Sunday, January 8, 2012

afraid of heights on top of Table Mountain

”from the mountains i heard you call
so i went running to collect them all
the gifts you showed me are your best part
when i get there, well, i saw what is

…over my heart over these hills you'll go
over my heart over these hills you'll go…”

-“Blue Mountains” by Jenn Grant

There was an option, you know, of taking the cable car up Table Mountain. It would have been nice and easy. It would have been short and scenic. It would have been not so freaky for an acrophobic baby like me. But Gloria Guns laughs at the idea of taking the easy route (and then secretly cries when she sees how high it is), so Road Oppa Joseph and I set off to climb up Table Mountain by foot.

Table Mountain

By foot and by hand. Many parts of the hike involved a steep ascent, so with my short legs I found myself scrambling up certain parts.

As you can see from this sign, it was supposed to take about 2.5 to 3 hours to climb, but Joseph and I managed to do it in 84 minutes - and yes, I did time it by the minute. We took the Platteklip Gorge route, which was supposed to be the simplest, easiest route (as in, you didn't need rock climbing gear to do it), but as I mentioned, it wasn't all that easy after all. For one thing, for even the steepest trickiest parts, all we had as protection was a barbed wire as someone's sick idea of a guard rail. How exactly was that going to stop me from falling off the cliff face? I guess the idea was that I'd fall into it, and then the barbs would latch on to my flesh and I wouldn't fall further. It still wasn't comforting for my fear of heights and my bigger fear of falling

Also, the incline was about as pleasant as going on the Stairmaster for an hour and a half. Table Mountain has an elevation of about 1000 metres, similar to that of Vancouver's Grouse Mountain, which I also found to be about as pleasant as going on the Stairmaster for an hour and a half. Unlike the Grouse Grind, however, there was very little shade, and Joseph and I insanely decided to climb during the hottest part of the day, so my thought process most of the time oscillated between "My legs are on fire" and "My skin is on fire."

The lack of forest trees did mean that we had an unspoiled view of everything.

Okay, so maybe I complain more than I mean to. It was a lovely invigorating hike with a beautiful view, and the exercise helped me feel great about myself once I reached the top, knowing that I had burnt off the rest of the calories I'd obtained from my Mexican burrito the night before.

Table Mountain has a flat top (much like, actually, a table top), so we got to walk around some more. Our hardcore hike was rewarded with more beautiful views, views with depths that I didn't know how to properly capture with my camera.

looking down at a cloud

I felt proud of myself after that hike. However, we still opted to take the cable car down.

During my stay in Cape Town, we got into this funny habit of dining with a different couple from the CBA program every night. Tonight our dinner date was with Eleanora and Cesar at a sushi place recommended by the hotel staff called Beluga. I was itching to try sushi in Cape Town. As you can imagine, I’ve had my doubts about Windhoek sushi, since it’s many kilometers away from any sort of major body of water. But Cape Town is right on the sea, so it was sushi time!

yes, i ate an oyster

Beluga’s was nothing like the izakaya-style sushi joints I’ve gotten accustomed to in Canada. Instead it seemed like a regular, fancy white square plate sort of restaurant that happened to sell sushi. But it was good, and it was a good feeling overdosing on sushi, sushi that wasn’t made by me.