3 November, 1999
We arrived at our hotel about 3:00 PM. It is known as the Windsor Bread and Breakfast. Rooms are clean and we get a full breakfast, and of all the places to stay as a member of the USAP, this is supposedly the nicest.
We were advised not to go to bed until 7:00 or 8:00 NZ time, to help compensate for jet lag. We decided (Me, Barb and a young grad student named Ethan) to go out and see Christchurch, but first a phone call home to the states to talk with my dear friend Darcy. All is well on that end. Thanks goodness! I asked Darcy to call each one of my children to let them know where I am and that all is AOK. I already miss them all greatly. Oh well Amati, "suck it up" and do what you traveled 1/2 way around the world to do.
As we were leaving the hotel I recognized a guy who was on the icebreaker bag with me in 1992. His name is Dr. Norbert "Bert" Yankielun. He is a self-proclaimed "radar geek". He is part of the rqans trek group that will be traversing the continent and taking all sorts of measurements along the way. Bert is responsible for a lot of the radar work that involves using radar signature (patterns) to determine what is under the ice and snow. We had a great time when we were last together in Punta Arenas, Chile where we picked up our icebreaker. If I get the time later, I'll tell the story about how we tried to bring a "model" to Antarctica. I'm old, so if I don't tell this tale in then next couple of journals someone please remind me, if you don't, it will become just one more of those "senior moments". Bert had been here since last Thursday and they have made 5 attempts to fly to Antarctic, but weather on the Ice forced the cancellation of all flight plans. We should find out when we fly, or at least suppose to fly, tomorrow when we collect our clothing at the CDC (Clothing Distribution Center).
The city of Christchurch is absolutely gorgeous, as are the other parts of NZ I've seen. The entire place is absolutely spotless as well; and the people here have to be 50 times more friendly and helpful to strangers then any American ever thought of being.
The trees that are growing throughout the city are awesome, everything from oaks to palms and everything in between. Since it is spring in NZ the roses, pansies and other flowers are absolutely beautiful. Running through the center of the city is the Avon River which has been totally manicured on both banks. You can take gondola rides up and down the river and enjoy the scenery on both banks. There are ninety-seven bridges that cross the Avon at various points throughout the city.
NZ has an exchange rate of about $1.80 NZD for each US dollar, and on top of this prices are quite reasonable. For example a buffet, all you can eat, costs $15.99 NZD. This buffet is no snack, there are 79 choices ranging from fish, roast beef, ham, veggies, soup, shrimp, cheesecake, ice cream and obviously 70 other choices. Wow what a meal!
We traveled around the city, doing a lot of walking and taking a real nifty old trolley. The are many historical sites including statues of Captain Cook, who traveled here during his first circumnavigation of the earth, and of Robert Falcon Scott, Antarctic explorer, who was narrowly beaten out by the Norwegian expedition headed up by Amundsen. The attached photo is of Scott's statue. In the photo with me and Scott is "Flat Fidora" a member of the "Flat Stanley" Research Team from the Woodrow Wilson School in Framingham , Massachusetts.
Penguion Pete the Polar Man
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