show up on film!
First winter in a few years!
This is our first winter in a few years and we had been planning to be back in Europe continuing our trip from last year. And I don’t mind admitting that the last trip we did before lockdown had shown how woefully ill-equipped we were for a New Zealand winter.
So. Over Lockdown we had done some research and ordered a Darche Swag with 100mm mattress and -12°C Cold Mountain sleeping bag. I had tested it in the garden before leaving and was hoping that it was going to keep me warm.
As soon as we had the “green light” and a clear weather window, we blasted down to Central Otago and met up with Jono in Cromwell. Despite having had weeks to plan, the brief was pretty loose and I really left it up to Jono to find the best spots for filming. Jono wanted to get two new episodes for his Lost Sheep Adventures YouTube channel and I wanted to get some good promo material.
We headed out of Cromwell and decided that we were going to spend the first night at Nevis Crossing. We got there just as the sun was going down over the Remarkables, threw out the swags and collected