The ‘P’ of South Africa

I am going to write my thoughts, the bits and bobs that I remember of how it was for me, during my almost fifty years spent in South Africa.

These are my ‘P’ memories, opinions and views on a time during a much loved childhood and beyond!

Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Pietermaritzburg, Pansy, Pork Chops, Porrige, Plants; Pufadder, Elvis Presley, The Platters, Pilgrim’s Rest, Plettenburg’s Bay, Porcupine

Although this has to be a perfectly good post on the letter ‘P’, somewhere we have to find an ostrich as promised.

Making a prickly start, the porcupine is one nocturnal rodent you don’t want to meet in the dark.  They are about 2 foot long and known to be aggressive if challenged, allowing his poisonous barbs to pierce the skin.

This leopard is not going to have porcupine for his dinner!

The flower of South Africa is the protea, exotic and unusual looking with it’s own beauty.  It is family of the fynbos species found in Western Cape province. 

Interesting fact is that there are double the amount of different species of plants generally in the Western Cape than in the whole of America.

How lovely, in my search for pictures of the fynbos varieties…. here we have a Malachite Sunbird and a protea!

After moving from my Gumtree home which was a one horse, but ‘without a horse’ town, we thought we were city slickers in Potchefstroom.  Our school was huge, we thought, but after three classrooms in the farm school of Gumtree, anything would be.

Potchefstroom’s claim to fame is that it was once the capital of the former Transvaal Republic in days gone by; it is now a city in it’s own right, but retains it’s earlier charm.  Potch has a university and a military base.

My baby brother found his feet in Potch, he learned to talk and walk and right from the beginning became a DIY man.

He was a great little man if he got hold of a screwdriver. He found out that bees lived inside plug sockets and was not very happy about it, because they stung him! 

He wanted to know how things worked on the other side; on the outside; on the inside; and the backside, maybe this is why he put his head through the uprights on the back of the dining room chair and got it stuck!

After a day out in town, having his hair cut, he witnessed something quite new and thought he would try his hand.  On the side veranda in Kolbe Street, Potchefstroom, he positioned one of the garden chairs, found a plank in the garden and put it across the arms of the chair then set out to find a victim.

Ah, his sister’s favourite toy, Teddy! He was really fluffy, being the long haired variety and could do with a haircut.

Thank goodness my five year old sister rescued Teddy before he was unrecognizable and totally embarrassed by his nudity in front of the whole toy box community.

He had scars for life!

Plettenberg Bay  600 miles south of Potchefstroom is a spectacular beach town, the jewel of the Garden Route in the Cape Province.

Plett, what the bay is affectionatly known as, has an amazing  hotel built on the headland.  The area is a known for great whale spotting too.

Another absolute beauty on the garden route and a ‘must see’ is the Storm’s River mouth nearby, where, if you are in the area between 21st and 23 Sept, you could visit the Elivis Presley Festival there.

And if you like walking and hiking the Robberg nature reserve is one for you to visit.

While we are on the garden route, I promised a friend that I would mention an activity she could partake of while in South Africa.  

60 miles from Plett lies Outshourn, where you can spend an energetic afternoon riding an ostrich.  Of course the lads in the picture are professional at it, but I am sure you can learn.

 Or you could stay in Plett for the evening, and have a beach braai, where in the summer the sun takes a long time to set.  A  bottle or two of excellent Cape wine and a couple of pork chops sizzling on the fire sounds so tempting. 

There is always tomorrow to go inland to Outshourn.  Turn up the volume on the casette radio and put in a tape of The Platters.  A sound from the past.  (Click image)

If you would like to catch up with my posts from A to O on South Africa; click this link.


About liz2you

Life just happens when you plan something else. 50 years spent in Africa and relevant stories.
This entry was posted in Alphabet Thursday, Beach, Flowers, Potchestroom, South Africa, Toys and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The ‘P’ of South Africa

  1. ImagesByCW says:

    Such great photos and stories! It always is a pleasure going with you on your South Africa trip every Thursday. I love the Leopard/Porcupine photo! How did you take that?!

  2. Emille says:

    Didn’t know porcupines could become that size! The pic with the men riding the ostriches is humorous! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. I recall watching the ostrich riding scene in The Swiss Robinson Family. I didn’t know people actually raced them, though. It looks so awkward and terribly uncomfortable. What an insightful look into all the ‘Ps’ from South Africia!

  4. Judie says:

    When I was a flower broker, I used to by Proteas from South Africa and sell them to wholesales florists in the U.S. and Canada, along with many other South African flowers.

  5. Anita says:

    Looks like that leopard was in for a nasty surprise. And loved the photo of ostrich riding! So many wonderful things you keep sharing with us. Thanks!

  6. fascinating!
    Your fynbos species plants are lovely! (I’ve learned a new word!)
    I’ve never heard of riding an ostrich before!

  7. I love these P words especially, Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Pietermaritzburg!

    And I am so intriqued with the idea of racing on a giant bird! Wow…that would be quite an experience!

    Thanks for letting us pop in this week to learn more about this fascinating country! I am learning so much with this series of yours!

    Thank yo ufor sharing it.


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