Arriving the Crisp-Air City of Port-Elizabeth (V14 Adventures)
Hi there! What’s crack-a-lackin, my fellow happy feet? Welcome to the second episode of my adventures. I’m still basking in my South-African experience at the end of last year. Stay up-to-date with this story by reading the first part here.
When we got to Port-Elizabeth, we were immediately wowed by the very very clean air. It was almost crisp and it was windy and very cold (No wonder it’s called The Windy City). We had checked the weather before leaving Lagos as we didn’t want unpleasant surprises. This is a must-do when going abroad.
Keeping the Baby Warm
So, for the flight from Lagos to our final destination, I dressed Harry-Zander in his sleep-suit to keep him comfortable. When we took off, I put on his winter onesie to keep him warm. It saved us the hassle of packing blankets. Oh, and if you are worried about going through the check-in process with baby food or liquid, don’t be. There’s no limit to necessary liquids like baby food. Everyone knows that babies are pretty insatiable. Also, the cabin crew are pretty helpful in heating up baby food or water.
Here’s a little Wikipedia info on Port Elizabeth for the geeks:
“Port Elizabeth or The Bay (Xhosa: iBhayi;
Afrikaans: Die Baai [di bɑːi]) is one of the largest cities in South Africa, situated in the Eastern Cape Province, 770 km (478 mi) east of Cape Town. The city, often shortened to PE and nicknamed “The Friendly City” or “The Windy City”, stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay, and is one of the major seaports in South Africa. Port Elizabeth is the southernmost large city on the African continent, just farther south than Cape Town.” Port Elizabeth was founded as a town in 1820 to house British settlers as a way of strengthening the border region between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa. It now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, which has a population of over 1.3 million.”
The Spectacular Views
Now, let’s get back to my story. Remember I had an agent book our trip, hotel and other logistics? Well, they also booked airport transfers so we had a one-man team welcoming us when we arrived. My first view of PE bay was breathtaking. We were lodged in the Radisson Blu and the views from our room were Ooh-la-la… the sea just stretched out before us like a sweet banquet! Harry-Zander was very pleased.
After checking in to our room, we freshened up and hit the town.
The first thing on the agenda was to find a Bureau D’Change as we had been advised at the airport to go into the town for better deals on the exchange rate. If you are Nigerian and used to the airport abokis, this might be a bit strange to you. Travel Ex (Bureau D’Change) gives you a rate for $1 to the Rand and then have a fixed commission rate which they deduct from the amount. You also need to provide your e-passport and your overseas address (my Nigerian address). These details including how much you changed are scanned into the computer and will always be accessed by other establishments when you change money.
After this, we went off to the bay for dinner. Hubby had spied this lovely place on the bay called The RoadHouse. It became our favorite spot (nice cocktails, great burgers, friendly staff and great ambience.( We tried to get the Mandela Bay Pass which would give us passes to lots of fun activities but we changed our minds when we were told we couldn’t have Harry-Zander with us on the horse ride. Since we were renting a car, it made more sense to save our money and fly solo. Most of the attractions wouldn’t have been as fun because of the weather, anyway.
To be continued next week.