The hustle and bustle of the lower cable car station hide a pathway to the summit of Table Mountain that is my favorite view of Cape Town. If you are thinking of a more scenic hike than Platteklip Gorge, then this is the best option.
The steep ascent and rocky crags are a stairway to heaven. They say it is not easy to get to heaven. Therefore, to enjoy this adventure, you should be reasonably fit and comfortable with heights and climbing.
The trail starts with a steady climb up rocky steps, to a series of rocks that need to be carefully navigated. The mother city irks below but turns around to a view that few South African’s appreciate.
Cable cars ascend and descend for most of the journey and tourists jealously wave and snap pictures of adventurers climbing this window into the beautiful blue.
Trade some sweat for a cable car ticket and take this more epic journey to the summit of one of the seven wonders of nature.
On this trip, I met a professor who told me about the geology of the mountain; the sandstone and granite as old as time. I could not begin to comprehend the diversity of this mountain and appreciate the splendor onto which my feet were firmly set. Step by step, drinking water and eating energy laden foods, we pushed up. The summit within reach.
India Venster, is a two to four-hour hike to the summit, depending on a number of breaks you take, and believe me, you will stop to take in the panoramic views.
There are a few sections of steep rock climbing, the more difficult sections have been rigged with staples and chains, which help greatly.
Once you reach the distinct “knife edge” you will contour around the western side of the mountain, the turquoise ocean and white sands of Camps Bay below.
Look over the summit of Lions Head as you are now nearly a thousand meters above sea level. The variety of fynbos is incredible. Proteas, Ericas and Restios with their spring flowers blooming.
Watch the common southern rock agama lizards bobbing their bright blue heads about the rocks, and scuttle away as you pass by.
As I looked up, I caught a glimpse of a rock kestrel, surfing the thermals, against sheer cliffs. With them, courageous abseilers, light-footed descended the rock faces. The excitement of the summit and joy of the journey is instant.
The last droplets of spring water seeped through the cold cracks of the old mountains back, as we triumphed the last sandy steps to the table top. Earning our stripes, incredulous tourists looked upon us as brave souls who took the path less traveled.