Friday, November 21, 2014

Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens official TV advert

In only three weeks' time the top Rugby 7's players from all over the world will descend on Port Elizabeth for the South African leg of the IRB (now called World Rugby) Sevens Rugby World Series.  This is the fourth year the event is held in Port Elizabeth and it has become one of the city's premier showcase events.  This year we need everybody to come out and support not just the defending champion BlitzBokke but also the event as the contract to host it is up for grabs again after this year.  Enjoy this fun advert and see you at the 7's.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sunset over Swartkops

I have been so busy at work lately that I have slowly ran out of photos to post which means that I will really have to make a plan in the next week or so to stock up a little.  Even though I'm not quite out yet, I'm featuring one by a guest photographer today.  I spotted this picture of the sun setting over the Swartkops Estuary with the old power station in the background on Johan Gerber's Facebook and immediately dropped him a message to ask if I could use it.  Johan has given his permission so here it is gracing the pages of PE Daily Photo today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yacht Club yachts

I don't get to go to the harbor that often.  It doesn't help that security is tight to get it so when I do its because of something that is on at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club.  This was the case a week or so ago when I was invited to a function at the Yacht Club by Raggy Charters.  I would still love to go out with them one day, but this was a more special occasion to celebrate a couple of awards that they have won lately.  Waiting for all the guests to arrive I snapped one or two pics, amongst them this one showing some of the members' yachts moored along the club's walkway.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Morning penguin feed at SAMREC

Early morning and late afternoon visitors to SAMREC in Cape Recife will be lucky enough to see how the penguins are fed as part of their tour.  The guide explained the whole feeding process to us.  As it turns out its not just a case of stuffing a couple of fish down their throats.  Every fish that is given to a penguin is recorded and placed on their personal files.  Some of the little guys have to still get medication as well with tablets hidden inside certain fish so the records are checked and each one only gets what he is supposed to get.  After eating its time to head over to the pool for a morning swim after spending the night in their sleeping enclosure.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Valley reflection

One of the snaps from my walk up Happy Valley the other day.  Two of the Three Little Pigs reflecting in the Shark River flowing through the valley.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Port Elizabeth's most iconic site

The Donkin Reserve has always been an iconic site in Port Elizabeth.  It has links to the early history of the town and how it got its name plus who doesn't know the famous lighthouse and pyramid combination on the square.  With the development of Route 67 and its public art pieces on and around the Donkin Reserve, it has now truly cemented itself as one of Port Elizabeth's "must see" iconic attractions.  The Donkin isn't just about history anymore.  Now its an mix of history and art, stories and symbolism along with the best view site in town, the top of the Donkin Lighthouse.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ships in Algoa Bay

Port Elizabeth is the only city in South Africa with two commercial harbours that can accommodate big ships.  The Port Elizabeth Harbour has been around since the 1930's while the Coega deep water harbour has been in operation for about a decade now.  Although the two isn't as busy as Durban Harbour which is the busiest in Africa and the 10th busiest in the world (or something like that), we have a fair amount of ship traffic in the bay.  This shot was taken from the top of the Donkin Lighthouse showing a ship sailing towards the PE Harbour.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Reconsider South Africa

Over the years South African Tourism has used some stunning videos to promote South Africa.  Earlier this year they launched their newest promotional video and its probably one of the best ones yet.  I know its not specifically Port Elizabeth related, but I would like to recommend that you watch it.  The theme is "Reconsider South Africa and how you look at it". Enjoy. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy Valley is still around

One of the things that irritate me most are people who goes around pretending to be so passionate about Port Elizabeth but uses every opportunity they get to ridicule, belittle and critisise it around every corner.  One of the only things that irritate me even more than that are those people who always say there is nothing to do or see in the city.  And when you combine the two above... Gosh, don't let me start.
Over the last month or two there have been two occasions where somebody mentioned Happy Valley on a PE related Facebook page which I really enjoy.  Problem is people just used the opportunity to jump on their high horses and slated Happy Valley calling it a crime nest, a place where you only go if you want to loose your life, a disgrace to the city, broken and not cared for and more.  What did I do? I jumped to its defense.  Why? Because unlike those people who haven't been there in probably over a decade and slating it, I've been there recently.  At this stage I have to add that even though I  had been there and had the proof, there were still some people who told me I don't know what I was talking about and that I was living in a dream world.
So this is what I found.  Happy Valley is still stunning.  The municipality is tending the gardens, mowing the lawns and keep the place very tidy.  There is security near the entrance of Happy Valley and they do walk around to check things.  They will also be happy to take a walk up the valley with you if you feel like you would like to have an escort and ask them nicely.  The characters have all been redone in the last few years with touch-ups recently.  I think I saw two damaged characters (poor Timone lost an arm) plus Dogmatix took a walk and is hanging out with the Three Little Pigs.  Unfortunately you find people all over the world who will vandalise things and its not always possible to fix it immediately.  I didn't feel unsafe and was comfortable walking alone.  I know there were incidents in Happy Valley a number of years ago but nothing has happened in the last few years.  Just like you can get hit by a car walking across the road if you don't exercise precaution (as in looking left and right) I would still recommend going with other people and being observant and conscious about what is going on around you. 
The only snag they have at the moment is the lighting.  The electric system was stolen a year or so ago but everything was on course to be ready for this coming season when it was vandalized and spotlights stolen again a few weeks back.  I spoke to the Beach Office this morning to get the latest update and was told that the front section (the two lawns) will have lights and that the new Happy Valley sign is going up in the next week or so.  They are looking at alternatives to get the back lit up at this stage.  Walking up Happy Valley on a warm summers evening with the kids has always been a Port Elizabeth institution but even if you won't be able to do so at night this coming season, it shouldn't stop you from doing so during the day.
Long live Happy Valley! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Musicians at South End Museum

I went for a stroll through the South End Museum a week or two ago and realized just again how under utilized and appreciated places like this is with general folk out there.  It's at times like this that I wonder how many of those who often complain that there is nothing to do and nowhere to go in Port Elizabeth have actually been here. 
One of the display rooms in the museum is dedicated to music and musicians from the area and I really enjoyed this "band" which is part of the display.