‘’My heart feels as it may pop out its socket’’. This came out my mouth half way up the track today. Along with many, ‘oh, my fucks’ and ‘This is hard’ and ‘it’s so hot’’. That was our Table Mountain experience on the track on the way up.
At the top it was more of a ‘wow, this is incredible’, ‘Holy shit, there’s a Lynx’’ and ‘’I am so happy we did this’’ – Yes, we saw a Lynx and yes, it was awesome!
Let’s go back to the beginning. There are many ways to hike Table Mountain – Cape Town’s most famous and notably the most incredible mountain as it towers over the City and provides unbelievable views. I think over 100 based on what our host told us.
Quick fact alert** Did you know UNESCO has named Table Mountain one of eight World Heritage sites in South Africa? More to the point Robben Island and Table Mountain are the only two heritage sites in the world that are in visibility of each other! BOOM – even more reason to get you asses up that mountain!
So yes, you can hike but you can also get the cable car which costs 300ZAR return ($35NZD) and if you like waiting in queues for a few hours then this my friends is the way to go. For us, it was non-negotiable – we were hiking.
We decided to go for Platteklip Gorge, as it was the closest one to the cable car where we thought we may take for the way back down. Parking was a nightmare but the best thing to do is drive past the cable car parking and towards the start of the gorge, if you are lucky you will find a space – we did because I manifested the shit out of it.
From the second you start the walk you will start puffing as it’s so steep with a large stair-like route– in fact it’s pretty much all stairs. Big steps and unrelenting steepness make this feel like a Stairmaster the whole way up. The hike is not very technical, and if you are scared of heights, or for being close to edges then this way is a semi-ok way to go.
It was hot, very hot and within 5 minutes I could literally wring the sweat out of my clothes. Yup, it was that minging. We had read it takes 4-5 hours return and we had expected this but to our surprise we made it up in 1 hour 20, albeit panting and ready to pass out. We stopped a few times along the way trying to catch some shade and down our water resources.
Arriving at the top was one of the best achievements we have had recently, the views are amazing and as much as we were exhausted it was brilliant. This is where we saw a Lynx, which was incredible!! We checked out the various view points and the cable car to check how long the wait was and to our surprise it was 2 hours! So, at that point we both decided we would be hiking back down too. Honestly, I would have walked up this twice than down once, I hated it. It’s so steep, slippery and I panicked pretty much the entire way down.
1 hour and 15 to get down and we were back at the car. What a day of exercise, according to Leo’s fit bit we burned 3500 calories but I don’t believe that for a second but still felt the need to celebrate with ice lollies and chocolate.
Arriving home, it was coffee and chocolate time while we decided on where to celebrate our last night in Cape Town. I simply love this city!
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!