Cape Town: Hiking Table Mountain (Pt.2)

As you hopefully remember from our very long and exhausting walk to, and climb up, Table Mountain, we ran into a bit of trouble getting down.

We went to the gift shop to buy our cable car tickets, where about a half dozen workers were milling about, obviously bored out of their minds.

Me: Two Cable Car tickets, please!

Cashier: Um…sorry, but we’re all sold out for today.

Me: Haha, you’re kidding, right? RIGHT!!!?

Cashier: No, I’m terribly sorry! All sold out. You’re going to have to climb down.

At this point, after I don’t remember how many hours slogging across the city of Cape Town and up this wretched mountain, I was just about ready to hurl myself off the edge rather than face the incredibly unsavory option of hauling our butts back down. I was on the cusp of telling these folks exactly where to stick there Cable Car when they all started laughing…

Cashier: Just joking. Two tickets. Yes, we have them.

Feelings of both relief and rage were battling to the death in my head as I reached for my wallet. Ha ha ha. So not cool. So not cool. I calmly took my two prized tickets from our resident comedian and marched straight out of the office. Alright, now that that’s settled…

This little guy (about the size of a house cat) is a Dassie. They hang out around the edges of the steep mountain walls, as if they harbor a collective death wish or something. Believe it or not, they are the closest living land relative to the elephant!

After being viciously yanked around by the Gift Shop staff, we spent the next hour until our ride down taking in the view and letting our legs recuperate a bit.

I had been to the top of Table Mountain back in 2006, but this was my first ride in the famed Cable Car. Very exciting. The entire thing makes one full rotation over the course of the ride down (or up) so that everyone gets a chance to see the mountain and the view of the city below.

After we arrived at the lower cable car station, a funny thing happened. We decided that, yes, while thoroughly exhausted, and yes, while our legs felt like Jell-O, it might be nice to take a stroll to Camps Bay…because, you know, we were already on that side of the city. I’m not sure whether we truly appreciated what another 2-3 miles might feel like on top of the 5-6 we had already walked that day (with about 3,000 feet of elevation gain straight up, mind you), but it seemed like a good idea at the time, so we headed off…

An hour or so later, we ended up down in Camp’s Bay, excited to find a place on the water to eat, soak up the view–and of course NOT WALK FOR A VERY LONG TIME. Luckily, our long descent into the small seaside community took our minds off of our throbbing, aching, blister-covered feet.

It was a very warm day, but got very chilly after the sun went down. We were very happy to find an Italian restaurant with heaters in the outdoor seating section and proceeded to order two big glasses of wine and some delicious veal parm. We caught the city bus across the street and 15 minutes later it deposited us a few blocks down from Bo Kaap (about a 10 minute walk from where we were staying). We were the only ones on the bus (which, unfortunately in Cape Town during off-peak hours, isn’t unusual). The 4-mile trip back cost us about US$1.50 each. We made one last slog up Wale Street to Signal Hill Lodge, made it to our room and passed out. A perfect end to a[n almost] perfect day.

2 thoughts on “Cape Town: Hiking Table Mountain (Pt.2)”

  1. David and Lori, have just read the last few South Africa blogs and loved them! We were there in ’94! And remember a champagne reception at sunset on top of Table Mountain! Never could have made that climb! Your trip brought back lots of memories… Well not the hippie part. Think it was one of my all-time favorite trips! Have fun!

  2. What a dirty trick! So glad you got back down alive….
    We are really enjoying your exciting adventures – keep on traveling!
    Shirley MacD


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