West Coast in picture. Misty mountains

Day 5.

It has been raining for two days now. The mountains are covered with fog and I start slowly to be really wet. My clothes are impregnated with the smell of moisture that is spreading everywhere.

I ride the miles quietly rocked by the lapping of the rain on the bitumen. With the mist and the gray veil, the places seem to be inhabited by a mysterious presence. Memories of Japan come back to my mind. Same mountains covered with green forests, same shreds of mist, same winding roads through the hills. And the sea, never far.

Along the way I meet a New Zealand guide from a group of cyclists who speak French. He offers me a review of my bike and leftover food. Wraps, cheese, slices of meat, kiwis, etc. This is so nice! “Thank you very much!” “Not worries, mate!”

My evening camping will be a tiny DOC campsite stuck between the road and Lake Ianthe. I arrive there in a pouring rain. Someone had the extraordinary idea of building small hard shelters. The ground is covered with stones but it does not matter, I’m in a dry place. New Zealanders with a small bus transformed in a campervan are already here. We share a cup of tea and they teach me that a lot of Kiwis travel by transformed bus. These are school buses coming from Japan. A Kiwi company recovers them and transforms them into living space. A great idea and typically kiwi.

Misty mountains - West Coast - New Zealand - © Claire Blumenfeld


West Coast in Picture presents the places that most marked or interested me during my journey across the West Coast.

My ride

I left Franz Josef under the rain. Sixty kilometers of road through meadows and wet hills to establish my tent on the shores of Lake Ianthe.


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