I am safely in Antarctica, but I am in the midst of back to back classes in order to get all the qualifications I need to get out on the ice to do field work on the seals. Today is the first day since arriving that I have had a chance to catch my breath, but I am sorely behind on posts. Therefore, even though I am already here in Antarctica I am going to review what has happened since 9:00 AM on October 24th (New Zealand time, which is also Antarctica time) day by day until I get caught back up to my current reality – McMurdo Station, Antarctica!
Painted Green Hills: Day 2 in Christ Church
October 24, 2011 Monday
Monday didn’t turn out quite the way we anticipated. Shortly after writing my last blog post, we (Markus, Roger, Rachel, John, and I) got into our rental car to drive to the city of Rangoria to meet a vet who would give Rachel (our vet) the anesthesia meds that we need for the Antarctic. However, after we got into car we remembered hearing that Monday was New Zealand’s Labor Day. We didn’t realize how seriously New Zealand took their holidays until that day. We realized once getting into the car that no one had actually spoken to the vet since we had landed in Christ Church. After Markus tracked down the vet via several different phone conversations and referred phone numbers, we finally got ahold of the vet and was told that Tuesday would probably be more convenient for him. Which meant, that we ended up driving south to the Banks Peninsula and eventually landed in a beautiful little town, Akaroa. The drive was beautiful. New Zealand is full of rolling hills covered in lush green vegetation and speckled with hundreds of little fluffy sheep. We stopped at a farmers market on our way to Akaroa and had the most wonderful crepes! There were pony rides, jewelry, art, and food being sold. The sun was out and shinning brightly down until this colorful collage of quaint stands meshing into an unexpectedly brilliant moment in time.
Photos of the farmers market and Markus, John, and I eating our wonderful crepes!
We continued to drive through the rolling hills, often stopping to get out and take photos, until we found a little turn off where we went on short hike. The hike was through beautiful warm and yet wet moss covered forest, leading us to a beautiful mountain top overlooking the bay across the way from Akaroa and leading out to Akaroa Harbor and the dazzlingly blue ocean. We spent lunch time sitting outside in the sunshine under a big black umbrella eating fine cheeses, mussels, and drinking fine local New Zealand wine. For dessert everyone had coffee, except me. I skipped happily down the boardwalk with a freshly made strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry frozen yogurt cone.
The beautiful view from the top of the peak.
A trip to a foreign country isn’t even worth it unless you get proposed to by a dashing young local