Saturday, March 12, 2016

Global Connections South Africa: Day 5

There's nothing like a pre-dawn hike up a mountain.

I had been talking about hiking Lion's Head for sunrise. The views for both sunrise and sunset are supposed to be amazing. The peak is part of the Table Mountain range and from it you are afforded a spectacular look at Table Mountain itself.

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do the sunrise hike, as it looks like I was going to have to go it alone, and I preferred company. But then at 5:28 am I was woken by the ding from my What's App.
"Sara - are you hiking lions head this morning? There's four of us going this morning."

I have never gone so quickly from sound asleep to hiking a mountain before.

On a side note, we've used What's App groups for both the Global Connections trips I have staffed so far, and they work wonderfully. The app is incredibly popular in the developing world and works great on even questionable networks. All the students can be connected with the wifi at the hotel or if they have data on their phones.

Now back to the mountain.

The hike up Lion's Head is just as, if not more, strenuous as Table Mountain's Platteklip. However, it is much shorter. I was still breathing hard when we reached the top, just in time for the sun to peek above the low clouds on the horizon.

A photo posted by @seereeves on

The view was spectacular.

A video posted by @seereeves on

On the climb back down the mountain, we accidentally took another path that led us to the more adventurous "chains" route. There is a small section of the climb that is along a more sheer cliff face with no path. Instead there are metal handholds and metal chains bolted into the cliff. Climbing down reminded me of using those handholds in climbing gyms. Except for the part when I was filled with fear the entire time.

For those that know me, you know I am not a big fan of the potential to fall from heights and the looking down. I went down the temple in Chichen Itza on my butt, I skipped a particularly steep temple in Siem Reap. So to sort of dangle off the side of a mountain changing to a chain with my camera bag and sweater weighing me down was not my favorite.

In retrospect, it probably wasn't that bad.

We were back at the hotel in time for breakfast, and then I had a chance to catch up on some emails and run out for some souvenirs. It was a free morning as the teams prepared their final presentations that took place that afternoon.

The presentation conference went very well. Our project partners joined us in the hotel conference space and the nine teams each presented on their work.

Then we celebrated the successful trip with a closing dinner at Sevruga, also at the Waterfront (we spent a lot of time at the Waterfront this week).

A photo posted by @seereeves on

For dinner I wanted to be adventurous, so I had the springbok. Springbok is an antelope, and I imagine it is comparable to venison. Having never had venison as far as I know, I cannot say for sure.

A photo posted by @seereeves on

And then, just like that, Global Connections South Africa was over. I am typing this last entry on Saturday morning while I wait for a reasonable time to head to the airport. In just over 24 hours I should be back in Austin and ready for our spring break trip to New Orleans!

1 comment:

Barb Carusillo said...

Thanks for posting this Sara! I may never get to South Africa, but it sure is cool seeing all this.