In the end…the bear was right

Cape Town, the last stop on this epic sojourn. After emptying Springbok of his contents or rather mine, he was ready to be released back into his natural habitat, lol! It was sad letting those keys go for the last time. That four-wheeled wonder will be missed greatly.

The first day was spent strolling about town before Lion’s Head. The climb to the top of Lion’s Head is not an easy task. It’s deceptive at first glance and stroll along the steep grated walkway. The false sense of a leisurely outing soon takes over as you gallivant scoping out all the marvelous views of Cape Town below. Then the rock path begins, not to arduous a few high steps but doable. Totally piece of cake, lol. Then the bouldering begins and the straight up bouldering with steps made for giants and not the wee hobbits of this land. Breathing gets heavy as does the bloody pack with all the camera gear that should have been left behind, honestly. Then a plateau and you think awesome, a little arduous but look at that view we made it. Until you look up at the next mountain climb. Now this seems utterly unfair. Trust me it is well worth the sweat. Pack extra water and some snacks. If you are anything like me a little hypoglycemia can end the whole hike. Almost did, luckily an orange was packed midst the camera gear. The view is spectacular. Granted the drone flying in my face on the last push was less than appealing and choice words were had with its owner, not by me mind you, I was too busy catching my breath. It left rather abruptly and was never seen again.

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Just wow. Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak.
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Closer view and you can see the multiple hiking paths up the mountain.

The way down is as taxing but you can always bum down the high steps. Cold drinks for sale at the parking lot. The trip up was not certain. The Tour de Cape Town was the weekend I arrived in Cape Town. An international bike race which brings thousands of racers, families and supporters. The ridiculously strong winds cancelled the race. But died down enough the next day for a climb up. But now your surrounded by some of the fittest people in the world bounding up the trek without a care in the world as I’m sucking and gasping for breath. Need more cardio, lol! That night I sampled one of the many amazing restaurants in town. It is becoming a foodie haven.

Having spent the race day walking around the wharf and the following up Lion’s Head it was time to go to Table Mountain. A beautiful foggy day. One of my favourite times to visit the mountain top. The mist envelopes the giant rock formation and all its inhabitants but as the as the sun rises so does the mist, revealing a new world and of course birds. Rare soul was met hiking around for hours and out to Maclear’s Beacon.

The birds awoke with the dispelling mist and the Proteas opened up. Wonderful trek to the beacon. I may have chased after a bird or two. Habits. Round the mountain top and along its edge to head back to the start. As I was heading down the onslaught of tourists began. Perfect time to make my exit. A wonderful day indeed.

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Lion’s Head and a Gondola heading down.
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Magical mist beginning to rise.

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Lion’s Head because I was on top of that bad boy.
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Mountain top view.
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Tinder profile picture of a Rock Hyrax. The closest genetic relative to an elephant.
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He’s so fuzzy!!!!!
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King Protea bud
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King Protea almost open
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Love the King Protea.
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Lark singing the suns praises.
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Silhouette of sunbirds, a little artistic flair every once in a while.
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Okay maybe a couple artistic shots. I can totally hear its inner song, “I feel pretty, oh so pretty.”
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Hello, Orange Breasted Sunbird. Fluffy from the cold mist.
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The colours never cease to amaze.
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Profile
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This one was so patient. I was able to get quite close and spent plenty of time just watching him sway and sunning himself.
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This little bugger was harder to identify. When I think of Woodpeckers I think of a tree not a rock. This is the Ground Woodpecker. Seems a little like an oxymoron to me but hey they are cute.
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Spots and speckles and splashes of colour.
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No clue. But it’s cute and a bird so here it is.
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This gorgeous male is a Cape Sugarbird. He’s showing off his best asset, that long tail.
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That’s right ladies, this tail, this tail could be yours. Pun intended.
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Cape Sugarbird and a King Protea, splendor.
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Take off, that tail wobbles as he tries to fly.
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Even these guys came to bask in the light and warm up. Girdled Lizard.
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Hallo, can you see me, no, because I am invisible.

 

The few days in this wonderful city quickly flew by and the only thing to do on the last day is to go to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. My feet went on strike after being forced into hiking shoes that didn’t quite fit. This was the perfect place to let them feel the grass between the toes and enjoy in the freedom of no shoes. The garden is nestled in the lower slopes of Table Mountain. Also are the starting and ending points for some of the hikes up. It was a very very hot day early on. Grateful to have done the hiking the day prior with the overcast, cooler weather.

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Juvenile Canary looking suspiciously at my lens.
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Jacobin Cuckoo. Marvelous little bird.
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The drab colouration of a female Southern Double-Collared Sunbird.
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The male version trying a little spiderman-esk action.
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Cape Rock Thrush.
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Ashy Flycatcher
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This cutie pie is really little about a small child palm, and fast as a small child on sugar. But he landed long enough and struck a pose. Fairy Flycatcher, appropriate name on all accounts.
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Note the pinky chest markings.

So that’s that… 8+ months, ~65 thousand kilometers, 10+ countries and one deportation, lol. It was truly been an epic journey one that is hard to put to words. The whole experience still seems surreal.

I have learned a lot, not just about myself but about us…humans, bipeds, people, whichever term you’d prefer. All in all we are good. It’s easy to forget today in the modern world that blasts negative depictions daily if not hourly but we are genuinely good. I have gone to some very remote areas alone and relied on complete and utter strangers to get through it all. I having met some amazing people, formed live long friendships and of course found new places to visit.

Thanks to each and every one of you for making this journey as amazing as it has been. Thanks to my friends (old and new) and my family for putting up with my endless gallivanting and South Africa 4×4 for my iron steed, Springbok.

As for me…well, in the end, the bear (A.A. Milnes Winnie the Pooh) was right “you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, & smarter than you think.”

So, thanks for following along on this wonderful jaunt through sub-Saharan Africa. The journey does not end here. Just a pause to rebuild the funds, lol! Until next time.

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P.S. Pop in from time to time. I will have more things posted from local travels and of course prints, once I’ve gone through the mountain of pics. There is a photo book coming as well and maybe a little something else too. Time will tell. And as always if you are planning a trip of your own and would like insight or help just drop me a line.

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