Saturday, November 18, 2006

En Route

The trip to the South Pole is not a short thing. For me it began in Chicago about 2 days ago, on Thursday November 16, as I boarded a plane (with coworkers Tom and Jeff) headed to LA. There we met up with fellow graduate student Joaquin and took a 12-hour overnight flight to Auckland, New Zealand. In crossing the International Date Line during this flight I was completely robbed of the day Friday, November 17, 2006. Next up was a short flight to Christchurch, New Zealand, where I write this post.

Our time in Christchurch has been very nice so far. We've had a little time to walk around town and check out some cafes and restaurants (very impressive food so far), and last night we were even fortunate enough to experience the city's nightlife scene. Today Joaquin and I took a walk through the city's amazing botanical garden, the most beautiful one either of us has ever walked through (I'll post some photos when I have a better internet connection). The main purpose of our stay in Christchurch was taken care of this afternoon when we were assigned the 40-odd articles of extreme weather clothing which keep us warm and functional when we work outside at the South Pole.

Anyway, we have a few more hours to enjoy Christchurch before our "zero six hundred hours" appearance at the military airport tomorrow morning. Then we all pile into this noisy plane and fly to Antarctica. Should be fun.

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