Thursday 16th June (published Sunday 20th June – Kirsty’s blog)
Apparently Andy’s Mum and Dad have now spotted us on Look East TV too, the newsdesk have now asked us to try and send them some video footage as well as more stills, I’m guessing Mrs Miggins has found her missing cat and they have to fill the empty news space.
We had another early start and arose in the dark in order to tackle Table Mountain – well tackle the cable car queue, as apparently if you don’t get there first thing then the average queue is about 2 hours.
Simon arrived in a cab at about ten past eight, though despite military precision planning I had forgotten my handbag so had to go back upstairs for it (it’s obviously always essential that you take a handbag on a mountain trekking expedition).
The cab dropped us at the cable car and we went straight on with no queues, we were extraordinarily lucky with the weather too as we had planned this expedition in advance but every other morning the mountain had been shrowded in cloud and mist, though this morning it was bathed in glorious sunshine and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, perfect conditions for a spot of gentle trekking.
The view from the top is absolutely amazing, we’re so high that the new stadium and even Robben Island are dwarfed from up here. We don’t really start out with a particular planned route, our philosophy was to walk towards the sun as it was perishingly cold in the shade.
We had the most wonderful walk with stunning scenery for an hour or so without actually being worried about where we were geographically or whether we were lost or not, but after about three hours it started to cross my mind that none of us had any idea of where we were on the mountain. I idly started to ponder on the tricky question that if we were lost/stranded for any length of time, who I would eat first. I made the mistake of voicing my concerns about our whereabouts and also sharing my quandry about where my next meal was coming from, in answer to this, both Simon and Andy pointed out that it would make sense to eat the person with the most superfluous flesh…mmm, that would be me then! I quickened my pace, picking up considerable speed, began consulting the iphone compass app and took our current location far more seriously than I had previously.
As we trekked on, we reached the far end of the long flat summit (hence the moniker Table Mountain) and after a couple of photo opps at the highest point, Simon and Andy decide to take a steep looking route that required a bit of a tricky descent and some scrambling and clambering, I on the other hand decided to go back the same way, as I didn’t like the look of their route. Unfortunately I’d forgotten that on our ascent the climb was just as steep and scrambly. After a couple of attempts to get down with my handbag strapped to me and completly getting in the way, I had to give up and shout for help. Andy duly returned for me and we successfully negotiated what seems like a ten foot rock face with nothing to hold on to (in reality it was just a bit steep), just about got down without having to set up an intricate rope and pulley system.
Now I don’t think I have a particular problem with heights, I’ve never suffered from vertigo and have enjoyed sky diving in the past, however the sheer drops of thousands of feet off the edge of Table Moutain are scary as hell! As we turn back along the opposite ridge the paths get narrower and narrower and I’m starting to feel more uneasy. A young American boy fell and died here last week and a couple of weeks before that a young Brit also fell to her death in bad weather conditions, this was going through my mind when we found ourselves on the tiniest ledges with the most enormous drops…it was horrible! In fact I can’t describe how horrible it was, I was leaning as far away from the edge as possible but I was still more than aware without even looking, at how high we were. This wasn’t helped by Andy and Simon keep exclaiming how high we were and what a huge drop it was, while standing right on the very edge and looking down and at one point leaping from one ledge to another with about a two thousand foot drop gorge between!
I’d never experienced it before but I felt sick, dizzy, sweaty, shaky and my stomach was churning worse than any roller coaster…I think I might have mentioned it one or twice but it was horrible!
As I’m now writing this, you can surmise that I survived and so did the boys, though they enjoyed the scary bits far more than me but they probably enjoyed winding me up even more by standing right on the vertiginous edge!
We checked out the Rock Dassies, cute little guinee pig type things that seem to sleep dangling precariously from the south face of the mountain and then made our way back down to sea level.
Given that we’d trekked for four hours, we decided to treat ourselves to a slap up lunch of sushi, prawns, squid, ostrich and fine wines! Followed by a trip to the aquarium (probably a little insensitive given what we’d had for lunch but hey ho) where we spent a brilliant afternoon.
A perfect day and nobody died on the mountain…hurrah!