Loading Map...

Table Mountain - Ouch!!

Written on: Thursday November 9th, 2006

A journal entry from: The Winter of 2006/2007

We were told that if it's a clear day be sure to take the trip up Table Mountain as quite frequently clouds hang around the summit so you don't get to see the view. So as it happens our first non-golfing day was clear and hot so we grasped the opportunity and by 9:30 am we were standing in line waiting for the Cable Car. It was quite a jolly crowd of people and we met folks from Scotland and Middlesborough, I think everyone must have been given the same advice as us because there were hundreds of people there. Whilst the guys parked the car Jean and I picked up the Cable Car tickets and made the decision that we'd only buy a one way fare as we would be able to walk down, that way we could take in the view. The ride up was actually very good, the cable car floor moved in a circle so we got to get a 360 degree view as we ascended. We had a stroll around the top of the mountain taking pictures of Cape Town down below and then ran into a guide and Mike made enquiries about the path down the mountain. The guide asked if we were used to hiking, did we have water and checked our footwear. He warned us that it was quite a strenuous hike but we were sure we would be OK. Roger was a bit worried about his knees and Mike's also been having leg problems but we decided to give it a try anyway. I thought it would be a downhill path that wound around and around the mountain until you got to the bottom. The first 100 feet was a sheer drop whereby you had to step down from one rock to another, it went through a canyon and so it was a bit shady and reasonably cool, "it'll flatten out in a while", I thought.No such luck, the path continued the same way but eventually opened up so you were in the full sun and there was no breeze at all - it was scorching and it was tough going. No going around and around the mountain but virtually straight down, from one rock to another rock and eventually your legs began to scream "No more". Table Mountain is at an elevation of just over 1000 metres and we decended to the 300 metre level where the car was parked. It took us 2 hours, we daren't stop for too long as we were afraid we would seize up and not be able to get going again. On the trail we passed quite a number of people who were climbing up the mountain, I don't think any of them were over 30. Roger said they looked amazed that these old people would be doing what we were doing. We stopped to chat to a few of them and they were really neat people. Jean assured me that going up is easier as you don't have to watch your step as much but I'm not convinced. Anyway Roger said it is definitely not the smartest thing we've ever done. It took us a couple of hours before we re-hydrated. Then what did we do in the afternoon? Go for a walk around a botanical garden!! The next day we were all in a lot of pain, especially when we tried to go down stairs or even a slight incline. We played golf and I was cursing every elevated tee box and green. Two days later and we're still in pain but it's getting better each day.