Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bay FM Burger Opskop

The annual Bay FM Burger Opskop took place in Despatch today. Bay FM is our local community radio station and broadcasts mainly in Nelson Mandela Bay as well as the surrounding areas. A couple of years ago BAY FM was a struggling radio station with serious financial problems, but that was until Jacques Arendt took over as station manager and shuffled things around a bit. He knew that there was a serious need for Afrikaans music to be played on the radio in this area and tuned into it. Although the station still plays mainly English music, it plays a lot of Afrikaans music as well (it actually caters for all the communities of the metro and their music tastes with different types of music being played throughout the day and night). But it is the Afrikaans listeners that probably support the station the most. One of the station's main fund raising events is a day long Afrikaans music festival that gets rotated between the three centres of the metro. This year the Opskop took place in Despatch and as it was a Sunday and hosted on a school field it was decided to try something radical. They made it an alcohol free day. Big shock? Not at all. My guess there were about 7000 to 8000 people there today enjoying a "drink" free day and supporting some of the top Afrikaans music talent this country has to offer. I for one can't wait till next year's event.
GPS: 33°47'55.69"S, 25°26'19.91"E

Saturday, February 27, 2010

St Katherine's

St Katherine's Anglican Church in Uitenhage
GPS: 33°46'15.48"S, 25°23'55.45"E

Friday, February 26, 2010


A model of the Algoasaurus in the Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld. Bones of this dinosaur were discovered near Port Elizabeth and thus it was named after Algoa Bay.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fairview sunset

Sunset across Fairview. I took this about a week or so ago and at the time there were lots of fires burning all around Port Elizabeth. This caused the sunsets to be much redder than they normally are.

For more sunsets and other sky related pictures, visit Skywatch.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Walmer Cenotaph

The Walmer Cenotaph is situated in front of the old Walmer Town Hall. I couldn't get any information on when the monument was erected, but it has a plaque on the one side with the names of men from Walmer that died in the First World War and on the other side a plaque with the names of those who died in World War II. Every year there is a Remembrance Day ceremony held at the monument. Walmer used to be a town on its own but got incorporated into Port Elizabeth in the 1970's.
GPS: 33°58'41.33"S, 25°35'8.07"E

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I popped down to the Schoenmakerskop village market last weekend to stock up on my favorite marmalade. I don't like the normal bitter marmalades and the lady who has this specific stand has a couple of sweet marmalade varieties in addition to the bitter ones. Suddenly I feel like toast and marmalade...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Diaz cross

The Diaz cross standing on Market Square is a replica of the crosses planted by Bartholomeu Diaz on his exploration journey in 1488. Diaz was the first (known) European to set foot in what is today known as South Africa. He planted a cross in Mossel Bay, on St Croix Island just off Port Elizabeth and at his turning point at Kwaaihoek near Kenton-on-Sea. This replica was donated to the city of Port Elizabeth by the Portuguese government and the stone it was made from was quarried from the same area where the stone for the original crosses came from.
GPS: 33°57'43.60"S, 25°37'25.63"E

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pier waves

Waves smashing on the rocks next to Shark Rock Pier at Hobie Beach
GPS: 33°58'47.78"S, 25°39'31.20"E

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shipping beacon

One of the shipping beacons out Cape Recife. In addition to the lighthouse there are two beacons that were used in the early days to guide ships into Algoa Bay before the advent of modern navigational equipment. Ships sailing along the southern coast towards Algoa Bay had to stay on a straight coarse until they lined up the two beacons. Only then was it safe to turn into the Bay and avoid running aground on the treacherous Thunderbolt Reef.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fairview burning

For the last two weeks several fires has been burning in and around the city due to the very dry and hot conditions we are experiencing. There is an big undeveloped area close to us called Fairview and late last week quite a big fire broke out there. This pic was taken from the corner of Circular Drive and Willow Road.
GPS: 33°58'5.38"S, 25°31'37.07"E

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Willows

Situated just 15km outside town on Marine Drive along Port Elizabeth's Wildside is The Willows Resort. The Willows is an institution in PE with people who have gone there with their families as kids now camping there with their kids. The resort has all the amenities you need at a holiday resort with both camping as well as self catering accommodation, entertainment room, tidal pool and super tube. Up to a couple of years ago the resort had seen a decline, but since it has been taken over by Madiba Bay Resorts it has been renovated and is going from strength to strength.
GPS: 34° 2'43.02"S, 25°36'24.29"E

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

After the storm

Yesterday afternoon the city was hit by a terrific thunderstorm that rained buckets in some areas. When it all came down I was in our local supermarket and it stopped just before I came outside. As I got to my car the sun broke through and this magnificent rainbow streaked across the sky.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Magennis Park

Magennis Park in Uitenhage is an open space just off Graaff Reinet Road in the middle of town. It can be compared with a park like Victoria Park here in Port Elizabeth. Usually its a nice green and shady park where one can go and relax on a warm day during lunch time, but currently its a bit on the dry side due to the drought the area is experiencing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Water crisis

While the rest of the country has had wide spread flooding over the last month or so, the parts of the Eastern Cape and Southern Cape, including Port Elizabeth and environs, are in the mids of the worst drought in 150 years. In some areas the situation has entered crisis proportions. Some towns has just about run out of water. Farmers are really struggling and the summer fruit in the Langkloof will be way under par this year. Here in Port Elizabeth we have very strict water restrictions and if we don't get any significant rain our dams will be dry by October.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cruise ship

Yesterday the Port Elizabeth harbour played host to the Crystal Serenity. It isn't often that we get cruise ships this size into the city, so it was quite an unusual site to see her lying next to the car terminal. Unfortunately the PE Harbour doesn't have a cruise ship terminal which means that we only get a couple of cruise ships coming in every year. The sad part is that it seems that the port authority isn't very interested in developing a cruise ship terminal cause they feel they won't make money from it.
GPS: 33°57'34.53"S, 25°37'50.86"E

Friday, February 12, 2010

St Peter's arch

The entrance to the ruined St Peter's Church in South End.

The St Peter's Anglican Church in South End, Port Elizabeth was completed in 1877. Situated on the hill overlooking Algoa Bay, it was one of the important places of worship in early Port Elizabeth. Before the height of the Apartheid era the area of South End was a vibrant area inhabited by people from all races. When the Group Areas Act came into being in 1962, non-white people all over South Africa was removed from what was termed white only areas and relocated to the black townships and coloured areas. The people of South End's time was up in 1965 and they were forcibly removed. Although now living on the other side of the city, the congregation of St Peter's Church still came back to worship in the church to the dismay of the Apartheid government. To stop them from doing so it was decided to demolish the church. Today the ruins stand just above the St Mary's cemetery in between modern townhouses.


GPS: 33°57'59.32"S, 25°37'32.74"E

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Horse Memorial

The Horse Memorial on the corner of Rink Street and Russel Road was erected in remembrance of the horses and mules that suffered and died during the Anglo Boer War which was fought between 1899 and 1902. Although the war didn't really play of in close proximity to the town, most of the British forces and their horses entered the country through Algoa Bay. The locals were very aware of the circumstances the horses were under on the ships as well as what they went through in the war. This lead to the monument being put up. Well over 100 000 horses died during the war.

Pop into Skywatch and see lots of other excellent photographers taking pics of the sky.
GPS: 33°57'43.98"S, 25°36'33.93"E

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pier Street Mosque

The Masjied-ul-Aziz Mosque, better known as the Pier Street Mosque sits on a strip of land on the left hand side at the end of the Settlers Freeway. The mosque is one of the only buildings that were left standing when the rest of South End was demolished in the late 1960's / early 1970's. It was so close or this Port Elizabeth landmark also fell under the wheels of the bulldozers. The municipality of the day wanted to construct a off ramp coming from the Settlers Freeway across this piece of land and was just about to start demolition when the international community and in particular the Muslim countries stepped in and reminded them that you are not allowed to demolish a church without the consent of the congregation. Thus the mosque was spared and is still in use today.
GPS: 33°57'58.20"S, 25°37'41.89"E

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Rows of seats in the new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Notice how the seats are different shades of red and orange. The reason for that is that when seats are broken and replaced the new seats wouldn't stand out amongst the slightly faded older chairs. To facilitate that there is no definitive pattern of colours and the seats were just randomly places.
GPS: 33°56'16.53"S, 25°35'58.27"E

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ensuring the future of the species

Now here's a photo you never thought you'll see on PEDP. I was lucky enough to capture this in the Addo Elephant National Park just outside Port Elizabeth some time ago. I did make one adjustment to the picture though. The female had a tracking collar on which I took out using Coral. The interesting thing about lions is that the male can mate with the female in heat every 20 minutes. Its like clockwork and you can just about set your watch to it.
GPS: 33°30'50.98"S, 25°45'16.33"E

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Graveyard bloom

A wild flower in the historic St Mary's Cemetery
GPS: 33°57'56.73"S, 25°37'33.97"E

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Boardwalk kiddies entertainment

The Boardwalk has a range of entertainment options for the littlies. Everything from merry go rounds to putt putt and go carts. Obviously if you have two Rugrats like us it can be a bit heavy on the wallet for an evening of fun. But lots of people leave their wallets at home, park their car at the Boardwalk's parking and take a nice slow walk through the centre on their way to the beach.
GPS: 33°59'1.96"S, 25°39'27.55"E

Friday, February 5, 2010

Reconciliation walkway

This week 20 years ago, then president FW de Klerk made the speech in which he announced the planned unbanning of parties like the African National Congress (ANC) as well as the intended release of Nelson Mandela from prison. By chance a bit earlier in the week I discovered a paved path in South End fairly close to where I work. It was built by a local family who formed their business here in Port Elizabeth 100 years ago and represented all the major events of the century. The walkway ends overlooking the Baakens Valley with these three seats. On the middle seat is the word Reconciliation which represents 1994 as the year in which the first free and fair elections took place.
GPS: 33°58'18.19"S , 25°36'52.36"E

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fly a kite

Today was the annual kite flying day of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's School of Architecture. A couple of hundred architecture, technology and interior design students take part in this ice breaker event at the start of a new year. Unfortunately the Windy City didn't live up to its reputation and the kite fliers struggled a bit to get their creations into the sky. This guy with his kite on a fishing rod was one of the successful fliers who stayed airborne for more than 5 seconds.

Due to the fact that the wind wasn't playing along I couldn't really get any pictures of lots of kites in the sky at the same time, but I did catch Spongebob Squarepants soaring overhead.
For more neck craning pics, visit Skywatch.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

St Augustines Cathedral

When the first Catholic priest set foot in Port Elizabeth in 1840 (after being shipwrecked in Cape St Francis and having to travel the last 100km to town on horseback), there were only 42 Catholics in the town. In the coming years the Catholic community grew and flourished and in 1861 construction started on St Augustines on land purchased on Castle Hill. The project took place under the watchful eye of Father Thomas Murphy. St.Augustine’s was opened and solemnly consecrated by Bishop Moran on the 25 th of April 1866. The bronze statue of Christ the King which can be seen above the door was donated by the Frost family in 1931 . For more information and the whole story of the Cathedral, visit Catholic Diocese of Port Elizabeth.
I have to be honest and say that I have never been inside St Augustines, but will try my best to change that somewhere in the near future.
GPS: 33°57'46.00"S, 25°37'20.79"E

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New hotel construction

There are lots of construction going on in and around town. Some of the projects (mostly infrastructure) are related to the 2010 FIFA World Cup while others are part of the growth of Port Elizabeth. There is a new hotel going up on the beachfront across the road from Humewood Beach on what used to be the City Lodge's parking area. For a long time it looked like there was very little going on as they were excavating, but since the building has started on the actual structure it seems that things are happening very quickly.
GPS: 33°58'46.46"S, 25°39'11.66"E

Monday, February 1, 2010

Domkrag Waterhole

I just absolutely love the Addo Elephant National Park just outside Port Elizabeth. When I used to tour guide I got to visit the park at least once a week (at one stage I went there up to 5 or 6 times a week) and never got tired of it. Driving through the park looking for elephants I always got just as excited when we found them as the tourists got. I haven't had much opportunity to go to the park lately and thus haven't been there for a while. This weekend I was going through some photos looking for something specific and got stuck on my Addo pics. I have decided to post an Addo photo every now and then as the park, although not in the city, is one of Port Elizabeth's biggest attractions.
This pic of an elephant breeding herd drinking was taken Domkrag Waterhole. What's nice about this waterhole is that you can get out at the parking area and that it is situated above the waterhole giving you a very nice view.