Feb 28 - Arrival Day for the rest of the group.

Odo reading 46800

Another clear, sunny day in Christchurch. I get up, and return to Sophies for one last breakfast. Today, the "Bushman's" - eggs, sausage, toast, hash browns, tomatoes, and SPAM. O.K., only kidding about the SPAM. And guess who dropped in to say hi - the actual Sophie!

I went out to go to the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum, and as I exit my room, laden with bike gear, I get hailed. It's Chris, the tour guide. We have a chat - the first meeting is tonight at 6:00.

So, I head off for Air Force World - and at the second intersection, I turn the wrong way. I proceed along, turning back towards the direction I want. After a few minutes ... well, let's just say that 15 Km later, I'm where I want to be. Left, right - every turn is correct in the larger scheme.

So I spend a very pleasant 4 hours at the Museum - in addition to the displays, I go on the hanger and restoration tours. And I have a chat with all the staff - they are volunteer, ex-RNZAF WWII veterans, so they all trained somewhere in Canada at some point. They're quite taken with the bike tour concept, and the bike itself. Big Red gleams quietly in the sun.

On the way back to the hotel, I stop to gas up. NZ$ 15.00 gets me 14.6 liters. It makes Canada's prices look ... wait a minute.  If NZ$ 1.00 = C$0.75, then it's about the same price...

First briefing at 6:00p.m. It turns out we have 10 on the tour - all are riders. Christian "Chris" Preining is our guide. Here he is pointing out something in German; about half the tour speaks German, and about half of those have very little English.  

I have updated the Vacation Index page to reflect our new itinerary - We are now going to Oamaru rather than the previous one. Little blue penguins were mentioned. 



After an complete briefing, here's the group:


O.K., from left to right; in the back, we have: Juergen Beiermeister, Ladage Uerich, Alfred Vandrovec, David "Kiwi" Bailey - support driver, Holger Hachmeister and me, . In the middle, Hannes Hiessberger, Christine Gregory and Jim Gregory.  In the front, Chris the tour guide, Renate Beiermeister and Silke Meier.  My apologies if I spelled any names wrong, especially since thy were kind enough to write out the names for me.

We adjourn for an excellent dinner at the hotel restaurant, and talk bikes and tours until everyone goes off to bed.  We have to be up early for breakfast, briefing and bike pick-up.

This is it! We go tomorrow!