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Notes on the Geography of South Africa: Port Elizabeth: Photo 1

world pictures South Africa: Port Elizabeth

We're about 500 sea-miles east of Cape Town and at Delgoa Bay, a corruption of "de Lagoa," or lagoon. You'll have to hunt for a lagoon, but apparently there was one at the mouth of the small, olive-green stream you see passing with a bordering strip of green under the elevated highway. The name came not from Bartolomeu Dias, the first European to see the place. Nor from Vasco da Gama, who came a few years later. It came two short lifetimes later, in 1576, with another Portuguese navigator, Manuel de Mesquita Perestrelo. Odd that it took another 250 years before Europeans attempted a permanent settlement, but something very similar happened with Durban.

We're on what's called "the hill" at a point overlooking what's called "the valley." There's a fair view here of the port(supplemented now by an entirely new one a few miles to the left or east.) Any guesses why that patch of forest on the right survives? We'll take a look.

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