On landing at Christchurch after 3 days on the go we were greeted with the very welcome news that the runway at McMurdo base was unuseable, and so we would not be able to get to Antarctica for several days. I'm not sure why – someone said weather was poor, someone else said the runway needed repair.
So we've had a wonderful summer mini-break in Christchurch for the last few days. I absolutely love this town. The centre reminds me of Cambridge a little, with a lazy little river lined with willows and the occasional tourist punting along it. It's been warm – 23 degrees but with occasional rain, and humid, just like Cambridge in the summer.
Following the last month of rushing around like crazy, I just had no wish to get in a car to see New Zealand's scenery or pursue any adventure sports. I've preferred instead to rest and enjoy some time in the town instead. I visited an exhibition of Scott's and Shackleton's Antarctic heroics. Food for uncomfortable thought.
But tonight we got the news that we'll be flying out to Antarctica tomorrow. We, and I, have gotten lucky.
We fly by American C-17 (big, big plane) to McMurdo Base. That's lucky because it means we can take all our personal luggage out with us, rather than it coming by overland traverse in January. And from McMurdo we fly on to Maria Zuccelli base, and this is where I have gotten extremely lucky as I'm due to be one of four going by helicopter flight round the coast from McMurdo to MZ. And from there we go on to by Twin Otter I think to Concordia.
Excited, trepidated, just keen to get on with it now.
Concordia, here I come!