'The spirit of man is nomad, his blood bedouin...and so I came to live my life not by conscious plan or prearranged design but as someone following the flight of a bird.' ~ Laurens van der Post
Hello, fellow adventurers!
My lockdown was spent camping in my mate Glen’s engineering yard. For the last three months or so I’ve been rebuilding a recently acquired 4WD wagon from the ‘hubs up” - preparing it for an upcoming global overland adventure with me and my Santa Cruz bike.
As we transitioned to Level 3 it felt time to test the camping capabilities of the wagons almost-complete refit. Packing for the first ‘virtual’ test trip was actually a little exciting after all the engineering, hard work, and long hours. Nothing too far nor too extreme was envisioned just a camping night ‘away’ with a new hike-a-bike peak in mind.
Still, after hitting the gravel, the day became packed with action, tyre rock slides, washed-out bridges over raging trickles, shredding bikes on the roof of my world. I even encountered a crusty old hose snake in the grass while unloading the gear. This world kept me busy for over a day.
Making camp I quickly changed out of my gummies and dressed for a serious hike-a-bike to claim the first descent of the red corrugated peak in the Quarantine ranges. This actually went pretty smoothly, even the stunts (I've been secretly practicing wheelies during lockdown) and the view was amazing just at the moment when the light reminds you that life and nature are “good as gold”. The descent was one to remember with some fun times pulling wheelies and the excitement of getting some action on the bike.
Sliding sideways (the way life is meant to be lived) into camp, I was ready for snacks and a cup of tea followed by dinner and a perfect fire under a still night sky, one of those rare nights where the smoke goes straight up (no jokes). The new kitchen setup seems solid, the awning and chairs created a comfortable and cosy front yard to the Land Cruiser. Beers and fire stares before crawling into the interior bed which was another first, somewhat tighter by design than my blue Cruiser but still functioned as it should while maximising storage.
Sheltered and rested, the sun rose between layers of corrugated workshops, warming my morning and shedding light on the reality of my lockdown world. Remember you are only trapped if you can’t let your mind be free of your situation and so with practice, you may find the perceived bars and chains are less restricting than you might first have thought. This is one of the many things I learned from the writing of a most epic adventurer and prisoner of war - Laurens van der Post. There are some amazing stories by this man, adventure, and deep thought combined!
With lockdown love, take care,
Jamie Nicoll Adventures
Words: Jamie Nicoll
Photos: Freya McCall