After acquiring a rental vehicle we took Jan’s advice and drove out to Akoroa. We took up her suggestions and stopped at the Little River cafe for lunch. Following this we drove to Le Bon’s bay, which was a small settlement in a sheltered bay where Jan and Marcus also have a property. We then proceeded on to Akoroa which is a pretty natural harbour that was at one point settled by the French,; until the British sent a force from New South Wales. There were 2 large cruisliners anchored in the bay. We walked around the monuments and the cemeteries and the Garden of Tane(French Botanist) . The trails were very steep in parts. There was Anglican cemetery and a Roman Catholic / Dissenters cemetery ! After our walk we had fish and chips on the waterfront, I think the best I’ve ever had, the fish being the local Blue Cod.
On our way back to Christchurch we drove past what was, by Australian standards, a relatively small fire that was starting up in the Port Hills. There were a number of cars stopped on roadside who appeared to be there watching. Overnight this would join up with another fire and over the next three days burn through an area 12 times the size of Hagley park. The fire burnt through the Adventure Park and the trails James and I had ridden the day before. It claimed 11 houses and the life of one of the helicopter pilots fighting the fire.