Getting there is half the fun, right?
The initial getting there of this particular field recording trip involved a slightly surreal excursion into the clouds! I have traversed Danseys Pass (935m) once before, but it was maybe 5+ years ago & it was summer (a QTVR I shot at the summit is here)
This time it is/was winter, I kept my fingers crossed.. the forecast was good so I first made a quick side trip to Lake Aviemore to do some recording…..
I drove back to the east to Duntroon, then turned south, and started climbing…. gravel muddy roads, leading into the clouds…
At a certain point it became apparent the mountains were disappearing into the clouds! And not just discretely, completely!!! Driving along I started to wonder at what point would the road meet these clouds….
This is right near the summit (although thats easy to say in retrospect) I pulled over to shoot this power pylon, mostly for the way the cables disappeared into the cloud…. Two minutes after I stopped a BMW 4WD pulled up: ‘is this the top??’ – I could only reply; ‘I’m going in the opposite direction & have been climbing for the last half hour..’ This seemed to cheer them up… I asked if he was in 4WD ‘no….’ – I had been for 15 minutes, not because I needed to be but I’d rather reach the other side having not needed 4WD, than get in trouble ‘cos I wasn’t…. and it had been muddy, with severe drops/cliffs off the side of the road….. and there had been two or three signs saying DANSEYS PASS: OPEN 4WD only which made me be glad to not have to take the 2-3 hour redirect…
I presume they got there safely…. ‘slowly & safely’ were my last words to them… They looked nervous, I was loving it – how often do you get to see things like this!?!
This was out the other side – descending to the south…. It was about 5pm by then, so despite it being winter the land would normally still be well lit… And I was still about 45 minutes from my destination, Saint Bathans… And for all that remaining time driving, seeing the golden dusk lighting the Central Otago landscape, I kept trying to remember the poetry/text from a particular Colin McCahon painting….
I never remembered it, but the universe provided the answer for me. I arrived at St Bathans, just before it got dark… Picked up the key to the jail where I was staying for a few nights.. Unlocked the door and walked into the bedroom, to be met by a print of the exact same McCahon painting I had been thinking about…
view/buy a print here
some photos from St Bathans to follow – a deeply surreal landscape!!