AS South Africans marked Heritage Day with celebrations and braais, nine teams competed in the Travel Quest adventure race in Nelson Mandela Bay on Monday.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has used this month to encourage Bay residents to tour their city and explore its heritage sites. The purpose of the event was to educate front-line staff members from tourism service providers, affording them the opportunity to explore all the products Nelson Mandela Bay offers.
Service providers from the tourism industry were invited to enter a team of four staff members. A total of 31 adults entered and it was a family experience, with six children taking part in the action-filled day.
The event, based on reality show The Amazing Race, saw the teams racing to figure out the clues to be able to head to the next destination.
Teams met just before 8am at the tourism office in Walmer where they were briefed and then had to decipher the first clue before they all sped off to their next destination.
Clues were either hidden at the destination or handed over by a representative once the team had completed a particular task. Leisure tourism coordinator Jonker Fourie said although an event like this could prove to be a logistical nightmare, the teams' enjoyment was well worth all the effort.
"Some of the participants visited places they didn't even know existed in their own city and said they would definitely go back to get to know it better."
The questers' final clue led them to Humewood's Happy Valley where they were welcomed by Bay TV's braai day revellers.
Team Awesome – made up of Kelly-Rae Mortimer, Natalie Vosloo, Jeremy Kohler and Grant MacGeoghegan – were first to arrive at the final checkpoint.
Mortimer said the quest was an experience she would never forget.
"It was lots of fun and there are so many things to experience in the city."
Following clue 11 at the Red Location Lodge in New Brighton, teams were handed a photograph of a woman standing in Njoli Square.
Team "probably stopped for coffee along the way" finished the race in final position but team member Sonwabiso Nompunga said he had entered the race for the experience.
"We had fun, learnt a lot about our city and will have to learn quicker routes for getting around," Nompunga said.
Fourie said the event was a success and there were hopes it would become an annual event.