We had a didn’t have much planned for today except a drive to Christchurch. We had some trouble finding a place to eat. One of the things that we have had trouble getting used to and will continue to have trouble with is the hours of service here in NZ. It was Sunday and most places were not serving. Most stores close at 5 and even The Warehouse, NZ’s Wal-mart/K-mart equivalent, is only open until 8. Most of the cities and towns we have visited so far are much more like the older mid-western town. Butchers and bakers and grocers and boutiques line a main street and it all closes down by 5.
We got to Christchurch early enough to visit the International Antarctic Center. Overpriced and disappointing we spent the next few hours looking at how things work in the Antarctic. We got to “experience” an antarctic storm, we got our first taste of penguins. No, you can’t eat them but there is a small group at the Center which are injured. They are cared for permanently there. We got to watch a beautiful film in HD of scenes from the Antarctic. So far the two things that I have found are good to watch in high def are sports (yawn) and nature shows. I wonder when we can get one.
After seeing what there was to see in the Center we got a ride in a Haaglund. This is the vehicle which is used in the Antarctic. We went up 35 degree inclines and over 12 inch crevices and into 4 feet of water. It was the most exciting thing for the girls, even better than watching the penguins get feed.
The grocery store was next were we continued in our quest to find the best mince pie in New Zealand. Brigit is a complete convert to the pie culture. And Beth Anne is loving the huge amount of Salmon found here. Joe and I are finding lovely beer and cider selections. 🙂