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Things to do in Port Elizabeth this summer

November 28, 2016

Am I the only one that feels like time speeds up around this time of year? It’s nearly summer and the festive season, so many people will be heading to the coast during the holidays. I never take leave during the holidays, for many reasons that I won’t state in this post, but I know a lot of my readers do. Hence why I’m writing a post on things to do in Port Elizabeth this summer.

Whether you live in PE, or the broader Nelson Mandela Bay area, or are coming on holiday here (or still deciding if you should) check out these things to do in Port Elizabeth without breaking the bank.  Continue Reading

Life

Baakens Food Truck Friday: A first for the city

November 24, 2016
Baakens Food Truck Friday

This past Friday was the first ever Baakens Food Truck Friday, which took place in Baakens Valley. A few of my blogger pals and I were invited to attend the event and we received some vouchers to try out some of the vendors food. My views are unbiased.

The full list of trucks can be found on the event’s facebook page and as with all food trucks, they offered a limited menu on the day. There was a lot of trendy food options.  I’m banting and nearly every truck I went to didn’t have banting friendly options, nearly everything had carbs or sugar. Not that I went to all of them. There was a lot of people and a lot of queues.

I received vouchers for The Munch Box and another vendor, but ended up only using the one for  The Munch Box. I spent at least 40 minutes in the queue and the other trucks’s queues were about the same length or longer.

There were quite a few trucks at the Baakens Food Truck Friday that stood out for me, here are a few I’d like to point out.

Baakens Food Truck Friday

Chia Health Food Co

Chia stood out for me, because they were the only truck that offered healthy food options. I haven’t gone to each and every truck so I might be wrong, but they were the only truck that had the word health in it’s name. I tried their Chai tea, it’s not banting friendly as it contains coconut sugar. It was love at first sip. I don’t care that it’s not banting friendly, I’d have another in an instant. I wanted to try one of their juices but they were sold out by the time I got there.

Masterton’s Coffee

They’re my favourite local coffee brand, so it’s no surprise that their truck stood out for me. They were the first truck I went to when I got there. On Friday I hadn’t had coffee all day. I know it’s shocking, so I quickly fixed that by having a cappuccino. Some say it’s not good to have coffee so late in the day, but I have so much caffeine in my system, it doesn’t affect me.

The Munch Box

As I mentioned earlier I received a voucher for The Munch Box. There wasn’t much left on the menu by the time I got to the front of the queue. All they had left to offer were burgers, chips and beverages.

I took the bun off and only ate the patty, lettuce and tomato. The patty was quiet thick and moist but not wet. It had the slightest hint of spiciness. This is great as it adds flavour without burning your mouth.

Other things to do at the Baakens Food Truck Friday

Well there was space for you to have a picnic, live music and a henna artist. I decided to get a mendhi design on my hand. The artist Bieshneen is so precise and so good. Unfortunately I managed to smudge the design a bit. There were also peddle go karts and a few other activities for kids.

Baakens Food Truck Friday

One of the vendors told me that they did not expect the amount of people who came and have plans in place to reduce the queues at the next one. I’m sure the organisers and vendors went home happy with full pockets, but standing in a queue for 40 minutes, or an hour and a half like Nadine did, is never fun. Hopefully this was just teething issues and the next one will be better. When I was invited to the Radisson for breakfast, I wrote about how I feel about queuing for food. So I’m going to give it a few months before I go back to this event.

The Baakens Food Truck Friday takes place from 4PM till 9PM on the third Friday of every month.

Life

A dazzle of zebras at the 2016 SANParks Open Week

September 12, 2016
2016 SANParks Open Week

Thanks to Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and SANParks, yesterday I was amongst a group of photographers, instagrammers and bloggers, on a day trip to Addo Elephant National Park for the launch of the 2016 SANParks Open Week.

I might be biased in saying this, just kidding I’m totally biased, but the Addo Elephant Park was the best location for the launch of the 2016 SANParks Open Week. Addo Elephant Park is the third largest national park in the country, and is roughly the size of Belgium. The park is home to thousands of animals, not only elephants.

Basically what the 2016 SANParks Open Week, is an initiative where SANParks grants South Africans free access to nearly all of their parks in the country. This runs from 12 September to 16 September 2016, but selected parks will also have free access on the weekend. More information can be found on the SANParks website.

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When we arrived at the park, we got to wander around the main camp. Before the activities started, two elephants passed us by on the viewing deck. They put on quite a show, as they intertwined their tusks, giving us ample opportunity to photograph them.

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Ryan, was our guide for the tour of the park. He knows the park, probably better than the palm of his hand. He guided us via sight, sound and quite literally, smell. Within 15 minutes of starting our tour, he took us off the beaten path and found two of the park’s lions. Gibson, the park’s alpha male, and his brother Melvin, laid napping under the shade of some thorn trees. Seeing them was amazing. What intrigued me was where we found them. They were less than 100 metres from a busy road. Dozens of cars zipped past, its inhabitants unaware that they were only a stone’s throw away from the Kings of the jungle. It made me think about Addo itself, so many people in Nelson Mandela Bay are zipping past the park, not realising how amazing it is and it is literally a quick ride out of the city. We don’t need to spend thousands of rands to travel  to see all of these amazing creatures. They’re literally in our backyard, and that is amazing.

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We saw so many animals including the only type of flightless dung beetle in the world (I got to hold one actually), warthogs, red hartbeest, more than one dazzle of zebras and a dozen of elephants. Ryan had mentioned that visitors are not always guaranteed to see the gentle giants. Sometimes you can take a trip and see none, or see dozens of them. Fortunately for us, it was the latter. It was also fascinating to see an elephant disappear behind a seemingly small bush.

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Ryan explained that the safety of the animals, visitors and staff is of extreme importance to the park. This is why visitors are not allowed to leave their vehicles when going on tours. He went onto explain that because the animals are accustom to vehicles passing them, visitors often assume that they are tame. This is simply not the case. These are wild animals. Getting out your car puts you, your family and the animals at risk as they could charge you or you could be attacked by a predator lurking in the bushes, while you’re trying to get a good photograph.

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We left the park, sun kissed and satisfied with an arsenal of beautiful photographs and memories. Thank you to Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and South African National Parks for an amazing day trip.

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity and take advantage of the 2016 SANParks Open Week.

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Disclaimer: I was invited to the event by NMB Tourism and views are my own, always.

Life

Why I went to the #ECMeetUp

August 25, 2016

When Eleanor from Just Ella Bella and Luchae from My Spreadsheet Brain announced that they would be holding a blogger’s meetup earlier this year, I was immediately filled with excitement. Jozi and Cape Town, have been having meet ups for a while, but there were none in little ole’ PE. However as soon as the excitement settle, I got nervous. Nervous to the point that despite booking and paying for my ticket, I seriously considered not attending. I even had my excuse planned. I had exams the following week (which was true) and needed the time to focus on them (which was also true). Subconsciously, something told me I should go. It was only the morning of the #ECmeetup that I actually decided to go and I’m glad I did.

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The first #ECMeetup

After following her blog for years, I final got to meet Eleanor in person as well as many other bloggers. The best part of the meetup was meeting a group of wonderful women. Since the meetup some of us joined a whatsapp group, where you share ideas, discuss opinions, motivate one another and provide construction criticism. It’s a truly amazing and if I had let my nervous get the best of me, despite having read most of these ladies blogs before, I would have never have met them and discovered how truly amazing they are.

Blog readers are often made to believe that the goodie bags are the best part of meetups. The goodie bags we received were amazing, but there were so many great things about the event that I can’t pick one.

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Going to the meetup has opened opportunities for me, and as allowed me to collaborate with a few organisations. Megan Kelly and Dorette de Swart were guest speakers, and they shared such great advice.

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The venue The Boma was spectacular. They served a variety of canapes  and breakfast. We had a breakfast bake made from minced beef, egg plant, white sauce and scrambled egg. It was served in cute miniature potjie pots. The dish was so delicious that I’ve actually tried creating a similar dish. I buy Masterton’s coffee regularly (they’re good quality and affordable) so I was happy to see their coffee bar and the packs that they gave for us in the goodie bags.

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A combination of shyness and nervousness led to me taking photos mostly of the food and decor. I set a goal that at the next meet up I’ll take more pics of people.

#ECMeetup The Mini Meet

Luchae and Eleanor will be hosting a mini meet on 17 September 2016 at the Athenaeum. I can’t wait. If you’re an Eastern Cape blogger, do yourself a favour and attend it. For enquires and bookings email Luchae on admin@myspreadsheetbrain.co.za.

#EC The Mini Meet

Life

The Valley Market Port Elizabeth

June 30, 2016
The Valley Market Bouquet

It’s Thursday so this is more of a throwback Thursday post, as these photos have been taken some time ago. It’s from when the Valley Market was still held at Werk. For a long time, I contemplated whether or not I should post these pics, because maybe I’m being overcritical. I decided to go ahead because I can only getter better from here, I hope.

If you’re from the Port Elizabeth area, unless you’ve been living under a rock or too focused on your work to notice anything else, you’d have heard of The Valley Market.

Admittedly I’ve only been to the market twice, the first time being when it opened at Werk in the historic Baakens Valley. It was so full, I could literally not move in certain areas. Despite arriving around 10AM, most of the exhibitors were either sold out or on the verge of selling out. The organisers have since changed the venue and exhibitors have since adapted their supply. My favourite exhibitors were Sjukla (I am a sucker for nearly anything chocolate) and Red Band Cafe (they make a mean chai latte). I will admit that I haven’t attended it since they’ve moved, either I forget or I have something on already.

The Valley Market Entrance

When the market was at Werk, it was partially outdoors.

The Valley Market?

Originally described as Port Elizabeth’s first artisanal food fair, this market focuses on local exhibitors. The exhibitors include various food and beverage stalls and a selection of handmade jewellery, decor and clothes.

R10 gets you in and part of the proceeds goes to charity.

Here are a few snaps (that make the cut).

The Valley Market Protea

The Valley Market Sjukla

 

The Valley Market Flora

There aren’t really that many fresh flower stalls, I was just really attracted to the ones that were there.

When is the next Valley Market?

It takes place the first Saturday of every month, so the next market is 2 July 2016. It is at the Old Tramsway Building on the corner of Lower Valley Road and Union Street.

The Valley Market Drinks