I have just returned from my second magical trip to Africa.
This trip was special for many reasons, chief among them is that it was my honeymoon!
I got married in August to a wonderful man who is originally from Cape Town, South Africa.
On our 2-week trip to Cape Town, in addition to meeting his family and attending Jewish holiday services, we hiked Table Mountain (twice), toured the Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years (before being imprisoned for another 9 years), took a helicopter ride (my first!), saw penguins on the beach, and visited the Cape of Good Hope.
As you can imagine, I have lots of stories to share from my recent experiences.
For today, this short video clip shows the cable car ride down from the top of Table Mountain. After a 3+ hour hike UP, my knees were not about to head DOWN.
The floor of the cable car ROTATES. All I did was hold still with my iPhone and got this incredible panoramic view.
This was a tough hike up a route called India Venster. Harder than Kilimanjaro.
“Venster” means window in Dutch, and when you look up at the mountain, the opening through which this route goes has the shape of India.
We were told it required “some” scrambling, i.e. climbing with hands as well as feet over parts of the terrain.
What it actually included were 4 stretches of nearly vertical rock climbing, which was not what I was mentally prepared for. These areas included metal rungs and chains attached to the rocks that we had to use to continue upwards.
I was terrified.
After successfully navigating each of these stretches, with our guide Jeremy ahead of me and my husband behind me, I had to stare into the rock. I couldn’t look ahead to what was next, I couldn’t look behind me, and I couldn’t look out and enjoy the view at those moments. I just looked into the rock wall and talked with God.
Afterwards, we felt we had not been properly informed of the difficulty of this hike/climb. However, with a more vivid description of the scrambling sections, I probably would not have tried it.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve gotten myself into a more difficult situation than I anticipated, and it probably won’t be the last.
People who know me know I am stubborn. If I want to accomplish something, I go do it. I hate feeling nauseous like I felt at the top of Kilimanjaro, or terrified like I felt on India Venster, but I like the feeling on the other side of fear. The feeling of accomplishment, achievement, and living life full out for as long as I can. And now I have a partner in these adventures.
I couldn’t ask for more.