Friday, January 4, 2008
Arrived in Auckland, New Zealand from Los Angeles after a 13 hour flight. In the process we lost a day (04 Jan.) by crossing the international date line. First thing you notice is that the security here is concentrated on bio-hazards rather than the normal security concerns we have in the US. You have to declare bringing hiking boots into the country and any other snacks etc. you bring with you. They take any thing to with potential pollution of their country very serious. After a few hour layover in Auckland, we flew to Christchurch where we were greeted with mid 70s, low humidity, “Californiaous” weather. It is the middle of their summer here. After arriving at the hotel a bit before 11 am , we left our luggage at the hotel to do some sight-seeing (and stay awake). We were able to check in shortly before 3 pm. I am including some of the pictures I took today of the Cathedral Square (which our hotel is on), the Antarctic wing of their “Natural History” museum, and the botanical gardens – all within walking distance of the hotel. We will have Sunday to ourselves, and then go get our cold weather gear Monday prior to deployment to the ice very, very early Tuesday, 08 January.