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

Have you booked your bed with us for The Train Race?

An opportunity to race the train.

Where? Port Elizabeth Railway Station

When? 2nd October 2016 at 9am

Where to stay? Dempsey’s Guest House, 3.4kms to the station

For the rest, visit: www.trainrace.co.za

 

 

The Hussar Grill has moved into our neighbourhood.

The Hussar Grill has moved into our neighbourhood.

In their own words:- “Where every meal is a master class”
And from their website:- “The Hussar Grill is proud to be celebrating 50 years of award-winning excellence and we are ready for another exciting milestone. The Hussar Grill welcomes you into the world of one of South Africa’s premier grill rooms – perfectly aged succulent steaks, delectable house specialities and an amazing award-winning wine selection… or you can bring your own favourite wine, at no charge!”
Cheers and good business to you, the new restaurant family, taking over from where Joel left off. May the passion for food, the love of people and the caring of the gracious old property continue.

Address: 50 6th Avenue, Walmer, Port Elizabeth ( that’s only 500m from us at Dempsey’s)

Tel:-041 581 1734

Trading Hours:-

Monday – Friday  12:00-22:00
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 – 22:00

Booking Policy:-

Monday – Friday 12:00-22:00
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 – 22:00

Web: www.hussargrill.co.za
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Hussar-Grill-Walmer-Port-Elizabeth/

066 064061

 

Have you booked your bed with us for The Urban Run?

Tackle the city for charity at The Urban Run on the Donkin Reserve.

Where? Nelson Mandela Bay, that’s Port Elizabeth too.

When? 10th & 11th September 2016

Where to stay? Dempsey’s Guest House, 3.8kms to the Donkin

For the rest, visit: www.urbanrun.co.za

 

 

 

Remembering Madiba’s shirt.

Remembering Madiba’s shirt.

It is common for people to hold onto items of clothing of loved ones who have passed. In Port Elizabeth, art students at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University have taken this a step further by creating and erecting their own version of that special piece of clothing that will be a permanent reminder of our beloved Nelson Mandela. Their sculpture is called “The Madiba Shirt” and is comfortably perched in the Beyers Naudé Garden of Contemplation at the university. The sculpture is intended to be a constant and inspirational reminder of the values of NMMU and Madiba. The Madiba Shirt is the first phase of a public art project at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The metal frame of the Madiba Shirt has an intricate wirework that suspends individually made ceramic tiles. Letters on the the tiles spell words: ubuntu, unity, diversity, integrity, excellence. Shirt dimensions:- 3m height, 2.2m width and 1.4m depth.

A large shirt for a large man.

The sculpture was conceived by artists Mary Duker and Bianca Whitehead of the Art department of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University with the support from NMMU Arts and Culture.  Jonathan van der Walt managed the design, production and installation of the aluminium wire element of the project. The frame was constructed by Roland Luders and his team at R & R Aesthetics, Bianca Whitehead and the ceramic students made and installed the ceramics, The Wire Team consisted of Amos Ragophala, Michelle D’Urbano, Isso Jafta, Sarel Venter and Jonathan van der Walt.  The sculpture was unveiled in October 2015.      Info taken from:-https://www.facebook.com/jonathanvdwaltartist/

The Madiba Shirt Story:-

The Madiba Shirt was a creation for Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. In 1994, the designer Desre Buirski gave a gift of a hand-printed batik shirt to Nelson Mandela’s body guard, with a note saying “Thank you for everything you have done and the sacrifices you have made for our beloved country”. Mr. Mandela wore the shirt the next day to the dress rehearsal for the opening of Parliament and was photographed on the front page of a local newspaper. Desre Buirski subsequently designed many printed, embroidered and over 150 hand-painted silk shirts for South Africa’s beloved Madiba, which he wore on the world stage, becoming a global style as well as political icon. The style of ‘The Madiba Shirt’ evolved as Mr. Mandela requested various shirts throughout his time as President.

Taken from:http://www.presidential.co.za/brands/presidential-shirt/madiba-shirt-story.html

a close up of the ceramic tiles

A close up of the ceramic tiles

The base of the madiba shirt sculpture

The base of The Madiba Shirt sculpture

Madiba Shirt at nmmu

Madiba Shirt at NMMU

back view of madiba shirt sculpture

Back view of Madiba Shirt sculpture

the madiba shirt sculpture aptly expresses the stature of mandela

The Madiba Shirt sculpture aptly expresses the stature of Mandela

 

 

 

 

Jonathan van der Walt and team

Jonathan van der Walt and team

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

A Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s Deck!

A 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.

knysna turaco on coffee table

Knysna Turaco on coffee table

Pretty painted eye of the Knysna Turaco

Pretty painted eye of the Knysna Turaco

turaco settles at a safer distance

Turaco settles at a safer distance

Gift of coffee from Vietnamese guest at Dempsey’s.

Gift of coffee from Vietnamese guest at Dempsey’s.

A kind Vietnamese guest staying at Dempsey’s Guest House, surprised us a with a gift pack of coffee with a coffee filter included, all the way from Vietnam. He demonstrated how to use the coffee filter and insisted that we add condensed milk for the real Vietnamese effect. You cannot scare us with condensed milk! It was a sweet, strong experience. Thank you Trung!

 

neatly packaged coffee with filter from vietnam

Neatly packaged coffee with filter from Vietnam

long strong process, condensed milk was added, yumm

Long strong process, condensed milk was added, yumm

Superb drongo entertainment!

Superb drongo entertainment!

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Recently we were treated to superb entertainment right on our private deck area at Dempsey’s Guest House. The crazed entertainment was provided by a whacky Fork-tailed drongo who was born to perform. Bursting with confidence and attitude, this drongo had us pleasantly amused for a long time; the more we chatted and cheered, the more flamboyant the performance became! Ah the wonder of nature.

 

 

 

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Olive woodpecker nesting in our tree.

Olive woodpecker nesting in our tree.

Spring is in the air and our garden is alive with activity, especially after the good rains we’ve had. Nesting in one of the ancient syringa trees is a woodpecker family. The photos show a parent keeping vigil. Today we saw a fluffy, baby, grey head pop out of the hole. Sweetness! If we are allowed closer, photos of the baby will follow.

The Olive Woodpecker has two isolated subspecies in Africa – one is in Central Africa, and the other is endemic to South Africa, living in evergreen forests. It forages in the upper canopies of trees, probing pecking branches and licking with its barbed tongue. Both sexes excavate the nest, which is usually a oval-shaped hole in the trunk of a tree. Egg-laying season is from August-November, peaking from September-October.It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for roughly 15-16 days. The chicks are cared for by both parents, leaving the nest at about 24-26 days old. The juveniles return to the nest to roost for about 3 months, after which they become fully independent. Several adaptations combine to protect the woodpecker’s brain from the substantial pounding that the pecking behaviour causes: it has a relatively thick skull with relatively spongy bone to cushion the brain; there is very little cerebrospinal fluid in its small subarachnoid space; the bird contracts mandibular muscles just before impact, thus transmitting the impact past the brain and allowing its whole body to help absorb the shock; its relatively small brain is less prone to concussion than other animals.

Source: Wikipedia

 

 

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