Day 21: Rest Day
It goes from absolute
downpours to pouring down rain to constant rain to heavier than a sprinkle
to rain, rain, rain, rain. We are all well aware that this is likely to
go on for three to five days.
know how it is said that Intuits have sixty different words for snow?
Based on my desire to describe the endless rain and the types of rain
here, I wonder their sixty words for snow are like saying "downpour",
"drizzle", "sprinkle", etc. If I lived here, I
would probably come up with nice collection of words to describe the spectrum
of rain quantity and quality that falls here.
Whilst here I have
also needed to change my concept of driving and road transportation. The
roads here are blacktopped and look very nice. The big thing about the
roads, however, is that because they are two-laned with no shoulders and
because the terrain is rather rough, the roads are winding, sometime steep
and sometimes full of hairpin turns. Even the areas that are relatively
rolling are tough, however, as they are well shaded and black ice is not
uncommon. As a total group, we have totaled one car and slid numerous
times in others all during the day: 10 am, 2pm, 4 pm. It doesn't
matter if it has been sunny all day. There can be ice. This may also be
why driving times people give us seem to vary so much. The same place
can have a five-hour difference in quoted driving times: 8-13 hours.
Five of us drove to
Wanaka in one of the white vans, which feel like tin cans set up on wheels.
As the scientists do not have driving privileges, the crew members of
our group drove. They were very diligent in their driving, especially
as we had just heard that one of our vehicles had rolled thankfully
no one was hurt though the car has been totaled.
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