Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making the move: 30 hours to the bottom of the world

Well folks, we made it! Six months of preparations finally culminated in our flight and successful move to the South Island of New Zealand. We left Saturday evening from SFO, and arrived on Monday afternoon (skipping sunday because of the International Date Line). So far, we've been here for three days, and already we have managed to pick up cell phones, open a bank account, get my registration started, check out four houses/apartments (and choose one!), explore campus, and have been able to explore a bit of the town. We've been walking anywhere from 3 miles a day to 7 miles (today, for example) and it has been quite the adventure. Here are some photos from the plane flight to start off, and later I'll show another post with pictures of the town, and another with pictures of campus to make everyone reading this from US university jealous (yes, everyone). The Otago U. campus has to be the most spectacular college I have ever seen.

My brother and our large pile of checked and carry on bags. Some were way too heavy, and we needed to move some stuff from my heavy bags into Sarah's lighter bags.

Well, crap. There's a long way to go still... taken on the flight to Auckland from SFO. This flight lasted 13 hours, and we had a 9.5 hour layover, and a second 2 hour flight to Dunedin.

Now you can see how little time I had to prepare for this, due to trying to wrap up various research in California: I did not get a chance to read this book (kindly lent to us by fellow student Gabriel Aguirre-Fernandez) until I got onto the plane to New Zealand.

Yes, that is Richard Simmons about to tell us to "Blow and Blow". While the Richard Simmons bit was a bit intense and totally off the wall, this had to be the most entertaining airline safety video I've ever seen.

My wife, excited at the possibility of seeing penguins, watching Happy Feet 2 on the plane.

Dawn at the Auckland Airport, 5:00 am.

Pushing the cart of carry on luggage to the domestic terminal, which is located about a half mile from the international terminal - you're supposed to follow the green line. After sitting and sweating and feeling nasty for 13 hours, it was nice to get outside in the night air and move our legs.
Finally on our second flight! This is looking southwest over the entrance to a large bay near Auckland, on the North Island.
On the ground in Dunedin! Seriously, 1/3 of the stuff - including both suitcases coming down that ramp - are ours.
The driver's on the wrong side! This will still take a bit of time to get used to. Gabriel was kind enough to pick us up from the airport and drive us in to town, although I'll admit he had a pretty terrified look on his face when he saw how many checked bags we had to pick up.

1 comment:

Mónica said...

Enjoy New Zealand!