Sunday, November 30, 2008

Addo 2 ... It's not just about the big 5.....

These busy little creatures are dung beetles, and are synonymous with Addo Park. It is cute to see road signs all over the place warning motorists not to drive through elephant dung, and stating that dung beetles have right of way on all roads!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Guess where we are today?

Addo Elephant Nationl Park is only 40 minutes from home, so it is the ideal spot for a short weekend getaway.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Green Piece!

Yay Yippee Yay!! It is appropriate to feature a photo from Central today, because last night saw the inaugural meeting of the Central Sector Crime Forum. It was well organised and a strong and committed committee was chosen, with the aim of eradicating crime and grime in the area. The Chairperson is Ken Denton, who owns the majority of the buildings in the area. We are really optimistic about this initiative, and wish them all the best in their endeavours to reclaim our historic gem of a suburb.

We have featured Havelock Square in Central before. It is one of the picturesque and vital little green areas in the heart of the city. This is a view of some of the lovely old villas that surround the square.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Patterns of light

The ubiquitous MacDonald's golden arches create an abstract pattern with the colourful lights reflecting on the railings of the Dolphins Leap Centre at the beachfront. This shot was taken by our son, from the balcony of The Mediterranean, one of our favourite seafood/sushi hangouts!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Promenade at night

While we are hanging around the beachfront at night, here is a view of the promenade at Humewood, taken by our son on one of his visits home.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bayworld in the dark...

Is the sun setting on PE's dolphin shows? There is much debate at the moment... our two remaining Indian Ocean Bottlenose dolphins, Domino and Dumisa, are terribly inbred, and HAVE to be separated before young Dumisa (Domino's daughter and sister!) reaches breeding age, which is due soon. There have been debates raging about the viability/ethics of capturing a wild dolphin to add to the gene pool, but as yet nothing has been decided... so the future hangs in the balance for this popular PE attraction.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Alternative transport

People from overseas, who visit South Africa for the first time, are often surprised at how Westernised and 1st world our main cities are. But don't despair, around the next corner, you may come across a sight like this and be reminded that you are indeed in Africa! You feel like you have entered a time warp, the pace of life for these guys ambling down the street is so different to that of the motorists behind them, huffing and puffing about being slowed down in their frantic rush to get wherever they are going! Personally I love the reminder that life wasn't always about deadlines and tight schedules!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

another neighbour.......

Another of the wonderful wild animals to be found at the Kragga Kamma Game Park is this cheetah. To be honest, he is not as wild as he looks, and cheetahs from this Park have appeared in a number of movies, including the brilliant Duma, one of our favourites.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Look who lives on our doorstep....

One of the cool things about Port Elizabeth is that we have a number of Game Parks and Lodges within the city limits, where you can experience the wonders of African wildlife, without travelling too far. This mommy rhino and her baby live at the Kragga Kamma Game Park.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the end of an era

Two of the busiest art galleries in PE are currently holding their final exhibitions, before closing.

The delightful Cuyler Street Gallery, owned by Tossie Theron, has been doing great things for PE artists for the past 13 years. Tossie is taking a well earned rest, and has sold the gallery to the owners of the Ron Belling Gallery, who apparently plan to keep it as a gallery, and open a coffee shop there too.

On the other side of town, Heidi and Frans, of the Kuhne Boekkooi Gallery in Charlo, are relocating to Nieu Bethesda in the Karroo, and tomorrow will be the last day that the gallery is open. It is sad to see them go, but Heidi will be continuing to promote the arts with her digital newsletters.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Boats and bad service

Fishing boats viewed from the deck at the Oyster Catcher Restaurant at the Port Elizabeth harbour.
As far as restaurants go, the Oyster Catcher has a great ambience, which is unfortunately spoilt by poor service. As a customer one does not expect to be kept waiting for an interminable period before being served, then when your food finally arrives and the hunger pains are gnawing at your innards, having to wait for the cutlery, which the waitress painstakingly wraps in a serviette. The wait is extended while she pauses to chat to her collegues and the food gets cold and congeals on the plate. No one seemed to have any interest in removing the glasses and bottles that accumulated in vast numbers on the table. As most of our group were finishing their meal, the last person received his food.

But for good company and a good view I may not have stayed as long as I did.

Com'n Oyster Catcher you can do better than that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Relic" from the past

One of the few old buildings from "yesteryear" still standing in North End. It might not look like much, but judging from the security company signs it must contain something of value.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

World War II Bunker

One of the many bunkers built along the South African coast World during War II. This one was photographed at Schoenmakerskop. Others can be seen at Bluewater Bay and Cape Recife.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

City slickers

This family of dikkops were observed in Richmond Hill yesterday. Despite their natural habitat being systematically eroded by urbanization, these birds have managed to adapt well to city life. Normally they will be found in open fields, but these birds have somehow ended up in a very built up area, where there is a risk to the chick, from cats and dogs.
Lets hope they have the sense to relocate to a more suitable area.
For another picture of the mother and her chick, go to the max files.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You want me to do WHAT?

The last place one would expect to find an invitation to a naked frolic is on the back of a van, but then this is a special van, it carries a whole new substance called chemicials!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Admittedly steam engines are not every conservationists ideal, but there is something about them that people respond to, much more than the diesel or electric engines that run our trains these days. As of next month, the beloved apple express will be running on steam again, YAY!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Full Steam Ahead

Yesterday the crossings on the narrow gauge line in PE resounded with the friendly whistles of the first steam engine to ride on these tracks for almost 2 years. Citizens from all walks of life greeted the train with delight as she went on a test run out to Chelsea, in preparation for her maiden run, due soon. It is so good to have our steam train back, and we owe a big thank you to the enthusiasts who have given so much in terms of time and money, and lovingly laboured for over a year to restore this engine to working order.

It was an enormous privilege to get to ride on this first run, and enjoy the unique atmosphere generated by these magnificent old machines!

Monday, November 10, 2008

casbah's again

Since we seem to be on a nostalgic kick at the moment, let's feature another shot of PE in the 90s.... this is the Casbah Carvery that used to be in Cape Road, in the old Kine 500 complex. This was sent by Darren Theologo, who says :
"The photo of the Limousine infront of the Casbah Carvery & Grill also taken 1992 , People in photo From left to right _1. Riaan Roux , 2.
Darren Theologo , 3. Lillian Van Zyl , 4. Sharyn Theologo , 5. John Price._ The Event :- My mom(Sharyn Theologo) had hired John Price to drive my girlfriend (at that time) and i to her matric dance in his limousine.
You are right about it being the only limo in PE at that time..."
On the Facebook site "Remember PE when..." you will see many comments about the old Casbah double chicken burgers!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Remembrance Day

This year's Remembrance Day Parade, held at the Walmer Cenotaph, started with a parade of ex-servicemen and women. It was led by a Scottish pipe band, which is always guaranteed to stir the heart strings and set the right tone.

Wreath laying ceremony by all sections of the armed forces and ex-servicemans societies.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them." Lawrence Binyon, For The Fallen (1914)


One of the old landmark historic shops in Central, this has housed an antique and old bookshop as long as we can remember. The simple unpretentious architecture is typical of many of the colonial buildings that went up in the 1800s in PE.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

St Philips Street Then and Now

I can't believe our 1st blogiversary slipped by yesterday, we clean forgot about it, but would love to thank all our visitors who have really become friends in the past year.

One of our readers, Brenda from UK, grew up in a house which is just across the park from us. She has sent us some lovely old photos from the 1930s to 60s, and this is one taken in 1949 in St Philips Street. Note the newly planted sidewalk trees and the grass beside the pavement.

Looking down the hill recently, on the night of the big storm and spring tides (1st September) we saw a fire enginge in the street and saw that a huge tree (one of the saplings in her photo) had blown against no 39, crushing part of the roof.

thanks Brenda!

Friday, November 7, 2008


A whole chain of events leads to today's post... Gillian of the Fworld did a post on the demise of PE's roadhouses, and I commented on it. We got an e-mail from regular London visitor Jeanne (she of award winning food blog Cooksister fame), who saw the comment, and sent us a link to the website for the Casbah Roadhouse. I wrote to them and got permission to publish a couple of their old PE pix.

This is the old Casbah on the beachfront, taken in 1992, in what later became the sailing club building. Check out how bare the hill is behind it! We'll go and get a current view of this later and hopefully post it tomorrow.
A history of the Casbah was also sent by Darren Theologo, thanks...........
"On the 29th of January 1955, Smittys Teapot, in Brakpan, was taken over & transformed into Casbah Roadhouse by Sylvia Kongos and her brother Peter Theologo. The other brothers, Evangelo(Ponch), Russel(Lucky), Costa & Johnny soon joined them.The name "Casbah" was taken from the show Casablanca.After gaining experience in that first family venture, the brothers went their separate ways and opened their own roadhouses.Evangelo, or Ponch as he was known, started his roadhouse career in Brakpan, but then went on to open roadhouses in Alberton, Wemmer Pan, Johannesburg, Malvern, Benoni, Vereeniging, Krugersdorp and Port Elizabeth.Ponch always believed in VFM. Value for money. Everything that you made for a customer you had to make as if you were making it for a friend.Evangelo(Ponch) Theologo is known as the “King of Roadhouses”."

If all this reminiscing about the good old days in PE makes you nostalgic, do yourself a favour and hop across to the Facebook discussion called "Do you remember PE when....." .... great memories there from PE people all over the world!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sought after

One of the odd things about having a cute house in a sought after historic area is the number of total strangers who will ring the doorbell to ask if you want to sell to them. This owner is clearly tired of the interruptions!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


One of PE's best kept secrets is Barnacles Restaurant in Beachview. Set high on the first dune overlooking the rocks and sea, Barnacles serves great steaks, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and especially wonderful seafood. (lousy cappuccino, but hey, you can't be PERFECT!!) But for us, apart from the excellent food, service and atmosphere, the best thing about it is the open deck that hangs out over the hillside, which leaves you with panoramic views of the coast. We have yet to go there without seeing large pods of bottle nosed dolphins swimming past. These ones must have been hunting on Saturday, because they did not stop to surf through the waves as they often do, but went along in a business like manner!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PE Tramways Building

Another shameful example of urban decay in Port Elizabeth. The old PE Tramways building was once a hive of activity, first as a tram and bus depot and then as an ice rink. It was then used for other businesses and now stands unused and derelict.
It was announced with great fanfare that this historic landmark, was to be developed into an entertainment area, with the river in the foreground being turned into a small lake. Work was due to start in April this year, but the development seems to have ground to an agonising halt.
Let's hope that this development happens sooner, rather than later.

Monday, November 3, 2008

such a shame

We have taken you to the fascinating Red Location Museum before. It documents the movement against apartheid, and the red location was one of the significant places in the evolution of the ANC and the struggle for democracy in South Africa. We have written in more detail about this fascinating place on our personal blogs, and lamented the fact that the last few remaining historically significant shacks, built in 1903, are being vandalised and sold to unscrupulous scrap dealers. It was under the basements of these shacks where the underground leaders of the freedom movement held meetings and hid from the Apartheid Police.

Here is a phototaken by Max last year,

and these were taken last week showing the degree of damage that has taken place.

A lame attempt has been made to fence off two of the remaining ones, but the fence has already been pulled down. How sad that selfish individuals have so little pride in the accomplishment of this community in bringing about the downfall of the repressive Apartheid system.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

more maitlands

Two more views of the wonderful pristine coastline at the Maitlands River mouth. This one looking West towards Blue Horizon Bay, with miles and miles of unspoilt white sandy beaches and dunes.....

..... And this one looking back along the rocky section of coastline to the East, towards Beachview, Sardinia Bay and Schoenmakerskop

Saturday, November 1, 2008

maitlands dune

In response to yesterdays post of the beach at Maitlands River mouth, Richie requested some views of the dune and surroundings. Here it is from the beach, and in the foreground is the lagoon formed when the river mouth when it is closed by sandbars. The pipeline that feeds water to Port Elizabeth from the Churchill Dam is seen crossing the river. The little building to the right is a rather tatty ablution block on the edge of the carpark. It is a magical place for kids to run wild!

And by the way, thanks very much to Sonia, who found a way of getting back to decent sized photos after Blogger messed with the sizing, and we were stuck with horrid little ones for a while!