PORT ALFRED - Forgotten Paradise

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Private Residence

Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I have been visiting Port Alfred, on the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa, all my life. My parents and grandparents have always had a holiday place there and my folks returned there once retired.

This small town, divided by the peaceful Kowie River was once a top holiday destination in South Africa. Holiday-makers flocked in every summer to play on the river, the beach and in the warm water.

The town itself is typical; everything you would expect to find and a few additional treasures that make a shopping trip worthwhile. Some of my favourites are the shops and businesses lining the river. One side holds a local Brewery - very worth a visit - and along the other bank is a bakery, numerous second hand shops and cafes. It is such fun to spend a morning wandering through this unexpected treasure trove. The Highlander Pub is by far my favourite place to enjoy a drink or a bite. Its also a good place to stay, set in beautiful, spacious surroundings and close to all of the highlights. The Scottish pub offers friendly service, scrumptuous food and beer on tap.

The beaches of Port Alfred stretch endlessly in each direction. There are rockpools to explore and the water is usually warm enough for a long swim. Port Alfred is well known in the surfing world as a very underrated wave and there is scuba diving, fishing charters and sunset cruises on offer.

What gets me, every time I visit, is the vast expanse of open space. The river is my favourite. It's wide, meandering and so calm that the sky and trees are reflected in its surface. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to sit and absorb the beauty as the colours are ever-changing. Its also a perfect spot for all kinds of watersports: we usually enjoy paddling and waterski-ing, but if its a watersport - I am sure you can enjoy it on the Kowie.

I can't help relaxing when I am there. I get a sense of time slowing down and whenever I am stressed out - this is my place of calm.
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