Peace and quiet when hiking Table Mountain – 7 May 2014

If there’s one defining characteristic of Table Mountain hiking, then it’s peace and quiet in a pristine wilderness environment. No views required. If views are eye candy, then mountain solitude is soul candy. The set out on a hike with only views in mind is to rob yourself of a multidimensional experience of nature. Despite its proximity to a bustling city, large parts of Table Mountain’s 57-square-kilometre bulk remains undisturbed by the presence of man. There are places on the mountain where the silence rings in your ears; where the chirp of the diminutive moss frog seems strident; where the trickle of water becomes a meditative music that restores the spirit. Places where you can sense the mountain’s oldness and where you can almost hear it creak. Many Table Mountain hikes and walks lead through secluded solitudes, where views become superfluous – and where a talkative companion becomes the object of your annoyance! People are often surprised by how quiet it is on the mountain: they sit down on a rock to catch their breath and slowly become aware of the pervading stillness, sometimes complemented by sounds of nature: chirping frogs, the boom of distant surf, the warble of a bird, the burble of a stream. Hiking Table Mountain should be seen more as an experience of nature than a viewpoint of a city.