We had reserved a whole day to explore Table Mountain, but one lady we ran into on a tour told us you could only spend an hour or so up top before getting bored. Hah, I said.
We headed out via Cape Town’s very good bus system to the cable car base, which was pretty easy (though the bus timetable wasn’t anywhere near correct). Because we bought cable car tickets on line a few weeks ago, we bypassed the long lines and walked straight onto it (Note: when you buy a ticket on-line, it’s valid for 14 days from the date you specify when you buy it. We specified a validity date as the first day we got to Cape Town, meaning we could pick any day we wanted to go up).
|Visa... it's where you want to be|
|Imagine ziplining that|
At the top station, there are rock hyraxes EVERYWHERE. You have to leave the station area to get rid of them.
|Living life on the edge|
|Looking south towards Cape Point|
|A nice if high 'falutin area|
|The 12 Apostles|
We opted to walk to the “high point” of the mountain, MacLear’s Beacon, about 3 km from the top cable car station. Much of the hike hugs the cliff edge, some right on the cliff edge. Around here, I should mention I don’t like heights.
|Downtown. Robben Island|
|The city bowl. Our balcony is visible, if you know where to look|
|Wide panorama north up the coast|
|Bogs? On the top of a mountain?|
|Surveying the domain.|
This species is responsible for more snakebite fatalities than any other African snake. This is due to a combination of factors, including its wide distribution, common occurrence, large size, potent venom that is produced in large amounts, long fangs, their habit of basking by footpaths and sitting quietly when approached
This dude wasn’t big, meaning he was just a baby, but they can kill you just fine staring from birth. Up here, “watch you step” takes on special meaning.
|Evil nasty & small|
We walked the complete length of Table Mountain (watching for snakes the whole way), and this is the view at the other end.
|Dramatic artsy shot|
|Just one of the dozen routes up|
|A slot in the rocks|
Today’s Africa Travel Tip: Security Guards, Part 2
So in my last post, I mentioned that security guards were everywhere.
Our apartment (and it’s a regular apartment building) sits on Greenmarket Square, home to a daily crafts market and a whole lot of beggars. We have a 24/7 security guard, and sliding locked exterior doors. Both of which are a joke.
One guard has been a guard 58 years. He’s been in this building almost 30 years. Guess his age. Another? A university student who was so asleep one night when we came home that we couldn’t wake him up. On our first arrival to our building, we walked past them, said hello, and got on the elevator. They didn’t care, nor want us to check in, nor even ask us where we were going. One day, we found our guard a block away from the building buying a coffee. When we got home, the sliding security door was wide open. It’s often open with no one around.
The CCID Public Safety guys don’t seem to do anything at all, other than walk around a lot. I watch one of them help the market guys tear down every day.
If “perception is reality”, then all the security guards are for is to give you the perception that you’re safe. Thus, you are safe. Thus, people walk around the downtown core day and night because they perceive that they are safe because the guards are there.
A whacked system, but it works. I suspect that if you’re in an area with no visible security guards, you will feel less than safe. Perception is reality.