Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Table Mountain and Table-Top Dancing

I met a German guy travelling with his dad and brother who offered me a ride to Table Mountain. The one son, who stayed behind with his dad, suggested that I hike a 'different and more fun' route with his brother. The words 'different and more fun' instantly appealed to me, but really they should have been a big neon sign that said 'bad idea.'

We set off for the 'different' route that zig-zagged up and across Table Mountain from the backside. Everything was going great until the trail dead-ended right at a big rock/boulder. Turning around and going back down the steep rocky mountain was not an ideal option, nor was climbing rocks with my shoulder but this option seemed more likely to get us to our end destination...SO, after some exploration, we found that we could climb up and over this rock and get to something that seemed like a trail. Throughout our ascent, we had several moments of disappearing paths, and 3 big rocks/boulders to climb and one rock boulder that I had to have the guy pull me up and over (a bit reminiscent of Mt Kili!). As the mountain got progressively steeper, so much that I was too nervous to look down below me, I silently cursed myself, wondering why I can't do anything the 'normal' way.

The good news is that we finally joined a real path. The bad news is that we ran into 2 South African guys who said that in all of the mist and rain, we missed the connecting path to the 'normal' route to the Table Mountain viewpoint and if we continue in the direction we were going in, we would hike for 5-6 more hours and reach a dead-end. And if we turned around and tried to find the path connecting to the 'normal' route, we would probably get lost in all of the mist again and end up camping on the mountain. (Oh, and we also apparently missed the wooden sign in the bushes that said: 'Dangerous - Do not go on this trail.')

So....I chose Option C) hike down the mountain with these 2 South African guys and then get a ride back with them to the main trail head and go home. I made it back safe and sound. I just did not get to the Table Mountain viewpoint where the cable cars (and normal tourists) go... :(

But no time to lament, on to an evening of dancing. We did dance the night away, but don't worry, there were no table tops involved....Despite the stories that Patty had told the guys. Patty, you got the part right about me being a dancing queen, but me dancing on bars and table tops, really? Ok, so I did do that when I was 22 in Australia (and I should add that I won a 3-day island excursion off of the East Coast in Oz for my fabulous dance moves) BUT those days are over. I am so much more refined now in my 'old' age, dancing ON the dance floor...until the club closes.

And this is exactly how I left South Africa - a mini pub crawl with Dumi, Kieran and Stu and then we danced at the Mercury Lounge with all the 18 year olds in Capetown who were out for a big Monday night.

Dumi, Kieran and Stu, you questioned my tolerance and whether I liked to dance - Well, I believe that question has been answered :)

AND after my 4:30am arrival home, I did manage to wake up at 7 to take the Cable Car to the Top of Table Mountain, so I could actually step foot on the 'table' (flat-part/viewpoint) of Table Mountain where the normal tourists go.

And with that....my adventures in Africa have sadly come to an end.

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