Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meandering around PE

I initially booked myself in at the King's Beach lodge for two nights so that I could spend a day in PE before hopping down the Garden Route. Although people generally say that it's an inferior tourist trap to the likes of Knysna and Storms River, I decided that it was worth a look anyway. Besides, I was only about 100 metres away from the beach: it would have been a wasted opportunity otherwise.

Port Elizabeth has some nice things, I'll grant you. I didn't get much of an opportunity to check out the night life, but during the day there are a few interesting tourism spots to head off to. The beaches are fairly standard – the water isn't as frigid as, say, the bloody freezing depths of Camp's Bay, but I'm disappointed by how small and rocky the shoreline is. What came to me as a pleasant surprise was a park that opens up on the beach – it's called “Happy Valley”, and possibly the most notable thing about this place is the inexplicable presence of a whole lot of cartoon character sculptures at various intervals along the path.

Holy crap, it's Asterix!

I had a nice long walk along some of the trails and inexplicably emerged near the Boardwalk Casino. I don't know why, but it was there. So I walked around a little bit. The casino's complex plays host to a whole lot of neat little shops and cafes surrounding a great big body of water. It had all kinds of stuff: a craft market, a nice and classy News Cafe (which for some annoying reason has a minimum age requirement of 23. 22-year-olds everywhere must feel pretty bleak about it) and even a miniature Oriental World (which is really just two restaurants and a Koi pond). It's also apparently the home of Algoa FM. Neato.

Oh dear. Somebody left the bath running again.

On my way back, I ran into a Sprite Zero pool party at the McArthur Pools. Hadn't heard about it – I was pretty much just in the right place at the right time. They had some music, some fancy commentators and a whole bunch of free Sprite, so I ultimately scored.

The spoils of war. Also, juggling sticks.

As a final note, the King's Beach lodge has a kitty. He is made of 90% fluff and cute. I'm gonna call him Mr. Snuffles. He practically launches himself at you for cuddling.

I dispatched the beast with a right hook to the jaw.

Anyway, that's all for PE. I'm currently sitting at Storms River (which is a tourism paradise situated in pretty much the middle of nowhere). More about this place in my next blog post.

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