A Gamtoos Valley outing

The Gamtoos Valley with it's citrus farms, beautiful scenery and interesting little corners is one of our favorite day excursions to just get out of the city for a bit. The advantage is that it is nice and close to Port Elizabeth, so you are in the valley after like only a 40 minute drive. We try to see and do something different every time we go which is probably two or three times a year. Our latest outing produced…

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A mountain pool dip

A couple of weeks ago I got to finally go on the Waterfall Hike at InniKloof outside Hankey.  Something we've been wanting to do for quite a while now.  It was a day of beautiful views, huffing and puffing over a mountain, nearly loosing a child in the wilderness and finally taking a swim in a refreshing mountain pool under the waterfall in stunning surroundings.  You can read more about our adventure in the post Up(s) and down(s) and into the…

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Laden with citrus

I know it's not Port Elizabeth, but I just have to share this with you.  I was in Patensie for a tourism workshop this morning and the citrus orchards are just packed with fruit at the moment.  The Gamtoos Valley is one of the biggest citrus producing areas in South Africa and it's well worth taking a drive through the valley at the moment to see all the citrus on the trees and the activity going on around the farms.

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How about visiting the Kouga Dam?

When was the last time you've been in the Gamtoos Valley?  Perhaps I should ask, have you ever been for a drive up to the Kouga Dam?  If the answer to both of these questions are "never" or "not recently" then there is no time like the present.  After all the rain we have had recently the Kouga Dam is currently overflowing and well worth a visit.  The Kouga Dam is located about 21 kilometers west of Patensie and was opened in 1969.  It…

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The Cockscomb on the horizon

Last weekend we took part in the Gamtoos Adventure Drive around the towns of Loerie and Hankey west of Port Elizabeth.  At one of the stops on one of the back roads between the towns I snapped this photo of the Cockscomb Mountains beyond the rolling hills of this part of the valley.  With a little HDR added, how can I not share this picture with you?

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Railway bridge at Melon

After yesterday's picture of the Apple Express narrow gauge line I decided to post another picture featuring the line.  After the line leaves Loerie it heads towards Jeffreys Bay across the lover Gamtoos Valley plains.  Not far outside of Loerie the line crosses over the Loerie Spruit (a tributary of the Gamtoos River) before passing through Melon Station.  There's just something about these old railway and road bridges, isn't there?

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Gamtoos Series 7 – Sundial

This is the last post in the Gamtoos Valley series before returning to PE pics again.  The biggest sundial in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere can be found somewhere in South Africa.  "Where in South Africa?" I hear you ask. Cape Town? You're cold.  Johannesburg? Very cold. Durban? Still cold. Port Elizabeth? Getting warmer. Where then? Its located in the humble Gamtoos Valley town of Hankey.  The Hankey Sundial was completed by local farmer Mr Dirk Schellingerhout in 1989 to commemorate the town's 160th…

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Gamtoos Series 6 – Naartjies

The Gamtoos Valley is famous for the citrus produced there, amongst it various varieties of oranges, naartjies and lemons.  Kids love naartjies because they are sweet and easy to peel and during the Gamtoos Citrus Festival visitors get to go on a tractor tour into the orchards and pick your own. 

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Gamtoos Series 5 – Queen Victoria Profile

This is post #5 in a series of 7 posts featuring the Gamtoos Valley west of Port Elizabeth. One of the well known landmarks in the Gamtoos River Valley in the Eastern Cape is the Queen Victoria Profile on the road between Patensie and the Baviaanskloof.  The profile is the result of erosion of the sheer cliff and can be seen when driving towards Patensie.    About 140 million years ago the Cape Mountains were roughly three times higher than today.  A period…

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Gamtoos Series 4 – Phillips Tunnel

This is post #4 in the Gamtoos Valley series.  The town of Hankey was started as a mission station on behalf of the London Missionary Society by Dr John Phillip.  The main purpose was to grow corn and mielies for the mission station at Bethelsdorp as well as to carry out evangelistic work in the valley.  Dr Philip's son, William Philip, came to the mission station in 1841 and during his time there the area experienced a serious water shortage.  The best way to get water…

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