Our couchsurfing host Mark had given us directions for a nice 7 km (4.4 mile) trail that we could reach on foot from the house. It would lead us from the Rhodes Memorial to the Kirstenbosch Gardens.
There are a lot of hiking trails in and around Cape Town. Just the fact that they have this huge mountain range pretty much in the middle of the city guarantees a wide variety of hiking without really having to leave your doorstep!
You can see the Rhodes Memorial on the right, just under the mountain.
Good thing we decided not to go to the top of the mountain. It looks a little hazy up there!
Taking a break, and enjoying the view.
The Rhodes Memorial was built in 1912. Cecil Rhodes was a young British mining magnate and politician who believed in British colonialism. He essentially founded the African territory of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He died in 1902 when he was only 49 years old.
The Rhodes Memorial
Great views of the Cape Flats area from the Rhodes Memorial.
We continued our hike south along the base of the mountain. This area of South Africa is home to over 9,000 species of flowering plants. It's actually an amazing region in that regard because two thirds of those species occur only in this region.
This strange flower is about the size of your fist. The petals look like lit candles!
Great hiking trail. Just the way we like it!
With some great views!
It was almost 2:00pm by the time we made it to Kirstenbosch Gardens. This Gardens is very popular with Capetonians and on a Sunday afternoon it was still pretty busy despite the cloudy sky. Which was getting worse instead of better. There had been a dark cloud hanging over the mountain all day, and it seemed to be getting darker.
Relaxing wandering around Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Kevin, taking a break.
Sure enough, eventually the clouds broke open. We found some shelter and waited out the rain. Stood there staying dry for about a half an hour and then tried to figure our way home. We ended up taking a regular metered taxi. Metered taxis cost R10 ($1.05) per kilometer, so the total for our ride was R72. Including tip, I gave him R80 ($8.40). Not bad for a private taxi, and we were lucky to get a good driver who played tourist guide for the whole trip back.
We stopped at a major grocery store on the way back, but the stores close early on Sunday. This particular one closed at 2:00pm. So we were planning on taking Mark out for dinner, but he turned the tables on us and had already done some shopping while we were out hiking. Had a nice gluten free pasta meal and a bottle of wine. He's back at work this week, so we'll be on dinner duty!