Van Stadens Narrow Gauge Bridge

A couple of weeks ago we walked to the Lower Van Stadens Dam and got a side view of the narrow-gauge bridge over the gorge from the northern side. The Van Stadens rail bridge is the second highest railway bridge in South Africa and the highest narrow-gauge bridge in the world. Construction on the bridge was completed in 1905 and the bridge is 156m long, 77m high and contains 1 112 cubic meters of concrete and 574 tons of steel.This…

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Three easy on the pocket George attractions

I don't think George is very high on anybody's list of possible holiday destinations.  Yes, as part of the Garden Route but not standing on it's own.  If that is how you think then I'm going to have to tell you how wrong your thinking is.  Spending Easter Weekend in George showed me in four days that George is actually the ideal family destination.  Beautiful mountains and passes, a stunning coastline, a laid back town atmosphere and not outrageously expensive…

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Cockscomb Station on the R74

Railway Stations used to be quite significant with station masters stationed there who was very proud of their workplace and kept it spick and span.  These days most of these small stations are abandoned with very little other than a sign, some signals and an abandoned, often ruined, building.  Driving up to Graaff-Reinet on the R74 from Port Elizabeth I made a quick stop at Cockscomb Station to find a Geocache and just had to snap a couple of pictures.  If…

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Railway line sunset

Picture this.  The R60 between Robertson and Worcester in the Western Cape.  Kinda in the middle of nowhere.  Nothing in sight other than the remains of an old railway station  Two guys park next to the road and dash across, climb through an old fence, hop over the railway line and run of into the bushes and fynbos.  Moments later they emerge and start walking back to the car.  What do you make of this?  For most regular folk it would probably…

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Ashton locomotive at sunset

The town of Ashton is situated on the Robertson Valley close to the start of Route 62.  As one drives along this road between Worcester and the Klein Karoo there is a steam locomotive on the left about halfway through town.  Heading down to Cape Town I made a quick stop to have a look and with the sun heading to the horizon I snapped this picture.  The locomotive is a No 2010 class 14 CRB and was designed and built by the…

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Van Stadens Narrow Gauge Railway Bridge

 Geocaching is about so much more than using multi billion dollar spy satellite technology to find hidden Tupperware.  Its also about exploration, going to and discovering places you may not otherwise have gone to.  One of these is the highest narrow gauge railway bridge in the world spanning the Van Stadens Gorge outside Port Elizabeth.  Years ago when the Apple Express was still running it used to stop before the bridge and passengers could walk across and get a photograph of the train crossing with…


Riding PE’s miniature trains

Ketik ketik... ketik ketik... ketik ketik... The sound of the train's wheels on the tracks.  A sound which so many kids these days have never heard before.  Everybody loves to ride on a train doesn't matter if its a luxurious tourist train, a cross country train, a day trip tourist train, a commuter train or, in the case of this post, little miniature trains.  On the first Sunday of the month Port Elizabeth parents gather their kids, pack picnic baskets and head down to…


First time on the Gautrain

Imagine a bunch of small town children going to Johannesburg and getting to ride on the Gautrain for the first time.  Now imagine a bunch of small town adults having fun and really being in the spirit of things riding on the Gautrain for the first time.  Well, I don't know what you are imagining, but the experience itself wasn't much different than it would be with kids.  Big eyes, lots of fun, comments and laughter   Earlier in the year…


British Troop Train

On the way up the hill to Fort Klapperkop and the SA National Defence Force Memorial outside Pretoria stand an old steam locomotive.  This specific locomotive was amongst others used over 100 years ago during the Anglo Boer War (1899 - 1902) to carry British troops and supplies from the coast to where the war was taking place in the interior of South Africa.