11 November, 1996

November 11th, 1996

Christchurch: Point of Departure

I arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand twenty minutes after midnight so I checked into the bed and breakfast where I was staying and slept until 7:00. After breakfast it was time to see the sights. Down town Christchurch is beautiful and everything was within easy walking distance. Everyone here is very used to the Antarctic traffic. I was watching a demonstration of spinning wool into thread, (the New Zealanders, often referred to as Kiwis, are famous for their wool production), when the lady asked when I left for the ice. As I was alone and hadn`t mentioned where I was going, I asked how she knew I was with the Antarctic program. She replied, "You're a young American," as if it explained everything.

Mrs. Bennet, the teacher I am working with, arrived just before lunch. Although she had just made a 12 hour flight from LA to Auckland, much less the other connections, we decided to walk. We took our pictures in front of a monument of Scott (hopefully, unlike him, we will be returning from the ice!) and saw a memorial to those who have died in Antarctica at the Christchurch Cathedral. We also saw beautiful flowers in the Royal Botanical Gardens (it is spring here in New Zealand) as well as some very interesting Mauri artifacts in the Canterbury Museum.

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