Table Mountain actually,. Things beginning with T. A while back i I posted about and skinny dipping off Lizard Point on the afternoon of the eclipse, the day I decided; to leave my job and find an adventure. By the beginning of October I was on a flight to South Africa but that’s a whole other story.
This is a bit of the ‘other story’. I have a friend, who at the time was living in Cape Town, I flew in with too much luggage as Spring breathed new life into the Cape. I’d packed in my job, packed up my belongings and given the keys back on a rented house. I’d left a life I wasn’t much happy with. She thought I’d come for a couple of weeks, I asked if I could stay for Christmas. Cape Town became my base from which I explored Southern Africa. My friend lived in Camps Bay, it turned out, I’d fallen on my feet.
While my friend went to work I sat on the beach, then I drove the short drive to Cape Town. Through a friend of her mother’s I joined a walking group. I remember meeting them in a car park at 7.30 am for our first walk. I was the youngest by a good number of years, I was fit and running a bit. I appraised the group of women and a couple of retired gents and thought; this will be a breeze. How wrong was I? An hour later as I struggled to keep up, I began to think they might be an elite under covering fighting group, over sandwiches and flasks of tea, I discovered most were mums and this was their weekly walk. They were happy for me to join them regularly and we walked the mountains in the Table mountain range, often by precarious routes. We trekked to the top of Table Mountain, two or three times, it’s 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level and a challenge, I wouldn’t have done it without them.
I got fitter, I got happier and I found my confidence, again. In the days between the weekly walks. I explored the Cape, then the coast; watched whales. Drove into the wine region. In Cape Town I went into the Townships and discovered more about apartheid and South Africa’s history. I took the boat to Robin Island and saw Mandela’s cell (I wept). Jetted North to a reserve and experienced Africa’s big five.
In December, I travelled from Cape Town to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, it’s over a 1,000 miles and I wouldn’t recommend the journey by mini bus, but waking from an uncomfortable sleep as the sun was rising and seeing a lake teeming with pink flamingos, made it worthwhile. In Bulawayo I joined an overland trip, first to Victoria Falls and then into Botswana and the Okavango river delta. The delta is lush and green, it’s populated with lilies and hippos and baboons and small islands where a travellers like me camped under the stars, some of the water is so shallow the only way is paddle in a dug out canoe. It was an adventure. My whole time in Southern Africa gave me memories to treasure forever, but it’s wouldn’t have been half the trip without those women and their walks up Table Mountain.