In my honest opinion, Platteklip Gorge is not the most scenic route up Table Mountain. There many other beautiful hikes that will do this iconic mountain justice and Platteklip Gorge is just not one of them. However, if you want an easy trail and hiking Table Mountain is just a bucket list item, then this may be the one for you.
Because it is the most popular hiking route, the trail was crowded, busy, and noisy. We encountered hikers who were hollering at each other, complaining about the distance, and worst of all, littering. It felt like there was little appreciation for nature. We ended up picking up people’s plastic lunch containers that they left behind so it could be properly disposed and not left on the mountain.
Nevertheless, any day spent in nature is a good one. About 3/4 of the way up, we came across a man playing the marimba, a wooden xylophone. I enjoyed it as we passed, but didn’t make the effort to stop. On my way down, I decided to stop and chat with him as I waited for a friend. His name is Yogamba and we became buds. On any given sunny day, he treks up the mountain to play music for hikers. The weather was great when we started our hike, but the clouds rolled in quickly and it became very chilly and cloudy. When we hugged, he was shivering uncontrollably, yet you wouldn’t have known with his positive energy. He continues to play away, as others stop to appreciate the music.
The lesson here is to make the best of every situation. Regardless of the route, conditions, and lack of visibility, Yogamba made me stop to appreciate the fact I’m on a 260 million year old mountain, a natural wonder of the world.
To end the day, we headed over to Bloubergstrand just in time to watch the sunset on the beach. Even on a cloudy day, the view of Table Mountain from this end of Cape Town is still stunning.
If you ever find yourself on this side of town, be sure try out Ons Huisie for a meal (or two)! Their potjie (a traditional South African stew in a small pot) is absolutely delicious! All in all, it was a wonderful day!
“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” -David McCullough Jr.