Rappelling from Table Mountain
'Stepping over the edge is one of the worst moments', another staff member says: 'Don't look down!' But why they say this, we don't know. Probably everybody will look down when they hear not to look down. And then... you are hanging on a thin rope, with a 1.000 meter drop below you. We ask if the rope is strong enough. 'Which rope?' and while he says that, he lowers us a few more feet. 'Yep, looks like it will hold your weight just fine!' While our heart is pounding like crazy, we have a moment to take a deep breath. But there is no time to relax, as soon as we start to rappel, there appears to be a small ledge. This time, there is no support to help us get 'over the edge'. We have to do it ourselves. 'Don't look down, don't look down, don't look down' is something we constantly repeat. But we still look back...
While hanging there, we get control over the rappelling device and are able to make 'jumps' to the side of the mountain. But then our foot slips away and we got slammed to the mountain. Pfff, pretty hard we can tell. Then we rappel a little further until suddenly the mountain disappears. Well, of course the mountain is still there, but no more wall we can put our feet against. We just hang there, turning slowly round and round. But while hanging there, we get the possibility to look around, instead of the need to focus at the rappelling technique. Birds fly by in just a few meters distance, and the view... amazing. Slowly, we lower ourselves until we feel solid ground again.
While one of the staff members helps us to take of the climbing harness, we have a chance to look up. Because of the distance, you can't even see where we started. We see the ropes, but not the starting point. After a while, we realize we have to climb all the way back again to the top of Table Mountain. Luckily, there is a fine hiking trail we can follow. They told us to follow the trail, but after a few minutes we reach a junction: left or right. We guess left, which appeared to be the right turn. The hike back wasn't too hard, but it was scary at some points: we had to pass a deep drop at one point. It was all worth it, even considering the price of R700,-.
The Table Mountain has also enough to offer for people that don't give a damn about adventure. You can take the cable car to the top of the mountain and wander around the plateau. But if you have some form of physical health, we advise you to hike towards the top and take the cable car down. Be warned, however, weather at Table Mountain can quickly change, so bring enough warm clothes.