Friday, January 22, 2010

He'll be running round the mountain...

I drove around the mountain to the road that lies above the city bowl and below the cable car, so that Vince could run whee whee whee, all the way home.

Table Mountain Road winds around Devil's Peak, above, where legend tells us that Van Hunks and the Devil smoked pipes, puffing.

Vince puffed around the peak - you can see the cut of the road in the photo, which, at about that corner turns from tar into a dirt track. He found his way home, all the way to the front door, about 10 miles later.

The road has panoramic views over the city, and many spots for picnicking. I would favour a breakfast picnic, and once saw a mongoose on the road as I drank my coffee.

People have been mugged here before, but security has been beefed up at the foot of a more popular hike up the front face of the mountain (Platteklip Gorge), and the only stupid time to be there, I think, would be on a solitary evening.

Table Bay, above, kept me company while I waited to take pictures of the runner (my idea, not his), and I also had the corgis in the back of the car. They thought they were going to the vet, though, so were unimpressed by the fresh air and scenery. When Vince ran past they became very worried and glared at me. How can you let him go like that!? We must pursue!

And he's off.

The wind was howling. It does that in summer. My parents' house on the other side of the mountain is very protected, so we forget.

Lion's Head in the background, and up close below. Site of some very good picnics in years gone by...pretty much where that ribbon of path goes round the corner.

Another favoured mugging spot, I was a bit nervous when we were there. But there was a stream of walkers up and down even at night - full moon is a popular time to climb all the way to the top. Again there was an armed security presence in the area, complete with dogs, and it was hard to reconcile it in the twilight, that night, smelling the rising honey scent of the inconspicuous Struthiola ciliata in bloom, carried towards us by the warm air wafting down the slope. This is also where I sat with my parents, to see Comet McNaught in 2007, wide tail sparkling over its shoulder, diving into the sea.


  1. Reminds me a little of a more verdant New Mexico, uh. minus the sea.

    Its funny to leave NYC, where lore has it a mugging is waiting on you around every corner, and show up in a natural landscape with an opportunity to be mugged around every corner. What kind of gun laws are there in SA and do they have a version of our NRA?

  2. It's actually exactly 10 miles and I highly recommend the run to anybody so enclined. And no, I do not run straight uphills if my heels can't reach the ground... ;-))

  3. He's a nutcase (but then I'm not a runer!!). Beautiful pics. I'm glad to hear security has been beefed up, but I do wish it wasn't necessary...

  4. Yikes, Frank. It's only two years later...but I got round to it at last. Gun laws. I have no idea what the law is regarding the carrying of a concealed weapon.I do carry pepper spray on hikes. Windy environment, though.

    Beence,you should do another one when we are there for our brief-brief trip.

    Jeanne - ja nee. You know,one hears of course about the muggings and violence, but so many people use the mountain and are safe. We don't have useful statistics to tell what % of the mountain-using population is affected. Still, I would never hike alone, though know people who do. It's not a good idea, period.


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