It was a restless night sleep. My over-excited mind had been racing in anticipation of the early morning adventure along the Forgotten World Highway. Careful not to wake anyone else in the house, I switched off the alarm before it went off at 5.30am. Sunday mornings are for sleep-ins right?!
Coffee down, and out the gate before 6am – for once this old creative was ahead of time to meet our ride.
With the cunning plan of catching up on a few minutes sleep, I unselfishly ‘bagsed’ the back seat and got comfortable for the 1 ½ hour drive. I readily admit to being the oldest member of Strategy Collective creative team, so a back-seat nap seemed like a reasonable expectation. However, I had neglected to remember that I also have a lesser-known and slightly embarrassing reputation around the office for having a weaker stomach. Out-of-town work-trip stories have a common theme based around CJ and an upset stomach.
True to form, 45 mins into the journey, the winding road got the better of me and I was quickly going downhill. Feeling sicker at every turn and lurch of the vehicle, the idea of only being halfway to Whangamōmona was quickly turning my idea of a nap in the back seat into a mini nightmare. Was CJ’s notorious gut going to ruin yet another work-trip by losing breakfast in the back seat?
Thankfully, the video shot-list required us to stop the car and send the drone up over the famously gnarly valleys of the Forgotten World Highway. Seizing the opportunity to get some much-needed fresh air, I grabbed the camera and went for a walk down the road by myself. I pretended to take photos in an effort to hide my early-morning queasiness from my ruthlessly unsympathetic colleagues.
Once the fresh air kicked in, I regained my composure and framed up a few interesting road-side photos. This is the moment I captured the photo of the railway tracks.
The rest of the trip I sat in the front seat. Lol.
Whangamōmona is a fascinating little place. A taste of old New Zealand that is unapologetically still in touch with a slower pace of life, yet at 9am on a Sunday the street was humming with a crowd of about 50 heading for the rail carts!