Nest of Tables

The last minute frenzy of visiting or revisiting the sights of Cape Town is beginning to take its toll physically. Yesterday was another full day taking in what we call the Nest of Tables — Table View, Table Bay and Table Mountain.

This photo was taken at the end of the day half an hour or so after sunset. It shows downtown Cape Town with the docks in the centre, looking north-north-east across Table Bay. The black blob on the left is Signal Hill.

Our travels had started nine hours earlier with a drive to Table View some miles out of town. It is set in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, a wetland area that is home to a diverse range of birds including pelicans and flamingos, although it is more a home to people with powerful motor boats which doesn’t do much for the peace and quiet or the birdwatching.

But it is meant to give picture perfect views of Table Mountain and it does sort of with the water in the foreground, as you can see, but it is too far away and hazy to make ideal photo material.

There wasn’t much evidence of birds either, although we did catch sight of a Water Thick-knee doing a roadrunner impression by the nature reserve education centre.

There were also storks, pelicans and flamingos to be seen from the car on the drive back, but we didn’t have time to explore further as we wanted to get back to Table Bay.

The reason was to visit the craft market to buy a few reminders of Cape Town, which we did with a bit of haggling for cash, including some screen printed canvases that will hang on our living room wall when we get back to the UK.

I was also able to get a few more snaps, including this one taken in Nobel Square showing the four peace laureates, Albert Lithuli, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.

Then is was back to the car for the drive to the Table Mountain cable car. We had been up there for sunset before, but hadn’t explored much across the top which we had a few hours to do this time.

The views really are breathtaking. I’ve been up mountains before, but they tend not to have cities nextdoor which make the Table special.

And it wasn’t just the views, but also the plant and wildlife you find there, like the flower on the right, a proteas I think.

I was surprised to find the occasional puddle of water which I thought would evaporate with the sun and wind, even if it rained that much, which it doesn’t. It was Mrs P who pointed out that the water will have come from the clouds that regularly covers the top of the mountain.

The French called the clouds a wig, while Dutch thought it resembled a tablecloth, hence Table Mountain. Personally, it looks more like an overflowing bathtub, but I suppose Bathtub Mountain doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The air was still and hot when we returned to the bottom at nine o’clock, so it was a quick bite to eat at 33 South before getting ‘home’ to bed for a good night’s sleep before a very special visit in the morning. But more of that later.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

2 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 28th February 2011

    I’d say that plant was a watsonia rather than a proteas. I wonder what the special visit will be all about? Finally getting to see Lord Nelson?

  • Mr Parrot 1st March 2011

    It may well be — I’m no expert on plants, but there seem to be all sorts of varieties of proteas. The special visit was almost Nelson. A private visit to Groote Schuur, residence of SA prime ministers and presidents since 1910.


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