Saturday, January 31, 2009

A sad old building

We don't always show the nicer side of Port Elizabeth and sometimes let the social conscience kick in.
A sad relic from the past is the Victoria Hotel, an art decor style building that has been allowed to decay to such an extent that it has become an uninhabitable shell. Like most of the buildings in Victoria Street its doors have been bricked up to keep out the vagrants and squatters.
Let's hope that its owner starts doing something about the urban decay he has contributed to.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Opera House

One of the advantages of being an early riser is being able to stand in the middle of Whites Road and photograph the Opera House, without having to dodge traffic. It is seen here framed by the branches of a magnificent ficus, which growing on the edge of the Donkin Reserve.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Looking down from the top of the cliff

This is White's Road, from the edge of the cliffs in Donkin Reserve, just before sunrise. The jungle -like gardens along the side of the road give it a wonderful mysterious quality (warning to potential tourists... do not do this without your can of pepper spray handy!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sulfurous skies....

The sky on Monday really fitted that cliche, there was a storm brewing, lots of noise and razzle dazzle, but very little in the way of decent precipitation. But it created that amazing yellow glow you sometimes see, and everything took on an orange tinge. This photo was taken from Benno Road in Charlo, by Sally Gush. (She is sadly leaving our shores soon, and will be greatly missed, as an aquarobics instructor, she is going to be a hard act to follow for those who have been tasked to replace her in knocking a bunch of ricketty old fogies into shape!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shark Rock Pier

Shark Rock Pier has featured in many of our posts, but it has many moods, so we never tire of photographing it. This shot was taken as the sun was making her presence felt and you can see her rays catching the top of the waves, from under the pier.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Your one stop health shop........

I could not resist photographing this sign, which I spotted in a street in Uitenhage recently. This really looks like a one stop shop for holistic health care African style.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

leaving port at sunrise

I will never tire of watching the big ships being shepherded in and out of the harbour by the powerful little tugs, this was around 5am last Saturday. You can see the Port Captains watch tower in the background.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Does it get any better than this? Last weekend of the holidays, and people were making the most of it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Familiar landmark

Taken from the same spot as yesterday's pic, this is a familiar landmark in PE. It is a beacon that was erected to mark a dangerous reef, and the position of the bell-bouy, for shipping. According to a notice posted on the gate, it is planned to construct a tea room around the beacon, and raise it by 3m. We look forward to seeing it completed, it will be a prime spot to relax and watch the sea over a nice cup of coffee.
(The powers that be that are proposing to ruin historic Richmond Hill with a 4 storey building and 50m lattice tower could learn a thing or two about correct proceedures for public participation from these guys too!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New look Beachfront

The municipality has worked very hard to make our beachfront user friendly for all sorts of people. From this viewpoint at the bottom of Admirality Way, you can see the cycle track and raised wooden boardwalk for pedestrians. You can now walk or cycle comfortably all the way from Kings Beach to beyond this point. You can also see the new Radison hotel taking shape on the left of Marine Drive, and the Summer Seas complex which, controversially, replaced the old Summerstrand Hotel, on the right.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


On hobie beach during the holiday season, this lifeguard's shed made an appearance near the Shark Rock Pier. These volunteers do amazing work keeping an eye on holidaymakers as they enjoy the waves. As you can see from the sign, they have been in action for the past 50 years. Thanks guys and girls!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Holiday fun

Today is the last day of the school holidays, and many kids will be off to school tomorrow morning. One of the clever ides for keeping them busy during the holidays was produced by the staff at the Historic Museum at 7 Castle Hill. These pantin string puppets were reproduced from historic designs. Cut out, put together, tie the strings, and the puppet dances crazily, much to the delight of this little chap!

And by the way, today is the day our American buddies get a Presidential upgrade, congratulations!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fun learning

At the Walmer library, there is a great idea....... a miniature road system, complete with stop streets, a roundabout and even a cute miniature set of traffic lights. Here kids ride around on their bicycles or scooters, having fun whilst getting familiar with the rules of the road and traffic safety.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Boma Reptile World

Situated in the coastal bush along the Sardinia Bay Road is The Boma which is a great venue for weddings, conferences, picnics and other functions.

Among the attractions at The Boma is the Reptile World, where grandpa and grandson went went today for a visit. They have an interesting variety of local and exotic reptiles. It is an ideal opportunity to get up close and personal with the reptiles and get to learn about them, from the knowledgable guide.

Grandson is seen here with our guide Luke, plucking up the courage to touch Annie, the 12 year old albino Burmese python. She weighs in at 20 kgs and will eventually top out at around 200 kgs. Visitors are given the opportunity to handle the friendly snakes, like Annie who loves the attention. Afterwards he told his mom that his favourite was, "The beautiful 'lellow' snake," and that when he is a man he will save his money and buy her one. Imagine her delight.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hobie beach sunrise

One of the compensations for doing the last neighbourhood watch patrol, is going down to the beach front to catch the sunrise and just enjoy the atmosphere. These two fishermen are getting ready to launch their rubber duck from Hobie Beach.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Three Pagaodas

The Three Pagodas Road House, in Kabega Park, is one of the few remaining road houses in Port Elizabeth. It seem like a life time since we were last there, but it should bring back memories for a lot of Port Elizabethans who like Chinese cuisine and have visited the place over the years.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It was a dark and eerie night......

Actually, it was warm, breezy, and a full moon was rising over the harbour. So after a night out with old friends, we went up to Fort Frederick to enjoy the view. Not the greatest photo, but it sort of captures the atmosphere.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Remember we recently showed to a really eccentric tree? Well it just got odder....

A flock of Guinea Fowl have taken up residence in its branches!

I really love driving down a street and coming across something quirky like this, it puts a smile on your face.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Red Windmill 2

Yesterday we showed you the site of the old Red Windmill. This is the complex it moved into, across the parking lot from the old one, and on the edge of the sea. The new ice-cream parlour/take-away is in the middle of the building, on the ground floor, behind the red umbrellas. The light is strange because it was just after sunrise but very cloudy, so the sun was struggling to make an impression!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Red Windmill

Those who remember PE from the old days will always associate the beachfront with this Red Windmill. It used to be a roadhouse, and sold the most delicious soft serve ice cream, amongst other good stuff! But it went the way of all our other roadhouses, and now houses Pro Dive. This was taken at sunrise yesterday (around 5ish) so you can see that these guys take their job seriously, they we already getting ready to go out. Tomorrow we'll show you where the Red Windmill moved to, it is still around, but as an ice-cream parlour/take-away.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Power to the people

Some of the power lines that bring electricity to Port Elizabeth from the Eskom power stations in Mpumalanga. In the background is the now defunct Swartkops Power Station. It would have been an ideal source of backup power for the city, had the decision not been taken to mothball it and sell off the plant for scrap metal.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Redhouse #2

Another view of Redhouse looking upstream this time from the top end of the Tow Path. The wind was blowing up a storm and there was no activity on the river.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jewel on the Swartkops River

The village of Redhouse, which nestles along the banks of the Swartkops River is one of the jewels of the city. This view was taken from the Tow Path late yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mastertons.... Full Steam Ahead

Hi, just to set the record straight, please entirely ignore the previous post (except for the photo, of course!) I got a call this morning from James Masterton, who was understandably unhappy to read about the closing of his business, since it is NOT TRUE! Not only is he extremely busy, but his son is working there too and they have even bought another property in Central, and have plans for expansion, as they are battling to cope with demand. I am really sorry to have posted misinformation, I just wish I could remember where I read it. Unfortunately I have diligently put all my used papers into the recycling, so can't go through them to find it, and the websites of the knock and drops don't have proper search facilities. However, as you can see from the smoke pouring out of the chimneys in this photo, taken this morning, the roasting is in full swing, and you can still get your favourite coffee from Mastertons!

The end of an era - Mastertons

Anyone in PE who is a fan of good coffee will know Mastertons, in Russell Road. Funnily enough, it is not so much for the lovely aroma, because they don't brew coffee there, but roast it, so the smell in the street is often more acrid than delicious, but they produce wonderful blends. Sadly, I saw in the press recently that they are soon to close down, as the old man wants to retire, and his son is not keen to take over the business. Pity... another one bites the dust.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Farewell brave lady....

Yesterday flags in South Africa flew at half mast in honour of Helen Suzman, who for many years was the lone opposition voice in Parliament, speaking out against Apartheid. She died last week at age 91, and leaves behind a proud legacy.

Helen Suzman has always been a hero in our eyes, the way she bravely stood her ground when all those Nat chauvinists were giving her a hard time, yet never lost her dignity or humanity or integrity was so inspiring! It is very seldom that we will feel much sadness in the passing of a politician. We generally view them as a self serving bunch at best, but there are some glowing exceptions, people who have used their power to really make the world a better place. Helen stood shoulder to shoulder with Nelson Mandela as one of those. (Metaphorically at least, in reality he is tall and she was tiny!) I hate to think where this country would be now without their influence and contribution.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

sunrise? what sunrise?

This is especially for those of you in chilly Northern Climes who have been accusing us of rubbing salt in the wound with all our sunny beach pix! Taken at 5am yesterday. When we do the last shift of neighbourhood watch patrol, we like to end it by checking out the sunrise, so we went to one of our favourite viewpoints, the Donkin Reserve. However, as you can see, there was very little chance that the sun was going to appear, and we were forced to stay in the car for the sake of our cameras, so this is as good as it got.... picturesque in its own abstract way, but it ain't no sunrise!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

After the Party

Our shift of Neighbourhood Watch patrol was from 2-5am this morning, so we got to see the end of the New Year's Party in Parliament Street. This was taken at 4.48am, when the party had just ended, and the street took on a warm glow from the lights reflecting on the wet streets. By the way, judging by all those pavement decorations, are we to assume the architects of this new look had a lot of balls? hehe.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fun in the sun and the surf

There were a lot of people enjoying Kings Beach today and there was a brisk wind that was just right for the wind surfers, in the surf and on the beach.