Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Table Mountain, Cape Town South Africa

Yes oh yes.  I Had been waiting for this.  Table Mountain.  The iconic landmark of Cape Town, South Africa.  Known world wide.  Thirty six hours traveling from Texas to England to South Africa.  This would make the long trip forgotten and open my visit with a bang!

7:30am and I was ready to go.  Coming from the wine region outside Cape Town and hitting rush hour traffic slowed our progress a bit, but before long we were heading up the hill to the sky tram that would lift us all the way to the top of Table Mountain.  At the base there are a few little gift shops, a small deli where you can get simple food and drink and of course a restroom.

Tickets were purchased and we eagerly made our way to the waiting area for the next tram.  Looking up the cable car route the top of Table Mountain was clearly visible with clouds streaming over the edge.  Just what would the weather be like up there?  Beautiful views? Or clouded in?

Hopping on board the tram everyone jostled for that perfect spot along the windows to get the pictures as we ascended.  What we found out as we started upwards is that the car spins as you rise making one full revolution over the course of the trip.  Pretty smart as it gives everyone on board a chance to get photos out over Cape Town and the harbor.

As we got to the top we were in the clouds.  Thick, white clouds with a nice breeze to boot.  I would say the temperature was in the low 50s F.  Perfect for me, but a little nippy for most.  The problem was that we were socked in.  Visibility of about fifty feet I would guess.  It was an almost surreal environment.  Clouds carried past by the wind.  Limited visibility.  You could look off Table Mountain and you could see only feet into the clouds.

Disappointing?  A little bit, but not a huge downer for me.  I think most people were quite unhappy, but for myself, that's all part of the adventure.  It is the experience and the story it yields right?

We hadn't eaten yet so the group decided to grab a quick bite in the restaurant on top of Table Mountain.  I was enthused to find my eggs, sausage and toast cost a whopping $1.20.  Little victories eh?  So I ate my food and informed my group that I was going exploring.  Visibility or no visibility.  I could see far enough ahead to reasonably assure I would not walk off the mountaintop.

Off I set deciding I would head westward first into the clouds.  Hopefully the clouds would lift or I would magically find a place where I had views down onto Cape Town.  Fifteen minutes of solid hiking left me no improvements.  It was a fun hike though.   I had never hiked in conditions such as that.  Every once in awhile a couple of people would just arrive out of the clouds.  It was an odd experience.  You could hear voices sometimes coming thru the clouds, but rarely saw anyone.

Anyway, after fifteen minutes I decided to turn back and try to find my way through clouds to the tramway.  No problem at all.  (Luckily I have a very solid sense of direction). Back at my point of origin I headed off to the east this time.  Once again hoping for a clearing.  Fifteen minutes of solid hiking eastward yielded no better than the westward hike.  Oh well, not going to be rewarded for all that effort, but I did enjoy the cloud hiking!

Back at the restaurant I rejoined my group.  A few pictures here and there and it was time to descend.  There were some good pictures taken from the tram that gives a great view of Cape Town and the harbor.  And on a day without the clouds I know you would get even more spectacular views.

Would I recommend the Table Mountain jaunt? For sure!  Even with the clouds it was wonderful.  It reminded me of Machu Picchu with the clouds flying past you.  Even with questionable weather it is a must if you visit Cape Town.  I wish you perfect weather at the top!

1 comment:

  1. What a great trip. I was sure happy the tram revolved so everyone saw the views of Capetown and the harbor