Go back to Lekker Time.
Go back to South Africa.
The Apostles (of Table Mountain).
Next day, up extra early – well, Ross was up extra early to pack things up while we were still sleeping off another hangover – for a drive back to Cape Town and our first taste of Table Mountain. We parked in some suburban sprawl and headed up a vegetated slope with menacing “no trespassing” signs; if they can’t keep invasive species from overrunning their private land, they don’t deserve to own it. The goal was a 12 pitch ridge climb called Slangolie Frontal
on one of the Apostles Buttresses (Slangolie Buttress) which are part of Table Mountain. I have to say that we were pretty worked on what would turn out to be our final day of climbing. We dragged ourselves up the initial pitches and found some sections (esp. the vegetated ones) considerably harder and sketchier than the route rating would suggest. Nevertheless the views and the ambiance were quite nice – dominated by the turquoise Atlantic and Lion’s Head formation with a piece of suburban Cape Town around its base. Then the sun came around and started baking us. Our pace slowed and we really wanted to be off the climb. We met Ross up top and, after a bit of a shady break and lunch, started our hike back down. The mountain-top Apostles Trail hike was probably the highlight of the day and once again we made frequent stops to admire the overwhelming quantity of flora (did I mention Ross’s impressive botanical knowledge?) – every hill top, every dip would offer up something different and apparently unique to that very specific small area. Back to the same guest house that we stayed in earlier and once again shocking the proprietor with our appearance and smell.
About to set out for the ~90 minute hike up to Slangolie Buttress (large one in foreground; Dec. 2017).
Upper cableway station on Table Mountain (topmost point in photo) as seen from the approach to Slangolie Buttress (Dec. 2017).
Some of the Apostles Buttresses and Table Mountain proper (Dec. 2017).
Another exemplar of a protea – new flavor behind every bend in the trail (Dec. 2017).
View of Lion’s Head and Camps Bay (suburb of Cape Town) from the approach hike (Dec. 2017).
Along the “pipe track” – a trail that traverses the bases of the Apostles and coincides with an old aqueduct (Dec. 2017).
Shirley and Ross scoping out the base of Slangolie Buttress with Corridor Buttress in the background (Dec. 2017).
Approaching the start of the Slangolie Frontal route with Corridor Buttress in the background. Photo by Ross (Dec. 2017).
Shirley nearing the base (Dec. 2017).
At the start of the route. Photo by Ross (Dec. 2017).
Leading the first 2 pitches of Slangolie Frontal (Dec. 2017).
Shirley and the Atlantic from somewhere low on Slangolie Frontal (Dec. 2017).
Looking south along the Apostles of Table Mountain (Dec. 2017).
Starting a pitch on Slangolie Frontal with Lion’s Head and Camps Bay in the background (Dec. 2017).
Shirley somewhere on the upper (more ledgy) portion of Slangolie Frontal (Dec. 2017).
The third climber we saw on a route in Western Cape (first two were a party in Paarl Rocks).
Shirley becoming one with a tree (Dec. 2017).
Views of Lion’s Head and the upper cableway station on Table Mountain (high point on right; Dec. 2017).
Ready for a Windhoek Lager (or three).
Close-up of Table Mountain’s upper cableway station and the blue Atlantic beyond (Dec. 2017).
More ledges near the top of the buttress (Dec. 2017).
Views of the Atlantic and a tourist bus from somewhere on Slangolie Frontal (Dec. 2017).
Shirley baking at a belay in the South African summer sun (Dec. 2017).
View south from the top of the buttress (Dec. 2017).
Shirley almost at the top (Dec. 2017).
Belaying Shirley on the summit of Slangolie Buttress with Corridor Buttress in the background. Conditions were positively baking. Photo by Ross (Dec. 2017).
Shirley topping out on Slangolie Frontal route. Photo taken by Ross from the summit (Dec. 2017).
Hot and tired atop the Slangolie Frontal route. Photo by Ross (Dec. 2017).
Ross and Shirley on the start of the hike down (Dec. 2017).
Burnt proteas on top of the Apostles (Dec. 2017).
While waiting for us on the summit, Ross found this perfect little cave with a gentle, cool breeze coming through. Natural air conditioning while the ambient temperatures beyond tickled the lower 30C (Dec. 2017).
More unique and pretty flora atop Slangolie Buttress (Dec. 2017).
Ross and Shirley hiking the Apostles Trail to our descent gully (Dec. 2017).
More pretty and unique Table Mountain flora (Dec. 2017).
Same trail but with a view of Lion’s Head (Dec. 2017).
The start of the long and hot descent gully (Dec. 2017).
Back down on the pipe track (Dec. 2017).
Nearing the car and the beer (Dec. 2017).
Suburbia “trailhead” (Dec. 2017).
Shirley going full gangsta (and raiding the minibar) back at the guest house (Dec. 2017).
Go to Cape Town.
Go back to South Africa.