On days like this you have got to believe that winter is the best time to hike in Cape Town. The day was warm, not too hot; clear but with a bit of high, wispy cloud, remnants of the passing cold front. A last minute request from Dina and Amit to guide them to the top of Table Mountain, gave me the chance to get out and clear the last of a slight cold out of the system. With the onset of winter, I have been hiking a bit less than usual and decided I needed to join the gym to keep the fitness levels up. Having not had a cold for four or five years, I am convinced that this is where it came from.
No matter how many times I do Platteklip Gorge, the start always challenges the legs and gets the breathing going. This was no exception and I was happy to stop fairly regularly to admire the view. The orange breasted sunbirds were also taking advantage of the warm sunshine and a few proteas were breaking in to bloom on the lower slopes. The top seemed quite far away and although we started mid-morning there were not too many hikers out on the route
We spotted a group of very fit looking young guys behind us and once at the top they turned out to be part of the England Under 20 World Cup squad. I suppressed the urge to comment on Saturday’s game, so brilliantly won be the young under 20 Springbok side. If you see photographs of them on at the top of the Gorge on related Facebook pages, they may have been taken by yours truly.
From the top it is an easy stroll to Maclear’s Beacon and a really good idea, in weather like this, is to take the inner path on the way out and the front face path on the way back, to the spectacular views of Table Bay, Cape Town, Lions Head, Signal Hill and the Cable Way. (This path is not recommended in misty or rainy conditions unless you have a guide or someone who knows the route well.) My guests were keen to get back down however as they wanted to visit Monkeytown out in Somerset West, so after a quick look around the top we took the easy option and the cable car back down.
Your Cape Town Host (and hike leader)