The abandoned Carlisle Bridge cricket field

No exploration expedition has ever ended in failure.  Well perhaps some have.  One or two may have run out of water trying to find a way out the desert, the odd expedition may have lost boat and crew on uncharted seas and at least one was never seen again after getting lost in the Amazon.  Detouring from Port Elizabeth via Grahamstown onto the R350 to Bedford, I wasn't really expecting to see much en route other than passing over the…

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My Old Fort adventure in Durban

I get to visit Durban once a year during the annual Tourism Indaba but other than stopping in Umhlanga and taking walks on the beachfront, I've never really had an opportunity to explore the city much.  This year I decided to pinch off an hour to explore and discover at least one new place and the choice fell on The Old Fort.  From outside the place didn't look like much but I pressed on and in and was pleasantly surprised by what…


British Fort at Cogmans Kloof

On top of the Cogmans Kloof tunnel outside Montagu stands an old English fort built by the British in 1899 during the Anglo Boer War.  The fort has a great view of the approaching road and kloof through the mountains and one can immediately see why the British chose the spot.  To get to the top there is a steep little path from across the road from the parking area and after a couple of minutes of huffing and puffing you get…

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Cape Recife WWII Forward Observation Post

Port Elizabeth has arguably the most complete collection of surviving coast artillery buildings and equipment dating from the Second World War (1939-45) of any port in South Africa. Before the Second World War the Port Elizabeth Harbour actually had no defence in place except for Fort Frederick which was built in 1799 to guard the original landing place in the early days long before a harbour was even built. In 1942 it was decided to put harbour defences in place…


St Peter’s Ruin windows

South End in Port Elizabeth is similar to District 6 in Cape Town where the original inhabitants where removed because of the Group Area's Act of the 1960's.  St Peter's Anglican Church was built in 1877 and the school next to it was the first church school in South End to produce pupils to  standard six (grade 8), the highest standard for coloured people at the time.  The church was deconsecrated in 1972 and most of it demolished to stop the congregation from returning…


Ruined house

One of those unwritten rules of photography (and life) is to never venture somewhere potentially dangerous or unknown while you are on your own.  Always make sure you have backup.  Not that a guy like James Bond listens to that kind of advice.  But James Bond I'm not, so I ventured as far as the door.  There are a couple of old houses at the bottom of South End in Port Elizabeth that is literally falling apart and I decided…


Swartberg Pass toll house

The ruin of the old toll house on the Swartberg Pass (here and here) can be found at the start of the pass on the Oudtshoorn side of the mountain. I would have wanted to spend some more time at the ruin getting photographs, but it was hot (around 40 degrees Celsius) and the family was getting impatient in the car.


Fort Frederick

Fort Frederick can be found on the hill overlooking the Baakens River valley and Port Elizabeth Harbour. It's a stone fort built in 1799 by the British Forces to defend the mouth of the Baakens River to prevent a possible landing of French troops to assist the Graaff-Reinet rebels. It was named after Frederick, Duke of York and was commanded by Captain Francis Evatt. Even though the fort was built to defend the Bay, ironically, no shot was ever fired…