Well, I've made it to New Zealand. I got to Christchurch yesterday morning at around 10:30 and was in my B&B by noon. I only got 5-6 hours of sleep on the flight over, but I wanted to stay awake until a reasonable hour, so after I went out to lunch with the other two IceCube people, I wandered around town for a few hours. We all went out to dinner together and then went looking for a good place to try and spot Comet McNaught. We wandered around for a while and ended up in a large, open park, but couldn't see the comet so we all went back to our rooms. One of the other guys went back to the park a couple of hours later and the comet was easily visible ... it had been hidden by the sunset when we were trying to see it.
Today we didn't have anything schedule, so the three of us rented mountain bikes and went on a bike ride up the nearby mountains to the summit, along the summit ridge to a historic site and then back along the coast to Christchurch. It was a lovely 6 hour bike ride. Unfortunately, after 6 hours we were still at the historic site and had another 2.5 hours of riding to do. It was easy compared to the first 2.5 hour ride up to the mountains, but our legs and butts were sore after the first 6 hours.
As you might have guessed, we survived -- though I'm not looking forward to the stiff muscles I'll wake up with tomorrow morning!
Tomorrow I'll get my cold weather gear and repack everything...