Joie de Vivre par Nara , qui cultive ses chaussures en montant la montagne de table (Cape Town)

In superhero movies you can see guys who grow their own wings or extra arms and legs. Well, I only grow my own shoes. This surely doesn’t qualify me for a super hero, but I must say it is damn handy — or feety — if such a word even exists.


Today I climbed the Table Mountain in Cape Town. I decided not to take the easiest route, but rather went up the Indian Venster trail. Half way up I overtook a 85 year old man. He was alone like me. He said he climbs the mountain every week. Apart from him, there was nobody. Just me, the mountain and peace.


The top was misty and quite chilly. I circulated the “table” area and headed down the “most boring” route (as the old man described it). As I ran down many people commented in various languages: “Look, he is barefoot!”


I wanted to say: “I am not! I have my natural shoes on!” Well, they wouldn’t understand, or it would take too long to explain. I was well warmed up and I didn’t want to stop. I even overtook some runners going downhill. My feet are well equipped to manage such a downhill run, and they are getting ever sturdier. People who wear shoes are actually barefoot. They are also footblind. Without shoes they are feeble and clumsy. Why am I perceived as strange, when it should be everybody else?


I was getting close to the foot of the mountain when I got a bit hungry but I pushed the thought away. I didn’t have any food with me. And then running down the hill I overlooked the sign, turned the wrong way … and ended up under four beautiful pine(nut) trees! Thank you, mountain! I stopped and went on breaking pine nuts for twenty minutes and eating them until I felt regenerated. That’s the kind of energy boosting super food I like!


I even found a source of water nearby. I drank it and filled my bottle. Good, tasty, lively water! It went really well with the aftertaste of pine nuts …


I slowly followed the last stretch of the path and enjoyed the views. On the mountain the table cloth made of clouds was raising, it was getting hot in the sun.


My feet were a bit tired from the walk across the rocky terrain. But it was ok. My hike was over. I ate a few more pine nuts near the cable station and took a bus back to the city.

Three words still linger in my mind: Joie de vivre!


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