Friday, December 28, 2007

Lion's Head hike

Do Parisians visit the Eiffel Tower?

I had never climbed Lions' Head. This evening I went up it with Marijke and her friend Frank. Despite the fact the fact that the path resembled a Continental Highway (Italian, many French, German, and two friendly Americans - GO USA! - and plenty of South Africans), I will definitely be back.

The view from the eastern flank of Lion's Head, over the city bowl and Kloofnek, and a very good tablecloth spilling over Table Mountain...

Along the initial broad gravel path up the base, bringing one from the view of the city bowl to this spread of the Twelve Apostles.

...the western flank of Lion's Head, in beating sun at about 6pm

..and around, overlooking Sea Point, tankers waiting to enter the harbour, and Robben Island in the background.

Oh, the part I couldn't wait to reach: the chains! I have a fear of heights. The drop-off side of a path feels like deep space sucking me into a void. So I was a bit nervous about how much of a fool I would make of myself here. There is an alternate route but I really didn't want to wuss out, and it didn't look too bad. Little children do it in the moonlight! The human highway was doing it...

This is Marijke coming up. It was a bit tricky, but my ascent was more, er, graceful, than my later descent. 'nuff said.

Marijke having a nice rest at the beacon on top.

As it grew later Lion's Head's shadow stretched over Cape Town and into the harbour. We're on the tip of it!

Heading back down...

On our way down , in the shadow of the Lions' Head, the three stone pines that one can see from way below in the city grow out of the rock in a very friendly, solid way.

And in the sun again, this time setting behind a band of fog on the western horizon, Camps Bay below us.

It is stating the obvious to say that to be able to do this in the middle of a city is a privilege. I would have been happier without the chattering tourists, and noticed that the South Africans who were up there spoke quietly when they did, as if in a church, or not at all.

Then again, I suppose we make a lot of noise when we're on the Eiffel Tower.


  1. Wow! Beautiful country! I can already see the HDR shot of a sunset...

    Two questions: is Feb. 17th AM too early to go there and can I bring my wing along? ;-)

    And can we go back on the 18th too? ;-)

  2. Silly me, I didn't say the most obvious: beau-ti-ful pictures!

  3. I hope you mean January, :-)

    ...and thank you.

  4. LOL, I did mean January. Duh.


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