Monday, June 30, 2014

Walmer sunset by Shefetswe

Today's post features a photo by guest photographer Geoff Applewhite aka Shefetswe.  Geoff is one of my fellow Geocachers and went on a cache trip around town with Grannynasty and Speedbird yesterday afternoon.  While the other two were logging a cache next to the Baakens Valley in Walmer, Geoff ducked away to snap a pic of the beautiful sunset.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

Is there a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow? 
 For a few perhaps.  Not for everybody. 
But one can hope though.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Schoenmakerskop steps

The boardwalk steps at Schoenmakerskop leading down to the rocks from the Sacramento cannon

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bethelsdorp on Pasella

Bethelsdorp isn't your normal run of the mill tourist destination yet is has a number of very interesting historical attractions and Van der Kemp's Kloof Nature Reserve to show off to visitors.  Pasella visited Bethelsdorp a year or so ago and produced this insert for the show on SABC 2. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Netball stars

My KidZ are in some aspects total opposites of each other.  Chaos Boy isn't very sporty and would rather be indoors watching TV or playing games while Drama Princess is the very competitive sporty type who would rather be out Geocaching with me than to be indoors.  She's in grade 3 and this year they are playing full on netball matches for the first time at school.  Her under 9 team is undefeated halfway through the season with a couple of overwhelming wins under the belt.  A few weeks ago they played at a sports day at one of the local primary schools and won both their games.  For those who don't know what she looks like, she is the little blond running full tilt on the right hand side of the picture. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Schoenies views

Schoenmakerskop (or Schoenies) is everybody's favorite seaside "village" in Port Elizabeth.  A beautiful spot with a rugged coastline, safe swimming gullies and hiking trails plus it doesn't get anywhere as busy as the city's main beachfront.  I popped down to Schoenies to look for a newly placed Geocache and caught Drama Princess on camera while she enjoyed the views.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Scots are in town

The Scots are in town for Saturday's rugby Test match against the Springboks.  As the week goes on the atmosphere in town will build up more and more until kickoff on Saturday afternoon at 5pm.
Go Bokke!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Elephant watching

A quick trip out to Addo for a meeting meant that I only had a chance to glance an elephant at the main rest camp waterhole.  Wish there was time for a drive through the park, but I had to get back.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Boardwalk Casino

This is the 7th and final post in the Boardwalk series of the last week.  Its shows the casino building seen across the lake from the first restaurants.  The casino features 24 tables and 900 slot machines in both smoking and non-smoking facilities.  I'm not a gambling man, but I love the sound of the casino with the jackpot bells going off all around you as people try to strike it lucky.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Putt Putt gardens

One of the things I enjoyed most about a visit to Sun City in North West Province a couple of years ago was the beautiful gardens that surrounded the hotels.  The Boardwalk doesn't quite have the space to lay out such elaborate gardens and waterways, but they do have a stunning little tropical corner around the putt-putt (mini golf for those who don't know what putt-putt is) course.  Look carefully in the picture and you'll see a croc waiting for the next golfer hitting a ball towards the water *wink*

Friday, June 20, 2014

Boardwalk Hotel Lobby Lounge

This is post #5 in the Boardwalk series I'm posting this week.  I could do a whole series just on the Boardwalk Hotel and if it depended on Donna Peo of Sun International I would.  To tell the truth she's already asked and I probably will at some stage.  For the sake of this series though I'm only including one post featuring the hotel.  When you walk into most hotels you find the lobby area with a couple of seats, but at the 5 star Boardwalk Hotel you get so much more.  The hotel's lobby flows into a stylish lobby lounge.  The lobby lounge is used for so much more than just waiting for transport to the airport.  Its also ideal for short meetings, reading the newspaper and even a quick lunch after a massage in the hotel's spa. What more do you want?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Boardwalk Lake

This is post #4 in the Boardwalk series of this week.  The Boardwalk lake forms the centre of the complex with the retail, food and entertainment areas all surrounding it.  The lake is also where the Fountain Spectacular with its colourful lights and music takes place every evening.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


The Boardwalk has a wide variety of children's activities and entertainment ranging from putt-putt and go-carts to bumper boats and a game centre.  I think my favorite entertainment item, even if its just in looks, is the good ol' traditional merry-go-round.  Not just does little kids love it, it makes for great photography as well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mermaid fountain

This is post #2 in the Boardwalk series I'm posting this week.  In front of the casino entrance there is a fountain with a mermaid and two dolphins as centre piece.  I don't know why but it has fascinated me since I saw it the first time.  The fountain has also become a bit of a wishing fountain with people throwing coins in it.  Luckily there is security at the casino door 24/7 to stop the coins from disappearing.  Every couple of weeks or so the fountain is emptied and the money donated to charity.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Boardwalk

Ever since I started my new job at ECTOUR based at the Boardwalk I've wanted to take a walk around the complex to snap a few photos for a series.  I finally got around to that last week and so starts a series of eight posts today, specially for those out of town followers who's never seen the Boardwalk.  The Boardwalk is a multi purpose complex centered around the Boardwalk Casino and includes a 5 star hotel, international convention centre, restaurants, kids entertainment and a man made lake with musical fountains and lights that perform every evening.  This is the main walk in entrance from Marine Drive across the road from Hobie Beach and Shark Rock Pier.   

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Red sky at night, sailors delight

The sunset on Friday evening was a stunning one.  Not a cloud in the sky and a beautiful orange glow along the horizon.  As I was heading home I still thought how I still wished I had a good vantage point to get a nice beachfront sunset picture.  But as I just got back from East London I wanted to get home and back to the family.  About an hour later I had a look at Facebook and Millers Local, who lives on the beachfront, had the most stunning photo on a wall.  A "hint hint" later and I had permission to post it for you all to enjoy.

This picture was taken a couple of minutes later. WOW! Absolutely stunning.  Wish I had this view.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Zebra on the plains

A Burchell's Zebra standing on the Addo plains. 
Wonder what he's looking at?  A lurking lion perhaps?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Old Cars in PE on Pasella

This week's Friday video post is another from the SABC 2 program Pasella.  The insert featured Eben de Vos of the St Croix Motor Museum who showed the presenter (Dieter Voigt) three different vintage cars and took him out for a drive in them.  The insert was shot in the museum, along Marine Drive on the Wild Side, the beachfront and Route 67 on the Donkin Reserve. 
Watch it, you'll enjoy it!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Addo waterhole scene

A couple of young bulls, part of a family group, at Hapoor Waterhole in the Addo Elephant National Park.  If this doesn't want you to go to the park this weekend then I don't know what will.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flowering succulent

By now I'm sure you all know that I do Geocaching.  One of the things I like most about Geocaching is the fact that it takes one to places you may not otherwise have gone to or seen.  Things you may never have discovered.  On this occasion I was searching for a container at the top of Upper Valley Road when I came across this flowering succulent growing up against a stone.  I'm not sure what it was but it was a beautiful plant and as much as I would like to see it grow amongst my succulents at home I will never take it out in the wild.  Keeping my eyes open in the nursery though for one. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Port Elizabeth Concentration Camp Memorial

When you mention the word concentration camp most people would probably associate it with the Germans during the second World War.  Few know that concentration camps were first implemented in South Africa by the British to hold Boer women and children during the Anglo Boer War (1899 and 1902).
There were two concentrations camps in what is today Nelson Mandela Bay.  One in Uitenhage and one at Kemsley Park in Port Elizabeth.  The concentration camp in Port Elizabeth operated from December 1900 until approximately November 1902.  It held an average of 230 children and 86 women housed in corrugated iron huts encircled by a high barbed wire fence.  There was also a separate fenced camp for 32 men in tents.  There were very few deaths in this so-called "model camp" compared to the the thousands that died in the other camps.  Only 12 deaths were recorded over the period it was in existence.  This camp housed mainly Boers from the Free State from Jagersfontein and Fauresmith, among them General, and later Prime Minister, JBM Hertzog 's mother, wife, three sisters in-law and their children.  The camp was closed in November 1902, and subsequently a monument was erected at the Kemsely Park site.  A monument and plaque at North End Cemetery has the names of the 14 people who died in the camp on it.

Regular PE Daily Photo follower Roche' Peterson commented the following since I posted this.  Please feel free to drop him an e-mail if you would like to have more information.

The PE concentration camp was the first to be erected in the War. This was not the only place where 'foreigners' were houses in the city though. Refugees - Anglophiles fleeing the Rand - were also housed at the old Fairview racecourse, now the site of Greenacres, and a camp for single men was set up in Prince Alfred's Park, now the site of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Uitenhage camp was erected in April 1902 to alleviate the concentration camp crisis based on the recommendations of Emily Hobhouse and implemented by the Fawcett Commission.

It is sad that we as humans seem to revel in misfortune, and heavily popularise the high mortality rates of other camps such as Bethulie and Springfontein, but so easily forget that in many other camps the death toll was much lower. In Uitenhage only 9 lives were lost, and in PE only 14. These cases were 90% of the times of natural causes, and our two camps are truly stories of hope.

If anyone would like more information on both camps ( and I'm sure Firefly will permit me to share it) please email me on roche(at)hunkydory(dot)co(dot)za

Monday, June 9, 2014

Looking down the railway bridge

Standing in the middle of the Van Stadens Narrow Gauge Railway Bridge I snapped this picture looking down through a gap in the bridge

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Addo's Flightless Dungbeetle

The flightless dung beetle used to be found widespread in Southern Africa but these days is classified as a vulnerable species and only found in Addo Elephant National Park and a couple of other isolated spots.  The beetle is strictly dependent on a number of vertebrates (particularly elephant and buffalo) and when these animals were shot out at the end of the 1800's and beginning 1900's the poor dung beetle population took a huge knock.  These days things are slowly getting better and better for them with the increase and spreading of the elephant population in Addo and the surrounding reserves.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cape Weaver in Addo

I got to lend somebody's camera on a trip to Addo a little while back.  I love my camera but having a DSLR in my hand with a proper zoom lens was awesome and it allowed me to snap this Cape Weaver without any blur and a nice DOF.  Oh how I wish I had a DSLR to take pics like this all the time. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Uitenhage on Pasella

Uitenhage isn't really seen as a tourist destination yet it has a couple of fantastic attractions like the VW AutoPavilion, VW factory tour, Hinterveld Mohair Mill Tour, the NMB Science and Technology Centre, the Uitenhage Museums and a number of monuments and memorials.  Last year SABC 2 program Pasella visited Uitenhage and did this insert on the town.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Malachite Sunbird

People underestimate the Port Elizabeth area as a bird watching destination.  One example of excellent bird watching around the city is Addo Elephant National Park boats with over 450 different bird species making it not just great for elephant and game watching, but also for our feathered friends.  I caught this pic of a Malachite Sunbird on a game drive in the park a little while back.
The adult male is metallic green when breeding, with blackish-green wings.  In non-breeding plumage, the male's upperparts are brown apart from the green wings and tail, the latter retaining the elongated feathers.  The female has brown upperparts and dull yellow underparts with some indistinct streaking on the breast.  The Malachite Sunbird is found in South Africa in hilly fynbos (including protea stands as well as areas with aloes) and cool montane and coastal scrub, up to 2,800m altitude.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Miniature train station

The Eastern Cape has many abandoned train stations that hasn't seen any trains in many years.  The miniature train station in Londt Park isn't quite one of them.  The station lays quiet for 30 days at a time but on the first Sunday of every month it becomes a hub of activity with families coming to ride the miniature trains for a morning of fun and nostalgia.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Meet the Amsterdam

The Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld has an excellent exhibit of artifacts and pieces from the Dutch ship Amsterdam that ran aground close to the mouth of the Swartkops River in 1817.  The ship, captained by Hermanus Hofmeijer, hit a fierce storm in 1817 with the wind ripping apart the sails and snapping the masts.  After eleven hours of fighting to keep her afloat the battle was lost and the captain decided to run her aground between the Zwartkops and Coega rivers.  Only three of the 223 men aboard were lost.  At that stage Port Elizabeth didn't exist as a town yet and only consisted of a fort and garrison so the crew were taken to Uitenhage before sailing back to the Netherlands a month later.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Flamingo take-off

The Flamingo Trail in the Zwartkops Nature Reserve is ideal to get a little bit closer to birds after which the trail was name.  I don't know why but I am always amazed to see the flamingos on the estuary.  Not sure why cause its not like I've never seen them there before.  On a walk along the trail these flamingos decided to take off as we passed and I got a couple of shots of them "walking on water".

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Van Stadens protea

The Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve just west of Port Elizabeth is probably the best spot around the city to see a wide range of protea species grow in the wild.  The reserve offers visitors two different trail options with a couple of stunning view sights over the Van Stadens gorge.  South Africa's national flower, the King Protea, is amongst the flowers that can be seen in the reserve.