Friday, June 30, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Paddle skiers off the pier

I've always wanted to try paddle skiing but just never had the chance.  Very much like surfing actually.  Something I really need to try.  But back to paddle skiing.  On Sunday while standing on the pier, in perfect conditions, no wind, flat seas and clear waters, three paddle skiers came padding past below.  Looked blissful. All the needed was a pod of dolphins to surround them.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The King Edward Hotel by the Donkin Reserve

My fondest memory of the Edward Hotel was having our matric farewell dance in the back hall.  And eating there a couple of times.  The hotel has been closed for a number of years now and have undergone a revamp and upgrade with plans to reopen later this year.  Since the announcement the management group has pulled out again and we're yet to hear what will happen next.  But regardless of what is going on behind the scenes, the majestic old gent still stands overlooking the Donkin Reserve.

The King Edward's Mansions was built in 1903 by Rochelle & Smith and was owned by Palace Buildings, Ltd. in the early days.  There were 120 bedrooms and sitting rooms and while the ground floor contained suites for doctors and dentists as well as restaurant.  The hotel was first called the King Edward's Mansions, later the King Edward Hotel and Edward Hotel.  Now i's back to King Edward Hotel.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Celebrating 3000 posts on Port Elizabeth Daily Photo

Today is a milestone day for me here on Port Elizabeth Daily Photo.  This day marks the 3000th post I've done on this here blog.  When I started blogging on Firefly the Travel Guy (then known as The Firefly Photo Files) on 9 July 2008 I did so because I wanted to share with people the places around me.  At the time I was a staunch follower of Port Elizabeth Daily Photo while Sue and Max Hoppe (then known online as SAM) was doing it and I really wanted to do what they were doing and achieving with their blog.  Then the day came where I received an email from Sue asking me if I would be interested in adopting their baby.  They were closing in on 500 posts and felt that it was time to hand it over to somebody else.  I said yes without a second thought and did my first post (post #501) on 15 March 2009.  I know I've missed a couple of posts due to work / no internet / laptop problems, but I have persisted with Port Elizabeth Daily Photo for over 8 years making today my 3000th posts (and a PEDP post total of 3500 posts).  Add to that the 1790 posts I've done on Firefly the Travel Guy and it means I'm closing in on 5000 blog posts.  

I have to be very honest with you today though.  Doing Port Elizabeth Daily Photo isn't easy.  Between work and family responsibilities there often isn't much time to blog or even just to go and take photos.  Building an audience is hard work and then to keep them interested even harder.  This job is made even tougher these days by the amount of people who just post their photos on Port Elizabeth Facebook groups where the audience already exists and that means that audience don't really need to visit PE Daily Photo for a photo fix.  What does count in the blog's favour is the fact that a photo post on social media is fairly fleeting while the photos as well as the info I post along with it on the blog get's referenced by Google.  That definitely is the reason I haven't just moved PE Daily Photo from a blog to a Facebook page.  Something that also counts against PEDP though is that I don't have the money to buy a drone while those who do have drones and are able to show very different angles and videos from what I can get a lot of shares and comments on social media.  I, on the best of days, still struggle to be recognised as a blogger here in Port Elizabeth.  Go figure.  

This all means that there is honestly not a day that goes by where I don't think about giving blogging on PE Daily Photo up.  Is it worth my while?  Is it worth all the effort?  But then I attend an event and somebody realises that I am Firefly and they get all excited about the fact that they follow one or both of my blogs.  Or I receive an email or comment on social media from somebody who has discovered something new, was reminded of a childhood memory because of something I photographed or wrote or just enjoy my posts.  I may not make money from blogging, but those are the things that make it worth it for me. 

Is Port Elizabeth Daily Photo going to continue?  Definitely.  Am I going to continue thinking about calling it quits?  Definitely as well, but that day hasn't arrived yet.  I do think that at some stage in the near future I may stop posting every day and cut back to four or five posts a week to make it more manageable, but PE Daily Photo will continue on.

Thank you all for enjoying PE Daily Photo, for coming back every day to see what I'm posting and for all the support.  I am doing it for you and as long as you are enjoying it, I will continue.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Shark Rock Pier on a Sunday afternoon

Yesterday afternoon I found myself on the beach without my camera.  Perfect weather, emerald green great visibility ocean, clear air... What more could a guy ask for other than to have your camera.  Luckily I had my phone and I perched myself on a rock next to the pier for a picture.  Seconds later that little wave came and submerged my rock, soaking my shoes and tracksuit pants.  Didn't mind though. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Enjoying the view from the pier

We headed down to the beachfront this afternoon to pop in at the Homemakers Expo at the Boardwalk and afterwards went for a walk along the pier to enjoy the glorious winters weather.  Standing out on the pier I realised how long its been since we've done this as a family.  Have you been to the beachfront for a walk lately?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sand Sledding at Sundays River Mouth video

The guys from Chasing the Rainbow went cruising on the Sundays River Ferry and topped off the trip sand sledding on the Colchester dunes near the river mouth with Captain Les.  Check the video they made doing this awesome activity right here on our doorstep. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

History on the mind

Port Elizabeth is really fortunate to have a lot of different cultures and heritages come together here over the years and if you have history on your mind, then it's just the place to be.  In this case the Donkin Street Houses behind one of the Route 72 Voting Line figures.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Schoenies Centenary Garden

Last year (2016) saw Schoenmakerskop, or as we refer to it, Schoenies, celebrate its centenary year.  As part of the celebrations a Centenary Garden has been established in front of the Sacramento Restaurant.

The plaque in front of the garden says: 
"There's not 
a day when I don't 
think about 
how privileged 
I am to 
live here
1916 - 2016

Monday, June 19, 2017

Indian memorial at the Donkin Reserve

I was taking a couple of pictures on the Donkin Reserve the other day and noticed this plaque on the stone wall by the Great Flag.  I don't know if it is a recent addition or if I've just never noticed it.  Weird, but anyways.  The plaque marks the 150th anniversary (as on 16 November 2010) of the arrival of the first group of Indians to South Africa as indentured labourers.  Although the arrival was in Natal and not Port Elizabeth, the plaque was probably put up by the Port Elizabeth Indian community.  Worth a bit further investigation me thinks...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The top of the beachfront

Most people go to Kings, Humewood, Hobie and Pollok Beaches when they go to the beachfront but very rarely go right to the top of Pollok Beach just below the Lollipop Beacon.  That is unless you participat in the Hoby Beach Parkrun every week.  This picture was taken right at the top of the Pollok Beach at one of the storm water pipes flowing out onto the beach.  The tall building in picture is the Radison Hotel.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Peaceful beachfront

Amid days with strong winds, lots of fires in Thornhill and Knysna, storms in the Cape, KidZ writing exams, me finally starting to catch up on work and whatever else, we've had a few nice evenings and after working a little late one afternoon I stopped on the beachfront to get some sunset photos.  Standing below Brookes-on-the-Bay looking back towards Shark Rock Pier in the distance this was the scene I saw.  In the low light it just felt peaceful.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Celebrating Youth Day

Youth Day is celebrated in South Africa on 16 June.  It commemorates the Soweto uprising of 1976 which took place in response to multiple issues with the Bantu Education Act and the government edict in 1974 that Afrikaans be used as medium of instruction for certain subjects in black schools.  Police opened fire on the protesting students and it was then when photographer Sam Nzima took the iconic picture of the dying 12 year old Hector Pieterson being carried away by another student while his sister ran next to them.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Country in the city on Route 67

A hint of country in the city - tufts of grass on the Donkin Reserve with a windpomp figure forming part of Route 67 in the background

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

PE's Airforce Museum deserves to be discovered

I am often amazed at how many people didn't know that Port Elizabeth has a South African Airforce Museum.  Located behind the airport in a restored World War II hanger, the museum has a great collection of planes, choppers, equipment, uniforms, models and other paraphernalia.  It's easy to get to, just follow  Forrest Hill Drive through Forrest Hill and around to the back of the airport.  The museum will interest both young and old and is absolutely free with a donation box at the door.  AND they are open on Saturdays. Bonus!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Happy Valley figures

I took a walk up Happy Valley last week while I was doing a recce for an Amazing Race I organised.  Early morning and with no wind walking there was absolute bliss.  Not a soul in sight, birds chirping and the cool air on my face. What a spot and so under-utilised.  The lawns were cut, gardens mostly well looked after and the pathways cleaned.  A little maintenance is needed on two or three of the figures and some of the railings next to the Shark River but otherwise Happy Valley is still as beautiful as always and crying out to be enjoyed.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Port Elizabeth's Shark River

Did you know that the little stream that flows through Happy Valley is called the Shark River?  The river valley actually extends up through the old Boet Erasmus Stadium and Forest Hill.  Back in the early days of Port Elizabeth the Shark River was one of the town's water sources with the Frames Reservoir being built in 1864 (and still there today).  The Shark River has never been a big river and unless there was rain it usually just kinda sunk away into the sand on the beach.  Thus the Dutch referred to it as the Sak River (sak meaning to sink away).  The English misunderstood what the Dutch were saying and started talking of the Shark River, hence the name.  A bit lost in translation.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Baby penguins in ICU

While scouting spots as stops for Miggie's Amazing Race for this past Saturday I popped into SAMREC.  I haven't been for a while and had a quick walk around the centre with Keith, one of the guides.  He told me they had a lot of babies in at the moment and I got to peek into the hospital section.  They were lying around and for a moment I thought they were really sick until Keith told me they just ate and were sleeping.  "Magies vol, ogies toe."  As I couldn't go and to get a closeup pic I just stuck my arm in and snapped this photo with my phone.  I'll drop by again soon to see how they are doing.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The girl on the dolphin

Perhaps an easy question for some and slightly more difficult for others.  
Where in Port Elizabeth would you find this figure of a girl riding a dolphin?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

An Aloe overlooking the Baakens Valley

I was out on a recce at lunch time today for this Saturday's Amazing Race I'm organising and ended up looking down the Baakens Valley from the Walmer side.  For those who aren't sure where this is, that is Upper Valley Road leading down towards Bridge Street with the harbour giraffes in the background.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I got to visit Hole in the Wall

Regular follower of PE Daily Photo may have noticed (or at least I hope you noticed) that I have been MIA for two days.  I had to "pop" up to Coffee Bay for the quarterly Wild Coast Holiday Association meeting and struggled with my internet connection while there so couldn't post.  I'll catch up on all the missed day soon, but for now here is the proof that I got to visit Hole in the Wall for the first time.  Wow, what a beautiful spot.  Keep an eye on Firefly the Travel Guy for a couple more photos soon.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The view from Lady Slipper

We all know Lady Slipper.  When you head west out of Port Elizabeth (or vice versa) on the N2 you drive right past it.  But have you ever been on top of the mountain.  The easiest way up is by following the road up to the towers from the back of the mountain and this is the view awaiting you from just below the Telkom tower at the top.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Tsitsikamma, the gateway to the Garden Route

The Tsitsikamma truly is a special place.  This breathtaking stretch of the Garden Route is where mountains, indigenous forests, deep gorges and lush vegetation skirt the rugged coastline of cliffs and sandy beaches. The area has an abundance of indigenous flora – ancient yellowwood trees and magnificent fynbos plants – as well as birdlife.  For the adventurous there are various activities catering for everybody from heart stopping adrenaline filled adventure to relaxed soft adventures.  Hope you enjoy this destination video of the Tsitsikamma Tourism Association.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sunset over Port Elizabeth

Yesterday afternoon I worked a little later than usual and as I left the office the sun was starting to head for the horizon.  I stopped across the road from Bayworld and grabbed my camera.  Those photos are still there... on my camera, but I did snap one with my phone as well.   We've been very fortunate to have a few stunning sunsets the last few days.