Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cederberg Table Mountain

My envisioned long distance tour through South Africa on my 125cc Gomoto motorcycle got a bit of a boost last week when a friend invited me to go hiking with him in the Cederberg. He wanted to climb Table Mountain, the second highest peak in this range of mountains.

I agreed, but had to immediately set out (in defiance of a budget that did not have the space) to buy myself a small 2-man tent and a -5 degree sleeping bag from Outdoor Warehouse. (When I arrived at Outdoor Warehouse, I stood looking at about three possible tents. The shop-assistant did not know this, but he made the sale on the particular tent when he explained that it was a popular tent amongst motorcyclists who like to travel lightly!).

The trip to the Cederberg did not happen on the Gomoto. We traveled in my friend's car. The area had just been through a week-end in which they received 200ml of rain. All the roads were badly damaged and we had to take a 75 km detour because we could not drive across the low water bridge that gave access to the mountain range.

On the first day we hiked up a kloof (Welbedacht Kloof) and slept at the top of the kloof close to a stream. The night was cold, but not as cold as expected and my 4 layers of clothes and the new sleeping bag helped keep me warm.

On the second day we left our tents and hiked up the mountain. It took about 4 hours to get to the top (Approximately 1900 metres above sea-level.) The walk was really beautiful.

This picture was taken at sunset on the day that we had climbed Table Mountain. Table mountain is the brightly illuminated one in the background.

This is me on top of the mountain. Across the valley is Sneeuberg, the highest peak in this range.

This is us back at the car park after 3 days of hiking.

I am now a step closer to taking my motorcycle trip. My most important task will be to find a luggage system to pack my equipment in. On this trip I carried about 14 kg with me. I imagine that I would be able to do my motorcycle trip with more or less the same amount of equipment.

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