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June 12, 2010

Tourists not deterred by Table Mountain temperatures

table mountain cable car cableway

Table Mountain Cableway’s cable car comes to pick up a new load of brave visitors. Photo by Ingrid Sinclair

While the temperature in Cape Town’s city bowl today is more than bearable (if you have your beanie and scarf, that is), conditions on Table Mountain were somewhat colder this afternoon. The wind-chill factor, soft rain and eerie blanket of mist made the experience at the summit (at 1 067m above sea level) quite different from that in the city, but that didn’t deter visitors from taking the Table Mountain Cableway up for a warm buffet lunch at Table Mountain Café and spectacular views of the Cape Peninsula; there were even a few brave souls who abseiled down the rocky outcrops of Table Mountain.

Hannah Livingstone, from Dallas, Texas (USA) took the cable car to the summit without her friends, who were ascending Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge. “It’s my wonky hip,” she said. Here on an exchange programme, Hannah watched the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ as well as the France vs Urugary clash at the FIFA Fan Fest™ on the Grand Parade yesterday. We were very pleased to see that Hannah was reunited with her friends at the summit later in the afternoon.

At the top of the mountain, Table Mountain Café was buzzing and the buffet lunch was exactly what the Cape Doctor ordered. Groups of visitors – some obviously foreign, others obviously South African – bunched up around the warm heaters and enjoyed their cappuccinos, beers and cups of tea.

The pathways at the top were shrouded in an eerie mist but that gave the area a magical atmosphere; the journey is definitely worth it to see Table Mountain in a different light.

gary irvine table mountain

Gary Irvine from Scotland does not fear the Table Mountain temperatures

Gary Irvine, who has been in Cape Town for five weeks, working with local churches as part of the Youth with a Mission programme, probably has his Scottish genes to thank for his apparent imperviousness to the cold. Dressed only in a kilt, a T-shirt and a tartan hat, with a Scottish flag acting as a cape fit for a superhero, he was all smiles, joking about the view being there, and then not, and then there again, as the mist rolled over Table Mountain’s curves.

Gary was visiting Table Mountain with his missionary friends from all over the world, including Jon Millar (Canada), Pyry Ihonen (Finland), Wayann Sampson (Cape Town) and Sarah Poon (Hong Kong).

We’re off to find a warm spot to watch the England vs USA game being played in Rustenburg tonight, and we’re expecting some surprises!

See also: Tourists on Table Mountain – Photos

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