Here it is – LRO’s budget overland Discovery. I’ve spent the past few months having it adapted on a budget for travelling and living in. It’s all very basic, and there’s plenty of room for creativity in the months to come, but this is it for now. So was it all worth it?
To find out, I flung my mountain bike in the back, arranged to meet a friend on the slopes of Snowdon and dedicated myself to a long, gruelling weekend of ‘research’.
On the way, a quick detour of the A5 led to an easy greenlane north of Rhydlydan, where dazzling afternoon sunlight lit up the moss-laden stone walls, and the dark mountains of Snowdonia filled the westward horizon. What a perfect start!
Life needs more afternoons like these. With more than a little smugness, I folded down the rear table (built for such moments), and put the kettle on.
Day two saw mountain biking around Snowdon (no, we didn’t make it to the summit...). With our bikes’ wheels removed, we managed to fit them both in front of the load guard, using the Disco to ferry them between the starting point of each ride.
After camping beside the Discovery that night, next morning we hiked to the top of Snowdon (the mountain did its best to blow us down again...) and hit the greenlanes again the day after.
There’s a lovely lane running eastward from Ysbyty Ifan, in the north-west of the National Park; a couple of fords lead to a rocky and very knobbly ascent with fi ne views. Bottom gear, low ratio... hold on to your spine!
There’s even a buttockclenching side-slope. Locking dif helped but wasn’t essential, so I’d love to revisit in my Series IIA 109 one day.
The verdict? For relatively little expense, we’ve improved on the Discovery’s inherent practicality, making it perfectly suited for swallowing gear and setting forth for faraway places. This is what life with a Land Rover is all about – success!