Late Sunday night I made my crash into Cape Town International Airport – and within a few minutes of jumping off the plane, I was careening through the stormy night towards the downtown area. If this doesn’t seem dramatic, let me remind you that
A) I barely drive in the USA since I don’t have a car and am too much of a “hippie” to drive everywhere,
B) driving here is on the left/wrong side of the road,
C) I don’t know how to drive stick-shift,
D) I don’t ever really know where I’m going.
If you have successfully channeled a sense of fear and apprehension of what’s maybe around the next bend in the road, you also get a glimpse into what I am feeling when it comes to starting my hike next week. It’s going to be 28 consecutive days of backpacking, travelling the entire already-established Rim of Africa Trail. Things like exact dates, maps, food, tent, and permits are some of the little details I haven’t really worked out yet – but I’m on it! I’ve got the next five-ish days to get everything re-packed and sorted out, so no worries.
To celebrate my first day back in South Africa and being free from the endless hours spent in a plane to get here, I joined a friend on a walk up Devil’s Peak, a mountain right next to Table Mountain and downtown Cape Town. It was a fantastic walk — a physical challenge but absolutely rewarding with perfect weather and breathtaking views from the top.
Walking on Table Mountain is something every visitor to Cape Town should do. Not only is the mountain right around the downtown area, it is a great physical and rugged hike, and it has more flowers than the entirety of the United Kingdom! I had to give up in my attempt to photograph all the species I saw because I had to stop too frequently to keep a good hiking pace and there wasn’t a single rest-stop that we took that I couldn’t easily spot more than 12 species of plants within a couple meters. (Yes, I am actually turning into a bio-nerd.)
Wrapping up: I’m excited, happy to be back in my “winter home” (I mimic migrating birds in their search for warmer weather), and super excited to hit the Rim of Africa within a week. Take a peak at some of the photos from my walk in this gallery (names of plants might appear soon)- and expect another blog post soon!