|Another road trip day - a blustery one. Al had opted to not "self refill" the gas tank on this rental - so we were on a mission to return the car with an empty tank. The road down to Christchurch headed inland a bit so we took a few side trips back over to the coast. On one of them we discovered some lovely sandstone cliffs along the windy roads. These surprises are the best!! The gas tank was yet empty so we continued on past Christchurch to explore the Banks Peninsula where we'd read there is a gorgeous inland bay and a lake with many birds. They were right about the view - see the picture of Akaroa - but we weren't able to find the road into the lake where we could see a lot of water fowl. We did find a lovely little dirt road to follow out to the coast line where it was said one could find greenstone (jade) on the beaches. Our adventure continued with Al deciding to drive past the sign warning us that the road was suitable only for 4-wheel drive vehicles (which ours was not). Interestingly, the new "road" and beach wasn't made up of sand at all - it was made up of polished round stones (the ones that are perfect for skipping over the water.) Al was finally convinced to turn around when we began to sink into the rocks. Al enthusiastically spun a donut to turn around and - yes - we sank even further and were stuck. Once the front tires were straightened and I pushed from the rear - Al was able to drive to firmer ground. This is now known as "Bad Al" Day. In Christchurch we stayed at Eliza's Manor - and truly wished we could have stayed longer. With the help our our hosts there, we headed out for an evening walking tour of downtown Christchurch. Although the earthquakes were in 2010 - 12, there are still blocks and blocks of devastated buildings, vacant lots and construction. It was sad to see so many 10-20 story buildings (former offices and hotels) standing empty and totally dark. One of the main shopping areas is staying alive by using shipping containers as their stores. Quite clever.