Saturday, December 26, 2009

Starting the Last Leg

Christmas was good even though I missed my family and friends back home. Dinner was outstanding. Freshly mashed potatoes are always nice, but the duck breast and the asparagus in a balsamic vinegar reduction was what made the meal. Desserts, as always, were great. Despite the Christmas holiday, I believe the baker is still trying to kill me by way of overfeeding me things that I shouldn't be eating.

So many people are talking about redeployment (their exit strategy from the Ice). My tentative date of departure is February 8th, so it is not that far away. I'm still not sure how I want to spend my travel time. I'm thinking I'm going to try to live on the cheap while in New Zealand. The kiwi term for hiking is "tramping", and the trail system is pretty well-developed. I figure I should try to do at least one or more of the Great Walks. I really want to do the Whanganui Journey, which is a kayak trip on the North Island. However, I think that may be a bit on the expensive-side, so I might save it for another time. I think I need to start the paperwork for my Australian travel pass and also pay for my hut/tramp passes for New Zealand. I'm pretty excited about the prospects, but a little sad that my first season is ending so quickly. I have resolved to return to the Ice, but much of that depends on factors beyond my control.