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Petr's HomeSouth Africa 2004Table Mountain climb


South Africa 2004

Table Mountain climb |

The plan for the day was to climb the Table Mountain. Early big breakfast is a necessity and at 9:30 a.m. we are on our way to Table Mountain. The weather should be great, but one never knows how it is on the top of the Mountain, so we pack warm jackets to rucksack. As well, we take sun-block, snacks, and cold water in the thermos.

After the yesterday's discussions with Kevin's family we plan our way up through Platteklip Gorge. It's quite steep, but it should get up to the top within 1.5 hours. As well, it's not a paved road, so good boots are necessary to get safely to the top.

The weather is great and hot when we park our car on the side of the road just in the middle between the cable car station and the start of Platteklip Gorge (about half-a-mile on the road from the station). After a short walk on the road we notice a big table with a map and the name: Platteklip Gorge. Great, our way up can start! First 15 minutes is OK, it is hot, but the way up is still not so steep. After another 15 mins we start to hate the Sun - we are applying sun-block and starting to drink a lot. The only great moments within next hour or so are the views back down to CT - really magnificent view. And we can't wait for the view from the top! It took us about 1h 20mins with quite a few resting stations to walk/climb up. Not so bad, but quite tiring. All the way up was incredibly hot.. and then on the top a very, very cold wind. Our jackets did the job on the top, as you can imagine, on a flat surface like that the wind is strong and everywhere! Nowhere to hide.

Our next steps lead eastward to Maclear's Beacon, at 1086 m the highest point of the Table Mountain. The path is kind of paved all the way and it takes about 30 mins to get there. In a very cold wind! The pile of rock is visible from a distance. On the way there you will have a very nice view of False Bay. Near the Beacon, on its leeward side, we found a great spot for having a lunch. Obviously a very popular spot for the local fauna as well - a small lizard joined us for lunch. And preferred ham, even from my hand!

After lunch, we walk back the other way - along the steep cliff with a splendid view of the whole CT, Table Bay, and Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for nearly two decades. It took us again about half-an-hour to get back to the upper station of the cable car. After a quick refreshment we took the cable car down. Funny, climbing up 1.5 hours and going down in 5 mins. But going down the same way would be too tiring and much more dangerous than the way up.

Now back in car and driving to Signal Point to take pictures of Table Mountain. After that again a short swim in the Atlantic at Clifton Beach and then meeting with Kevin at Waterfront. The plan is a dinner in a seafood restaurant - our choice of the evening was Fish Market. Really great menu, very tasty food and a great wine - we are starting to really like South Africa!

Another great day is over and we are again fully satisfied. Going to bed full of new experiences and looking forward to tomorrow - trip to Cape Point.

Locations Visited: Table View

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