I just spent four days in Port Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela Bay, with four other bloggers. It rocked.

First 4

The first photo I shot in Port Elizabeth on Thursday morning. Left to right: Rachel of Bush-bound Girl, Meruschka of Mzansi Girl, Heather of 2Summers, and Dianne of Afribird. Theresa of Fine Places is missing from the photo — she arrived a few minutes later.

First, some background on the area. Port Elizabeth, which is along the southeastern coast of Eastern Cape Province, is the fourth-largest city in South Africa. South Africans often refer to Port Elizabeth as “PE”. Nelson Mandela Bay is the name of the larger metropolitan municipality, which includes PE and the nearby towns of Uitenhage, Despatch, and Colchester, as well as Addo Elephant National Park. We explored PE this weekend, and several other areas in Nelson Mandela Bay.

I spent 36 hours in PE about two years ago but didn’t have time to explore the area at all. So everything we saw and did this weekend was new to me.

Second, a word about this trip. The other four bloggers and I were sponsored by Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, who invited us to PE and paid our expenses. The only things expected of the bloggers in return are that we post about the trip on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook — you can follow our Twitter and Instagram posts under the hashtag “#PErocks” — and blog about our experiences in any way we choose.

I’ve done a couple of media trips like this before, but this was my first time taking a trip designed specifically for bloggers. It was so great. All the bloggers were awesome and we got along like siblings. And Jonker, the guy from Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism who organized the trip, is a blogger himself so he gets it. We didn’t do run-of-the-mill touristy stuff, or at least not much. We did interesting, off-beat, quirky stuff, and thanks to that I’ve become a PE believer.

3 in the wool

Me (left), Meruschka (middle), and Rachel (right) in a mountain of wool. Don’t worry — I’ll explain later. (Photo: Jonker Fourie)

Traveling in a gang of bloggers is hilarious, especially when the food comes out.

Shooting ribs

Mass photoshoot of the ribs at Cubata. Left to right: Dianne, Meruschka, Rachel, Theresa. This was my favorite meal of the weekend — detailed review coming soon.

Shooting meat

Lunch at Chilleks in Walmer Township. Hahaha. It started to get a bit ridiculous after a while. (You’ve probably got the names by now. That’s Jonker on the right.)

Bloggers also like to jump.

3 jumpers

Meruschka (left), Theresa (middle), and Rachel (right) at the Donkin Reserve in downtown PE.

Seriously though, PE really did rock. As did the bloggers. I was lucky to be part of this.

Bloggers on the ground

I’m taking one of the team here, as I’m the only one who looks ridiculous. We were staring up at the sun and I couldn’t take the picture with my sunglasses on.

Stay tuned for more PE posts.

Read my other #PErocks posts here and here.

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