Friday, October 16, 2009

The last day in Cape Town

My last day in South Africa took me to new heights. After a few cool and cloudy days Table Mountain finally showed its top again and I was going to get up there. I had a quick breakfast and saw B and invited her to join G and I. So with my smuggled PB&Js we were off. This hike is best described as a 90-minute Stairmaster work out on crack. The path is well maintained and tries to be hiker friendly but I was taking steps almost waist high.

It was wonderful having a nice physically active day just before we were about to board the ship for another 6-day journey to Mauritius. The views were beautiful all the way and we stopped often to take the opportunity for photos. G was making great time and was a fair bit ahead of us prompting me to call him a mountain goat. I have since learned that the space between us was merely a self-preservation technique. You see, like the big bad wolf G huffs and puffs as he hikes. He didn’t want us to know, but he later told us and now I’m telling you. You’re welcome.

With G far ahead B and I enjoyed the hike we shared. B has worked at UCLA for the past number of years so we laughingly compared this to hiking Runyan Canyon where you can often find the Housewife of the Hollywood Hills walking with their Starbucks or Red Bulls in hand and cell phones firmly planted on the side of their face. We passed a fair number of groups (which being rather competitive always makes me feel good about myself) but must admit this uber couple that G still curses to this day smoked us. I had asked G to stop for a photo and he maintains that it is for this reason and this reason alone that the couple passed him.

Once to the top a chill was indeed in the air and the clouds were beginning to roll in. I was happy I had my running tights on and quickly pulled my running gloves out of my bag. Some students we saw on top who were very cold were impressed and jealous of my degree of preparedness. (I owe that to my dad). We stopped in the café to get a coffee, eat our sandwiches and warm up a bit before taking a few more photos and looking at some of the educational stuff.

Not long after we climbed into the cable car to ride down the mountain and found our way back to the waterfront. In my final hours I made yet another visit to the mall to pick up a few last things before meeting the staff to work re-embarkation. As we had been prepared for, many of our students took advantage of the tourist friendly port and local bars to indulge in a few final drinks before re-boarding which provided a fair number of laughs and eye rolls as students stumbled up the gangway. With a smile on my face I encouraged them to go have some dinner and sadly our time in South Africa came to an end.

I was sad to leave but I am confident that I will return to South Africa again. In my journeys so far I am more and more tempted to move abroad and become an ex-patriot. At this point Cape Town is on the top of my list.


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