It’s very late and I’m up very early tomorrow morning to catch a bus to Queenstown but wanted to share these last pictures of our departure.
Our flight was delayed three hours due to weather, so I was able to get a little more sleep than I had anticipated. Todd and Brad and some of the other DAs I’d gotten to know came out to Bldg 140 to see us all off as we loaded into vehicles for transport to Pegasus Airfield. I was very excited that I FINALLY got to ride in Ivan the Terra Bus – he’s something of a celebrity here on station.
On the way out to the runway, some fuelies popped out to wave goodbye and I got a brief glimpse of the plane crash after which the Airfield is named…
And when I disembarked from the bus, Flaherty and Natalie were on hardstand for the landing and take-off so I went over and gave them hugs goodbye as well. Also, I finally got a picture of the vehicle that I had been loaded into when I had first arrived – I knew it wasn’t a Delta or Ivan but I didn’t know what it was called. As you can see, it’s a beast:
I was somewhat disappointed that I wasn’t flying in a C-17 again but rather the RNZAF Boeing but turns out Paul, of Paul and Dan, the Kiwi Air Force guys who hooked me up with fresh milk back in January, was working the flight so we spent a lot of it hanging out in the back of the plane chatting.
Because of the delay, it was very late by the time we arrived in Christchurch and guess what – having a zillion identical orange bags on the carousel makes baggage claim a BITCH.
But everyone eventually got everything sorted and we all made our way through the parking lot of the airport to the CDC. Now, I’m not proud of what happened as we passed the Antarctic Centre but I blame the groundskeepers for having just mowed the grass: I may have faceplanted onto a small hillock of freshly mowed grass and attempted to make face-down grass angels. It has never, never smelled so good.
So now I’m here, squared away back at the Elms Hotel and ready for Queenstown tomorrow morning after a real cup of coffee.