Charity Challenge.....A Great Experience!
This past weekend was a busy one for many of the volunteers and staff here in Gordon’s Bay, South Africa as a group of 17 of us was making the 80km trek from Cape Point to Table Mountain. This is the second year in a row we have done the hike in order to raise funds for some of our projects here, and I have been lucky enough to participate in both events.
On Friday, bright and early, we headed down to Cape Point where we would start our journey. After we arrived we had a group stretch and got everyone ready for what we were about to undertake – our first obstacle. Because it’s not enough to just start at the sign at Cape Point, we were starting from the lighthouse there. And there are quite a few steps going up between the sign and the lighthouse. But the team set to work and climbed up to the starting location. After a short moment to catch our breath, have some water, and get a couple pictures of the amazing view there we officially started what would be a tough three-day challenge.
For that first day our goal was to reach Simon’s Town where we would stay overnight. We walked through the national park and along roads the whole way to reach Simon’s Town in about six hours. After reaching the backpackers, attending to many blisters and sore joints, the team decided to carry on and take off a chunk of the next day’s walk as well by heading towards Fish Hoek. But even with the extra hour and a half of walking, we all knew that this first day would not compare to the challenges over the following two days of hiking, so we hopped on a bus back to the backpackers where we could rest up and prepare for the next day.
On our second day we had another early start as we still had to finish making our way to Fish Hoek where we would meet our trail guide Binny and her assistant X. Straight away it was clear that these two knew what they were doing and they were going to push us hard to make sure we made it through what would be the toughest day of our challenge. Because during day two we had about nine hours of hiking to do as we went up and down two mountains to end at Constantia Nek. It was a very physically draining day, but it was full of breathtaking views as we hiked past waterfalls and along the sides of cliffs overlooking much of the Cape peninsula, which offered many a good excuse to stop and marvel. As we finished the day we all stopped off for a well-deserved drink before heading back to our accommodation and again preparing for the following day.
By the time the last day came around every member of the team was feeling strained from the challenges we had overcome already. Our team met up with the office staff as well as more volunteers at Constantia Nek to gain some much-needed support as we tackled our third day’s hike. On this day we had plans of hiking all the way to the top of Table Mountain, however nature had a different plan for us. We discovered that the weather was too windy and the cable cars would not be running to take us down from the top. Together with the help of Binny and X everyone agreed that we would take a different trail known as the contour path that would lead us up and around the mountain and down to the cable car station. It was another beautiful hike overlooking all of Cape Town that took us about seven hours from start to finish. But the most amazing part of the whole hike was definitely at the finish line.
As we headed down a steep last stretch everyone was excited to know they had almost made it. The feeling was overwhelming as we came down off the mountain to be greeted by our drivers, guides, and especially our project partner Mama Lumka and some of her family who had come out as a surprise to show their support. I personally did not believe my ears as I heard their voices cheering me on for the last stretch. It was such an awesome feeling that bested any other during the hike to know that not only had we completed our challenge, but that our project partners were there to show how much it meant to them. And looking around you could tell that everyone felt the same as we all had huge grins on our faces. The challenge was officially finished and the only thing left to do was celebrate.
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