Christchurch is fun and we did alot of eating out and shopping and drinking fresh tap beer. After a week of running around to a ga-zillion medical, dental and x-ray appointments to try and get "physically qualified" for our next Antarctica contract, we decided to get out of town
. So we went to Akaroa, which is a two hour bus trip from Christchurch. We picked a place out of the Lonely Planet called LeBons Bay Backpacker (about 25 Kilometers outside of Akaroa) and it was pretty cool--we got our own little cabin and the owner made us dinner both nights for only $12 kiwi and it was pretty impressive. We also went on a boat trip with him to see the wildlife--dolphins, seals, penguins, etc....very beautiful but I did end up getting a little seasick. Also, I finally got the McMurdo crud--which I would have much preferred to get at McMurdo where I could have had a little vacation getting well (instead of working :-), but hopefully I'll get over it soon and still be able to scuba dive in Kaikoura next week. One of the neat things we did in LeBons Bay is the owner of the Backpacker had kids in the local school and they had just been studying Antarctica...so we were guest speakers. It was a really cute school with a total of 13 students. They were very excited to talk to us and had alot of questions.
Now we're in the town of Akaroa at a beautiful little Backpackers with a really nice room--it's called the Bon Accord. Mostly we're just sleeping in, shopping, eating and relaxing. It already (surprisingly) seems like much longer than a week that we've been out.
We're headed back to Christchurch for one night tomorrow and on Monday we will be taking the train to Kaikoura for a week of scuba diving! I hope the weather holds out, it's been beautiful here in Akaroa but Christchurch was kind of cold and rainy for the last few days we were there.
We finally made it out. We ended up on a very late flight out of Antarctica and arrived in Christchurch at about 4:00 a.m. By the time we got to our backpacker it was 5:00 (A.M. that is) and I was starting to be a bit cranky (overtired). Our first night (well, morning) was a little rough as they decided to put us in a room under the stairs and across from the community kitchen...duh! We were awaken at around 8:00 a.m. by excited backpackers cooking breakfast and getting ready for their days...loudly. Anyway, we switched rooms the second night and had a better situation with our own private miniature bathroom--so small you could wash your hands while using the toilet :-).