Sunday, March 6, 2016

Global Connections South Africa: Pre-Program Day 1

A photo posted by @seereeves on

So you may have noticed I am in Cape Town. I am staffing the McCombs MBA Global Connections course to South Africa this year. You can follow our adventures from the Ghana course last year here.

The trip to Cape Town was relatively uneventful. It mainly consisted of two, eight-hour legs on the same plan. We stopped halfway through to refuel in Dakar. I can say that South African Airways does not have the best international flight food that I have had.

I arrived in Cape Town late Saturday night (early Saturday afternoon depending on whose time zone you want to use) along with two other students in the program and a third MBA who just happened to be vacationing in South Africa for Spring Break. I had tried my hardest to reset my clock during the flights so that I could (1) be on SA time and (2) be up and ready to see Table Mountain Sunday morning.

This Cape Town trip is very short for me. I am basically in the city from Sunday through Friday night (my return flight is at 2 pm on Saturday March 12), and Monday through Friday we have programming for the course. So my sightseeing time is limited. I knew that I couldn't be in Cape Town and not get up on Table Mountain, a pretty prominent feature of the town.

On Sunday, Mikhail, Eungoo, and I Ubered over to the Platteklip Gorge trail head that would take us to the top of the mountain. I mean sure, there are cable cars that can take you up and down the mountain, but I enjoy a good scramble over rocks. My internet research had indicated the trail was 3k and took about 1-3 hours to hike one-way depending on your speed. It did indicate that it was a strenuous hike. However, as I mentioned, I like to scramble over rocks, and, in my past experience, I am usually towards the quicker end of expected hiking times. So I was not worried about this hike.

Well, Table Mountain kicked my ass. That was just a whole lot of up. Straight up. I felt so old and out of shape as I gasped for breath and requested increasingly frequent breaks from my hiking companions. I had forgotten to apply sunscreen. None of us brought enough water. And every time I looked up, I could still see ant-sized people climbing high above me indicating that the summit was still a long way off.

A photo posted by @seereeves on

But we eventually made it to the top where I enjoyed the amazing views and downed a liter of water in a matter of seconds.

Since I did not bring my laptop with me (just my work computer), you will have to wait until I am home to see most of my photographs and will need to settle for the iPhone shots for now.

I still recommend the hike up. You will certainly feel like you earned that view. But be prepared. Bring more water than you think you need. And pace your self. It's a long way up.

1 comment:

Barb Carusillo said...

Man, I would've loved to climb up that! Your poor MBA students would not have wanted to wait for me to drag my almost 59 year old body up there, but like you said, it would've been worth it! Glad you got to do it!