Thursday, August 21, 2014

Beachfront boardwalk

Long before the The Boardwalk complex with the hotel, casino and entertainment center was build there used to be a Boardwalk.  The center where Barneys, Blue Waters CafĂ© and what used to be called The Red Windmill (sorry, I have no idea what they are called now) are located is also called the Boardwalk.  The reason?  Its located along Port Elizabeth's beautiful beachfront walkway. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lady Slipper

Ever wondered what it looks like from the top of Lady?  This is the view from just below the big Telkom tower looking west.  It was slightly cloudy and very windy when I was up there but on a clear day you would be able to see Jeffreys Bay in the distance. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cape Recife view

The view of Cape Recife from the parking area lookout on Marine Drive.  The lighthouse is on the point on the right hand side and the building sticking out on the left is the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University administration building.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pincushion Protea at Van Stadens

The Pincushion Protea (Leucospermum) is a genus of about 50 species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae - part of the Cape Floral Kingdom also known as Fynbos.  They occupy a variety of habitats, including scrub, forest, and mountain slopes.  In the case of this one, I photographed it in the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve.  They are evergreen shrubs (rarely small trees) with tough and leathery leaves.  The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences, which have large numbers of prominent styles, which inspires the name.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sun over pier

Shark Rock Pier really is one of those iconic Port Elizabeth landmarks.  What makes it such an interesting photographic subject is the fact that its not just part of the city's beautiful beachfront, but also its changing moods depending what the weather and tides as doing.  In this case mid morning on a calm and sunny winters day.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stadium view

I was in the North End area a week or so ago with a visitor who has never seen the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium before and drove around the North End lake to show them the view.  Just in case you haven't seen this view, here it is.  If you have seen it, just a reminder of how beautiful the stadium and view of it is.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Big Tree

For my last post in this week's series on the Tsitsikamma I featuring a thing and not an activity.  The Big Tree is probably one of the best known landmarks in the area and a very popular stop for tourists.  An easy 500 meter boardwalk takes visitors to one of the giants of the forest.  I haven't been to the Big Tree for a couple of years and one of the things I noticed while there was that the signs no state that its about 1000 years old.  When I used to guide everything said 800 years so either its aged quite a lot since the road upgrade or they now know something they didn't a couple of years ago.  Anyhow, the Outeniqua Yellowwood (South Africa's national tree) stands almost 40m high and has a girth of around 9m.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tsitsikamma Segway Tour

One of the "soft" adventures one can participate in while visiting the Tsitsikamma area 160km west of Port Elizabeth is a Segway tour into the forest.  The Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric vehicle and to me the next best thing since sliced bread.  Anybody can do it (read here about my family doing it about a year and a half ago) and it is lots of fun.  This time around I was on an educational trip with a colleague and we got to go on the two hour trip all the way to the Big Tree and into the forest.  Wow, what an experience!!!! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour

Probably the most popular adventure activity in the Tsitsikamma is Storms River Adventures' Canopy Tour.  Imagine gliding along through the treetops in the indigenous Tsitsikamma forest.  Its more than just a dream.  Its a reality.  The 2 1/2 hour adventure starts with a safety briefing and getting kitted out before heading for the trees.  Ten slides between the forest giants taking you as high as 30 meters up and over 90 meters on the longest slide.  Something not to be missed.  I will be doing two posts covering the Canopy Tour on The Firefly Photo Files soon as I got to go twice over the last few weeks.  First on a trade educational and a week later with the family.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Woodcutters Journey down the Storms River Pass

Continuing with this week's series on activities in the Tsitsikamma.  The old Storms River Pass built by Tomas Bain in the 1880's following the elephant trails through the gorge is only accessible on foot or by bicycle.  The only other way to explore it is along with Storms River Adventures on their guided Woodcutters' Journey.
The tour follow the old pass down to the picnic spot next to the low water bridge over the river.  Along the way you pass tree ferns, stinkwoods, yellow woods and many other tree species, whilst hearing about the history of the area and the local flora and fauna.  You may even catch a glimpse of the elusive Knysna Loerie flashing its scarlet red feathers under its wigs as it glides between trees.