Protea raindrops in Van Stadens

On Sunday we decided to swing by the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve west of Port Elizabeth. The reserve really is one of my favorite nature reserves around the city, but it's also home to a huge amount of Geocaches, some that was still awaiting me to turn them into smileys on my map. There was a drizzle falling all morning so jumping in and out of the car at every cache meant that I was soaked after a while. It…

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Plaatbos forest and Storms River Pass

The Tsitsikamma is one of my happy places. It is where I go to recharge my soul and get close to nature and that is what we as a family did a couple of week ago. It wasn't a comprehensive charge, but a quick visit one just to breath in the fresh Tsitsikamma air and get away from lockdown at that stage. One of our stops for the day was the Plaatbos Forest section of the Garden Route (Tsitsikamma) National…

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Things to do in Port Elizabeth this summer – Grab a backpack and take a hike

There is an Afrikaans folk song that goes, Dis heerlike Lente, die Winter's verby... (It's time for Spring now that Winter has passed - doesn't quite roll off the tongue the same in English though) which means Summer is fast approaching.  Longer days, better weather and spending more time outdoors over weekends.  Plus the holiday season is coming up quicker than my sausage dogs when I open the fridge.  With an eye on said better weather and upcoming holiday season, I…

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Proteas in the city

I went Geocaching in Lorraine this afternoon and had to follow a trail into the bush in the area to go and find a cache up a tree.  You can see it is spring by the amount of wild flowers in bloom and I specially liked these Pincushion Proteas close to the cache location.

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A path inviting you to explore

I had 30 minutes on my hands yesterday afternoon and did a quick detour to Mangold Park to find a new Geocache on the edge of the Baakens Valley.  From the parking coords at the bottom of a cul-de-sac there were two paths splitting off.  A paved one to the right which I had to follow to find the cache and the one in the photo to the left.  Obviously the call of the cache was strong andf I hurried…

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An Express Holiday In(n) Umhlanga

Everybody knows I like to explore and in South Africa we really have so much to discover.  So when an invitation to visit Umhlanga and bring the Damselfly along came from the Holiday Inn Express Umhlanga, I jumped at the chance to see a new place and share it with my wife.  With two nights in the hotel it meant that we had a whole day to explore the coast around Umhlanga Rocks on foot and really take in what…

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A blooming nice display at Van Stadens

 The West Coast and Namakwaland is famous for their spring flowers while a number of reserves in the southern Cape, one of these being the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites as it is where the Cape Floral Kingdom occurs.  Living in Port Elizabeth it's not always possible to do the trek west to go and view flowers but a few weeks ago I realized that it's not  necessary.About 40 kilometers west of Port Elizabeth is the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve,…

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Observing the little things

How often do you go for a walk in nature and not really notice the little things?  I think the answer is "quite often".  You may notice the flowers or berries in general, but very rarely stop to have a closer look.  A Sunday afternoon caching walk with Drama Princess had her nearly walk away from me as I kept stopping and having a closer look.

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Our own secluded Baviaans valley

One of the best parts of exploring while traveling is discovering hidden gems.  Some of these hides are figuratively, as in somewhere (either a place or establishment) off the beaten track that the hordes haven't discovered yet.  Sometimes you find places that are literally hidden though.  One of these I found on our weekend at Baviaans Lodge recently.  A walk along a stream up one of the valleys near the lodge brought us to a breathtaking spot with a river pool, sheer…

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