Conquering the Lion

They say the view from the top is breathtaking, but the adventure along the way is what will leave you with the most memories! As we tackled the Lion’s Head trail, we had a few mishaps, and might have taken a turn down the wrong path once or twice. However, through the blood, sweat, and tears (okay, there weren’t really any tears) we laughed and joked the whole way up and felt even more accomplished when we finally made it to the top.

What was waiting for us when we arrived was surreal. Looking out over the bluest ocean waves, the mountains, and the charming little city called Cape Town, we sat in a moment of awe and took it all in. Before we reached this point though, here is what happened:

First, we started the hike yesterday! After we decided that we didn’t need Uber to take us to the mountain, we begun hiking towards what we thought was the trail, but leave two city kids in the wilderness without GPS and you’ll quickly see what went wrong. We discovered a clear hiking trail and figured, “This must be the way!” Even though there wasn’t a single sign, we decided to head down that path anyhow. This ultimately lead to Signal Hill, which was incredible in and of itself, but we were taking the back way where I can guarantee you, no tourists have gone before. Once we realized where we were, we decided to head back down while we still had daylight and try our luck tomorrow.

Which brings us to today. As the Uber driver dropped us off, we begun our hikes fueled by french toast and eggs Benedict that we devoured about an hour beforehand, and things went much smoother. We were still met with a few unmarked forks in the road where we had to take a gamble on which way to go, but it turns out, you can only be wrong fifty percent of the time! After climbing a few stairs, we begun to reach the real hike which was made up of mostly large boulders and small sliding rocks. As my brother effortlessly scaled these obstacles as the giant that he is, I had a little more difficulty and ended up pulling myself up in areas and using the sit-and-slide method in others…I’m not the most graceful person but hey, I try!

Our first stop was in Wally’s Cave! An Instagram phenomenon that fortunately lives up to its hype! The view of Table Mountain through the cave is incredible and it also makes for a perfect silhouette photoshoot! Naturally, we wanted to take a few pictures together, until I realized we looked like a couple, so I pushed him out of the way and did a classic victory jump!

From there, we explored around the cave area and stumbled upon some epic views, and then we made our way up the Lion!

The hiking path to Lion’s Head was pretty similar to Wally’s Cave, aside from a few ladders that were added in and a much more vertical direction in general. The total hike up, including our pit stop in the cave, water breaks, and countless “I need to catch my breath” moments, took us only about an hour and a half. Once we made it to the top, I had one of those overwhelming sensations, not only from accomplishment, but from the realization that this was really my life. A few years ago I would have never imagined kickstarting my weekend with a casual hike in South Africa, overlooking the most picturesque scenery that was before me. Every day I feel incredibly blessed and so fortunate for the opportunities that I have been given, but every once in a while, you have a moment that goes even beyond that. I guess that’s really what the view from the top is.


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