We arrived at Sudima Hotel at about 3 in the afternoon and checked in. Big Bear waited out in the parking lot.
The Sudima is right across from the Antarctic Centre, and probably about two minutes' walk from the airport. It's kind of fantastic to be walking distance from the airport.
We saw the Canterbury Museum, detailing Maori history.
Did you know there used to be this gigantic bird called the moa 500 years ago? The Maori kind of sort of hunted it to extinction.
But it was absolutely beautiful. Much prettier than the kiwi, though their coloring is mostly the same. The moa looked a bit like some dinosaur bird. Huge, strong feet and legs. Its feet, actually, were about the size of my head. And a bit raptor-like. Large, expressive eyes… just all in all a very beautiful, drab bird. And I know how much of a contradiction that is.
We wandered around the exhibits, reading what was interesting, skimming over what wasn't, and learning a bit about food storage (there was a basket made entirely out of tree bark) and weapons and clothing.
It's interesting to think that Hawaii and New Zealand both were settled by the Polynesians. I'm certain that at least a couple of words in both Hawaiian and Maori match. They look about the same to me, but that's because I've never actually heard either language.
It was, all in all, a very informative and interesting museum-- there was an Egyptian mummy in a little alcove, along with about five or six panels all detailing a bit about Egypt. The entire exhibit was about 4 by 8 feet and was tucked away just before the enormous bird exhibit of New Zealand (fantastic, even if I don't like birds as much as Ioan does). Afterward followed something about composting and soil and wind in New Zealand (we zoomed through it and the Mandarin exhibit, thankful we'd seen enough of that in China). Finally we reached the Antarctic Exhibit.
I take one look-- and turn around and sit down to listen to my music and get my mind off the fact that I'm hungry.
For the first couple of months on this trip, I wasn't hungry at all. Very rarely, actually, and after a meal I'd be fine for the next eight to nine hours.
But now? For the past two days my stomach seems to be grumbling. This morning I was starving. I ate enough for my belt to feel noticeably tight.
Three hours later, I'm starving again. Perhaps my metabolism has sped up considerably since we started in New Zealand, or perhaps the two meals a day we've had since South China have finally caught up to us!
But thankfully we have enough fettucine and spaghetti and sandwiches to satisfy anyone; we accidentally bought a tad too much food. Thank goodness for very very long plane trips!
I can't wait for Hawaii and haircuts.
And I'm hungry. Again.