Sitting On Top of Cape Town.. Twice

I left my Airbnb on Monday and arrived at my hostel in Green Point, assuming the role of a real backpacker. That evening I headed up the cableway to the top of Table Mountain with two friends from the wine tour, taking our time to walk around the top as we waited for the sun to start setting. As it began we settled in with a bottle of wine and sat on the edge of the mountain, admiring the view of Cape Town and the Indian Ocean below us with the sunset as the backdrop. It was stunning and I didn’t really want it to end, reminding me of the sunset I’d encountered in Zomba, Malawi.

My alarm the next morning was set for 4:30, getting up for the hostel organised hike up Lion’s Head for sunrise. I’d heard mixed things about how hard it was so went with my expectations neutral but my hopes high, having not done much cardio exercise for a while. Unfortunately I agreed with those who said it was difficult, and 10 minutes in I wondered if I would even make it to the top. I pushed through, admiring the stars above us and the sleeping Cape Town, using my phone to light the way as the half moon struggled to light the night for us. Past halfway it became a rock climbing trek, forcing my phone back in my bag and using my hands to help pull myself up each rock. Struggling through I only hoped the sunrise would be worth it and my god did it deliver. The sky turned gradually from dark to blue to pink and orange as the sun slowly peaked itself up over the ocean. We had a 360 degree view of the city, the mountains and the ocean, and it was stunning to watch how it affected each area differently. I felt lucky to have experienced the sunset the night before and then the sunrise, from similar but different viewpoints and with very different experiences. Feeling as though we’d achieved so much already we couldn’t comprehend it being only 7am, and we took our time to sit on top and enjoy the view before heading back down, this time getting to enjoy the view on the way down as well as actually see the terrain we were walking on.

Taking it easy that day I walked around the waterfront with the winery friends, stopping at the Silo Hotel to have a drink on the roof, where I may have had a mini nap at the table struggling from my early rise and exhaustion from the hike. Keeping the day relaxed we found some dinner before going to the movies to watch Green Book with an unexpected interval.

Load shedding is something I’ve become accustomed to now, but am still quite confused by. Due to some corruption in the government and the fact that electricity has become controlled by a private company that can’t handle what they signed up for, it means that there won’t be enough electricity to power South Africa all year round. To cope with this the power has been getting cut off for about 2.5 hours at a time for the past week, generally only once a day or every other day depending on what district you’re in. This is to save up electricity for future use, particularly for winter. As someone lucky enough to always expect electricity where I have lived in Australia I still can’t quite fathom the idea of running out of power.

That night however, 20 minutes into our movie the theatre went black and we experienced our unexpected interval, sending us and our phone torches out into the lobby to find out if the power would return any time soon, hoping to finish our movie. Given the theatre’s location on the waterfront they were lucky enough to have generators to prepare for this situation and within half an hour the movie was back up and running, giving us our entertainment for the night as well as a funny story to tell.

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