Mon 14th May
Had a quiet day with Pierre , went back to his for a couple of hours before going back to his mums , Pierre cooked dinner for all his family as it was his mums birthday . Stayed the night as needed to be up to catch flight to Cape Town Tues a.m and his mums place is nearer to the airport
Tuesday 15th May
Flew to Cape Town . wow, the sight as you fly in of Table Mountain is spectacular.
Collected by Belinda who managed the accomodation that I booked in Seapoint . Drove back to Ashby House on Higher Level, an old Victorian House, the bedding in my room was animal print ! how spooky - just like home from home , but Ringo and?Basil were missing ! ( think there may have been a baby Rhino under the bed though ) !
Walked to Waterfront , told it wouldn't take me long , just over an hour later I arrived , starving by now so had to have another steak of course ! Very cosmopolitan place , jazz bands playing etc
Went to tourist info as I wanted to walk up Table Mountain and needed to find a recommended guide .??Decided that if I was going to walk the mountain I would need to conserve my energy so caught the bus back . Went to Woolworths ( It's like M&S here ) .Called one of the recommended guides called Robin and arranged to do a 5 hour walk the next morning. Spent a quiet evening in the guest house and met a very interesting lady called Catherine who used to be a producer for SABC ( TV channel ) but was now between jobs and in Cape Town touting for work .
Wed 16th May
Robin collected me at 08:30 and we drove to Kloofnek where we started to climb , we then went along Pipe Track , up Kasteels Poort where the view of Camps Bay was awesome and at which point I thought I was going to die , as you can tell by me writing this I didn't actually die but if ever I decided that I was unfit it was at this point in my life and we had only walked an hour . At one stage Robin asked me if I was ok with exposure ? Now me being me and my mind working overtime I thought oh no !!! a flasher on the mountain, however when the sexual thoughts disappeared I realised we were on a ledge with a very big drop beneath us , I did however point out to him that he probably should have asked me this BEFORE we started walking , not at the point of no return. We then went to an over hanging rock and walked out onto it , there was about a 800 metre drop beneath it ( see my pics ) It was the most exhilarating experience. We then proceeded up to the back Table where the dams and reservoirs are and went into the museum where there was a train , can't get away from the bloody things , not even on top of a mountain , and the train was built in Scotland ! We then climbed up Disa Gorge , along Smuts Track ( yeah mind on overtime again ) to Macleans Beacon - the Summit , it took us 4.5 hours to reach this point and I was so proud of myself ( the fact that i was still actually alive pleased me ). The views and peacefulness of the walk was idlyic. We walked onto the Upper Cable Station where all the woosies catch the cable car to come up and go down the mountain . Robin asked me if I wanted to get the cable car down as a lot of his clients do that , but I replied "not me , i've walked up this mountain so if it takes me all night I am walking down it " We then went on to descend via Platleklip Gorge on the city side of the mountain. We reached the bottom exactly 6hrs 55mins after we started . I was well excited . Have suffered for the last 3 days though , my thighs feel like they are going to explode. but its a very rewarding and satisfying pain .
Robin was a very interesting person , he's climbed Kilimanjaro and is off to the Himalayas in a couple of months to do more mountain instructor training and hopefully to train to climb Everest , if he can get sponsorship . I asked him how he felt when he reached the summit of Kilimanjaro , he said all he wanted to do was come back down as he had really bad altitude sickness. I felt so inspired by him and he said I inspired him as I told him I want to travel a lot , he said that I fitted the profile of people that he'd previously met that travelled, at last , maybe I fit into a group and I should just go for what I want.
Got back to guest house at 16:30 and crashed on the bed for a couple of hours as I was knackered . Then met Joan , black African lady who worked in the guest house, I want her to be my friend , she was just so funny and thought that me not being able to walk after my days walking was very amusing. I learnt a lot about how these people have no money and are grateful for just surviving day by day, she said that she'd worked at the guest house for a month and had learnt so many things since working there , she was in awe of being given a chance and trying to better herself and to learn things that we just take for granted. If ever I feel pissed off with my life I will think of her.
Thurs 17th May
Woke up , thighs sore and beginning to cease.
Today I was the typical tourist , booked a mini bus ( luxury of course ) tour out to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope , wow I was at the most South Westerly tip of Africa. Couple of Japanese also on tour so felt I'd made it as a tourist at last? ! Took a boat trip out to seal island off Hout bay , saw lots of seals , good job really as would have been a waste of R3 and I felt sick as the sea was rough , but managed to restrain myself. Went onto see the Penguins - YES Penguins in SA . Then went for lunch , had Cape Salmon and calamari in Fish Hoek. Our final stop of the day was Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - very beautiful. Walking was difficult by now. Who said walking up bloody mountain was a good idea !
Fri 18th May
Got up leisurely as legs had now completely ceased up , did some stretching as thought it would be a good idea - how wrong i was ! Needed to go to the waterfront as wanted to get some souvenirs , took the bus . Had a leisurely morning , brekky , coffee, looking out at the bay , how wonderful. People watching , great place to place to people watch and thinking about friends. Bought an original painting of Table Mountain , needed something longer term to remind me of my walk as I was sure the thighs would get better ? they will , won't they ???? help , i have to catch a long haul flight tomorrow and I think my left thigh may just explode with DVT , watch the news , it may make the headlines! Got the bus back so far to Sea Point and decided to attempt to walk , surely the thing the makes you bad can make you better ??? Managed to hobble into a restaurant for lunch , next plan was alcohol to numb the pain , two glasses of sparkling wine later , i was still in pain but now I had to remember my way home as well !!! Made it in time to relax for Belinda to take me back to the airport for my flight back to Joburg. Cape Town domestic departures was manic , lots flying to Durban for the Rugby final Sat. Arrived Joburg , Maud ( Pierre's mum ) collected me with Maurice his nephew. Stayed in Boxburg tonight as Pierre working.
Sat 19th May
Spent the day with Maud , went to Oriental Plaza and new Eden vale shopping mall - very large . Now sat here typing this with a beer and watching the Rugby final. Going to meet Pierre at the restaurant tonight as he's working til 10pm. Will spend the night with him . Going to have lunch at his restaurant tomorrow before he takes me to the airport tomorrow evening - I don't want to come home ! Don't think the legs will let me - oh dear , what a shame !