A hidden treasure, rich with history and much more to offer than only catching
up on my much needed tan after a winter of hibernation. But alas, I seem to never reach the
beaches as I always run out of time because of my exploring and adventures in
and around the town. My bucket list seems to constantly grow with all the
activities I have to keep on hold until I return with more time at leisure.
Port Elizabeth Airport awaiting Lyn’s flight to arrive, I was warmly welcomed
by Kevin Edwards, Settler Sands resort manager. If I might add, Kevin shared a
wealth of knowledge from our touch down to our departure. I was amazed at the
flood of information he shared and continued to unravel as we travelled to Port
Alfred. Kevin should be a standard package with all bookings as he is honestly
a walking encyclopaedia. I could not keep up with all of the history and
general knowledge he continued to reveal.
Due to our early flight, we became a little peckish and Kevin
had the most ideal solution to this. Pies!! I firmly believe that there are no
good or bad times for pies. We stopped at the Nanaga Farm Stall in Port
Elizabeth and went in to get them. These where no ordinary pies, these where
pies that would make you want to cry for more. Baked to perfection with a
filling that would melt your diet right away. There was no time for dieting,
there are pies to be eaten. This was definitely the perfect on route spot to
grab something to eat on your way.
many places to be and see, the excitement was overwhelming. As this was my
first time in Port Alfred, I didn’t know what to expect.
entered Port Alfred, I was in awe of the beautiful boats docked at the Kowie River
as well as people rowing away on the river. I could definitely feel the idea of
a holiday spirit beginning to kick in.
Kevin brought us safely to our destination at the beautiful Settler
Sands. I knew these next few days would be jam packed and that we had a lot to
Checking in to our stunning unit, we had all of the comforts
right there and immediately felt at home with the added benefit of a beautiful
sea view and fresh ocean breeze.
Sparkling Kowie River right on our doorstep flowing into the ocean, I had
started daydreaming of rowing along the stretch of the river with the view of
beautiful boats and the sunlight opening up onto the horizon. Keryn from
Outdoor Focus will offer a 10% discount to our Settler Sands Guests on all her
activities on offer. What a delight that would be. However my Kyaking on the
Kowie River daydreams where on hold, I was on a mission to find out what was made
up of this quaint town.
What stood out the most apart from checking in to the most
beautiful resort, or the beautiful beach and river views, were the people.
Kevin was well known and not a single person walked by without stopping to say
hello with a bright smile on their face. This was truly a friendly and
welcoming town. I can clearly see why.
Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. We headed off to
the Highlander pub at the St Andrews hotel. The Building hosted memories from
the original building built in 1924, just in time for the visit of the Prince
of Wales whom actually stayed together with his entourage in the St Andrews
hotel. The hotel at that time was a small building and during the last war,
housed officers of the 43 air school.
atmosphere and dinner were top notch and set the mood with the history of the
building. A recommendation to take a
tour of the building and be amazed by its structure and vintage antiques.
After a lovely evening at the Highlander Pub we headed back
to Settlers Sand to retire for the evening as I knew the following day would be
that said, my alarm went off the next morning to get me on my feet and power
charge through the day. There was talk of a giant pineapple, a museum and a
visit to many age old pubs. Today was going to be great, I just knew it.
to Port Alfred River and Ski Boat club for a fabulous breakfast. I could not restrain
myself from snapping photographs of the fish replicas and of the many fishermen
who have taken pride in displaying their trophy catches on the walls over the
years. This was quite a scene to see. Our Settler Sands guests are in for a
treat as they will offer club prices on food and drinks when they present their
With breakfast ticked off the list, I had a craving of a
different kind. Pineapples. I had yet to see for myself how big this pineapple
really was. So off we went to curb my craving.
Along the way towards
Bathurst, what is known as frontier town, established by
these 1820 settlers on the edge of the newly founded Cape Colony. I was amazed at how easily accessible and
beautiful the journey to our destinations where.
distance, I spotted a pineapple. Yes it’s just a pineapple but as we drove
closer the pineapple got bigger and bigger until I was completely sold. The
giant pineapple exists and to my surprise, I could get into it and walk to the
top. Lyn was proud to find some pineapple preserves named after her which added
to the memories of our trip. Along the
way to the top, each floor had an information hub about pineapples. Everything
pineapple related, it was really an interesting experience. When I reached the
top, I looked below and found that we were surrounded by pineapple plantations.
It was spectacular to see.
We also popped into the Bathurst agricultural museum which
held agricultural farming history, some dating back to the British settlers.
I was in awe of the museum contents, Lyn and Kevin stood back
and let me run wild with curiosity much to their surprise. It was amazing to
see the antiques and tools used many years ago. I have a deep love for museums
and vintage equipment. This was a real treat for me.
With my curious eye satisfied, we headed into the heart of Bathurst. I had a feeling that this too was a town rich
with history and tales that have been shared over many camp fire. The buildings
of Bathurst where incredible and housed so many historic moments. St Johns
church was one of them. It was built in 1820. Whilst still under construction,
it served as a refuge for during the war in 1832 and a fort in 1835, serving
again as a refuge between 1846 and 1847.
flew by and the day almost over we just had enough time to visit the historic
Pig and whistle Inn in Bathurst. The inn
was established in 1832 and also the oldest continuously licenced pub in the
country. I felt honoured to be able to explore these buildings that I had no
idea of such beauty and a story behind its existence. This was truly an
To end off our adventure, we had the most delectable dinner
at the Wharf Street Brew Pub, a beautiful cosy spot with a menu to tantalise
your taste buds in every way imaginable. A firm favourite in my books for this
happily returning customer. Not only was their food amazing but they are
offering a 10% discount off the food bill for Settler Sands Guests presenting
their room key. Now that’s a bargain.
The day had
been whisked away by countless attractions that I only wished time could stand
I had wished to visit Kidd’s beach for some boogy boarding
and drifting in the river currents as well as dune boarding up on Mpekweni
river mouth. It seemed as though my bucket list continued to grow. With each
destination I venture into, a piece of my heart gets stolen by these little
town wonders of our Beautiful South Africa leaving me wanting to come back for
Here are some great
offerings to keep in mind when you make that next great escape at Settler Sands
Let’s go Cruises
Offering a discount to all our guests, on presentation of the
unit keys when booking.
The cruise is 1.5 hours and guests can take their own Drinks
The boat can be booked
out for private use, but must be over 15 people
Current rate is R80 for adults and R50 for kids – with
a 10% discount
Tours and Shuttles
They offer a shuttle to PE airport daily – 8:00 am departure
from Port Alfred and leave airport at about 2:00pm
R250 one way per person – if booking the entire shuttle, the
cost is then R200 per person.
Offering a 10% discount to our guests on offered activities upon
showing your room keys