Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pimple Gorge

The only bad thing about the Pimple Gorge hike was its name!

How in the world did we find ourselves climbing up Pimple Gorge (part of Table Mountain) with a surfer, landscape architect, and amateur botanist named Danny?  The story begins back at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.  We were enjoying lunch at the crowded museum cafe when we struck up a conversation with a Mexican mother and daughter at our table.  We learned that the daughter had spent quite a bit of time in Cape Town, and she told us not to miss the chance to go hiking with Danny.  We are really glad that we took her advice!

When we set out, neither of us knew what we were in for.  The top of the mountain certainly looked steep, but we didn't anticipate that we would spend most of the day scrambling up nearly vertical slopes and sliding down waterfalls.

You mean we're climbing that?

Making it to the top was totally worth the effort.  We were rewarded with panoramic views over Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula.

Looking down from near the top of Pimple Gorge on the town of Llandudno
At the top of Pimple Gorge with Hout Bay in the distance

Getting to the top turned out to be the easy part.  At the peak, Danny suggested that we take a different route down the opposite side of the mountain.  It was like entering another world.  After traversing the top of the mountain we found ourselves in a mini-rainforest, under a canopy of trees at the top of a waterfall pouring down the side of the mountain.  Only after three hours of walking, sliding, and stumbling our way down the mountainside did we emerge back into the sunshine.  A nice walk through fields of wildflowers brought us safely back to our car.

It was a perfect way to cap off our last day in Cape Town!

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