New Zealand, 2008

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En route — San Francisco to Christchurch

Jeremy drove us to Hanover Sunday and off we went to Boston on Dartmouth Coach. We got some sleep Sunday night at our fancy hotel and started out on our journey with a 3:30 am wake up call.

When we took the shuttle to the departure terminal Barbara remarked that we were lucky that it was raining and not snowing. After we were loaded on the plane we were told that the runways were all closed and we were 15th in line for de-icing!

After an uneventful flight we arrived in San Francisco around 10:00. Our flight to Auckland wasn't until 7:00 pm. The weather in SF was wonderful - blue sky, sunny, mid 50's. We took public transport into the city and walked along Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf and then back up through Chinatown.
We got back to the airport by 5:00 pm and then flew out to Auckland, delighted at the prospect of another 14 hours on planes. We totally missed New Year's Eve and arrived in Auckland 12 and 1/2 hours later - and a day later - at 5:00am. We were delayed by Bio Security checks on the dirt on our tent and almost missed the connecting flight to Christchurch, but we did make it.

We were met at the airport by Roger and Val who live in Christchurch. They came in two cars in case we had too much gear for one. (We did.) Roger and Val are quite wonderful. They are both retired teachers and Roger is an avid sailor. The photo below shows Roger on his beloved sailboat.


The general consensus among New Zealanders is that the best way to adjust to jet lag and the time change is to just act as though this is a normal day. (New Zealanders probably know more about jet lag than any other people in the world!) So we stayed awake all day. Roger and Val drove us all around in the afternoon - to the beach for a walk, out on the pier then around the Banks Peninsula and to the marina to see his boat. They served us wonderful fresh vegetables and fruit, because of course it is midsummer here.

A beach near Christchurch, expectionally crowded because of the Christmas school holidays.
On our second day at Roger and Val's, we had a little time to enjoy their beautiful gardens, but most of our time was given over to setting up the bikes. It took hours and hours, and it would have been much harder without Roger's help.

After a second night's rest, we were on our way!


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