We've gone from this:
Waiting to board the plane at South Pole on Nov 6
Finally, we're warm and tan in Fiji!
Our final exit from South Pole happened only 1 day behind schedule as we boarded the first LC-130 of the season on Nov 6 to start the journey north. Mercifully, we had only one night to endure in McMurdo before the final leg to civilization, reaching Christchurch, New Zealand the night of Nov 7.
What a great feeling to breathe moist sea-level air again, to walk around outside wearing only a light fleece, to eat fresh foods, to see city life again. Getting reacquainted with life again as we used to know it isn't too hard. There's a certain feeling of elation mixed with disbelief as you see familiar sights again, things we didn't have at South Pole like cars, trees and children.
After a week in Christchurch, we landed in paradise! We have 2 weeks to warm up in the beautiful Yasawa islands and we spent the first half on the island of Nacula at the Oarsman's Bay Lodge.
This place was perfect...a picture postcard tropical beach, warms water, a reef teeming with fish only meters away and plenty of good fresh food. The friendly hosts knew us by name and always gave me lots of hugs (I felt like I had half a dozen mothers fussing over me there).
The staff drank the legendary kava every night and invited us to join them. The drink made from a pounded root was supposed to have a narcotic effect but didn't seem to do anything to us neophyte imbibers except to make your tongue numb. The locals who drank it every night around a convivial circle always seemed to have kava hangovers the next morning.
Our bure, or bungalow, came with a dog who never moved much from this spot.
After seeing just one sunset in Antarctica all winter, we celebrated each one in Fiji in style.
We've moved on to another island now, and a resort that has wireless internet, so more photos are soon to come!