Enjoying the view from the lookout spot on Periwinkle Lane on the eastern side of Schoenmakerskop
For the last week one waking up out of a Rip von Winkel sleep could easily have thought it was summer here in Port Elizabeth. It’s been hot and humid. We headed down to Schoenies this afternoon and rather than just getting our feet wet, we went for a swim at the Tanks. First swim of the season.
Looking down from the start of the Sacramento Trail in Schoenmakerskop towards Sardinia Bay (the sand dunes in the distance) about 4 kilometers away. The 8km round trip is probably Port Elizabeth’s best known and most popular hiking trail.
I’m really enjoying the trail behind Schoenmakerskop lately. It’s nice and flat, open all around, yet fairly sheltered from the prevailing south-easterly wind.
I’ve been doing a lot of walking on the jeep track trails behind Schoenmakerskop lately and climbed the one koppie on Sunday afternoon to get a better view of the coastline, the village and surrounding scenery.
The name Sacramento is synonymous with Schoenmakerskop. There is the Sacramento Trail, the Sacramento cannon and the Sacramento Restaurant. But what is the Sacramento. She was a Portuguese galleon that aground just off Schoenmakerskop outside Port Elizabeth on 30 June 1647 in foul weather. By the time she hit the rocky coastline, she had a badly damaged rudder and her sails were in tatters. 72 of the crew made it ashore and set off towards Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), 1400km away.
The Sacramento was heavily loaded with a cargo of bronze cannons cast in Macao and destined for Portugal. The cannon lay undisturbed on the ocean bed for 330 years until 40 of them were salvaged in 1977.
One of the original Sacramento guns stand at the west side of Schoenmakerskop pointing in the direction of where she met her fate.
Marine Drive along the Port Elizabeth beachfront and the Wildside all the way out to Schoenmakerskop probably has some of the best scenery in PE. Sea views, a rugged coastline, gullies to enjoy with kids, fishing spots, coastal fynbos, shipwrecks, whales and dolphins, hiking trails, nature reserves, picnic spots, camp sites, tons of photo opportunities and so much more.
It seems that it doesn’t matter where and what time of year you go for a hike along one of the trails around Port Elizabeth, there is always plants flowering. It’s one of the great things of especially fynbos which is found along a lot of the coastal trails around here. Something is always blooming, doesn’t matter the season. With level 3 lock down allowing hiking, there’s really no excuse not to get out over weekend to go and experience the beauty of our region, even if you just go and walk the first couple of hundred meters of the Sacramento Trail in Schoenmakerskop.