Friday, May 31, 2013

I can still see you

I attended the media launch of the Kirkwood Wildsfees in the Addo Elephant National Park and to end the program off we were taken on an open vehicle game drive through the park.  As is often usual in Addo we had some stunning sightings.  This guy was peeking at us from behind a bush trying to be inconspicuous.  Gives him a bit of a mysterious look, doesn't it.
The annual Wildsfees takes place from 28 - 30 June 2013 in the town of Kirkwood about an hour from Port Elizabeth.  The festival includes the usual entertainment and stalls as well as the annual game auction in the park itself, 4x4 competition, a mohair exhibition, a smileys (sheep heads) long table banquet, wine garden, donkey cart competition and lot and lots more.  The entertainment this year includes Kurt Darren, Jay and Lianie, DJ Ossewa, Emo Adams, Juanita de Plessis and Johnny Clegg to name a few.  Its going to be an event not to be missed. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Boardwalk in lights

Over the years the Boardwalk Complex has become one of Port Elizabeth's most popular attractions and this has become even more so with the addition of the new Boardwalk Hotel and Convention Centre.  The new building has changed the landscape of the beachfront and this I noticed again from across the Boardwalk lake while on my way to a meeting there the other night.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Boardwalk Hotel Luxury Suite

I don't think many of us will get the opportunity to stay at the Boardwalk Hotel very soon.  I for one can't afford 5 star hotel rates and will have to rely on an invitation by somebody for a complimentary stay if I want to do so. *Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, hint, hint*  I did have a peek into one of their Luxury Suites on a tour of the hotel the other night and here's sharing that peek with you.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Boardwalk Hotel pool deck

The new Boardwalk Hotel on the Port Elizabeth beachfront is an impressive landmark, to say the least.  I got to go on a tour of the hotel and conference centre late last week and afterwards is even more impressed.  The hotel truly is a huge asset for the city.  This is the pool deck on the hotel's first room level with views of Hobie Beach and Shark Rock Pier..

Sunday, May 26, 2013

An united and cohesive people marching

The second of the art pieces that was installed at Sydneham Primary School as part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Arts and Teaching Legacy Project.  The piece is called "An united and cohesive people marching in unison towards a shared destiny" and was created on one of the walls on the stadium side of the school.  The first piece I featured is called "Post 1994 period until the present time" and can be seen here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

2010 Arts and Teaching Legacy Project

The Sydneham Primary School was one of the schools that benifitted greatly from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa due to its close proximity to the Nelson mandela Bay Stadium (seen in the background of the picture).  Chaos Boy played in a chess tournament at Sydneham Primary and it gave me an opportunity to take a walk through the school grounds to have a look at some of the art pieces installed at the school as part of the 2010 Arts and Teaching Legacy Project.  There are four of which one, a mural, unfortunately is taking a bit of damage due to the backboard its been painted on.  Never the less, this piece is called "Post 1994 period until the present time".  Yeah I know, not a lot of creativity went into naming it.  It represents "a collection of all the happiness after 1994, but tat the same time not forgetting our painful and sad past".

Friday, May 24, 2013


The little beach on the south side of the McArthur Swimming pool complex is generally part of Kings Beach, but amongst the local surfing community its known as  Denville's.  The name came from a couple of guys, Dennis Buchman and Neville Mandy, that used to surf here around the 60's.  Its still a favourite surfing spot, specially with beginners. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Humewood Hotel on Marine Drive

The three star Humewood Hotel on Marine Drive is one of the oldest hotels in the city and started its existence as the Humewood Mansions.  The same family that was responsible for the building of the hotel still owns it now, three generations later.  I dug around the internet a little and couldn't find a lot of information on the history of the hotel.  Little snippets did crop up from an interview with Dave Snuggs, the general manager of the hotel.
  • “Originally only the central section of the hotel was built – as a double-story building – and the road that ran past the front of the hotel was a dirt road.”  There is no recorded date of this build as plans were required to be submitted!
  •  “Circa1925 the two wings were added to the hotel that substantially increased the number of rooms and added an extra story to the building on the side wings. At that time the majority of rooms were serviced by communal ablution facilities, a challenge that was placed on management some years later to rectify!"
  • “In 1985 an elevator was added and the challenge of providing en- suite bathrooms for every room was tackled.”
I got the quoted info from the Travel and Things blog

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Route 67 art

I know I often post pictures of the art pieces which form part of Route 67 on the Donkin, but with 67 art pieces around plus the history and beautiful surrounds I just can't help throwing in one every now and then.  These are some of the art pieces that was installed next to the mosaic steps leading up towards the flag.  Most of them seems to have been taken down since I took this picture. Not sure if they got damaged by vandals perhaps.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Landmans Lake

Yesterday I posted a picture of the lake on Lakeside Road saying that I haven't been able to find any information on the internet where the actual name of the lake is given.  In general people just talk of Lake Farm but you never hear a proper name. Last night Grant Slater, one of PEDP's regular followers, sent me the above which is a Surveyor General map dating back to 1860.  On the map the lake is named as Landmans Lake.  Just shows there is always something new to learn around Port Elizabeth.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The lake on Lakeside Road

After all the rain we had in Port Elizabeth the lake on Lakeside Road flooded its banks and closed the road for quite some time.  I took a drive past there the other day to see how high it still was but it seems to have dropped back to its normal level.  The lake is the biggest natural fresh water lake in Port Elizabeth.  Just one problem.  I can't really find what the lake's proper name is other than the area being called Lake Farm. Anybody knows? 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

St Francis of the animals

Outside the Animal Welfare Society's offices on Victoria Drive stands the figure of St Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment.  A fitting place for him to bestow his blessings on.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Why you come empty handed?

SAMREC and the East Cape Horse Care Unit are my two favorite animal good causes.  Both places do an amazing job, one for penguin conservation and the other for donkeys and horses in the townships.  I don't have a lot of time to give to them but I try to do my part through giving exposure on my blog whenever I get the opportunity.  Popped by the donks the other day and this is the look I received when we ran out of carrots.   

Friday, May 17, 2013

TGIF - Late afternoon on the Donkin

TGIF.  The week is over.  Not just one week but actually two that just flowed into each other as I attended Tourism Indaba that included this past weekend.  Indaba was good, not just from a destination marketing point of view but also from a personal one.  Amongst others I got to attend the SA Tourism #MeetSouthAfrica bloggers conference and picked up a lot of tips on social media attached to a travel blog.  Some of these I really need to concentrate more on so to grow my following both on the blogs (here on PEDP and The Firefly Photo Files) as well as on Facebook and Twitter.  I also need to get to a point where I get my name as a blogger out there more and perhaps even pick up a couple of sponsors / advertisers.  But I will slowly work up to that.  For now I'm just glad the (two) week(s) is over.
The picture is of the giant flag on the Donkin Reserve taken late in the afternoon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The lady with the chair

The lady with the chair on the Donkin Reserve is an Untitled Anton Momberg art piece installed as part of Route 67.  The female piece with its neutral features is meant to be a conversation piece and is said to represent the women of Nelson Mandela Bay.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Uitenhage Concentration Camp Memorial

Not a lot of people know that Uitenhage had a concentration camp right on their doorstep during the Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1902.  The concentration camp used to be situated on 10 hectares of land on the outskirts of town where the festival grounds can be found.  During the war a large number of women and children were dying in a Bloemfontein camp because of extreme temperatures.  It was decided to establish a new one which had to be somewhere near water and a train line.  Uitenhage was ideal for that and a camp was built for 2000 people, although only 1800 stayed there.  At first the residents looked down on the people in the camp but then realised that they were their own people.  The locals started to go to the camp to talk to those held there and even played records for the women and children.  All the houses were built of zinc and wood as opposed to the tents of the other camps. Today, only the house that is believed to have been the commander’s stands on the site. The rest of the houses were broken down and rebuilt in Port Elizabeth’s Red Location.  In front of the house visitors will find a memorial statue as well as a monument made out of high cement walls and pillars in memory of the eight children and adults who died in the camp.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Railroad switch

A railroad switch on the narrow gauge line west of Port Elizabeth.  So sad that there is no Apple Express running along this historic line at the moment, but from what I hear there are a lot of people working hard behind the scenes to get her back on the line.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lighthouse shadow

Some people are fascinated by shadows and shadow photography.  I like reflections better, but for those shadow people out there, here is a pic of the Donkin Lighthouse's shadow taken from the top of the lighthouse.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lining up for carrots

We popped into the East Cape Horse Care Unit last weekend and I just couldn't help snapping this pic of Drama Princess feeding the donks .  It looked like they were lining up to each get a turn for a carrot.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Harbour walls and breakwaters all over the world make use of dolosse to create that barrier between the ocean and land.  A dolos (plural dolosse) is a concrete block in a complex geometric shape weighing up to 30 tons.  The new Coega Harbour in Port Elizabeth made use of 28 000 dolosse in the construction of its breakwater.  The dolos is named after the knucklebone of a sheep.

Dolosse were developed in East London in 1963 by one-time East London Harbour Engineer Eric Mowbray Merrifield who won various awards for the invention.  In the late 1990s Aubrey Kruger made a claim that he worked with Merrifield and was the one who came up with the design but never received any recognition.

The picture above was taken at the Port Elizabeth Harbour wall with Kings Beach in the background.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Breakwater view

One of the first views of the city that many visitors see as they approach is the one from the freeway with Port Elizabeth in the background.  Very few people realise that at that moment they are driving on what used to be the beach and the ocean is being kept back with the use of a breakwater consisting of dolosse and big rocks. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Donkin flag

The giant South African flag on top of the 65m high flagpole on the Donkin Reserve has truly become one of Port Elizabeth's new iconic landmarks.  The flag is visible from just about all over the city (if you have some kind of vantage point) thanks to the fact that the flagpole is the second highest in Africa. Incidentally the highest one, which is in Angola, isn't used at the moment which makes our the highest by default.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

St Mary's Cathedral

Up to the time that the British Settlers arrived in Algoa Bay in 1820, the needs of the British garrison at Port Elizabeth had been served by chaplains on passing ships.  By 1825 the settlement had grown to about 500 people.  One of these was Reverend Francis McClelland (the same person who built No 7 Castle Hill).  He was appointed Colonial Chaplain that same year and laid the foundation stone for the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin was laid.  The church was finally opened for worship in 1832.with the first organ being installed in 1867.  At that stage the church already had a well established choir which continues today.  In 1895 the building was gutted by fire but was quickly rebuilt in far grander style with money collected from people who included the Cape Prime Minister, Cecil Rhodes and President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tugs at rest

The Port Elizabeth Harbour tugs and pilot boat at their moorings, waiting for the next ship to escort into or out of the harbour.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pollok Beach

Pollok Beach on a sunny day but with winter approaching there'll be less people in the water and more just walking on the beach.  Over the last month or so we have had some beautiful "pre-winter" days.  If only our weather was like that all year long.  Just imagine what an even more awesome destination Port Elizabeth would be.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Playing on the Donkin

I climbed to the top of the Donkin Lighthouse the other day for a couple of pics and ... (yes, I am addicted) ... a geocache.  There was a couple of people with a group of kiddies playing by the Anton Momberg sculpture and I couldn't but help to snap a picture of them. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Humble Ways north view

A little while ago I posted a pic taken from Humble Ways at the top of Lovemore Heights looking south.  I've been holding back on the north view and is posting it today.  It wasn't a clear day but you can see the Westering and Kabega Park area with the Telkom tower on the right.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Country road

I have always loved the Chelsea and Deer Park area.  Country living, beautiful views and nature all around.  All of this just a stone's throw from the city.  This is Old Seaview Road running through Chelsea.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Harbour wall view

Bet you've never seen the harbour wall from this angle (unless you saw the other post I did of the harbour wall a month or so ago).  The Port Elizabeth Harbour wall is supposed to be off limits to the public, but there were no signage nor fencing up when I walked right onto it the other day.  Even the nearby security guard just looked at me and didn't ask me to leave.  So picture taken specially to share with you. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Schoenies coastline

The beautiful and rugged Schoenmakerskop coastline with one of the paths that you can follow down to the little coves and beaches.