Port Elizabeth – not for babies!

Posted by Tamlin Wightman on 19 June 2009

I thought Port Elizabeth was flat. It’s true. I work for a travel magazine and I thought PE was flat.

It turns out many outsiders do, so I discovered after talking to some friends from Jozi and Cape Town. But a short drive out of the CBD and I was 4x4ing up steep rock faces in a forest. The small level in the vehicle that gauges if you’re about to topple over and die was at 3 – topple stage.

Together with new friends, Malcolm and Estelle and Robbie of 16 Beach Music B&B in Beachview, PE, I was exploring the Maitland Mines. Of course extreme 4×4-er, Malcolm, who was at the wheel, took the ‘not for babies’ route, rather than the ‘easy’ option.

Needless to say, a stop at the tiny Out in Africa pub –the Ronnies Sex Shop of PE, a little bar in the middle of the country – was much appreciated. That evening it overlooked a whole parking lot of monster 4x4s – including a Hummer – that stood like brawny guards as we drank to the sunset.

For more about Maitland Mines, visit www.maitlandmines.co.za. There are also huts to stay over at, so you can have after-journey nerve-calmers and not have to stumble on home.

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