Dan and I had a lot to do over the next couple days. For those supporters who contributed enough to have their names written on Table Mountain, this one is for you.
Before catching the train into Cape Town we had to first run into Stellenbosch so that we could pick up a few supplies. We bought masking tape, a butterfly net, a 16/22 inch custom poster, and a McDonald’s breakfast. With our supplies in hand we walked to the Stellenbosch station and boarded the next train.
We didn’t know how long our endeavors were going to take so we were sure not to waste any time. As soon as we arrived into Cape Town we hailed a cab to take us to the Mountain. We had just been up Table Mountain a week ago and we both concluded that our best bet would be to use the rocks from the ground level rather than the rocks at the top. There is so much foot traffic on the summit that we were worried we would spend too much time looking for rocks. Besides having to carry a bag full of rocks, this worked out really well because we were able to find and use orange rocks which would stand out a lot better.
Dan’s climbed this mountain three times, and I’ve climbed it twice so with our supplies and bags of rocks, we were more than content just taking the cable car up to the top. We had business to take care of and didn’t want to miss our train headed back to Stellenbosch.
Dan had made a promise to one of his friends that he would print out a picture of her dog and turn it into a flag. Once at the top he set to work on creating the flag using the handle from the butterfly net, masking tape, and the poster. I have to say, it looked pretty great when he was finished. You can imagine the looks we got as we walked around the top of this mountain carrying a flag with a dog’s face on it. While he made the flag I set to work on the first names.
The process for creating names out of stones was a lot more tedious than either of us had thought. First we had to find the right locations for the names to go, next we had to shape the letters using the rocks but only had limited space, and most importantly we had to get perfect pictures showing our hard work. I’m not going to post any finalized pictures because our contributors will be receiving something a bit nicer once we’re home. I don’t want to spoil it for them. I can tell you that we were up there for several hours working on those names and ended up having an audience of sorts trying to figure out what exactly we were doing.
When we finally finished with the names we had to hurry back down the mountain, return our rocks, catch a cab back to the train station and quickly buy or tickets to get back to Stellenbosch. The board read that there were two trains headed in the direction we needed them to go, one was leaving at 5:15 and the other was leaving at 5:30. We decided to move quickly and board the 5:15 train.
As it turns out we should have waited for the 5:30 train because the 5:15 one skipped right passed where we needed to go. Not only was this train ride the most cramped ride I think I’ve ever been on, but it was also taking forever. There wasn’t even any standing room for the majority of the ride and I found myself having to stand on one foot because there wasn’t enough room for me to put the other one down. After riding the train for nearly 2 hours we finally got off at Strand. This wasn’t where we needed to be but we were told that we’d be able to take a train back in the right direction. Once on board the next train we asked a gentleman for help and he directed us to get off at the Eerst River station, move over to platform 2, and catch the next train to Stellenbosch. There also happened to be another couple that was in a similar predicament so we all waited at platform 2 for the train. Some time went by before someone came by to tell us that there was no train coming and that the last train had already been through. It was just past 8:00 and we didn’t really know where our next step should be. Dan still had his phone with him, so we were able to contact the Zulu’s by calling Mieke. Fortunately, their son knew where we were and came to pick us up. I think it was closer to 9:30 when we finally arrived back in Kayamandi. We were both pretty wiped after our long day but I was able to get a bit more work done on those name cards before calling it a night. Wednesday would be another early morning and long day!