It has been an interesting past few days full of both excitement and unpleasantness. Knowing that the sunny, clear days are numbered, I joined my housemates in skipping out of work early of Tuesday to climb Table Mountain. Ascending Table Mountain is probably the number one item on every Cape Town visitor’s list, but somehow, work schedules and bad weather prevented me from making it to the top last summer. When I returned in May, I was determined to climb…even if it meant playing a bit of hookie.
We climbed to the top via the Platteklip Canyon Trail on the side of the mountain facing the main city bowl. It was a beautiful hike, and the higher we climbed, the better the view of the city we got. On this particular route, there are steps carved into the mountain to make it a bit easier. Still, imagine 2 hours of climbing steps…not exactly a walk in the park. Thankfully, most of the trail was in the shade so it wasn’t too hot.
The view from the summit of Table Mountain was simply spectacular—and worth the nearly one year wait it took for me to finally make it to the top. To the south, you can see all of the Cape Peninsula through Cape Point. To the west are the many suburbs of Cape Town and the winelands in the distance. To the north is the downtown city of Cape Town, Robben Island, and Table Bay. Stunning panoramic views like that one prove just how beautiful and scenic a country South Africa is. And since we didn’t start climbing until late afternoon, we were able to enjoy the beginning of the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean before taking the Table Mountain Cable Car down from the top.
Since Tuesday’s triumphant mountain climb, things have gone a bit downhill. I fell ill with a sore throat, fever, and headache, and after a visit to the doctor’s, was diagnosed with Strep throat. Fortunately, I am on antibiotics and am starting to feel better.
My sickness forced me to miss 2 days of work, which put me a little bit behind schedule. Luckily I was able to make it in today for the whole day and start to get back on track. In addition to my own research, I was also tasked to help design a permanent display case for the museum at the Cape Town Convention Center. If done well, it could help to attract the convention center’s many visitors to the museum. With little guidance, I was told to create a 3-D model of what the display should look like. Lacking it arts-and-craft skills, the “model” I constructed looked like a diorama from an elementary school science project or book report. Thankfully the responsibility for the final design does not rest with me!
This weekend should be fun, as I am driving along the southern coast of the Western Cape to a game lodge. Hopefully, I will get to see some cool animals and enjoy a new part of South Africa.
And lastly, happy one year to the World Cup!! (Thursday marked the one year mark until the kickoff of South Africa’s World Cup on June 11, 2009, and the city was abuzz with excitement. It’s hard to imagine what it will be like for the real thing.)