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P E recce

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08 Oct 2020 @ 11:48:13 am
George
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Went for a drive to P E yesterday to do a recce at the willows caravan park there. coming towards P E from port alfred side about 20 or so kms out we saw a sign board showing caravan park and we figured why not, we there lets go have a look. We turned of and behind a really untidy looking gas station was a crumpled sign board which at a closer look we could make out the name pearson park, wilst we had no intention of staying there we were just going to look anyway.
 
We approached an out building which turned out to be the office and was not greeted by a lady who on our enquiry to have a look at the park abruptly barked that we would have to pay R85.00 for her to open the gate. We declined and drove of................

Having not been to P E  before we were at the sole mercy of the gps, this devise has led us up the garden path a few times in the past however this time it was on par,  the route took us past the harbour and along the entire beach front and a further 10 kms or so out the other side we arrived at the willows.
 
On the onset we were impressed, reported to the reception were we were greeted by a very helpful lady who then opened the gate for us saying take your time , look around. we found the private ablution sites  first and approached a couple who were on the backline of the sites.

We probably  chatted to them for about an hour or so about the park in general and got to see the private ablution block first hand, its rather small comparing to what we have hear at green fountains consisting of a shower , a toilet and what they called a kitchen area.

What soon became apparent was the monkey issue, apon noticing there tent was rather spartan inside they replied this was because the monkeys will take anything they can carry , food or not . Well we still have our monkey deterrent which we bought at richards bay some 2 years back which worked there and wilst we have never needed to use it since, it sure looks looks its going to work again now.

However the private ablution side of the park did not appeal to us as its a very compact row of sites with very little privacy and with that we headed of to the main park area, now this was more in our comfort zone . The back row of sites which im sure are the best wind breakers are just to small to get a caravan 2 cars and a boat on , and wilst the front row of sites are nice ........ well we know about the wind, anyway we choose site 19 which is in the middle row with trees on either side and enough space in front for our stuff. Whilst we know P E is generally windy and as we will be there in the first half of next year i dont anticipate it to be as windy as this time of the year.

We went back to the reception, confirmed our booking and set of to find the noordhoek ski boat club. its about 2 kms or so from the willows and again from the onset you just know its the right place to be. Met a friendly and helpful guy at the pub / restaurant / clubhouse who gave us all the relevant information and after watching a few boats coming in over lunch we left and headed back to port alfred.
two roads diverged in a wood and i took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
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08 Oct 2020 @ 13:55:46 pm
Skolopad
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George due to financial reasons still need to to the old 8 - 2 - 5 , but  your reporting is such a pleasure to read, think you scored well in the essay exercise at school 

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08 Oct 2020 @ 15:12:04 pm
PieterWK
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Just remember, George is English, I am not.  :-)

2 Years ago family from the good old Transvaal came visiting us whilst on their tour down the coast.

They stayed at Green Fountains for the same reason as they then moved to Pearson Park at Colchester (pet friendly).

The only negative they reported on Pearson Park was that, whilst being on the river (quite high river bank), you were cut off from the beach and not close to it.

Madness to have to pay anything just for a quick scouting of a caravan park.

Now me, I cannot understand why people flock to the Willows.

Having being brought up at Port Alfred and spending holidays on Natal South coast later years during my 28 year of being a Transvaler before moving down to PE (work related), I was horrified when I first cast my eyes over the famous Willows set-up. Nothing wrong with the Willows, but there is not a stretch of sandy beach in sight, for that you climb in your vehicle and go on that bumpy road back to PE main beaches. I suppose the tidal pool is ok for binnelanders who appreciate anything with water in it, and you can play with the kids amongst the rocks and try and catch small fish caught up in the water between the rocks, I want miles of sandy beaches with nice wave swellings.

Something that I loved of the Natal South coast beaches is that some caravan parks are adjacent to one another which meant that, well you know what I want to say about beach access.  

We once camped at The Willows, and of course the camping is wonderful (we were in the front row with a view of the ocean) and the grandchild likes playing amongst the rocks.  

One evening I forgot my toiletry bag in the shower, and after phoning the reception, the lady told me that the cleaner handed it in, and it was returned to me promptly.

No monkeys bothered us, maybe they were closer to the road, coming from the shelter of the bushes across the road to where the private ablution area is, where you first went to. 

It is unfortunate that Green Fountains, Mendolino Park in Port Alfred, Pearsons Park and The Willows seems to be the only pet friendly caravan parks along this stretch of coast and I venture to say that  you will pass lovely places like Stormsrivier and be in the Garden route before there are any other pet friendly caravan parks, which really places a handicap our ability to go camping.

 

When you are at The Willows, you can also check out van Stadens rivier mond resort, they updates the resort and I believe the camping area is isolated a bit from the (many) day visitors, although, of course, you use the same beach area, which has kilos of walking space.

 

 

 

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08 Oct 2020 @ 15:24:06 pm
George
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Hi pieter, i guess at our age we dont care to much about the beach, our primary wants are, 

a organized secure park thats near a ski boat launch , that we can use as a base to explore the surrounding area from, bearing in mind that we have never been to these parts of the country before. 

its the exploring around that excites us most, 

two roads diverged in a wood and i took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
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08 Oct 2020 @ 15:59:01 pm
PieterWK
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Then The Willows will suite you.

Maybe I should act my age, hey?

 

Going onto 66.

Feeling like a big dog still trying to fit into his box he slept in as a puppy.

:-)

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09 Oct 2020 @ 09:58:25 am
Skolopad
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On a early link on this site of pensioner discount, it did state that Willows give a pensioner discount, by the look of it all year round. PS where are the Willows of the "Willows"

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09 Oct 2020 @ 10:05:06 am
George
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hi lance, willows is just outside port elizabeth, they have a good monthly pensioner rate , R2060.00 p /m , i dont know about all year round though as we wont be there that long.

two roads diverged in a wood and i took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
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09 Oct 2020 @ 17:53:53 pm
Surfer
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Hi George,

I'm sure you'll enjoy  the Willows. We have stayed there on a few occasions in the past at both the private and general caravan sites. I do intend to agree with you regarding the top sites being more spacious. 

The monkeys do tend to be a problem. Especially around the private sites and nearby cottages and we have seen many raids taking place!

Regards

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