I'm heading back to the Pole for my fourth trip, and will again be updating this blog every day or two. I'm writing this from the Los Angeles airport, 9 hours into the 30 hour journey to Christchurch. I'm currently scheduled to leave Christchurch for McMurdo (on the coast of Antarctica) roughly 30 hours after that, so this could be a very quick trip to the Pole!
The first part of this trip will be a bit different than previous trips. Before this year, I've stayed in downtown Christchurch, which is a beautiful town centered around a gorgeous church. However, due to the huge earthquakes in early 2011, most of the downtown businesses are closed, including my favorite B&B and a really excellent vegetarian restaurant and brewpub with outdoor seating.
I'll be staying in Papanui, which is a suburb of Christchurch near the airport. Instead of eclectic shops and restaurants, there's a mall a couple of blocks away. One place I'll be sure to visit is right across the street -- Burger Wisconsin, a New Zealand "gourmet burger" chain.