|What's wrong with this picture?|
Anyway, instead of a city tour for our first day, we had booked a sunset picnic hike up Lion’s Head, the prominent conical hill that sits below Table Mountain, separating Cape Town from Camps Bay Beach. The tour group that brought us up used a few college exchange students from the U.S., so they quizzed us about SAS, we quizzed them about life in Cape Town. The 1.2-mile trail started in a small grove of eucalyptus (just like the Berkeley hills), and wound 360 degrees clockwise around Lion’s Head, in and out of the late afternoon sun, until it ended at the base of a cliff 300 or so feet beneath the summit. At this point we had to scale some chains, ladders, and stainless steel hand/footholds, installed to facilitate the common man getting to the top. Not so bad while it’s light, though we all wondered about climbing down in the dark.
|The path up the sunny side of Lion's Head, Camps Bay Beach below, the Twelve Apostles in the center background.|
|Tate ascends the hand/footholds to the chains above.|
|The F-Stop Guru daypack is working out well for daytrips.|
|Taterbug contemplates the amazing terrain before us.|
|People meander around the summit before departing.|
|The 'Bug, loving every minute of it!|
|Tate descends off the summit spine, looming in the darkness above.|
|The Southern Cross sits over the right side of Camps Bay Beach, not a constellation we'd ever be able to view from the northern hemisphere.|
I was able to get a few images of ‘Crux’--the Southern Cross constellation--to the south of Table Mountain above Camps Bay Beach, while there was still just a bit of light in the sky to reveal the cirrus clouds in the upper atmosphere. Camps Bay Beach below looks positively stunning even at night, its white sand, gentle waves, cafes lit up all along the roadway along the beach. Tate hung at the back with me while I took pictures, quizzing me all along about why I was doing this or that, determined to get his little Canon point-and-shoot camera to get something that wasn’t blurry in the very low ambient lighting conditions.
|Table Mountain, with the Cape Flats in the left background.|
|Table Mountain as viewed from Lion's Head.|
|Just before Tate and I arrived back at the bus, I looked up to see the headlamps of more people descending the chains and ladders of Lion's Head.|