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11.12.2019 The power of nature. On our trip we are repeatedly reminded that as an island nation on the edges of two tectonic plates, New Zealand is prone to freaky weather and natural hazards. Luckily, we were about 700 km south of Whakaari/White Island when the volcano erupted on Monday, and are not affected by the disaster in any other way than emotionally, feeling sympathy for the people and families concerned. Nature has been showing its whims to us too, and has made us change plans quite a bit in the past few days. Spending the weekend in Nelson to wait for an unpleasant mix of rains, hail and thunderstorms to pass, we heard that much of the west coast might not be accessible for weeks on end because of flooding and landslides. Our intention had always been to cycle south and towards the other coast, in the east. When we learned that the Rainbow Trail is closed for the time being because of a large land slip, we decided to take the Great Taste and the Golden Downs trails to St. Arnaud anyway and then continue to Murchison, accepting that we would have to follow highways instead of taking a quiet and more scenic trail. In the end we left the busy road on a detour to Lake Rotoroa, which had evidently burst its banks and flooded the shore. In Murchison we had to come up with a new plan again, as we wanted to leave via the Maruia Saddle Road but this trail is closed, too. So here we go again, cycling along hardly stunning, but at least sunny and unexpectedly quiet highways, towards Christchurch. On a positive note, experiences like camping next to beautiful Lake Rotoiti remind us that nature, this sublime and awe-inspiring thing, also has it in its power to take our breath away with stunning views. #scoutbound #neuseeland #nz #newzealand #nelson #murchison #nelsonlakes #christmas #christmastree #landslide #saintarnaud #flooding #warmshowers #scouts #dpsg #worldbycycling

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