A truly rural experience in the Eastern Cape

Are hiking, birding or flyfishing your interests?   What about visiting a 21st Century rural African village only about a one and a half hour drive from East London, or a short hop from the Settler region of Grahamstown, Bedford or Hogsback and closer still to East London and King Williams Town. Crisp mountain air, the friendliest of people, a smattering of isiXhosa and indigenous cuisine are all thrown in too.  Continue reading

The Ghio Wetland Reserve, near Kenton on Sea offers some great birding opportunities

Are you interested in birding and live on the Sunshine Coast of the Eastern Cape, or are thinking of travelling through this area? Then a visit to the Ghio Wetland Reserve, which is incorporated in the Emlanjeni Reserve, bordering the Bushman’s River is well worth a visit.   If you take the road which forms part of the now well known “Poor Man’s Game Drive” you will eventually come to a wetland paradise, fed by our recent wonderful rains.  Taking a breakfast picnic the other morning with two friends, we spent 3 happy hours trying to identify the plethora of birdlife feeding and breeding on these large stretches of water.   Skittering dabchicks, red billed teals and Cape Shovellers,identified by their blue forewings and large black beaks glided across the expanse of water in search of tasty morsels.  We spied at least two red-knobbed coots sitting on their hollowed out nests constructed of water plants and a couple of white faced ducks herded their very young family from one watery island to another.  Black winged stilts took to the air with their elegant long red legs stretched out behind them, and large numbers of yellow billed ducks up-ended themselves in the deeper stretches of the vlei.  A pair of moorhens played hide and seek amongst the fringing reed-beds, with the high pitched call giving us some sort of idea of their whereabouts. En route early that morning a couple of Kingfishers welcomed us from their telephone wire vantage points and a group of Hoopoes swooped across the front of my vehicle with their heavy-winged butterfly like motion.   What a wonderful way to spend a crisp Spring morning.

A Foodie blog generated in the Eastern Cape

The Global Table continues to titivate my taste buds and keep me up-to-date with happenings of a culinary nature occurring in the Eastern Cape.  The inspiration of a Port Elizabeth-based couple, Louise Liebenberg and her husband Salvelio Meyer, I receive a regular update with easy recipes, items about new Restaurants in our region and topics that fall into the Food, Wine and Lifestyle categories.

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The Widow Hartleys’ reputation lives on at the Pig ‘n Whistle in Bathurst

History reveals that Sarah, affectionately known as the Widow Hartley back in the 1840’s grew the reputation of the Bathurst Inn (as it was then known) as a place of wonderful hospitality and good fare.   This past weekend I was privileged to experience this lofty tradition being replicated in the hands of the Pig ‘n Whistle’s new owners, Gavin and Lucille Came.   As we sat down to a wonderful traditional Sunday lunch with all the trimmings, the history of the Inn and the echoes of the past reverberated through those thick stone walls.   Originally built next to Thomas Hartleys blacksmith’s forge in 1832, one could only imagine the scene back then.  Wagons, oxen, farriers, new Settler arrivals, Cape Colony Governors and and talk of Frontier Wars.  The scene almost two centuries later – motor cars and motorbikes, locals out savouring good old-fashioned hospitality and talk of politics, the long wet winter and the upcoming Rugby World Cup! – a fight of a more sporting kind!

Sunday lunch is already becoming very popular, so booking is essential on 046-625-0673 and a Greek evening is being planned for 16 September.   Lend your support and keep this, the oldest licensed premises in the country firmly on the Sunshine Coast map.

The Rhino slaughter continues

The news that 149 rhinos have been slaughtered this year already in South Africa (a rate of almost one a day) has come as terrible news to all of us who treasure our wildlife.  Today I read about yet another of these beautiful creatures dying as a result of poaching activities.   Continue reading