We’ve been talking about it since we were here last year. You can see it from anywhere in Cape Town it’s so big (and everywhere else is so flat). It really is the icon of South Africa, and I can just imagine the first Dutch settlers seeing it on the horizon and deciding to come here. A huge plateau protruding out of what is relatively flat land. We’ve been waiting for a clear sunny day on the weekend to do it, and I’d been checking the forecast all week to make sure it wasn’t going to change. When we woke up on Saturday morning we checked the mountain from our window and saw just a few clouds wisping around the base, not enough to keep us away today.
We chose to climb up Platteklip’s Gorge. Looking at the mountain face on there’s a crack that goes up it just to the right of the center. That’s the gorge and it happens to be the most direct route up to the top, it is also the steepest. So we chose the quick and painful way.
Eliot with his long legs seemed to be a lot quicker up the mountain than me. I felt like every step up the boulders I had to pull my knees up to my chest to make it. My lower half felt like jelly, and there were times I wasn’t sure my legs were going to work on the next big step. But they didn’t fail me on Saturday and we made it up to the top in pretty good time. I have to say, climbing Table Mountain was a bit easier than I had expected, it was really steep like Huangshan, but it was more of a trail rather than like Huangshan being steep steps straight up a mountain for 7km. It’s not quite as big as Huangshan, but the view is absolutely breathtaking. The haze that had set over Cape Town in the morning had dispersed by the time we made it to the top, and we could see for miles in every direction.