The last few days have been spent wandering around a few towns in the North Island; mainly Taupo, Napier, and Wellington. We’ve had a good time and covered a bit of ground too, but I haven’t taken many pictures and don’t have a lot to write about.
Taupo was a nice little tourist town where we stayed for a couple nights. The main attractions there centre around Lake Taupo, we went out for a few hours on Fearless to have a look at some rock carvings done a couple decades ago by some local artists. We only had four people on the boat, not much wind, and no rush to get back, so it was a nice time to visit.
Incidentally, one of the sailors is also heading down to Antarctica in a few months, as a tourist, and also lived in Colorado for a couple years, so we had some good conversation.
One of these days, I’d like to learn to sail. Most of my life so far has been spent well away from big lakes or the sea, so boats and such are a bit foreign to me. After talking with the two sailors on our trip about how they got started with sailing later in life though, I felt a bit inspired.
Napier is an interesting little town on the East coast of the North Island. In addition to being a tourist town, it has a port and some industry, so felt a bit more liveable than Taupo. We only spent an afternoon in Napier, but did manage to do a round of 18 hole put-put (team USA won), and had some success at a pub quiz.
Wellington has been a nice change of pace from life in Christchurch. We did nothing much other than walking, eating, and drinking, but it has been an enjoyable few days. The dense CBD was almost overwhelming at times, it seemed easy to get lost between the big buildings and busy streets.
We’re on the ferry back to Picton now, the plan is to drive back down to Christchuch by dinnertime tonight. I’ll have three days to get things cleaned up and put away, then will catch a plane to start training in Madison!
Somewhere around Napier, it really started to sink in that I’ll be in Madison soon, and Antarctica not long after that. I’m really excited to get to work with IceCube, and to spend some time at the South Pole. The next few weeks are going to be quite busy with training, visiting, and travel, but I need to think ahead and start getting some things together to keep busy in the long night ahead.