Sunday, March 11, 2012

Climbing the Table in Cape Town

We've now been in Cape Town for a few days and have seen many of the local attractions. One of the main sights is something that has been visible to us from the moment we arrived at the ultra-comfortable Lions Guest House. That would be Table Mountain. All the books talk about it as being one of the must-do's of a visit to Cape Town.

From the back porch and even the kitchen we have a good look at the mountain and the tram service that gets people to the top. Of course, there is also the "do it yourself" option for ascending the mountain.

"The Mountain"

We'd talked about going up for a couple of days, but recent high winds and the threat of the sudden "tablecloth" phenomena kept us from making a move.

"The Mountain with the Tablecloth"

Until today.

I think what got us off the couch was a morning spent at Camps Bay watching the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, which is the world's largest individually timed bike race. Riders challenge a 109 km course that (take it from someone who has now driven around here a bit) is both incredibly scenic and incredibly hilly. Unfortunately there was neither time nor budget for me to get a bike and a suitable spandex outfit to enter. Here's a sample of what we saw this morning.

Once we got back to the guesthouse we did a quick weather check (no wind)and gathered our gear. We were going to get into the game and climb the mountain! Here's us at the beginning of the trail with some new hiking friends we met on the roadway.

The hike is advertised as being a fairly hard 2+ hour climb pretty straight up. From this picture you can see the little gap at the top (right side) that we were shooting for.

In hindsight it may have been better to bring just a bit more water than we did. It's amazing how fast you can consume 2 litres between 3 people when you are doing a climb in 33' heat. And of course we did stop a few times and debate going back, but our Canadian stubbornness won out each time and up we went.

After who knows how long (time had really ceased having any true meaning) we made it to the top, each of us feeling like they had pushed themselves to as close to the line as we would want. I know for me Gatorade has never tasted as sweet. Here's a look at the top of the mountain and the view that we worked so hard to be able to enjoy.

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