Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Windy roads that end in motion sickness and windy coasts that end in awestruck faintness.


Yet, three weeks were swept by in an instant. Maria said it felt like leaving home when we said our goodbyes to our hosts and newly acquired friends. To me, it didn't feel like leaving home – strangely, it felt like leaving for home. Throughout the whole time in Nelson my thoughts were bound on things Finland and the realization that our travels would be coming to end in less than three months made the departure feel like the beginning of the road back home.

Our bus driver luckily had the vehicle in control because the road from Nelson onwards was probably the windiest piece of road I've ever been on. With the speed limits gradually lowering from 45km/h to 35 and down to 25km/h we were going around all the possible corners you could imagine. One of our two-person team took the motion sickness bullet and had to move on to front seat of the bus to straighten things out.

After passing a range of high coastal cliffs, a terrain full of outrageously amazing peaks that rose up from the sea and waves that crashed against the rugged rocks of the shore, we stopped at Punakaiki to see the famous pancake rocks. I asked Maria if that just wasn't the most amazing shoreline you'd ever seen. Her reply was quite clear on the fact that the eyes had been on the road rather than the rocks.

Eventually we made our way into the grey town of Greymouth. The three weeks of my vegetarian, meat-exile finally came into an end with a 300 gram steak, which would have been nicely accompanied by a large cold beer – if it weren't for the fact that I always forget to bring my passport to the grocery store with me and end up giving up my bottles at the cashier's.

Other than that, there's really nothing in Greymouth.

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