Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Delayed - Part II

Although today was originally the day I was headed
south, yesterday's delay ensured that I wouldn't
be going down to the Ice until tomorrow.
However...another delay on today's flight, pushing
my departure forward yet another day. So the
earliest I will be departing is Saturday (Friday
in the States). I definitely used the time off
to my advantage.

The first thing I did was buy a Metrocard. The
Metrocard is used on the Metro (Christchurch bus
service). Basically, you buy a card, put as much
credit on it as you want, and then get to ride for
about 1/4 the price it would cost if you paid cash.
Works like a champ and I zoomed around on the bus
all day. I had to go to Papanui (a close suburb)
to get a deposit back on a storage unit we used
when we had a van here last year. It's amazing
because even on this bus, going nowhere near the
airport or downtown, I ran into another Ice person.
The city is infected with Ice people!

My next stop was the USAP Travel Office. I will be
working closely with these folks all season as they
handle travel and flight arrangements with people coming
down to the Ice. Today, they were also responsible for
giving us $200.00NZ each. They give you an initial amount
of money when you arrive in NZ. After that, for every
day you are delayed, you receive $200.00NZ to cover your
expenses such as lodging and food. This breaks down to
about $132.00US. This works out pretty well since there's
no way I'm going to be spending that much money.

My friend and co-worker Shawn and I jumped back on the
bus and headed for Sumner. I love the little town of
Sumner. Lynn and I have been going there as long as
we've been coming to NZ and it's always fun to go back.
Shawn was jonesing for fish and chips so I took him to
the Sumner Ice Cream Parlour. A little dive of a place
right on the beach. The fish is greasy but good and the
fries are really crispy. Too many fries though. Ugh...
too...much...grease. Regardless, it's a guilty pleasure
and we wolfed them down.

To try to clear our arteries a bit after the cholesterol-fest,
we went down to the beach, took a few pics and then hiked a
couple miles west to Shag Rock. We saw lots of mussels that
had washed up on the shore and the waves were pretty big on a
beach that generally doesn't support a big surf. I'm sure it's
because of the wind that we've been having that is coming all the
way up from the Antarctic. It's a very cold wind. We hopped
on the bus back to town, and here I am blogging. We'll see what
tomorrow brings whether I'm in town for yet another day.

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