The deep, sheer black was shattered by the shrill blaring of the alarm. Only, today my eyes didn’t snap open with the sinking feeling of dread that fills me every other morning. Instead, it was replaced by a feeling much more welcome, and a little unusual. It was the feeling of butterflies, which were, at this point, zooming around like they were trying to escape. The golden sunlight that penetrated the delicate curtains were a positive indication that today was going to be a fantastic day to explore. As I got out of bed and headed towards the bathroom, I happened to glance into the mirror, which showed a reflection of the sun-kissed waters of the Atlantic, and the golden hue of Table Mountain, making me thankful, yet again, for being able to fulfill this dream.
Once I had Showered and changed into comfortable clothes, I made my way out onto the waterfront, in the hopes of finding something delicious to satiate my hunger. As I strolled along the waterfront, deeply inhaling the bracing sea air, and savouring the feeling of the sun warming my neck, my eyes fell on a small but neat restaurant. It was pretty and quaint, with big umbrellas and light wood railings. The smell emanating from it was nothing short of stunning. It was a smell so enticing, that for a few minutes I just stood outside, gazing at it and absorbing all the information my senses were delivering to my slightly overwhelmed brain. In the end, it was the smell of freshly battered fish, lemon juice and fried chips that drew me into the restaurant. Once seated, I glanced over the menu, not to look for something to order, for I knew exactly what I wanted, but just to check what drink would best accompany my meal. Once my meal arrived, the aroma emanating from the platter, instantly had me salivating like a dog gazing lovingly at a huge bone. It was the now familiar, but still amazing scent of fresh battered fish, lemon juice and fried chips. Accompanying this mouth-watering meal was a beautiful peach iced tea, freshly brewed and flavoured to perfection. Any thought about the rest of my day, instantly left my mind as I tucked into my food, thinking only of how the flavours and textures complemented each other in my mouth, like a beautiful symphony.
Feeling energized by what was one firework of a meal, I made my way towards Table Mountain, driving past some colorful houses and loads of smiling people. Some time later, I stood at the foot of the mountain, simply awestruck. From the waterfront it was beautiful, but looking up from the foot of the mountain, it was absolutely incredible.
On my right, I had the cable car, taking me up with view of the city. On my left, the first hiking trail up the mountain, which would immerse me in nature itself. I hadn’t brought hiking boots for no reason, so I headed towards the hiking trail, bracing myself for what I hoped would be a great walk.
30 Minutes into the walk and I was only halfway to the top. However I had seen so many things I hadn’t before. So many different flowers and shrubs, so bright and colorful, making me remember that this was one of the most diverse areas in the world. I made some new friends too, with some of the residents of the mountain itself. There was a rock Hyrax, or what the locals call a Dassie, a majestic eland, a tiny tortoise and even a porcupine, which didn’t hang around for very long. However, I got distracted by the babbling and gurgling sounds that seemed to come from somewhere not very far off. I soon discovered it was a tiny stream. All caution was thrown to the wind when I saw how clear the water was, and I reached down, cupped my hands, and took a small sip. Despite the heat, the water was gloriously cool, and having washed over so many rocks, it was filtered of any dirt that may have been in it, for it was pure and had a unique, yet likeable taste. I filled my bottle with more of this superb Aqua vitae, before continuing to the top.
It wasn’t very long before I was standing on the long flat head of the mountain, with hundreds of other people. Trying to brave my fear of heights, I edged closer to the drop and mustered up the courage to look down. Having my back faced towards the city. I was looking not at tiny buildings, but rather, massive black rocks and the deep blue ocean. The water rolled and boiled, rearing up and crashing against the rocks, producing copious amounts of foam, bathing the rocks in a soapy white layer. This view stole my breath and I stared for hours, pondering about how small and insignificant we are compared to the beauty of nature.
Having finally been able to pull myself away from the edge, I decided to have an early dinner at the restaurant atop the mountain, before having another early night to ensure I don’t miss my flight to my next destination.
After a fairly normal dinner, I used the cable car to get back down the mountain and thereafter made my way to the hotel. Driving in Cape Town at night is a different experience because the city is transformed into a bustling, jovial place, bright and glittery. Before I got to my room however, I was distracted yet again, this time by the smell of creamy, aromatic coffee. It was the smell that directed me to a rather modern coffee bar. As I walked in, I realized that they had cheesecake, my favourite dessert, available. I ordered a specialty coffee, and was taken aside, to watch the Barista personally prepare my coffee from scratch, topping it off with a beautiful white fern leaf. The coffee and blueberry cheesecake paired beautifully and it wasn’t long before I had an empty plate and coffee cup.
Feeling tired from the full day I had, I showered, changed and got into bed, for what would be my last night in the Mother City.As I lay in bed, about to fall asleep,I felt an immense calm that washed over me and bathed me in a sea of tranquility. Tomorrow, I would kiss South Africa goodbye, and head further up the continent, to a place I had never been to before…Namibia. Morning should come faster, I thought, as my eyes closed, taking the lights of Cape Town, and replacing them with pure black.