Hiking on Table Mountain

I’ve done 2 hikes on Table Mountain in the last 4 months, both organised (terrifically) by our fearless leader Louise. In November, a group of us went up by cable-car (a fantastic experience in itself – and it’s easy to book online, and very well organised at the site), walked to Maclear’s Beacon (the highest point on the mountain, and named after astronomer Sir Thomas Maclear, who also has a crater on the moon named after him), then meandered along various paths for the rest of the afternoon, experiencing a bewildering array of weathers (from still and boiling hot to cold and damp with swirling mists) within the space of just a few hours. We stayed over at the Overseer’s Cottage, and walked down the steep roadway to Constantia Nek the next day.Cullum cable car 2

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Overseers cottage 4

 

This month, we took the cable-car again, but this time walked ‘the scenic route’ to Maclear’s Beacon – it’s a path along the front face of the mountain with the most amazing views over Cape Town, Table Bay and Robben Island. We also walked along an old aquaduct that was carpeted with red disas – this strictly protected and seldom-seen orchid is the emblem of the Western Cape. We went down a little way into Orange Kloof for lunch, and then spent the rest of the afternoon walking down the kloof (cue wobbly legs and aching muscles for the next few days) to the tented camp, which is actually in Hout Bay but feels as if it’s a million miles from anywhere.

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Jessie’s domination over the household pets continues

sitting on MauiIt’s a loving tussle, and it’s continuous: the cats adore Jessie, and she adores them, but she demands total obeisance, and extracts it in the classic animal way of simply using her superior bulk. So (above) she sits on Maui II; and (below, already showing that she’s inherited her grandmother’s penchant for snappy dressing) she stakes her dominance over Evan.

standing on evan

For those (Cally) who may be worried this is unmitigated animal cruelty, rest assured: the cats are always free to flee, but choose not to.

Balu the dog is, however, much more circumspect, and stays on the opposite side of the room to Jessie – or even in another room altogether – hence the lack of photos of Jessie with her.