I could wax lyrical about how Table Mountain is the seventh wonder of the world, how the view is majestic but honestly I wanted to hike it because I love a challenge. I have always wanted to hike and take those epic pics all us non- Capetonians are famous for.Two of my nephews were willing to do the trail with me, I was advised to go early morning, as early as five thirty am. Obviously this was not going to happen I started the hike at eight am, I mean I was on holiday and the mountain was going nowhere and I love the sound of a snoozed alarm.
We chose to hike the Platteklip Gorge as it is said to be the most direct of the trails, it doesn’t mean the trail itself is easy as its quite steep.Upon arrival I found many people taking the cable cars but also many fellow adventurers who were hiking, we were of different age groups and nationalities but had all one thing in common we did not know what we were in for. There were even some young guys who had hiked in order to fly their drone.The trail starts off beautifully or perhaps it’s the enthusiasm you share with your fellow hikers, the scenery only adds to this and the sound of the birds lull you into believing this is the best decision you have made in your life. A few kilometres in and I saw people who had quit at what I presumed was half way, later on as I was having my very own of life flash before me and I understood why those people quit, the judgement from earlier on fully gone.
Platteklip Gorge-we were told its the easiest trail. Interestingly enough this is the last sign you see till you summit
The show offs
I could have titled this paragraph the experienced hikers but alas I came up with this title when I was out of breath, calling (read crying) for my mom and one of the show offs ran past me for a second time. As I mentioned earlier on the trail you will encounter many different hikers the ones I speak of in this paragraph are the ones who hike the table mountain like they are walking to their local spaza shop.
Early on the trail we were passed by a guy wearing nothing but swim shorts yep not even shoes. I later met him on his way down and enquired why he was dressed like that he responded he was going for a swim when he realised that he had left his towel at home and figured a hike would provide a similar workout ( yep just another day in Cape Town).
The cutest show off
A beautiful dog think she was a retriever, she was energetic like she does this every day her owner told me it was her second time I was too out breathe to check if it was her second time on that day or in general. I also tried walking on all fours it did not have the desired effect.
King show off
Then there was the guy who ran down as we were heading up I was impressed as we mere mortals were walking whilst he was running. Was further impressed as I saw his dreadlocks as he passed us again as he was going up. Someone who knows him says he prefers going up the mountain twice or four times a day instead of hitting the gym.
Once you have scaled this rocky climb the view is absolutely breathtaking. I found myself comparing the hike to the climb of life: starts beautifully then gets difficult , the closer you get to the top the less air there is but once you reach the top it’s all worth it and oh what a view you have especially when you know where you started. We took a thirty minute rest and went to the store to stock up on water and snacks and even looked at the restaurant menu which looked quite appetizing but would sabotage our walk down. Then we started the trek down which was a breeze and only required two stops when the legs felt a bit like jelly. We would cheer people who were going up and were feeling tired and were able to tell them how much further, we all agreed more signage was needed especially closer to the top.
If you should ever find yourself in Cape Town be sure to pack snacks, sunscreen and get some friends and hike this beautiful wonder. Yes its strenuous but amazing in fact I want to try and climb the other trails. Ah the things we do for the gram.