Monday, December 3, 2018

Hiking on Table Mountain above Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa. One of my favorite cities I have been blessed to visit. I’ve made three trips to South Africa and I have made a point to go for a hike on Table Mountain every time. Two years ago the mountain top was completely clouded in. I was only able to see about twenty feet. This time the weather was absolutely perfect and to top it off I had my beautiful fiancé Taylor with me for the adventure.

To set the stage a bit I will just tell you that Taylor and I had arrived in Cape Town the prior evening. Let me say again....we arrived. Our two big bags did not. We each had a backpack which we carried on the flights from DFW to Qatar and then South Africa, but we each also checked a bag which meant Taylor was a little short on clothing options!

Anyway, after some “work” with the British Airways lost luggage department it was determined our luggage would be waiting for us the next day. The plan was to drive to the Cape Town airport, grab our found bags and head to the Waterfront area of Cape Town where we would catch one of the double-decker tourist buses. These ran every fifteen minutes and made a stop at the Table Mountain tramway before continuing the sightseeing tour.

My wonderful cousin Kathleen, who owns Noble Hill Wine Estates (make sure to go for a wine tasting!), was nice enough to lend Taylor and I a car for the day. Operation Luggage Rescue & Table Mountain Adventure was in action.

Now keep in mind this was my first time to drive on the wrong side of the road. It was a bit challenging. For some reason Taylor kept saying “watch your line “ a lot. I don't know couldn’t have been me drifting her passenger side towards oncoming traffic. Who knows?

We made it to the airport and found our two bags just sitting outside the lost luggage counter. I mean anyone could have just walked over and taken off with our bags at anytime. But luckily they didn’t so it was on to Table Mountain.

We arrived at the tramway and we both agreed Taylor needed a hat since the sun was glaring. There were a few shops we hopped over to check out. The first shop had some nice hats priced at 600 rand. That’s a ridiculous $44 US for a silly hat. Tourist Trap! We declined and went next door where she found a wonderful hat for 100 rand ($7). Jackpot.

After purchasing our tickets for the tramway it was a short wait and we were headed up.  The tram car spins so everyone is afforded a wonderful view of Cape Town sprawling below. Even though the ride is pretty short you'll get a chance for some nice pictures.

Cape Town South Africa tram

Cape Town South Africa view from tramway

The plateau is about two miles from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. It is flanked by Devil’s Peak to the east and by Lion’s Head to the west, forming a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. On top there is a little cafe, restrooms and a gift shop. Trails head lead out for those that want to explore all the views. Of course we headed right out after a quick bite to eat at the cafe.

The views are simply spectacular. There is a reason Table Mountain was named one of the 7 Wonders of Nature recently.

Taylor and I hiked out to the far rim away from the cafe in an attempt to get lost from the crowds. It worked for the most part but it was a beautiful afternoon so there was a big group on the mountain that day. The further we hiked the thinner the crowd and eventually we found some really nice places to take some pictures. As you can see we got right out there on the edge.  Taylor is quite a talented photographer and she caught some wonderful images.

After awhile we came to a spot that allowed us to get right out on a rocky ledge with a perfect view over Cape Town and the bay. Check out these cool pictures...

Taylor Winburn Table Mountain South Africa

South Africa Shane Barrow Table Mountain

After almost three hours hiking around it was time to head down and make sure we caught one of the last buses. There was quite a line to grab the tram down and we waited about 45 minutes The remainder of the bus tour took us down to the beautiful Camps Bay along the coast. One of my favorite places in South Africa.

Camps Bay, South Africa

After Camps Bay it was 30 minutes on the sightseeing bus back to the Waterfront where our adventure began. Mission accomplished. We recovered our lost luggage, had a wonderful afternoon on Table Mountain and survived my first time driving on the wrong side of the road!

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