Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Xtreme Monday - Nato

We have just experienced one of the most beautiful journeys. After the always-wonderful breakfast prepared by our wonderful chef Catherine, we travelled to an area known as the Boulders, home to over 3,000 jackass penguins (named for their braying and not their mannerisms). Penguins are one of the most comical animals in creation, and they’re monogamous too, unlike the red-butted baboons we saw later in the day.

From Boulders, we travelled to a portion of Table Mountain National Park, known as the Cape of Good Hope. Do not be fooled by your history books and the impressive lighthouse - this area actually includes 3 capes (Cape Point, Cape Maclear and the Cape of Good Hope). Sam and I took a road less travelled and went beyond the beautiful old lighthouse, located on Cape Point and quickly hiked to the (almost) Southern tip of Africa. It waas awe-inspiring to look at the entire continent emerge from the small point of land on which we stood. After returning from our journey, we realized that we had come all the way here, but had not actually hiked onto the Cape of Good Hope (!!).

Luckily, one of the vehicles we use for our travels ran out of gas on our way to the National Park, and while we technically only had a few minutes until our scheduled departure time, we had no idea when we’d actually leave. So, Sam and I took binoculars and hopped down the 2.5 mile trail (much like springbok in the hills), stopping along the way to check for the signal to quickly return. We received the signal, and 30 yards from the trailhead, we met Julie, Angie and Allison, who were sorry that out of all the signals we had worked out, we forgot to make the signal for “The rides are here, but the 3 of us will come meet you and the bus will pick us up on a road ending at the Cape of God Hope”. So back down the trail we bounded, until we reached the peak of the Cape, and subsequently made the hike down to the seaside.

From penguins to peaks and now capes to cableways, we journeyed via cable car onto Table Mountain, one of the most amazing mountain ranges I’ve ever experienced. The mountain rises 1000m, and is capped by a flat peak allowing for hour-long hikes from end to end. Whit, Ethan and I found a gap, trailing back to the base, making Stone Door look like a child’s handiwork. Subsequently named Whiethanato’s (pronounced Wheat-an-toes) Gap, we spent a great deal of time sitting and marvelling at the amazing God we’re serving here in this land of vast contrast, both naturally and culturally. I have experienced God in creation many times, however my previous picture of Him became much smaller in the grandeur of today. Let all things their Creator bless and worship Him in humbleness.

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