With the onset of the summer holidays the Sundays River around Colchester is about to become a very busy place. Fishing, paddling, boating, relaxing, water skiing, floating, swimming, you name it. The last time I went down the Sundays River on the Sundays River Ferry was a nice quiet weekday while it was school so there were only one or two other boats on the river that day. Here the ferry stops at it's turning point to give visitors the opportunity to climb the Colchester sand dunes for a beautiful view towards the river mouth and across Algoa Bat towards Port Elizabeth.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The word shisa nyama means burned meat in Zulu and a Shisa Nyama refers to a township restaurant or tavern where they serve mainly braaivleis (barbequed meat for those who don't know what a braai is). In most case the Shisa Nyama will have a butchery attached to it so you have a choice of ordering whatever off the menu or choose your meat from the fridge before it gets braai'd by the establishment's braaimaster for you. Everybody knows Shisa Nyamas like Mzoli's Place in Cape Town, Panyaza in Soweto and Max's in Durban, but at the recent Nando's Shisa Nyama Championship a Port Elizabeth establishment kicked dust in all the big boys eyes, walking away with the honours. I've been to Chilleks in Walmer Township a couple of times before and I can vouch for their food. These guys know how to braai. They may not be as big or busy as Mzoli's but you are assured of getting good shisa nyama. My last visit was with a group of travel bloggers and on our menu was lamb and pork chops with their magic basting, chicken wings, tomato boerewors (sausage), pap, chakalaka (a South African vegetable relish, usually spicy) and chips, washed down with a couple of quarts beer. I will be back soon.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Maybe its just me, but its always sad when I find a dead marine bird, shark or something on the beach. I went for a walk along the Sacramento Trail at Schoenmakerskop and spotted this departed Cape Gannet from some distance away already. The rest of my group walked by without even a glance while I felt I just had to stop to reflect on its former beauty (and of cause snap a picture).
Bird Island (part of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park) in Algoa Bay is home to the biggest breeding colony of gannets in the world with about 160 000 pairs found there. They are often seen off the south coast when the sardines start to gather for the annual Sardine Run up the east coast.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Its always nice to discover something or somewhere new. In this case it was something old. A quick geocache outing during lunch time took me into the Shark River Valley in Humewood and to the old Frames Reservoir. In the mid 1800's the fledgling town of Port Elizabeth was having water problems. As a stop-gap measure, a Mr Pinchin and Mr Clement Wall Frames, nephew of William Brooksby Frames, negotiated with the Town Council to supply water to the lower parts of the town from the Shark’s River. At that time water from the Shark’s River was used for a wool washery established by Frames on the south bank. Capital of £10 000 was raised in subscribed shares of £100 each. This scheme was known as the Shark’s River Water Supply Company. In 1863 a masonry wall was constructed across the Shark’s River. This storage reservoir, with a capacity of over half a million gallons, was officially opened in 1864 and named “Frames Dam”, after Clement Frames, who initiated and built the dam and laid a pipeline to town. The opening ceremony was preceded by a morning hunt and a champagne breakfast. The dam itself was located approximately 1 1/2 miles south of the town in the Shark’s River Valley on the farm Gomery, now Humewood. Water from the storage dam was conveyed to the town by a pipeline laid between the beach and Main Street, and extended as far as the prison in North End. The pipes used were imported from England and taps were fitted at regular intervals for the convenience of residents. Unfortunately for Frames, due to pressure problems the higher lying areas lost out. He later went bankrupt as a result of the scheme and the municipality took it over.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Port Elizabeth is fortunate to have a lot of very nice spots to go for a drink or cocktail after work or a relaxing Sunday afternoon. One of these is the Verandah at the Beach Hotel with its stunning view of Hobie Beach and Shark Rock Pier across the road. I haven't been here for a while until I rediscovered it the other day while having drinks with colleagues after a hard couple of days.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Kids are doing it. Students are doing it. Triathlon athletes are doing it. Chad le Clos is doing it. Heck, even the weavers in my garden are doing it thanks to the birdbath. So why not the elephants? Elephants don't have sweat glands so they stay cool by flapping their ears and using the blood running through their ears like water running through a radiator. They also like to throw water over themselves to stay cool and occasionally they like to swim. And when they do swim they do it properly.
Friday, December 6, 2013
This morning the world woke up to the news that the father of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela has passed away. I don't want to write a whole long post about him because every newspaper, magazine and news website there is will have his whole life story. I just want to say that on this day we shouldn't just mourn this great man, but also celebrate his life and what he did for peace in South Africa. May his memory life forever.
The picture was taken at the Donkin Reserve where the figure of Madiba is one of the focus points of Route 67, a route dedicated to the life and 67 years that Nelson Mandela spent in the public eye. RIP Madiba.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Rhino poaching is a serious issue in South Africa and the more awareness that is created the better. Playing his part in this is the sand sculptor at Hobie Beach. Passing by the other morning I spotted his sand rhino and had to snap a picture.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Over the years Willows Resort along Marine Drive on Port Elizabeth's Wildside has become an PE institution. During the year many locals spend weekends here camping or staying in the very distinctively Willows rondawels while out of town visitors pack it out during the Summer holidays and over Easter. I've popped into Willows for various reasons in the past, but got to stay over for the first time on a weekend organised by my in-laws recently. Willows has it all to keep the whole family busy, but most importantly, it has scenic beauty and lots of it.