So here’s the deal – I am horrible about leaving loose threads out there. Before I get finished writing about one adventure, I’m off to the next. Sorry about that! In 2014, I’m going to try to be better about that but for now, I figured I’d spend the week wrapping up previous posts. The first of these posts will be about the last couple of days of our trip to South Africa. I cannot believe it was 9 months ago because it still feels like I just got back. Truly. It has left such an imprint on my mind that I can recall the sights and smells with more clarity than I can recall what I had for dinner last night.
We left off (I think) with our group about to visit Table Mountain. While there was a bit of overcast (which you can see behind us in the picture), it was a gorgeous day on the banks of Cape Town and we decided to try the Hop On/Hop Off bus for a city tour.
We wound our way through the different corridors of the city, but our thoughts were on a single destination – Table. Mountain. Now, Table Mountain is an imposing sight. It is the primary landmark of the city and can be seen from everywhere.
But on this particular day, the entire top of the mountain was obscured by fog.
There is both a hiking path as well as a cable car to get to the top of the mountain. All of us elected to get to the top via cable car because we didn’t want to spend our entire day hiking. The ride up was nothing short of ominous. Here’s a picture of a cable car coming down from the top as we are ascending in ours.
At the top, there was zero visibility. From this point, all of Cape Town should have been visible before me.
and then back to fog. Half of us decided to walk back down instead of taking the cable car –the brochure said that there was a ‘well marked walking path– so we bid adieu to the group that was riding down and off we went.
It started off nice enough and then down, down, down we went….
I kept waiting for this walking path to reveal itself, but the terrain only got rockier. At one point, we were jumping from boulder to boulder to get down.
This is when I started to panic. If I was with friends, it would be one thing, but I was there with 5 of my students, whom I think of as my kids. The rocks were wet, they didn’t have enough water, it was very slow going and the fog was very disorienting. If anyone broke a let up there (with no cell phone signal) we were screwed. So, I made lots of excuses to take breaks so that no one felt rushed. One of those excuses was to take embarrassing videos. See for yourself.
And then finally, FINALLY, we broke out of the clouds.
Tomorrow – I’ll share the Cape Peninsula Tour (Promise!)