April 23, 2016
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We slept in a bit, then got up and ready. We then headed to Cape Town, to go to Table Mountain. We got very lost (do you sense a common theme here?), but eventually found it. At that point, it was after noon, so we decided we had better grab something to eat before the hike up the mountain. We stopped at a really cute bakery right before Table Mountain. The quiche there was excellent and there was a cute little patio out back with tables to eat.
Table Mountain was very crowded. There was a competition going on- people were competing to see who could climb the Plattekilp Gorge Trail to the top of Table Mountain the most times within one day (the record is supposedly 14 times!). We had to walk one or two miles to the trail head, which was all uphill. We had planned to hike the Plattekilp Gorge Trail to the top. It is extremely steep, all large steps and usually takes about two hours. I made it up about 100 steps and decided there was no way I was going to make it. I’m pretty out of shape, so I went back down. My parents finished the hike to the top- they said it was hard, but worth it if you’re in good enough shape. I went back to the base, and took the cable car up instead. I hit it at the right time, and didn’t have to wait at all to get tickets or get a cable car- I’ve been told the wait can sometimes be over 2 hours.
There are several mostly flat walks around the top of the mountain, so I did those while waiting for my parents to finish the hike. It was a slightly hazy day, but the views were still amazing! It was a bit chilly on top, which is the norm there, so if you go, be sure to bring warmer clothes with you. My parents finished the hike up, we found each other, and we took a cable car back down the mountain.
From there, we drove along Chapman’s Pass, a scenic route, to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. It was an absolutely beautiful drive! It hugs the coast and the views were amazing.
We made it to Boulders at about 4:30. Unfortunately, we were unable to go to the actual beach, as it closes at 5:00 during the off-season. We did get to see the penguins there, though. There’s a short walk through a conservation stretch, where the penguins are protected. We were able to do the entire walk before the whole thing closed at 5:00.
Instead of going out to dinner, we decided to take advantage of the kitchen in our apartment, so we stopped at a grocery store on our way back to our apartment in Fish Hoek. We made some pasta for dinner and snacked on the goat cheese and crackers our hosts had left us. After dinner, my mom and I spent a couple of hours finding the rest of our accommodations for the trip.