After discovering these challenges and doing it religiously for quite a few months, I wondered into the absentee wilderness and lost track of and the fervor to be present in the WordPress Photo challenge cathedral. But this week I’m atop the cathedral reigniting my passion and looking down on a wonderful world.
I have many options to apply to Cheri’s “Atop” challenge. But it made sense to me to be in sync with her experience and show you the magnificent view from Victoria Peak albeit this time the one found in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. Although a few towns can be seen from the peak they are unlike Hong Kong, in the distant yonder. No the attraction of this peak is that you look down on other peaks!
As it is a 23km return hike starting at 350 meters above sea level and ending at 1 595 meters you experience being atop on many levels, literally and figuratively. I have hiked this yearly for many a year and have taken a few friends along. There were times of disappointment where my legs cramped so much that I couldn’t make it to the end despite the will to do it. On another occasion we decided 3/4s through the hike to abandon as the mist was just too thick and it became dangerous. But even those times bring fond memories of friendship and camaraderie. The one year I was just too unfit and decided after 30 minutes to turn around and forced my friends to go ahead. I walked back leisurely and spent the day reading The strange case of Dr Jeckell and Mr Hyde under a tree.
The hikes allow various opportunities to experiment with the point of view as urged in the challenge.
↓Looking down in a south westerly direction atop Victoria peak. Table Mountan peeks out behind the clouds to the left
↓One of the surprises for newcomers to the hike is seeing Theewaterskloof dam to east of Victoria peak. This is the major storage dam providing water to Cape Town and is currently only 25% full. Thus much emptier than when this photo was taken in 2013. We are experiencing a serious drought with the possibility that the water may run out before our rainy season stars!
↓A layered photo consisting of flowers, man and mountain. In the background the Gothic forms of Cathedral peak can be seen. This is about halfway to Victoria peak and still a climb as Victoria is higher than Cathedral
↓My flowery friend Danie is looking at the magnificent Jonkershoek valley which we passed along the hike.
↓And to his right is the similarly magnificent Bergriver valley. From this ridge both valleys can be seen.“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. Martin Luther