A visit to East London or Radiator Springs

Until this weekend I had never been to the Eastern Cape so it was all new to me. I drove through from PE to East London to meet David there. (If you are wondering why – it has to do with flight prices etc)

The drive was beautiful. I travelled on the R72 – it is a single lane for most of the way but it is such a lovely drive. You drive along the coast for a while and pass through some pretty little towns like Port Alfred,Kenton on Sea and Kleinemonde.




Then you arrive in East London.

If you have ever watched the movie Cars you will know Radiator Springs, well East London reminds me of Radiator Springs. It is a small, unloved little town with huge potential!!!

The race is held on one of the dodgiest beaches in East London but to be honest I never really felt unsafe. The houses along the beach front are falling apart – literally but they are such beautiful old homes that with a lick of paint and some love could be stunning.

If I was a billionaire I would buy up all the homes within a block from the beach we were at and renovate them. They are screaming to be loved!!

I must say though that the people are incredibly friendly!!! Everyone we asked for directions or assistance was more than willing to help!

There is a hidden gem though! Beacon Bay and Nahoon Beach. Nahoon Beach is breathtaking. I wish David and I had more time to just chill there – it was just what we needed after the race.


I would actually go so far as to say that this little beach make a trip to East London a must!!

We then spent Monday in PE waiting for our flight and it really is such a lovely little town. The beach is beautiful, the people friendly and vibe totally chilled!


Another highlight was meeting Shayne – I have been following Shayne’s blogging for years and years and when I met her it didn’t feel like the first time we had met. It was so lovely and I could have chatted to her all day!!! I am just very glad she is a cycler wife because I am not sure a non-athletes wife would have understood my need to be back at the race when David let me know his bike had broken!

All in all it was a great little weekend away to another beautiful part of our country!!!

Have you ever been to PE or East London? What did you think?


  1. says

    Town??? It’s a city……

    But I must admit that one of the reasons I love PE is because of its town feel. It was also the same reason that I hated it as a teenager.

    I LOVE the Eastern Cape. Hopefully next time you are in town we can meet up too.

    • says

      Pamela – when I asked the Europcar where we could go shop – we were looking for something for the kids – he sends me to a centre with a PnP on the beach front and tells me there are lots and LOTS of shops there – lol – there were about 6!

  2. Christelle says

    I’ve been to PE & EL – both places where for IMSA….. I love EL just for the fact that 70.3 is held there.

  3. says

    You met up with Shayne…isn’t she lovely? I would have loved to meet up with you too…seeing that you were in my little town. We lived in East London for 4 years back in the 80’s, in Beacon Bay and I still believe that the people are the friendliest in this country.

      • says

        No I live in Port Elizabeth. Shayne and I get together whenever she is in PE and we did a weekend photography course together. I also went to visit her on the farm already. I love it when blog buddies become “in real life” friends. My mother lives in Kidds Beach about 30km from East London so we go there often.

  4. says

    Hmm, I must visit EL again maybe I would appreciate it. Only been there once on a trip through the garden route and my impression of it was a run-down port town, that would have been very beautiful in it’s glory days.

  5. says

    My gran lived in PE so we went there for December holidays quite a lot as a kid – always loved going to PE. I will be in PE on the 2nd Feb again as we travel to Plett.

    Never been to EL but it looks gorgeous!


  6. says

    Well PE is my hometown, proud of that indeed :) Wish I could make it to visit more often. Glad you had a fabulous time, its really a hidden gem !

  7. says

    It does look lovely!
    How did the race go, bar the bicycle incident?

    I’ve been to PE – it was part of our Cape Tour when we were in Standard 5 and all I can remember of it was that it was windy and the dolphinarium, which I totally loved!

  8. says

    I lived in PE for about a year before I moved to Pretoria. I loved living there. Everything was so easy paced and there was always enough time in the day which is something we don’t really appreciate until you live in the craziness of Gauteng.

  9. says

    What lovely pics!

    Yes, it was great to meet you too. Am so sorry that it was cut short as i know we could have chatted all day!

    Glad that he was ok though and only his ego was damaged.


  10. says

    We had short stay in PE (hardly a stay – we picked up a car from the airport and drove to George). The only thing about PE that I recall was that it looked vaguely industrial (but that was around the airport). The scary part of the trip was going back to the airport in the day light and seeing how dangerously close we could have been to dying – there’s a fair section on the way to Knysna that has a small little bridge/road-thing over WATER with no rail, and we were doing, easily, 180 to get to the B&B before midnight.

  11. says

    Hi to you all!
    Having been born in Virginia OFS, (Definitely Radiator Springs!) then lived and schooled in PE and been residing in East London for the past 39 years I can quite honestly say its the best place to live work and play. There is a secret, you need to know where to go! You have found one of our gems, Nahoon I will let you in on another there are PLENTY more like that. The dodgy beach you refer to is most probably one of the safest beaches in the world, not the best surf but for family with young kids very safe no massive rip tides etc. With the added bonus of seeing the massive ships being escorted into the only river port in SA up close!
    Unfortunately as you quite rightly pointed out our beach front is in dire need of an injection of serious development which as we know and you eluded too will also need serious money, and we as residence all know it, but there are so many agenda’s here that the big picture gets lost in translation. As an example a casino development that would have seriously got our beachfront going and on par with PE it was decided by the powers that be to do it in the middle of nowhere, reason given its close to the highway? East London (not SLUMMIES) East London has the best beaches, the best schools, our suburbs are fantastic, from point A to B will not take you more than 20minutes! And as you have mentioned we have the friendliest people. So here is a personal invite please visit us again and if you want we will gladly show you some of our “hidden gems” you will want to come back that is a promise. See you soon!

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