After three days of weather and mechanical issues, we were finally off to McMurdo!
Max and I spent two days in McMurdo. A group of us did the castle rock hike. We were very surprised by how sore we were after 7 miles of walking, and spent a lot of time realizing how little we actually walked at Pole. We mostly walked the halls with a very small amount of walking outside.
We also did two more trips to the Ob tube. On our second trip we saw and heard a seal for about an hour. They make the craziest noises underwater! It was so loud with many different pitches.
We also ate way too much 24 hour pizza before it was time to go.
We finally saw our first penguin up close!! He was so cute. When we were walking up to the C17, this penguin started waddling up to us. There was a big group taking photos of him and he just stood there and laid down. When we were leaving he was watching us walk away. So cute! I took many more photos of him on Max’s camera, but we do not have a computer with us to get the photos. All of these photos were taken on our phones. Better photos coming soon.
We arrived in Christchurch at 11 pm and went to bed. The next morning we woke up and took all of our extra stuff that we did not want to travel with to the CDC(clothing distribution center) . While we were there, rescued huskies arrived across the street at the Antarctic Center. We were so excited to see dogs! You are supposed to have a wrist band and pay to see them, but the owner let us since we wintered.
Maya was our favorite to pet.
Finally, it was time to get down to business and find out what we packed for ourselves a year before. We spent time sorting our bags and repacking. Max forgot a cup, but besides that which was easy to get, we were ready for backpacking. We spent the day walking around Christchurch (12 miles) and getting food for our upcoming trek. It was a long day, and ended with getting together with other polies for dinner.
The next morning we took the intercity bus to Nelson, which is at the top of the South Island. We have been here for five days doing the Sabine Circuit trail, which I will talk about in another post. Tomorrow we leave on a bus back to Christchurch before getting a car and heading to Wanaka.