|PENGUINS...well sort of. After Akaroa, we headed back to Christchurch, got a new battery and were back on the road out to the famous Antartic Centre.
For many countries, this centre is the co-orinating centre and last base before flying out to Antartica where all the real penguins live. It was a fascinating centre explaining more about the explorer's Scott and Shackleton's epic journeys through Antartica. It showed the clothes they had then and now; food rations, tents, sleds, etc that are made for these special conditions. It even had a "wind chill room" to give tourists an idea of what it feels like in Antartic cold. To be honest, it felt like a normal Canadian winter day for us...only minus 25 degress Centigrade! The fish and starfish were examples of marine life that actually live in the chilly deep waters of antartica!
Every good tour ends of course with...the gift shop! At first we were happy to settle for a couple of post cards and a fridge magnet (another one of Andrea's phases!). However, after much humming and hawing, we ended up buying Andrea a winter jacket! The weather was much cooler after all than we had been used to in earlier countries and little did we know at that point, but it would come in very handy. It was an early Birthday gift for her and it's working a treat!