Sunday, May 31, 2015

Surf safe and avoid being hit

Usually the rules of surfing are unwritten rules as far as I understand.  Something you have to know before you hit the waves so that you don't get hit by another surfer's board... of fist.  But just in case you would like to read some of these they are posted along the beachfront like this one on the boardwalk at Lovers Lane.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Geocaching Swag

One of the fun aspects of Geocaching, specially when you cache with children, is finding bigger caches containing SWAG.  SWAG is an acronym for "Stuff We All Get" and are small trade items.  The rule with SWAG is that if you want to take something you have to replace it with something of equal or greater value.  Drama Princess has a SWAG bag in her Geocaching bag with items to swop if she finds anything she likes.  This SWAG box is part of the Port Elizabeth Beachfront TB Hotel located at the Boardwalk and I have seen many a young cacher's eyes light up when they open the container.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Addo Elephant National Park - well worth the visit

Addo Elelphant National Park is on Port Elizabeth's doorstep.  Literally.  Matyholweni, or the south gate as most just refer to it, is located at Colchester on the Sundays River, just outside the boundary of Nelson Mandela Bay.  Up to just over a decade or so ago Addo was mostly all about elephants.  Today it is so much more than that.  The Greater Addo Park stretches from the southern Karoo around the Darlington Dam, across the Zuurberg Mountains through the main game area and down to the coast.  The park also includes the Alexandria Dunefields and a marine reserve surrounding the islands in Algoa Bay.  Thanks to this Addo is the only reserve in the world that can boast to be home of the Big 7 being the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) along with the Southern Right Whale and Great White Shark.  Watch this excellent promotional video for Addo.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gone fishing at Kabega Dump

Weekends are the time to do some work in the garden.  That is when the KidZ don't have sport or parties or whatever or the Damselfly doesn't drag me to the shops.  I'm curious where Port Elizabethans go to dump their garden refuge.  With the Kragga Kamma transfer station still closed the options in our area are Walmer (now that is a dump dump), Summerstrand (a little far), Arlington tip (there I will NEVER go again) and Kabega Park.  The Kabega Park transfer station - or dump as most just call them - is found along Cape Road just before where the old Hunters Retreat shopping centre used to be.  Going to the Kabega dump is a treat every time.  Its anything but an ordinary dump and have been transferred into a garden and recycle centre where people also go and dump their garden waste.  The dump is actually properly managed and there is a system in place where everything that can be recycled is done so and the money made pays the managers and people working there.  Unlike most other tips where one is hassled by informal "helpers", this one is a pleasure to visit.  The cherry on top is the garden.  Everything that could remotely be recycled into garden ornaments have been done so.  Amongst it this dude taking a nap on an old camp chair while on a fishing trip.  Also see this article that appeared in the Herald on 27 February 2013.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mandela quote

One of the Mandela Quotes way markers along Route 67 on the Donkin Reserve.

There is nothing as bad as a leader making a demand which you know can never succeed
Nelson Mandela (1992)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Fugart Kite

The iconic South African playwright, Athol Fugard, has very close links to Port Elizabeth.  His famous play Master Harold and the Boys is set in St George's Park where his mother ran the St George's Park Tea Room.  An important part of the play includes a kite which the character Sam makes Hally (Fugard).  Here is my question for you today.  Have you ever noticed the kite "art piece" across the entrance to the St George's Park swimming pool where the tea room used to be?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Elands River Road sunrise

I'm a bit of a lazy bones when it gets to getting up early for sunrise.  That is one of the things I like about winter.  Sunrise is so much later.  During last weekend's Father / Son camp I took a walk out of the campsite to snap this the sunrise over the Elands River Valley.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Crawling over pipes

Geocaches aren't always easy park and grabs. 
Sometimes you have to put a little effort into getting to it

Friday, May 22, 2015

Port Elizabeth sunsets

Port Elizabeth has had a couple of absolutely stunning sunsets this week.  Yesterday local surf blogger MillersLocal posted a time lapse of Wednesday night's sunset taken from her apartment window overlooking the beachfront *seriously jealous*.  I immediately asked if I could post it as this week's Video Friday and she proceeded to also send me pictures of the sunsets earlier this week.

 Monday (18 May 2015)

Tuesday (19 May 2015)
Wednesday (19 May 2015)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Father and Son camp

Last weekend I went on a Father and Son camp organized by Chaos Boy's school with Get Real Adventures out at their venue on the Elands River Road.  What a great experience!  We were split into two teams and got to do two days of challenges and activities with our sons.  Team building at it's best.  Here a couple of us (ok, so I'm behind the camera) are having early coffee around the fire while some of the others were trying their hands at bass fishing on the next farm. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bulk River bridge

If you drive along the Elands River Road you pass over two rivers with dams visible on your left (if you are traveling westwards).  The Bulk River and Sand River dams both formed part of Port Elizabeth's early water supply and dates back to the early 1900's.  Both rivers are tributaries of the Elands River which in turn at its concourse with the Kwazunga River forms the Swartkops River.  I got to do a short kloofing expedition up the Bulk River as far as the dam (something you need a permit for so don't all rush out there now) on Saturday afternoon and how I wish I could take my camera with.  You will have to settle for a pic of the Theo Crous Bridge over the river though.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Victoria Drive sunset

After dropping Chaos Boy off at Sunday School late Sunday afternoon I decided to do a quick Geocache on Victoria Drive - on the way to Schoenies - before heading back to fetch him.  While searching the sun went down (I hate the short days of winter but love the fact that I get to take more sunset pictures) and the sky got painted in yellow, orange, pink, blue and purple.  I'm sure those Port Elizabethans who follow PEDP would agree that we have been having some stunning sunsets lately. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Late afternoon on Olifantskop

I had to drive through to Cradock for a Karoo Heartland Marketing Association meeting today and as I was heading back across the Olifantskop Pass north of Port Elizabeth the sun was starting to reach for the horizon.  I couldn't but help pulling over to enjoy the view back towards the Karoo from the top of the pass. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A braai on the banks of the Sundays River

After a hectic last two weeks I long back to the weekend we spent at Sitrusoewer on the banks of the Sundays River outside Kirkwood recently.  I know its not quite Port Elizabeth and its immediate surrounds, but it's close enough.  Aahhhh, the fire crackling and not a breeze while the sun goes down. *sigh*

Finding a nano cache in the gabions

This week's Geocaching Saturday picture is one I took a little while ago but have never posted on PEDP.  It shows the type of hide that most people love to hate.  Try finding a nano cache (a cache that is about as big as your little finger nail) in gabions. *evil laugh*  This one isn't one of mine though.  It belongs to experienced caching team Wikkelgat who probably does that evil laugh every time they hear somebody tried and failed to find this little devil.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Color Run video from last year

This weekend the Color Run is taking place in Port Elizabeth.  Unfortunately I don't have any more information to share with you about it.  Not that I couldn't go and look for the information but rather more a case of not being included in any of the media releases or invitations so I didn't go and look for it.  Last year I was invited to participate in the event as a blogger and even though it was a bit of a wet day we had a ball.  Check out my posts here and here.  It often amaze me how marketers and event organisers in Cape Town and Johannesburg make sure bloggers and social media influencers are included in their campaigns.  In Port Elizabeth unfortunately only traditional media gets recognized and included.  Why loose out on the audience bloggers and influencers can bring to the game?  Anyhow, I'm not here to moan today.  I am sharing a video I found of last year's event as this week's Friday Video.  Have a great weekend peeps and if you do participate in the Color Run, have a ball.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Boardwalk snap

It isn't always easy to maintain the daily pace of Port Elizabeth Daily Photo especially if I've been as busy as I have been the last few weeks.  I have travelled quite a lot for work and because of that I have picked up a lot of material for The Firefly Photo Files.  Unfortunately I haven't had much leisure time around PE lately which means I have well and truly ran out of pictures now.  I don't want to falter on the streak now so will have to make a plan that will keep me going until next week.  So for today I snapped this photo with my mobile while taking a quick walk to the petrol station next to the Boardwalk to grab something for lunch.  I promise by next week I'll be back in the photography swing of things... I hope. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Weekend in the Baviaanskloof

The world renown Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretches over a distance of about 200 kilometer from just west of Patensie in the Gamtoos Valley all the way to Willowmore.  Although the eastern and western points are accessible by normal car, the majority of the road is very rough and a big part can only be reached by 4x4, high clearance vehicles and motorcycles.  There is only one other way into the Baviaans and that is via a road that crosses the Kouga Mountains from Kareedouw.  It is just off this road where we spent a weekend at Baviaans Lodge recently.  The best part, we could get there in the Aveo. Keep an eye on The Firefly Photo Files for more pictures and posts coming soon. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kiplings T-bone

The most yummy T-bone and sides I've had in a long time was this one at Kiplings at the Boardwalk Hotel a couple of weeks ago. Nom nom nom...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Camping at Sitrusoewer

A couple of weekends ago we spent a long weekend camping on the banks of the Sundays River at Sitrusoewer just outside Kirkwood.  It must be one of my favorite campsites I've ever been to.  The water was literally 2 meters from the front door of our tent and we spent the whole weekend either in or on the water.  A long weekend to remember and one we would have over again and again. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Boardwalk fountains (in blue)

I'm currently in Durban at Tourism Indaba promoting the Eastern Cape, learning, observing and networking.  Unfortunately I also just realized that I have very much run out of pictures thanks to all the travelling I have been doing lately.  So I trawled through my mobile and found a couple of pics to share with you over the next few days.  The Boardwalk Fountain Spectacular has become a must see for all visitors to Port Elizabeth.  This weekend the Democratic Alliance's national conference is taking place at the Boardwalk and I thought this picture I took a couple of weeks ago is quite apt as the DA is painting the Boardwalk blue this weekend.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A very tall hotel

The Cascades Apartment building in Summerstrand always looked like a tall building...  That was till the Radisson Blu Hotel was built.  Now the Cascades look pretty tiny in comparison.  

Friday, May 8, 2015

Cruising with Raggy Charters

Raggy Charters made Port Elizabeth proud during 2014 by being announced the national winner in the Marine Adventure Category of the Lilizela Tourism Awards.  I found this video posted on YouTube two years or so ago by a visitor who went on one of their cruises to St Croix Island just to give you a bit of a taste on what to expect if you go out with Lloyd and his team.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Coega in the distance

I'm often amazed how many people have stood on the beachfront without spotting the Coega Harbour gantry cranes in the distance.  If you are one of those, I bet you will have a look next time you get down to the beach and won't miss them again.  I took the photo from Pollok Beach just in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Where did Pollok Beach get its name?

Have you ever wondered where Pollok Beach got its name from?  For a start, it is supposed to be spelled Pollok without the "c" so it definitely wasn't named after Graham Pollock.  I found the source of the name on the Millers Local blog.  Pollok Beach was named after the Pollok Hotel that used to stand where the present Summerseas is today.  The Pollok Hotel later became the old Summerstrand Hotel which was demolished and made way for Summerseas.  The original building dated back to the 1890’s, when the sand dunes were reclaimed and allocated for use of a hotel.  The hotel was built by a guy called Pollok who came from Scotland and named the hotel after himself.  So there you go, now you know.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Foofy slide to a river pool

One of the kids at Chaos Boy's birthday party foofy sliding into one of the Maitland River pools at Sleepy Hollow.  They were slightly apprehensive at first as the water looks pitch black, as most deep river pools do, but once they got going they didn't want to stop.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Unique Physique classes

About a year ago I joined a fitness class that I thought was a boot camp class.  I was so wrong.  It wasn't a hardcore boot camp class but rather an easy going fitness class.  Our instructor and personal trainer, Salif Atakora, puts us through a serious of stretches and exercises every week which has helped to get my life and fitness back on track.  The best part is that even though we work hard, it doesn't feel like we're doing anywhere close to the amount of exercise that we actually are.  Sounds interesting? Why not join us? We meet every Monday and Thursday afternoon (some call it evening already) at 17:15 at Charlo Primary School (enter from the sports field gate side). The cost? Only R150 a month.  The best part is that we are all normal people wanting a Unique Physique of our own who support each other, laugh together and have fun while exercising.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Flowers for Something Good

I went for a quick walk during lunch time the other day and couldn't resist taking a picture of the pink flowers near Something Good on the beachfront.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bird Rock

One of the natural landmarks along the Port Elizabeth beachfront is Bird Rock between Hobie Beach and Pollok Beach.  The rock is always surrounded by water making it an island of sort and got it's name from the fact that there are always a number of birds sitting on it.  Bird Rock is also home to one of the city's terrain 5 Geocaches.  One I need to go and replace as it seems to have washed off after rough seas a little while ago.  I just need time to go for a swim.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The 1968 floods video footage

The older Port Elizabeth residence all remember the 1968 flood, something that gets brought up quite often when big rains come around.  I was born nearly a decade later but have seen many pictures of it over the years.  I discovered this video on YouTube with a number of video clips of that fateful day on 1 September 1968 and just had to share it.