The first leg of our trip takes us across the pacific and south to the lovely island of New Zealand. Both Rory and I departed Portland Airport within a few hours of each other for Los Angeles but on separate airlines. I flew on United and Rory on American as the later had the more cost effective ticket but the former flew directly to NZ instead of OZ and then NZ. I was traveling with frozen phytoplankton that was not allowed in Australia so couldn’t have a layover there, and was only allowed in NZ with a permit (which I had). My flight was a red eye that took me directly to Auckland, a wonderful flight, and then on to Christchurch where spring is starting to rear its face and the long winter is abating.
The flight was 13 hours from LAX to Auckland. MAF (the equivalent of US Agriculture) was very friendly and processed my permit right away. However it still took them 45 minutes of a 1.25 hour layover and I made my connection with literally one minute to spare. I lost a bag on this last flight but it joined me later at the hotel with no problems. Overall a great trip. Rory arrived later that day and we went out for a wonderful meal and then returned for a good night’s sleep.
The next day (now yesterday) we headed over to the CDC (clothing distribution center) to get out survival gear allowing us to be safe and warm in the frigid temperatures that we will face… Hopefully on Monday. Strong winds and mechanical issues have kept the flights south behind schedule (which is part of the schedule –being delayed). However we are off to the airport with hopes of a cold reception as we land at McMurdo station. Or not? One never knows