Sunday, May 06, 2012

Port Elizabeth and Addo National Park

                                                           Our first African holiday, a welcome respite and change of pace.
From Gaborone to Johannesburg
on Air Botswana....
and from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth
on British Airways

 We first traveled to Port Elizabeth, South Africa in to attend the National AA/Al-Anon Convention. It was held at Nelson Mandela University in the historic city of Port Elizabeth on the Indian Ocean. Over seven hundred people from all over the continent, a few from Europe, and ourselves from the U.S. came together to join in recovery meetings and fellowship. We continue to discover here that our differences are always eclipsed by our shared humanity. After the convention we spent a rainy (yes, pula!) day on a game drive at Addo Elephant Reserve. Although African wildlife prefer to not be out in fields when the skies are opening, we did manage to see a few brave and beautiful creatures.  

Priscilla Pemba's father, George, was an artist
whose work was released on a set of South
African postage stamps.  We happened upon a
reception honoring Mr. Pemba at the Nelson
Mandela Museum of Art
God Save the Queen, Victoria, that is.  This is PE's city
hall, not far from the BnB where we stayed.  White residents
strongly suggested we stay out of this area.  It being on of
the more interesting parts of the city, we didn't listen, and
never felt uncomfortable. 
Another street in downtown PE.  Downtown is a bit
run-down, but very interesting and full of potential, with
a lot of renovation going on.
St. Georges Park not far from downtown or from our bed
and breakfast, is great for strolling or sitting and watching
the world go by.

The Lighthouse in PE, overlooking the Indian Ocean.
PE's most recognized landmark.
We were among almost 700 people, mostly from all over
South Africa, but also from the UK, US, Burundi, and Afghanistan.
The venue is Nelson Mandela University.  We met some
wonderful, amazing people.
Maybe this is what people do in PE when they retire.  This
Lawn Bowling Club is South Africa's oldest, founded way back in 1882.

Up the hill from the center of Port Elizabeth.  The vans
speak for themselves....

The weekend we were in PE there was a huge festival, with
music, sports competition, ethnic food
in a park on the Indian Ocean.
The water was chilly, but when am I going to get another
chance to swim in the Indian Ocean?
Carol's idea of what to do at the Indian Ocean...
This picture reminded me of something.....

This is one of the townships, where, in the apartheid
days, blacks were required to live.  Today, many residents
prefer to live here, and the quality of life seems far better
than our stereotype of the townships

It rained the entire time we were in Addo, but we saw
lots of animals.
This guy came so close to our car that we could have
touched him.  Our driver thought that to be a very
bad idea.

This is the biggest of the kudu we saw.  We also saw a herd
of eland, too much to squeeze in a photo....
So long, Addo, goodbye PE!

Next stop, Cape Town.  We traveled along the Garden Route,
a twelve hour ride with some of the most spectacular scenery
we have ever seen. To be continued....


Marie said...

how wonderful to see your adventures! i hope you feel rejuvinated from your vacation!

Marie said...

how wonderful to see your adventures! i hope you feel rejuvinated from your vacation!

fritts said...

I've been thinking of you two. It sounds like all is well, and I'm sure the trip away from school was a pleasure. Just to put things in perspective, this week is cold-wet-rainy, miserable, in fact.