Cape Town Part 7: Table Mountain

Finally! Slow and steady wins the race or something like that? I don’t think anyone’s ever accused me of being quick about anything, though, really.

Yes, the trip to Table Mountain (after a mani/pedi [or lengthy and frustrating search for an ATM, in Marlon’s case. Same same?] and one last farewell trip to Greenmarket Square, for old times’ sake) marked our last hurrah in Cape Town, and with it ends my epic (literally) telling of the voyage. Pat, always coming through for us, told us to hold off going until after six, when tickets go for half price. As such he was able to come along as well and summit Table Mountain (for the millionth time).

It’s roughly $20 to go up and back by cable car normally and $10 for the “sunset special.” It’s also hike-able, but requires far more time and stamina than the Lion’s Head hike. (At least that’s the word on the street.) At the office they take a poll of everyone’s nationality; we were surprised to find Americans were second to Germans for most visitors. We also learnt that the funny animal we’d seen at Hermanus is called a “dassie,” and that it bites.

7d1cjaw snap, look who’s makin gifs! shoulda taken more pics, in retrospect, but this is a real(-ish)-time representation of the ‘table cloth’ coming over the mountain.

looking up table cloth table mountain ivy table mountain flower our african wonder

from this angle, i felt like i could finally (maybe) see how it looked like a lion

from this angle, i felt like i could finally (maybe) see how it looked like a lion

the cable cars rotate and have two open spaces in the windows so everyone gets a turn taking photos

the cable cars rotate and have two open spaces in the windows so everyone gets a turn taking photos

table cloth sunset

dassie alert!

dassie alert!

dassie2

table mountain photographer

on his way to becoming VERY well traveled.

on his way to becoming VERY well traveled.

dangit, sun!

dangit, sun!

pat me mar table mountain sun settinglast sunset rocks sunset table mountain purple sky table mountain map of peninsula

haha, we were told there'd be exotic birds around, but this was the best pic i could get of the one we saw

haha, we were told there’d be exotic birds around, but this was the best pic i could get of the one we saw

sunset silhouette table mountain table mountain brush little girl table mountain

view of cape town from the base of the cable car

view of cape town from the base of the cable car

we had our final dinner at an italian place called 'la burratta,' in the woodstock neighborhood. http://burrata.co.za/

we had our final dinner at an italian place called ‘la burrata,’ in the woodstock neighborhood. http://burrata.co.za/

Our trip back went pretty much as smoothly as we could’ve hoped. In fact, we got bumped up to business class on our first flight! (Unfortunately, you’ll recall this would’ve been our flight to Johannesburg; by far the shortest of the three legs.) Aside from that ol “technical stop” in Dakar, where they kept us awake without food for what felt like an eternity, things went fine and before we knew it we were back in the thick of this really terrific winter we’re having in North America.

quiz time: which of the big five are we missing (as it's behind mandela on the 100)?!

quiz time: which of the big five are we missing (as it’s behind mandela on the 100)?!

oh NO, not a plane wing pic!

oh NO, not a plane wing pic!

then an elephant jumped out of the cloud

then an elephant jumped out of the cloud

oh dc, you look so cold...

oh dc, you look so cold…

and indeed you were

and indeed you were

 

Cape Town Part 3: Lion’s Head Hike

We hiked to Lion’s Head on Tuesday, after our promenade walk . I’ll admit to being oblivious to this peak/hike previous to our journey (an Italian fellow on the plane from Johannesburg to Cape Town was the one who informed us [maybe just me?] of it), but had put in my request to hike the more famous Table Mountain early in the planning process. While we did make it to Table Mountain on our final evening in town, we did so by way of the cable car and I think this ended up being a better arrangement for our purposes. With a couple extra days I would have gladly devoted a full day to the lengthier, more strenuous trek up Table Mountain and a sidetrip to the nearby Kirstenbosch Gardens, but we had a pretty action-packed schedule as it was and the more condensed Lion’s Head hike suited us perfectly.

This hike we were able to tack on to the tail end of our day, when Pat and a few of his friends got off work. We wouldn’t have really wanted to go any earlier, actually, as everyone was feeling pretty hot even at dusk (and we brought… AN bottle of water. One of the small ones. Hahaha.); and we summited just in time to catch another phenomenal sunset. Round trip I’d say it took us around two hours, and there were a couple moderately taxing parts. I believe the path splits at one point between a slightly longer but more leisurely route and one that involves some chains and ladders. Amazingly, we saw a number of dogs on the trail– some all the way at the top! Of course, it is possible for dogs to climb ladders… (wait for the dismount on that, it’s worth it).

The afore-mentioned Italian had mentioned that the rock formation that is Lion’s Head “really does look like a lion’s head!”. I never really thought so, but it was a very beautiful and scenic hike anyway.

view of table mountain from the start of our hike

view of table mountain from the start of our hike

the shadow of lion's head

the shadow of lion’s head

precarious parking

precarious parking

lion's head panorama looking up lion's head table mountain from lion's head table mountain 2

twelve apostles

twelve apostles

going up lion's head lion's head flowers dead tree twelve apostles 2 lion's head tree lion's head path lion's head rocks lion's head view

we took the risky route

we took the risky route

going up

i'll admit to choosing this largely because it's the only real evidence of my dreadful sunburn haha. PLUS there's such a handsome guy next to me...

i’ll admit to choosing this largely because it’s the only real evidence of my dreadful sunburn haha. PLUS there’s that handsome guy next to me…

we made it!

we made it!

me mar pat lion's head

shadows lengthening

shadows lengthening

lion's head sunset on top of lion's head

photo cred to marlon

photo cred to marlon

And Marlon also had some more pics from the sunset at Clifton 2nd in my first post so… here they are. Delayed gratification.

me mar sunset

on our warming rock.

on our warming rock.

me mar rock(Of course, on this snowiest of snow days it’s hard to believe this was just two weeks ago!!)

snow day 1 snow day 2