Friday, June 27, 2014

New Zealand - 6/21 - 6/22

This was the start of my first full weekend down under.  At this point, the weather was still pretty fair.  Usually it was between 50s and 60s during the day, dropping to a bit over freezing during the day. Our crew was pretty tired at this point.   I on the other hand was doing okay having just got my schedule sort of normalized here.

June 21st - 2014
While I was on more a regular schedule, I was still waking up pretty early.  I knew there was an open house at the airport for our project later in the day and I wanted to see a bit of Christchurch before I had to go in the office.  I took off early in the morning for New Brighton to see the beach.

Sunrise over the beach

It was just after sunrise and a bit chilly near the water.  The winds were blowing but it sure was beautiful.  It's been a while since I've seen the ocean up close, maybe when I went to Daytona Beach a few years ago.

 Another view....

There were quite a few others walking along the beach, so off in the distance I spied the New Brighton pier and decided a walk along the beach was just what the doctor ordered.

 The New Brighton Pier, 300 meters long out into the water.

To pier was pretty impressive.  In the distance I saw quite a few people on it, figuring most must be tourists.  In actuallity I think most were locals that were using it as a fishing and crabbing spot.

Lots of local fishermen working off the pier.

After walking along the pier, I found a little pop up market that happens every Saturday.  Quite a few local business people were there including some farmers, baker, people selling antiques, etc.  I ended up buying some kettle corn that was being made fresh that morning and stopped into a little cafe for some breakfast.

Nice little breakfast at a cafe down by the beach.  Yes, I had the bacon.

I walked on back to my car, went back to the hotel, took a shower and headed over to the open house.

 People lining up to get into our Gulfstream 5 at the open house.

Our open house is where we invite members of the local media, various schools and the public to come by and talk to our scientists about what we are doing.  Usually we invite them to come on board the plane to check it out as well as the instruments on board.  Anyway, this open house was VERY successful.  Probably one of the largest we have had.  Mad props to our E&O person, Alison for arranging it.

Another shot of our plane at sunset.

June 22nd - 2014

I was up bright and early this morning to get my long run in for the week.  I could have just run around the resort but decided that I might as well take the time to really explore Victoria Park and the surrounding trails.  So here I am, probably around 8:00 am or so I'd guess up ready to hit the trails.  A cold front had just come in so the mornings had been pretty frigid.  Maybe 30 degrees F.

 Up early for a "tramp" in the hills.

I think I mentioned this before, but Victoria Park is basically a ski resort for mountain bikes.  There are several trails all rated in difficulty.  Some are just some nice single track, others are bumpy.  There are artificial banks and jumps.   While there were more bikes out today than the previous time I had been here, it still was pretty empty.  I ended up climbing up to the top and then settling on a long traverse over another park, Bowenvale Park.

I call this trail wonderland.

Nearing the top of the set of trails.  I don't really know where I am going, so I just pick another trail and head that way.  You can't really get that lost up here.

Things are getting more interesting....

Woohoo, I found the traverse I was looking for.  This is where my phone started acting up and kept shutting down on me.

Heading out to the traverse between Victoria Park and Bowenvale Park

I'd like to say that it's maybe a mile, maybe a bit less.  This part sort of reminds me of Colorado with how open it is.  By now the mountain bikers started coming out.   They were all really nice and the trails were pretty clear that it was our responsibility to give way to them.

Traverse across right before my phone died.  Lots of mountain bikes out on this trail.

Once I finished this section I headed up to summit rd.   I wish I had my camera for this part because you come to the top of the mountain and can see down into Lyttleton Harbor.  It was one of the most spectacular views I had ever seen.  I stayed on the summit trail for the next few miles until getting up close to Sign of the Kiwi cafe.  The cafe had some major damage during the 2011 earthquake and hasn't reopened since then.  I really hope that eventually it does reopen as it seemed like an important historic building and would be a great place to get a mid-run flat white.

Great run all in all, afterwards I'm sure I went back to work, but the days are rolling into one another.

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