west coast

i arrived in greymouth and checked in at the yha as the weather was getting worse. without asking i got a bicycle discount as a low carbon traveller. the common room looked like the drawing room in an old english country house with comfy couches, tons of books and even a piano which was fun to play after such a long time. my roommate was another cyclist, marco from germany, who was two months into his first cycle touring adventure with his trailer he made himself out of the frame from a wheelbarrow and a barrel.

the next day it was raining all day long. time to do the laundry, spend some time on the internet at the library and some more messing around on the piano.

we decided to start together the next day towards westport. we were already pretty impressed with the first half of the day. and when we stopped at the pancake rocks for lunch, the sun was coming out from behind the clouds and the scenery along the coast just north of punakaiki was getting even better and needs not to fear a comparison with the great ocean road.

as the day was coming to an end, heavy dark clouds were rolling over the hills as we reached jack’s gasthof, a pizzeria slash camping ground, obviously run by a german couple. it is a good spot and it feels like camping in someone’s garden which it actually is more or less. it started to rain while we had our dinner and continued to do so for the next forty hours. so we spent the most part of the next day within our tents. which is bearable for one day but the outlook on another day spent in confinement made us crawl out of our little dry holes the next morning and rather ride through the downpour with a bed and a hot shower in a hostel to look forward to in once we reached westport.

the following day we cycled along the buller river, we met another cyclist from france who just came from bob, a kiwi cyclist who is building a campsite for cyclists on his property, our goal for that day. but again the weather had different ideas and so we stopped at the lyell d.o.c. site for the night (the department of conservation runs a bunch of camping spots around the country which offer basic facilities with no gadgets for an affordable price or even for free). the site is alright only bad with sand flies or black flies, mindless bloodsucking beast which terrorize especially the west coast during the summer months.

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