Thursday, October 30, 2008

CT Trip Day3 - Table Mountain in Cape Town

5:00 AM - Beep, Beep. Beep, Beep... It was my alarm clock on morning of day 3 of our cape town trip. Read my first post and second post for previous day journey.

I got up from my double story bed and opened door to get ready. I was sleeping in an outside corner room of house and door opens directly on a field. It was very refreshing to breath in clean, cold, moist air in that open field. Anyway we didn’t have much time so I freshened up and start calling names for people to get up. Anand was determined to take wheels again and so he was the last one to get up from bed. We left Knysna around 5:00 AM and soon we were on road to George on same way back through which we came in. We thought of stopping at Dolphin point, on the way, but it was still not full light and no one was expecting any dolphin to pop-up in this cold and rainy weather.

We took Garden route from George to Cape Town. As expected, Anand was in his formula one driver suite on highway. On a down ramp seeing that there, possibly, should not be any camera, everyone shouted on Anand to cross 150. Before our shout could go down, their attention went on speedometer which was already above 150. He even touched about 180 but our cameraman was a bit slow in running car with a touch of fear in his mind and he could capture only a 170 snap (I am in no sense trying to advocate a high speed here. It is a very risky attempt we took which could be dangerous not only to vehicle over speeding but to others as well).
As sun came up, we were on a road stretch with large mustard fields, plant blooming with bright yellow flowers. It was looking like someone has placed a green and yellow bed sheet with dark brown dots at road side. We all went out and took some snaps to record this memory. We even took one Haldiram’s bhel packet out and made one special Indian dish bhel. It was a fantastic way of eating one Indian dish beside a field full of plants. It was an amazing feeling.

Rest of way was also nice with a lot of good scenes but we didn’t take another stop to save time. We didn’t want to leave our chance of seeing Table Mountain on luck. It was a bright sunny day and we were determined to use it for covering Table Mountain. We only stopped at one petrol pump when we were near Cape Town to fill tank. It also turned out to be good for us as we saw biggest chicken of our life in there. There were goats, lambs and pigeon we well but this chicken was taking all attraction from crowd. After this chicken encounter our destination was direct Cape Town and we made our entry in Waterfront as our stay was addressed near it. Now you need to follow up closely as most of us had a bigger adventure than Bungee jumping in reaching to the room for our stay in Cape Town.

We had paper map and map software on laptop to plan our drive through Cape Town. For this location as well we had a rough map sent by owner to help us. Somehow we could not relate given direction to any of our maps and could not take a direction except roaming in Waterfront area. We stopped at a petrol pump and asked on of taxi driver to help us find it. He was also not sure if he has heard about those streets we have in map. After trying many other people, we even tried traffic police which happened to be there on petrol pump, but in vain. Now what!…we called the owner to pick us up from that petrol pump while we wait there. After 30 min passed and we could not meet, Rajesh went on phone with her (owner was a lady) to give our location. He told her that we have a McDonald in front and a Holiday Inn hotel beside that Calson petrol pump. As per her she was there but could not see us.
What is going on???? Nikhil took phone and talked to her.
Ok! I am seeing McDonald in my front.
Yes! It is there.
On my back I have Ship.
Ship? …????
Ya! Two Ship.
Ship?...???? Where are you? There are no Ship in here.
We are in Cape Town.
And I am in Bloemfountein.

Talk went on for a while on why this confusion happened but it was not the time to go long on it. It was decided that we would talk later and first try some quick stay arrangement for living in Cape Town. Many of us called their friends and tried to take any contact which can help us. Luckily we got a contact in next 10 min and accommodation was available for 8 of us.
Thank God! Once we were relaxed that we have a place for us, everyone laughed full heartedly on this incident. All of who had done bungee jumping agreed that they had there heart beats going up more than they felt in jump from the bridge.

In last and short, we got a good place, settled, freshen up there. Had a quick snack and up, we were ready for Table mountain. New owner was kind enough t o give us directions for Table Mountain and what else we could do after that.

Table Mountain was as big and overwhelming as we expected. We got our tickets and soon were in line for Cable way to reach on top. It was a superb experience seeing Cable Car going up and coming down. We were excited to feel what it would be like from inside Cable Car. It was not disappointing and we almost felt running like a child once it started moving. A good thinking was applied to Cable Car to rotate it while it was moving so that everyone will get to see each side. I especially found, sight of either start point or end point of cable car mesmerizing. I was just not able to take my eye off once I focused on either one. See below pics and let me know if you also feel so...

Once on top, Mountain was what you can call is magnificent. A huge stretch with a great height; it was a lifetime experience to be on it. Before one could start running on there to cover whole mountain, a good detail was given about history of Mountain and even routes were craved on a model to guide travellers for their planning. We spent more than 30 min, just to cover 3-4 points from where we could see look at Cape Town below. It was like seeing it in Google Earth. A lot of photo session took place and at one time our group was even trying 3 cameras to take snap of one point from different angles. Mountain height was driving us crazy.

Really, it was a view just to sit and absorb. Alas! Being on a trip we didn’t have luxury of spending days on it so we had to kept moving so that we could cover most of it. We walked major route on it while left a harder one as everyone was not ready to do some hiking and rock climbing to reach another corner of Mountain. While in our route, we tried many angels to capture our memory in camera with many weird positions. I am sure we made few other people happy by letting them watch our attempt to take a snap while person would climb on a corner of stair wall and stretch his hands like he is flying. You can see that Rajesh tried a place to stand for his photo which was the edge of mountain and next to this edge was a fall, bottom of which could not be captured due to its depth. Were we crazy or were we crazy? :):)
We took our time to relax on our way back spending few minutes to enjoy time to time cold breeze and watching other people having fun. Near canteen there were some statues which few of us captured along with us to keep a memory of that place. We took beer and cold drinks while sitting and sharing our feelings about mountain and how lucky we were to cover it on first day. While talking, laughing and enjoying our drinks, we ended our trip (only for Table Mountain, not to Cape Town, that is still to go 2 more days) and cheered our visit to Grand Table Mountain.

It was already evening and everyone was tired from morning adventure and long walks on Table Mountain. We went to Waterfront and just roamed around to look for various activities available in there. We also visited one mall just to see the crowd. We did some shopping and called it a day to enjoy a good night at our stay place. We called for pizza delivery and had some drinks along with it while talked about what all has happened and what is the next day plan. Once quite full everybody said good night and slept on their beds.

Our next day plan was a bit hasy as were sure about one part (Robben Island) while what we will do before that was in undecided state. See my next post for where we went and how did we like the Island.
Note: Did you like it? Please leave your comments to let me know.

1 Comment this Post:

Rob said...

Wow, this blog entry is from 2008, but still good! I run South Africa Travel Online and we're busy with an exercise where we highlight the best blog on each route to our readers. I'm happy to let you know we chose this one for our George - Cape Town route :) No prizes, just personal glory! Hope all is well, Rob