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22.03.2020 Rainbow country. Shortly after our arrival in New Zealand, several local cyclists recommended cycling the Catlins, a coastal region on the southeastern tip of New Zealand's South Island. And four months later, we eventually got the chance to do so, and went off on what would be a ride of about 300 kilometres in five days, from Dunedin to Invercargill. Towards the beginning, we stopped in Balclutha for a lovely quick coffee break with Marie, another traveller from our German hometown. In the Catlins, it is not possible to actually cycle along the coast all the time, but the road to take is nice and calm enough and connects green farmland with ancient woods and some sections that are indeed close to the shore, so we did get a glimpse of the ocean once in a while. If we had to describe the area in a few words, we would probably boil it down to something like "green, rolling hills that the road uncompromisingly follows up- and downhill, with a high chance of rainbows." The weather is really capricious down here: On more than one occasion, we were cycling in the sunshine, under a mostly blue sky, and still got drenched by rain blown about by the gusty wind. We found some great campsites on the coast, where we repeatedly marvelled at the beauty of nature, for example when visiting Nugget Point or strolling through the living native forests of Papatowai and Curio Bay. The latter contrasts nicely with a unique and stunning petrified forest only a short walk away, right on the shore, and seeing and hearing massive waves crash on the black cliffs there was also really good fun. Besides, Curio Bay was where we met our fellow cyclists Clarisse and Adrien again, a French couple we had briefly talked to in Baldwin Street, Dunedin. Together, we fought our way through a very windy final leg to Invercargill today, and then shared some pizzas and stories in celebration of our Catlins experience. #scoutbound #nz #newzealand #catlins #thecatlins #southland #otago #curiobay #nuggetpoint #papatowai #rainbow #waves #forest #pacificocean #scouts #dpsg #lighthouse #niagarafalls #cycling #worldbycycling #touring

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