Posted in Comrades Marathon, Medals, Ordinarylife, Running, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training

Friendly City Marathon

On Saturday it was the Rafi’s Friendly City Marathon and it was my first big race for the year.  After the marathon in December I was not holding out much hope for it…

I trained a tiny bit more this time with a couple of runs around the 30km mark, but  I also realised that before my last one I did everything wrong so this time I made sure my race prep was better.  I ate properly the entire week leading up to it and especially the day before.  For me this means staying off the grains, eating more fats and making sure I get loads of green veggies in.  I also made sure that I was off my feet for most of Friday.

My other plans was to implement a run/walk strategy right from the start. They had a water point every 3 km and I planned to walk every single one of them, right from the third kilometer, whether I felt I need to or not.  I also planned on walking the two hills.  My plan in the December marathon was the total opposite.  I planned on running until 21km and then seeing what happened.

So, how did it go?  ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!

The smile says it all.
The smile says it all.

I could not have asked for a better marathon.  Not only did I get a personal best of over 21 minutes, I got a better seeding for Comrades (so now my sister and I are in the same batch) and better that all of that I loved every minute of it.  There was not a minute in the race where I felt like it was too far or I was aching.  There were a few points where I was counting down till the next water point so I could walk, but they seemed to come pretty quickly.

Right from the start I walked every water point.  It was so tempting to run the first few, especially the 3km one as I felt fine but I stuck to my plan.  The first time I walked not at a water point was on the first hill and that was in the last 10 km.  I had planned on walking that anyway.  I think my last 5 kilometers were about the quickest of the entire race.  I cannot believe the difference from the marathon 2 months ago!  It just shows what a difference a clear plan and good race prep can do.

Time Friendly City Marathon

I now feel so much more confident for the rest of my goals for this year.  My next major one is at the end of the month – the Addo Elephant Trail Run 44km.  At least with this, it’s a trail run so I will be taking my camera and appreciating the amazing scenery of the Eastern Cape.

Friendly City Marathon Medal

 

 

 

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Posted in Hiking Trails, Port Elizabeth, Running, Trail Running

Trail Running – my favourite part of winter

This winter however has been FUN!!!

I have been running a lot more than last winter!  That was not hard, last winter I was off injured for the majority of the time.

There are some amazing trails around PE and we have been making the most of them.  Most of them are free, some you pay a nominal amount – all are very worth it.

Here are a few of my favourite photos

First, My favourite one of me running.  (Thank you Willie Lawson for taking it)

Pamela - Woodridge Trail Run
Me – Trail running, my happy place.  Woodridge Trail Run

3 Rivers Trails 12km

3 Rivers Trails, training run
3 Rivers Trails, training run
Baakens Valley Series organised by Free Spirit Adventures
Baakens Valley Series organised by Free Spirit Adventures
Alexandria Hiking Trail (thanks Linda Rowe Photography)
Alexandria running on the Hiking Trail (thanks Linda Rowe Photography) also organised by Free Spirit Adventures
My awesome sister (and Drylands partner)
My awesome sister (and Drylands partner)
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Under Van Staden’s Bridge. An informal run to support the Friends of van Stadens and the Flower Reserve

Did you know that it is free to visit the Van Stadens Flower reserve and there are walks, runs and mountain bike trails that you can use all year round.

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Crossways Farm Village
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King Protea 3 Rivers Trails – Crossways
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3 Rivers Trails – Crossways

Notes on the 3 of the venues:

In Port Elizabeth – Baakens Valley – FREE!!  There are many access points to the Valley all throughout the city.  It is free to run, walk or bike here but it is advisable to go in a group.  We have not had any problems but I have heard of some people being harrased or mugged. BE CAREFUL

Port Elizabeth – Surrounding areas:

Van Stadens Flower Reserve, access on on the same road as the Van Stadens Pass and Woodridge Schools. You can visit the Facebook group “Friends of Van Stadens or the website VAN STADENS: for more info.  The reserve spans both sides of the N2 and is stunning.  Entry is free of charge and there are easy walks, hikes and bike paths. There are also more challenging trails for running and walking. The vegetation is diverse and has wooded areas and fynbos.  It is awesome.

3 Rivers Trails Crossways Farm Village  Cost R40.00 For more information visit their Facebook page or website 3 Rivers Trails.  The trails are marked and there are many different options for mountain biking, running and walking and all different distances. Each time we have been we have done a different route.  Those that did the Port Elizabeth leg of the Rhino Run will know it – this was the venue. Sign in and pay at the Crossways Farm Village Country Kitchen.  If you plan on doing parts of the Longmore Forest, you will also need a forestry permit.

If you would like to stay up to date on trail runs in the Port Elizabeth area there is a group on Facebook called Trail Adventures which is updated regularly.

Posted in Comrades Marathon, Duathlon, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Wetsuit, Work

An achievement and a giveaway!

I know I have said this before, but I have been blown away by the support I have been receiving for SA Medal Hangers – and I know it seems weird to say, but I am stupid proud of them. I have one up on my wall and I stare at it all the time. I am not sure which I am more proud off, the medals that hang from it or the actually hanger.
I also know it is early days, I know I still have far to go and I know that having a full time job has been a huge cushion for me in starting this business, but I am really proud of myself for taking what could have been a blow and trying to make it a positive.
Before starting this I did keep most of my medals, but they were hanging on a broken clothes hanger in the back bedroom cupboard. I would not look at them, but just add another medal as I got it. It was actually Mr OL’s suggestion that we display them but could not really think of a solution and then I found this idea.
Now that the medals are up and I can see them I realise just how far I have come. I started running again in 2005 and did my first Ironman in 2007. In the past 8 years running and triathlon have become a huge part of my life and I love it!
I know that not everybody wants to display their medals, and a lot of people don’t even take them at races, but since putting them up on the wall I have started seeing them not just as the metal and ribbon, but as something more than that! As an achievement – and something I should be very proud off.
To give somebody else the opportunity to feel that sense of pride and achievement I have decided to run a giveaway on SA Medal Hangers’ Facebook page. The details are all there, so please go and have a look. You could win a 65cm triple bar medal hanger of your choice! (Sorry – Open to South African Residents only). CLICK HERE for details.

SA Medal Hangers

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ironman, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Trail Running

Hitting the trails

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(I love this picture – all lined up to wave goodbye as Mr OL leaves for work)

 

I have started running regularly again and I am happy girl.

This past weekend I did the Sunshine Coast Trail Run and it was awesome. I even managed to be sensible about the whole thing and restrict myself to the 8km option. There was a 20km but I figured that was pushing it a bit and one sure fire way to get injured again, so sanity prevailed. I did this race last year as well, and although I thought I was way fitter last year I found this year easier. Maybe I went slower. I think I walked pretty much the same amount.

However, sanity can only prevail for so long though and I have entered the 20km Rhino Run to be held on the 22 September…… To those of you that have not heard of the Rhino Run, you should look into it. They are held all around the country at the same time in aid off – yip Rhinos. There are even 3 options in the Eastern Cape, one at Crossways, and one at Kenton and one at East London, so no excuses (if you like trail running). There are 6km, 12km and 20km options. (You can enter the PE one HERE)
Then the Fairview Dryland is getting closer and closer! I am getting more and more excited and nervous! But I figure I will be walking most of those hills no matter how fit I am so I may as well look at it as a bit of hike and less of a run…….
Next weekend it is also the Urban Run. That is my all-time favourite fun event. I LOVE it. I am so glad that I will be able to do it as I was getting rather nervous that my foot would be ok. Looks like it will be fine.
OK, enough updates for now.
Wait – one more.     I have been getting customer photos for SA Medal Hangers and it has been so much fun to see everybody’s medals. Can I just say I am loving this!  I have put the photos upon Facebook – go have a look.  Such awesome achievements. I get excited for them.  Look at all those Ironman SA medals

SA Medal Hangers
SA Medal Hangers
Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Starting young

I took a couple of days leave last week to spend the last few days of holidays with Little OL and boy was it FUN!  Time flew.  I am not sure I could ever be a “stay at home” mom, but days when I don’t have to go into work are pure joy.  (who am I kidding I could totally be a stay at home mom)

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While off I wanted to do some active stuff with Little OL – she is becoming a bit of a couch potato and I don’t like it.  Unfortunately during the holidays the nanny has been putting her in front of the TV and that is pretty much where she stays – given the option though she would rather be doing something else, so I made sure we did “something else”.

I roped my mom in and we went out.

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My mom is always up for a trip somewhere and on Thursday she suggested we go and climb Lady’s Slipper.  It is a hill just outside PE that my mom climbs regularly but I have never done before.  I was definitely keen!  It was awesome, we did not go all the way up, as I did not want to have to worry about Little OL and her safety, so as soon as it started getting a bit rocky and steep we stopped.  Saying that we still got more than ½ way up.  I loved it and Little OL is still bragging to anyone that will listen that she climbed a mountain.

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It was pretty cool having all 3 generations walking up the hill together and hopefully it was the first of many hikes that we will all do together.  My mom and I used to hike quite a bit together before Little OL was born, and now that she is getting older hopefully I will be able to get back into it.  I think I have mentioned before that for my mom’s 60th Birthday my mom, sister and I climbed Kilimanjaro…… Let’s see what Little OL and I will do to celebrate my 60th…. (thank fully still quite a few years away.

Kilimanjaro Summit 2005
Kilimanjaro Summit 2005

It felt really good to get my hiking boots on again!

Posted in Hiking Trails, Knysna, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa, Trail Running, Training

I plan to run this city (and its surrounds)

I am not a fan of winter, however if it continues like this I might just change my mind.  It was 30 degrees in PE on Monday.  In fact I think I am going to change my mind anyway, regardless of the weather.  My reason –trail running!  I love trail running.  I have done a few over the past couple of years, but really go into it last year.  This year it is becoming a bit of an obsession!  So much so that my sister and I have entered a multi stage event in November – I am really excited.

It is the Fairview Dryland Traverse and is over 4 days, the first day being a 8km prologue with parts of it through the Cango Caves!  How awesome. The next three days are each about 27km.  VERY EXCITED!  However after last week’s little 23km run I have realise I need a lot more training, on trails, it is very different to the roads.  So I have tried to set up a schedule of events to keep myself going and excited. I won’t be able to do all of these, and some are more for fun that training but here goes.

JUNE 2013

1st June – 11km or a 5km in Baakens Valley – http://www.trailadventures.co.za to enter and for more details

2nd June – Muck Run – for fun 8km of mud and muck (Entries for this event are SOLD OUT and yes, I do have an entry) http://www.zports.co.za/

Muck run

8 June – Royalston for Rhinos – This is to be held at the Royalston Reserve, which borders on the Lake that Firefly mentioned in a couple of his blog posts – HERE.  Entries are open there is a 15km and a family 5km –  http://www.trailadventures.co.za

Run for Rhinos

15 June – 18km or a 5km – http://www.trailadventures.co.za to enter and for more details

17 June – 10km or a 5km SOS Horsing Around Trail Run Series –Schoenmakerskop, More details on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SosHorsingAroundTrailRunSeries

22 June – Katberg Eco Trail Run;  18 km, 10km, or a 5 km Details on below

Kat run

29 June – Heartbreak Hill 21.1km.  Not a Trail Run but fun nonetheless.  I do plan on doing this.

Heartbreak hill

JULY 2013

28 June to 7 JulyKNYSNA OYSTER FESTIVAL.  There are a whole LOAD of events to choose from (not all sporting, it is the Oyster Festival after all.

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6 July 2013 – Knysna Forest Marathon 21.1km and 42.2km- Charity Entries still open.  (I am not doing either of these – long story)

7 July – HoutKapper Trail – 27km (Entered) there is also a 16km and a 8 km .  This is the first time this event is being held and is part of the Knysna Oyster Festival Details HERE  (Yikes – it says the 27 is for “experienced trail runners – not sure if I consider myself that yet)

houtkapper-logo

20 July – 10km or a 5km SOS Horsing Around Trail Run Series – Bushpig Adventure Cape More; details on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SosHorsingAroundTrailRunSeries

AUGUST 2013

4 August – Woodridge Trail Runs – not a series this year, this is the only date  (I have done a couple of these races before – read HERE)

9 August – PROVISIONAL _ Details to be announced.  There are talks about a 25km out at Cockscombe.  Should be awesome, can’t wait to hear more.

10 August – 10km or a 5km SOS Horsing Around Trail Run Series – Walker Drive Shopping Centre – More details on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SosHorsingAroundTrailRunSeries

9 – 11 August – Southern Cross Multi Day Trail Run – Details here http://www.southerncrossadventure.co.za/calendar.html  (I won’t be doing this, but have heard it is fantastic)

SEPTEMEBER 2013

8 September – Sunshine Coast Trail Run – Details to Follow (I did this last year, was awesome, read about it HERE)

14/15 September – Urban Run – entries open on 1st June.  www.zports.co.za  ENTER , ENTER, ENTER!!!! Although not a trail run it is one of my favourite events of the year!  LOVE IT.  HERE (2012) and HERE (2011) are blog posts about the previous 2 runs held.

Urban run

14 September Baviaanskloof Trail Run – Entries are very limited and open soon.  I will not be doing it, but would like to one year.

22 September – Rhino Run – There are numerous runs held around the country with the PE event being held at at Crossways Village it has a 6km, a 12km and a 20km  Details on Facebook HERE

Rhino Run

21/22 or 23/24 SeptemberOtter Run SOLD OUT.  I would like to do this one year, but have heard it is very tough and entries are limited.  I have walked the Otter Trail a couple of times and it is an awesome part of the country.

NOVEMBER 2013

7 – 10 November – The BIG ONE – at least for me!  The FAIRVIEW DRYLAND TRAVERSE! Can’t wait.

If I have left any out that you think I would like or that you would like to include in this list please just put it in the comments and I will add it.

I also believe that there are training runs most Thursday nights, one held at Dodds Farm and one held at Hopewell Estate (run by the Charlo Running Club).  I unfortunately have art classes on a Thursday night and so have never done these.

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So, PE people you can have no excuses not to get out there and see the surround areas.  Some of these runs are actually right in the centre of the city.  You will be amazed at the beauty we have here – we are very fortunate!

Posted in Ordinarylife

Retirement – will you be ready?

226 Months – that is the amount of months I have till I retire!  Or in other words the number of salaries I have left assuming I work until I turn 60. Scary isn’t it!

Two of my Facebook friends posted about financial wellbeing or retirement today.   The one posted the following:

“47% of women over the age of 50 are single; *50% of marriages end in divorce *in the first year after divorce, a woman’s standard of living drops an average of 73%; *Of the elderly living in poverty, 3 out of 4 are women, yet 80% of these women were not poor when their husbands were alive; *90% of all women will be solely responsible for their financial well-being within their lifetime.” – US stats.

And the other posted the following link:  http://m.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-investment-insights/retirement-fund-contributions-where-is-the-bulls-e

Is your retirement something you think about? Is retirement something you believe you will be ready for?  Or do you rely on the fact that your husband/partner/wife (if you have one) probably has it sorted?  Do you know what position you will be in when you retire or even if you will be able to afford to.  Our daughter will only be starting university when we want to retire.

I work for a small company, I have always worked for small companies (or on contract or traipsed around overseas) I have never had a company Provident Fund or Retirement Fund.  A few years ago I took out a Retirement Annuity but nowhere near enough to cover what I would require to retire comfortably.  I knew I needed to make another plan so I started looking at buying property.  Not to live in, but to rent out.  I, myself, was renting at the time and it made financial sense for me to continue renting, which I did until I got married and movedin with my husband.  Somebody asked me the other day how I manage to do this.  I guess the best article I have found so far to describe it is HERE.  (Thanks Marcia  of Organising Queen for the link to this blog).  I always make sure that the rental I stand to receive covers not only my Bond repayment (I Bond it to the max ) but also the water (tenants pay their own eletricity), rates, levies etc.  And yes, it is totally possible, but you need to look around and be VERY fussy.  I look at a lot of properties!  You also have to realise that because you don’t want to live in that specific neighbourhood does not mean that nobody wants to live in that specific neighbourhood.  The lower income areas generally make for better rental areas.

There are a few other reasons why I buy in lower income areas.

1. I could never afford the deposit (or mortgage) on a more expensive property;

2.  At least if my tenant does not pay or I don’t have a tenant for a month or two I could afford to cover the bond (even if I need to use my credit card for that month – which is not a good idea by the way) and

3. There are more tenants looking to rent in lower income areas so your property is less likely to stand empty.

I have had hassles with tenants not paying and/or damaging my properties, but then so have friends of mine who rent out in more affluent areas.  I don’t beleive that the level of income is always a sign that somebody is going to take care off your property or pay on time.

So, for my retirement I have a goal – I want to own at least 10 rental properties by the time I am 55.  I have 3 at the moment and will be putting in an offer on another one this week.  I have however calculated that if I want to retire solely on the rental and maintain a decent standard of living I need at least 14 paid off properties – remembering that I rent out to the lower end of the market.  Thankfully I also have that RA ….

Do you have any questions?

NB:  Please note that I am NOT a financial advisor or expert in this field.  This is purely based on my experience.

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, Trail Running, Training, Training, Triathlon

So, Ironman South Africa???

The big question everybody asks me, even before I completed the 70.3 is whether or not I am going to be doing the full Ironman again this year.

I must admit that it is tempting….  Both my brother and sister are going to do it again – it will be my sister’s 6th full Ironman. WOW.  And it is on my birthday.  I can just imagine how emotional it will be standing on the start, on my birthday with both of them waiting for the canon to blast.

That is until I think of all that is involved and the commitment it takes with regards to the training.  I am not in the right space to do it.  It is not a priority in my life.  Mr and Little OL are.  I don’t want be on my bike for more than 3 hours on a Saturday morning.  I don’t want to then have to run the next day for more than an hour. I want to be at home.  I work full time and the weekends are the only time I get to spend with them.

That is also one of the reasons why I don’t like training in the evenings.  For the 70.3 I was able to train in the mornings before Little OL woke, if I wanted to do the full Ironman I would need to train in the evenings as well.  I am not prepared to do that.  I already go to art classes one night a week, so miss her that night.

And I would need to be asleep by 8:30 – 9:00pm.  I just don’t have the time at the moment to do that.  I am enjoying baking and crafting and the only time I get to do that is in the evenings after Little OL goes to sleep.  I would not be able to do these things.

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVED training for Ironman last time, but I was in a totally different space.  I was able to make it a priority and put my all into it.  Now I just don’t want to.  Maybe in a few years’ time when Little OL is older I might want to do it again.  That is not to say that this year I am not going to set myself challenges or give myself goals.  I am useless with training without a goal.

This year I would like to run a marathon.  I have never run a stand-alone marathon and would like to.  I would also like to do the Dry Land Traverse in November.  It is a 4 day stage trail run.  It looks awesome.  I think those are big enough goals for the year. Then of course there is Ironman 70.3 next year again……

Posted in Cycling, Hobie Beach, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Running, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

No excuses!

Sporty or active residents of Port Elizabeth and surrounds (and those visiting over the holidays) have NO reason to complain that there is “nothing to do”.  In fact the list is so extensive you actually now have to pick and choose.

I have decided to compile a little list here just to highlight exactly how much is going on in PE over the next month or so.  And these are only the ones that I know about.  If you have an event in the area over the holidays you can let me know and I will add it to the list.

Triathlon

Summer Series   

16th December 2012 – PORT ELIZABETH (Competed)

23th December 2012 – POLLOK BEACH  (Competed)

26th December 2012 – PORT ST FRANCIS

The races are sprint distance – so 750m swim, 20km cycle and a 5km run.  It can be done as an individual or as a team.  There is also a run, swim run event which will be held at Port Elizabeth and Pollok Beach events.

Website for more info:  Zports Summer Tri Series

Trail Running

15 December  Van Der Kemp’s Kloof Trail Run

Organised by the Malabar Athletics Club – Starts at 8:00 am, at Van Der Kemp’s Kloof, Water Road, Bethelsdorp

Distances 16km, 5km, 3km

Website for more info:  Van Der Kemp’s Kloof Trail Run  and Malabar AC Facebook Page 

15 December        Discovery Beach Marathon

18 km St Francis to Jeffrey’s bay (3km on tar road followed by 15 km along beach (including a river crossing)

Website for more info: Sunflower Discovery Beach Run

17 December        Cape Recife Trail Run  (Competed)

5km, 10 km and 20km options

Website for more info: Cape Recife Trail Run

Every Thursday – Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Held every Thursday night at 6pm, run as many loops of 2.6km as you can in 60 minutes.

Website for more info:  Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Every (or most) Wednesday nights

An informal training run in Baakens Valley starting at Bridge Street, meeting at 5:15 – 10km.

Website for more info:  Free Spirit Adventures – Facebook page

Open Water Swimming

Ocean Racing Series (ongoing – and competed in a few)

Every alternate Sunday at Hobie Beach –starting again on 13 January 2013.

Website for more info: Ocean Racing Series

22 & 23 December – Marina Mile

Held in Marina Martinque with various distances from 25km (ouch) to 500m.  There is more information on their website with regards to the different distances.

Website for more info: Marina Mile

31 December – Nelson Mandela Bay Mile  (Competed)

A one mile (1.6km) swim from Humewood Beach to Kings Beach (one way)

Website for more info:  Nelson Mandela Bay Mile

Mountain Biking

Every Thursday – Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Held every Thursday night, ride as many loops of 3.1km as you can in 60 minutes.

Website for more info:  Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

17 December – Hopewell Open Day Ride

Starting at 8:00 am and held in conjunction with Masters and Ladies Cycle club, there are various distances from 12km to 30 km.

Website for more info:  Masters and Ladies Facebook page

 So now you have absolutely NO excuse not to put on your running shoes, dust of your bike or put on a swim cap and goggles.  Get out there and do something this festive season.  (then no guilt for that extra Christmas Mince Pie)

Facebook pages to like if you want to keep informed of events in this area.

Trail Busters

Mountain Events

Nelson Mandela Bay Events

Trail Running EC

Swimming Plus

Go Trail Editor

Zports

Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Hobie Beach, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Shark Rock Pier, Training

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 21 – Day 23

Day 21 – I am grateful that FINALLY I have the keys to my property. The tenant has moved out and no damage has been done – except for dent in my pocket the size of a couple of month’s rent.

Day 22 – I am just grateful in general.  I am not sure if I am a lucky person, or just choose not to focus on the negative but generally stuff is good and I am grateful for that.

Day 23 – today I am just grateful it is Friday!

Here is another picture of Port Elizabeth, Hobie Beach.  It was taken from the balcony of our running club on Tuesday night after the run.  Seriously can the view get any better?  I don’t think so!  Body Concept must have one of the best views and locations of any running club in the world!

Hobie Beach, Port Elizabeth