Monday, 21 December 2015

Take a hike up Table Mountain

Being a coastal city, the weather can change very quickly in Cape Town, which is why when Table Mountain is clear, you've just got to go for it.  So shrug off that hangover and rub the sleep deprivation from your eyes,  you're going hiking! 

The wonderful thing about staying in a hostel as a solo traveler is there are lots of opportunities to make new friends.  I arrived at breakfast one morning and a number of people were talking about hiking up Table Mountain.  Often, the top of the mountain is veiled in a cloud commonly called the "table cloth".  But on this day, the sun was shining, the wind was mild and there were no clouds to be seen.  In other words, the conditions were perfect. So my five new friends in I hopped into a cab and headed to the mountain. 

Here are a few things to note.  
1- this will not be a leisurely stroll - the incline is steep and it's a long way up
2- not everyone will want to hike at the same pace (our group split into 3 goups)
3- you're going to want to take a second to enjoy the view every now and again.  It's spectacular and a lot more interesting than the person's shoes in front of you
4- you shouldn't do the hike alone (there have been lots of robbery stories on the side of the mountain)

I consider myself to be pretty fit, but factoring in jet lag, a blossoming cold and a wine-soaked night before, this was tough. I made the hike up in just under two hours, but had I been in top form, I probably would've done it in 1.5 hrs. My legs were tired by the end.  So before you head up, know yourself.  If you haven't been to the gym in 8 years, this is going to take you a while and it's going to be challenging.  If you don't think your aching back, knees or spirit can take it.  The cable car is lovely.  

At the top, you'll be able to enjoy some beautiful views and stop for a snack.  We opted to take the cable car down in order to save time and our knees.  The operator told jokes the whole way down... yaaaaa