Above The Clouds

A few of us decided to go to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens near Wynberg in the morning. From there lies a trail that goes up to Table Mountain called Skeleton Gorge. It’s roughly a four-hour hike as opposed to the Platteklip route I did the last time which was about two hours. The gardens, in my opinion, were nothing spectacular. I mean, it looked cool and all but my interest waned quick. The only reason I even decided to take part in Kirstenbosch is because it was the start of the Skeleton Gorge trail. Before we started the long hike, we ate at an outdoor restaurant in the gardens. There, Monica split up from us to hang out with her friend who had come into town. She wanted to meet up with us when we got back down the mountain though. Unlikely.

This trail was more challenging than the Platteklip route. The Platteklip route is fast, but steep. The Skeleton Gorge route is supposed to be long, but not as steep. I found that to be a lie. Skeleton was just as steep, if not steeper. About a quarter of the way, Andrew (New Jersey) from the Palmer house, had been drinking the night before and he was looking pretty rough for a while. He pulled through though. I was impressed with most of the girls who came. They were able to keep up and hold their own.

Maybe halfway through the trail?
Pause for pictures

As we ventured further along the mountain, we were finally higher than the clouds. However, the trail seemed never-ending! Every time we arrived at a peak, we would look across and find that we still had ways to go. I began losing my voice. I don’t know how, but I did. I also ran out of water. I thought I had enough but I underestimated the length of this trail.

As we made our way, we paused numerous times to capture some pretty sweet photos, like…

Mikaela is incredible!
The Frenchies. Camille and Flo.
Thumbs up?
Falling over the edge!
Walking along the edge

We could have stayed up there for hours just relaxing and taking it all in. But my hunger pushed me to get to the end as quick as possible. I worked up quite the appetite. Actually, I always do no matter what I’m doing haha! We finally made it to the table top and it was more than satisfying. This was my second time hiking the table and probably my last for a while.

Top Row From Left: Camille, Mikaela, Me, Chris, Emily, Flo
Bottom Row From Left: Erin, Andrew

We get constant warnings to avoid using the trains during the night because of how dangerous it can be, especially if traveling alone. Muggers like to lurk on the trains waiting for careless travelers. I never realized how sketchy the train stations were until the night we left the mountain back to Muizenberg. As we were on the train home, Chris wasn’t feeling well and we had to get off on an earlier exit so he could use the restroom. That also meant we had to wait for the next train which was about 40 minutes away. I saw all sorts of weirdos walking aimlessly around the station that night. I’m very protective, especially of the girls, and was on guardian mode the whole time as we waited for Chris. He was taking awhile. I went alone to go find him and saw more creeps staring me down and one was even glaring at me from a distance. I’ll be honest, I never felt nervous, at least not for myself. I can hold my own. If anything, I would worry about the others. Fortunately, Chris and everyone else was fine and we made our way aboard the gloomy train back home. By the way, we never did meet up with Monica. She decided to stay the night in Cape Town with her friend.

View from above the clouds.

When we arrived home, we were met by three new volunteers, Ciaran (Ireland), Lisa (Chicago) and Andy (Ohio). Tomorrow brings four more newbies and a trip to Robben Island. I’m not too excited about the latter.

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