“This was not a good idea.” I’m only halfway up the mountain, my legs are killing me and already I’m holding my breath when people pass me on their way down so they won’t hear me wheezing in agony. Yes, I’m vain enough not to want random strangers who I will never see again think I’m having trouble walking up the steep incline to the lighthouse. “I can’t believe I’m so unfit! Okay, no more cookies for me. Well, I’m on holiday right now, so it’s okay, but no more cookies for me when we get home. Oh, look at the pretty view.” I sit down on one of the strategically placed benches and silently thank the person who also thought they were necessary at the end of a particularly steep set of stairs.
Gareth and I had finally made it to Cape Point. It’s a cold and blustery day that didn’t start off as well as we’d hoped. When we stepped out of our hotel the day after GTBC, Table Mountain was covered in a blanket of fog. It was grey, wet and freezing and the perfect day to spend inside exploring the old Castle of Good Hope. Alas, that was not to be. We drove around the fortress three times in search of a place to park without and luck. We ended up driving down a no-entry lane, getting lost inside a bus terminal and making u-turns in front of various closed-up multi-storey car parks.
In pure frustration we decided to get out of the city. Gareth programmed our rented GPS and minutes later we were zipping past Muizenberg onto the scenic M4. There was no fog on this side of the mountain and our moods lifted as we were greeted with clear blue skies. We drove through the picturesque village of Simon’s Town, past Boulder’s Bay where the penguins live and through the gate of the Table Mountain National Park.
And that is how I now find myself wondering if I’m going to make it to the top or if I should just go back down and take the funicular instead. I take a moment to admire the beautiful scenery while catching my breath. Cape Point is a peninsula surrounded by the sapphire seas of the Atlantic Ocean, while the Park itself is a stretch of greenery and fynbos that is quite pleasing to the eye, even though it’s the middle of winter. Small birds flit in and out of the bushes around me.
I take a deep breath. “This mountain is not going to get the better of me. I will beat it. I will reach the lighthouse and I will enjoy the view from the very top.” And so I climb to my feet, and slowly make my way up the hill again.