Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas selfie

This year rather than posting a Christmas tree or Christmas scene I decided to post a Christmas selfie.  Ok, so I admit it's both a tree and a scene, but it is a selfie after all.  

I would like to wish all my Christian friends and family as well as all my blog and social media followers a Merry Christmas.  Hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Boardwalk sunset

Last week I got to attend the opening of the Le Vino Wine and Tapas Bar at the Boardwalk complex in Port Elizabeth.  The restaurant has an upstairs area with a balcony overlooking the Boardwalk lake and it was here we were toasting the end of another beautiful day in the Bay while the sun was going down.  The sky was stunning and this is exactly why I always like to have my camera with me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A walk along the beach in Jeffrey's Bay

What good is a morning meeting in Jeffrey's Bay with perfect early summer weather if one can't leave a little earlier and go for a walk on the beach? Yeh, says me too.  Early morning and not a breath of air in Port Elizabeth so I took a chance and left just after 7am to give myself a bit of time for a walk along the beach at Kabeljous.

The tide was low and water was flowing out of the lagoon through the Kabeljous River mouth.  The stream flowed quite strong but I noticed others crossing through where the river and sea met.  I tried it and found that it was no deeper than my knee.  The walk was on.

The Kabeljous Lagoon, not quite as full at low tide, with the Jeffrey's Bay wind farm in the distance.

On the far side of the lagoon where the dunes start I found this pyramid of stones.  Curiosity got the better of me, it usually does, and I decided to investigate.

A lot of the rocks were painted and has beautiful messages, some actually very inspirational, written on them.  It makes one even more curious about who placed it there.  My guess, either the local school or youth groups that often have weekend camps in the town.

The view over the Kabeljous Valley from the top of the sand dune...

... and looking back towards Jeffrey's Bay.

I always urge people to not just look for the big stuff but also the little things as well.  There is often as much, if not more, beauty in the little things than the big stuff.

Plough snail trails

Now you tell me you wouldn't want to do this on a warm windless morning.  I wonder when my next meeting in Jbay is...

Monday, December 7, 2015

The abandoned Carlisle Bridge cricket field

No exploration expedition has ever ended in failure.  Well perhaps some have.  One or two may have run out of water trying to find a way out the desert, the odd expedition may have lost boat and crew on uncharted seas and at least one was never seen again after getting lost in the Amazon.  Detouring from Port Elizabeth via Grahamstown onto the R350 to Bedford, I wasn't really expecting to see much en route other than passing over the Great Fish River and the few caches lying in wait along the way.  So did I find anything really interesting? I think so although others may feel differently.  What? An abandoned cricket field.

Cricket was brought to South Africa by the British in the start of the 1800's and entrenched in the Eastern Cape after the arrival of the 1820 British Settlers.  The Settlers' decedents started cricket clubs in all the small Frontier Country towns and many of them still have the game played there.

The cricket club at Carlisle Bridge unfortunately is no more.  As game farming in the Eastern Cape increase it leaves less people in the districts to play cricket.  This is particularly the case at clubs away from the towns where it becomes very tough to keep numbers up.  Carlisle Bridge unfortunately falls in that category.  The club stopped playing cricket around 2003 and it didn't take long for the ground and buildings to start falling apart.

Although I passed through on a coolish early summers morning, it is said that Carlisle Bridge was the hottest place in the district to play cricket.  There is even the story of the local farmer who went to hell and on arrival asked the devil for a blanket.  He told the devil, "This place isn't hot.  Try playing cricket at Carlisle Bridge in February."

By the way, I couldn't find the Geocache at Carlisle Bridge.  Finding the abandoned cricket field was a great consolation prize though.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Carlisle Bridge and the Fish River

Road tripping means discovering new places, often places you will never see otherwise.  This was once again the case when I had to drive to Bedford for a meeting and decided to take the scenic route via Grahamstown.  About halfway between the two towns I passed over the mighty Fish River and pulled over to have a closer look.

This spot really is in the middle of nowhere with not much to see yet beautiful in it's own way.

The original bridge was built in 1863 but washed away soon after in 1874.  Two years later a steel bridge was built on the same spot and this one stuck around a little longer but was once again destroyed in a flood in 1932.  The current bridge was built in 1933.  The plaque doesn't say who the bridge was named after, but according to the South Africa Heritage Online website it was probably named after John Carlisle who, in 1822, led a party of thirteen settlers from Staffordshire to settle in the area.
Just something I left out in the intro.  Discovering places like this isn't just about road tripping.  It's stopping along the way and not just rushing to your destination.