An enchanting meander along Retha’s Trail, Schoenmakerskop.

An enchanting meander along Retha’s Trail, Schoenmakerskop.

Two years ago I photographed Retha’s Trail and intended sharing but kept on forgetting. The title of the post then was “Retha’s Trail, the best kept secret in Port Elizabeth.” I can no longer use this title,  the secret is out, many people have since been visiting the trail and talking about the trail.

Schoenmakerskop resident Retha, created and developed the path with a chain saw and a few helpers, a path was cut behind some of the houses and she’s filled it with eclectic findings to create a lovely distraction for walkers. I’ve had great intentions of arranging a meeting with Retha but have still not arranged it. A few months back Luc Hosten, a Schoenmakerskop local and  photographer supreme, reminded us of Retha’s Trail when sharing his beautiful photographs of the trail. With his permission we are sharing his photograph of Retha. For more on Luc’s fine work and all of his information, please visit:

http://www.luchosten.co.za/ 

Take a meander through Luc’s gallery of superb photography:-

https://www.facebook.com/Luc-Hosten-Photography-and-Feature-Writing-1568687746714230/

A little later Jonker Fourie beat me to it with publishing his post on Retha’s Trail! Jonker is also known as Firefly the Travel Guy, he has a photographic blog guide to “beautiful SA, its travel destinations, animals, bugs, birds, plants, flowers, history and culture plus some other stuff.  A reference guide to (not quite, but nearly) everything South African”

Here’s an excerpt from his blogpost on Retha’s Trail:-

“One of Port Elizabeth’s little gems that very few people seem to know of is Retha’s Trail in Schoenmakerskop.  Retha’s Trail stretches behind the houses (from #24 to #40) in Schoenies on Marine Drive between  and can be accessed between numbers 22 and 24.  The trail is always open and was created by local resident Retha Taylor along with a couple of workers.  The trail starts by the labyrinth on the eastern side and is more about what you’ll find along the way than the trail itself as it’s not really a hiking trail in the sense of the word due to its length.  Or in this case “shortness”.  Along the way there are literally hundreds of items that act as conversation pieces, some representing something significant in people’s lives and others just because.  Or as we say in Afrikaans, “Sommer maar net.”  Next time you’re in the area do drop by as I promise you you will love it.”

https://portelizabethdailyphoto.blogspot.co.za/2017/08/rethas-trail-in-schoenies.html

 

At long last old slow coach here has managed to hit the ‘publish’ button on this post, I do hope that you enjoy browsing my small collection of sights along the quaint Retha’s Trail at Schoenmakerskop, Port Elizabeth.

retha taylor, photo by Luc Hosten

Retha Taylor, photo by Luc Hosten

retha's trail, schoenmakerskop, port elizabeth

Retha’s Trail, Schoenmakerskop, Port Elizabeth

retha's trail made with love

Retha’s Trail made with love

only mugs, no coffee availble!

Only mugs, no coffee available!

a section of retha's trail

A section of Retha’s Trail

collections, bright, bold, beautiful

Collections, bright, bold, beautiful

Find your way from retha's trail to dempsey's guest house

Find your way from Retha’s Trail to Dempsey’s Guest House

love spot

Love spot

 

A refreshing new bee experience awaits you in Port Elizabeth.

A refreshing new bee experience awaits you in Port Elizabeth.

Anje Rautenbach is a local travel addict “Going Somewhere Slowly” and enjoys the world in slow motion. She’s in love with good coffee, obsessed with beautiful words and getting lost; she explores places off the beaten path. Here she shares her experience of a bee tour at the newly opened  Apiarist Farm Shoppe.

Dempsey’s Guest House wishes the Rautenbachs great success in their exciting new venture!

Bee here, Bee there, Bee Tour in Port Elizabeth

Dempsey’s Guest House is a bee-friendly one. We shared this awhile back:-

http://dempseys.co.za/bee-friendly-at-dempseys-guest-house/

 

 

Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabeth, a beach of note.

Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabeth, a beach of note.

sardinia bay, port elizabeth, eastern cape, sa

Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, SA

nature at her best

Nature at her best

the sand dune climb is worth the view from the top

The sand dune climb is worth the view from the top

a delight to watch horses take command of the beach

A delight to watch horses take command of the beach

a day for a daydream: 19 nov. 2017

A day for a daydream: 19 Nov. 2017

sardinia bay, nelson mandela bay metro, eastern cape

Sardinia Bay, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Eastern Cape

Discover South Africa – with Google Street View & Drive South Africa

Discover South Africa – with Google Street View & Drive South Africa

Early this month Google said: “The new trails, launched today, extend the existing Street View imagery of South Africa’s wilderness areas to include all 19 national parks, 17 previously ‘un-trekked’ nature reserves and many sites of natural, cultural and historical significance in all nine provinces of South Africa”.

Together South Africans put South Africa on Google Street View.

No words from us, see it all here:-

 

Bee friendly at Dempsey’s Guest House.

Bee friendly at Dempsey’s Guest House.


On a few occasions over the years bees have moved into our irrigation system at Dempsey’s Guest House, not without drama. The recent safe removal of them ended with the beekeeper offering to place a bee hive in our garden. We hope this will become their new home and working place and that the irrigation system might have a chance to work again once the drought has broken.

Previous posts of ours which are environment-related:-

Environmentally conscious at Dempsey’s.

Been ‘going green’ for years at Dempsey’s Guest House, Port Elizabeth.

Dempsey’s is proud to be associated with Greencycle.

 

Adventurer Zakie completes her solo SA coastline walk.

Adventurer Zakie completes her solo SA coastline walk.

We are rather late with this news but it’s still worth sharing. Adventurer Zakie Odendaal, who started her solo SA coastline journey on the 20th September 2016, ended it with aplomb at Ponte do Ouro, Mozambique on the 10th June 2017.  Her parents drove more then 1800km to congratulate her and to walk the last 6km with her. They shared a lovely brunch in Ponte do Ouro and that night their celebrations continued around a traditional South African braai. Congratulations Zakie on your incredible journey!

Zakie’s adventures continue, she has already completed day 2 of her 7 day journey across Swaziland with Keegan Longuiera They’re on a budget of R10-00 per day! We look forward to seeing their photographs and hearing their stories.

 

 

Port Elizabeth listed in top 6 spectacular scuba dive sites.

Port Elizabeth listed in top 6 spectacular scuba dive sites.

Port Elizabeth is one of the top six spectacular scuba dive sites in South Africa and Mozambique.

According to whom we ask?
According to Fiona McIntosh.
Who is she you might ask?
Fiona McIntosh is an Olympian, a hiker and an author, she contributes to the SA Country Life magazine, she is one of South Africa’s great adventurers and lovers of the great outdoors, having skied to the north and south pole, climbed the highest peaks, dived to the depths and kayaked raging rivers.

In the June 2017 issue of SA Contry Life magazine, in her article titled “What Lies Beneath’ she lists her top six spectacular scuba dives sites in South Africa and Mozambique.

How does this interest us?
Fiona lists Port Elizabeth in her top six spectacular scuba dive sites, shining the spotlight directly onto our “Algoa Bay Hope Spot”

In her article Fiona shares the following points on scuba diving in Port Elizabeth:-

  • Port Elizabeth’s underwater world is remarkable.
  • There is incredibly diverse diving in the sheltered Algoa Bay and on more exposed reefs outside.
  • It’s a macro photographer’s dream.
  • The reefs are covered with neon pink sponges, red sea fans and vivid blue sea squirts.
  • Top sites are Bell Buoy Reef and Riy Banks.
  • Visit Port Elizabeth now in late June, early July to catch the Sardine Run or late October, November for diving the chokka egg beds; a unique chilly experience that every exploratory diver should try.

What’s Fiona’s motto in life?
“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

Thank you to Fiona McIntosh and SA Country Life Magazine for continuing to highlight the magnificent splendour of the natural wonders in and around Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, Algoa Bay.

Natural wonders:-

ALGOA BAY HOPE SPOT:- Algoa Bay is one of the largest bays in South Africa. At the conjuncture of two oceanic systems; the Cape Agulhas and the upwelling current of the Benguela, Algoa Bay presents climate and oceanic conditions favourable for species from two different ecosystems. The islands located within this bay are the eastern most islands of South Africa, representing the last territory accessible by the large numbers of endemic species of the Benguela Upwelling system, one of the richest systems on earth.

What is a Hope Spot? a special conservation area that is critical to the health of the ocean.

http://www.raggycharters.co.za/news/bottlenose_dolphin_capital_world

https://www.samrec.org.za/      Now called SANCOB

http://dempseys.co.za/sa-country-life-featuring-raggy-charters-and-pe-bottlenose-dolphin-capital-of-the-world/

 

wat lies beneath agoa by, prt eizabeth

What lies beneath Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth

sa country life june 2017

SA Country Life June 2017

 

Adventurer Zakie Odendaal rests her weary feet at Dempsey’s Guest House.

Adventurer Zakie Odendaal rests her weary feet at Dempsey’s Guest House.

This brave warrior woman, adventurer Zakie Odendaal, arrived on our driveway recently to put her feet up at Dempsey’s Guest House and to recharge her battery for the next leg of her solo walk along the SA Coastline. YES, she is walking the entire South African coastline on her own, along the beaches and as close to the coastline as possible. She started her journey at Alexander Bay in September 2016 and her goal is to reach Kosi Bay, northern most part of KwaZulu-Natal, by June 2017. She is already ahead of schedule! Travelling with a tent, some good walking sticks and a few supplies, her backpack is lead-like. She trudges 7kms per hour, averaging 50kms per day.

Zakie is a freelance photographer who has had this dream for many years to walk the SA coastline, a tough personal challenge, unaided and without sponsorships. Along this walk she has given deep thought to future walks and adventures, she is considering future sponsorships so that she can raise funds to assist projects to empower and improve the lives of poverty-stricken children.

We asked her what the highlights have been along this walk so far. “The kindness of people” she replied with a beaming smile “along with magnificent nature surrounding me at every step and turn.”

And your lowlights Zakie? Without hesitation she answered: “That would definitely be negative people!”

We wished her well and dropped her off at Bluewater Bay Beach. She was quick to start walking and we watched as she powered on into the pumping east wind. Within minutes she was a mere dot on the horizon, heading for Sunday’s River and later the dunefields of Alexandria, the largest dunefields in the southern hemisphere. Our wish for you Zakie as you close in on your challenge is firm sand for solid footing, mild beautiful weather and the continued kindness of people.

Follow Zakie and her adventures on Facebook and Twitter:-

Facebook:- https://www.facebook.com/Zakie-Odendaal-Adventurer-1650708985257756/

Twitter handle:- @OdendaalZakie

We have a dream…to be passengers in a helicopter flying over the SA Coastline. A couple of months would do it. Just saying, in case a mad helicopter pilot and a crazy photographer with generous sponsors… are listening:)

zakie ready for east coast trek

Zakie ready for east coast trek

 

quick comfort check and she's off

Quick comfort check and she’s off

 

bluewater bay start

Bluewater Bay start

 

typical dramatic landscape of sa coastline

Typical dramatic landscape of SA coastline

 

adventurer zakie odendaal solo walk sa coastline

Adventurer Zakie Odendaal, solo walk SA Coastline

 

ready, set, go

Ready, set, go

 

zakie soaking in the beauty of the sa coastline

Zakie soaking in the beauty of the SA coastline

 

zakie's night space-tight

Zakie’s night space-tight

SA Country Life featuring Raggy Charters and PE Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World.

SA Country Life featuring Raggy Charters and PE Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World.

Turn to page 36 of the December 2016 issue of SA Country Life magazine to find Keri Harvey’s article on Port Elizabeth, the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World. She takes an exciting trip with skipper Lloyd Edwards, of Raggy Charters to St. Croix Island in Algoa Bay, to do some whale and dolphin-watching. Thank you to SA Country Life for highlighting our bay and all the natural treasures within it.

Previous posts of ours on Raggy Charters and bottlenose dolphins:-

http://dempseys.co.za/the-bottlenose-dolphin-reigns-in-algoa-bay/        http://dempseys.co.za/three-in-one-new-tour-from-raggy-charters-port-Elizabeth/

Port Elizabeth features again in S.A. Country Life mag.

port elizabeth, the bottlenose dolphin capital of the world

Port Elizabeth, the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World

lloyd edwards of raggy charters, pe

Lloyd Edwards of Raggy Charters, PE

south african country life magazine december 2016

South African Country Life Magazine December 2016

Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s deck!

Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s deck!

We often spot these beautiful Knysna Turacos flitting from branch to branch, tree to tree in the distance, seldom near and seldom stopping long enough for us to really see them clearly, let alone to capture them on camera. They tend to be shy and skittish. Recently we heard a strange sounding thud on our deck; to our amazement it was a Knysna Turaco that had made a crash landing on our deck and was gingerly negotiating its steps on the coffee table. We observed in disbelief. It stayed a long while and then moved to the top of the couch, a few seconds later it moved into a tree very close by where it stayed for an unusually long time. We managed to take a few photographs of this unusual visitor to our deck. When the bird is in flight, the flash of crimson under those wings will take your breath away. Oh to be in the right place at the right time to capture that sight on camera.

safely in a tree at a distance from us

Safely in a tree at a distance from us

Gentle negotiation of knysna turaco

Gentle negotiation of Knysna Turaco

pretty painted face of turaco

Pretty painted face of Turaco