Apr 16, 2018Ryan MacDonnell
I took this photo using a Nikon D90, with an 18-55mm lens. The camera was set on a tripod and I triggered the shutter, set on a timer, using a remote control. I shot this image in RAW format, so in processing it I adjusted highlights, shadows, contrast, and saturation.
I took this photo from Diagonal Cave in Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa on June 28th, 2017 around 11am. I had just spent eight weeks volunteering on a reptile research project in northern Limpopo province. The majority of this time was spent in a remote location, with no electricity, cellular reception, internet connection, or heated water (unless you start a fire!). My daily schedule consisted of hiking into the Soutpansberg mountains, and surveying for snakes, lizards, and scorpions. I decided to take a week at the end of my trip to explore Cape Town, and spent the majority of my time in and around Table Mountain National Park. On my first day out, I ventured into the park without a concrete plan, hoping to find a map of trails and decide from there... I chose to take a path called the Pipe Track, a fairly easy hike suited for families. I started my hike, and soon after came upon a fork in a trail; one branch leading up into the mountain titled "Diagonal Route". I didn't remember seeing this one on the map, so I did a quick google search. It was described as a moderately difficult trail, with a little bit of climbing necessary, and much less traffic than most other trails. I decided this was a more suitable trail for my adventurous style, and began my ascent. To put it briefly, I did not find the cave pictured on this day, but instead put in around 20km of hiking, with a good portion of it being bushwhacking... I wouldn't go so far as to say I was lost, just making my own trail. I had actually gone left early on, when I should have gone right. This took me up a slippery trail along a waterfall, before having to round a massive steep valley called Porcupine Buttress. The hike was difficult and slow-going, as the trail was grown-in to the point of barely being recognizable as a trail. This all made sense when I finally reached the top of this trail, turned around, and read the sign posted at the top. It said something along the lines of "Foot path closed for safety reasons". I all of a sudden realized why I hadn't encountered a soul during my 4 hours of hiking. I was not in fact on the Diagonal Route, but on an even lesser known path I am yet to find a name for. I finished my day by visiting the highest point on Table Mountain and hiking down the opposite side I had come up. Upon returning to my hostel and doing more research on Diagonal Route, I learned that I should have come across a large cave. After taking a day to let my legs rest, I ventured out once more. It had rained the night before, so I was hesitant to begin my ascent. I knew that if I take the exact same route I had taken two days earlier, I would have no choice but to finish it, as the slippery ground would make it too dangerous to turn around. Starting up the same trail, I eventually saw where I went wrong the first day and corrected my route. It turned out that Diagonal Cave was much closer to the starting point than I had imagined, only about a kilometer from where the trail branched off of the Pipe Track. I finally came across this spectacular cave with an even more spectacular view of Lion's Head and Camp's Bay!
I am a 19 year old Wildlife Biology and Conservation student at the University of Guelph. I'm passionate about all forms of wildlife, especially the underappreciated and unloved, and I love travelling and documenting all the adventures along the way!
Website : instagram: rmac9821
Thank you for viewing and reading. Please enter the Travel Photo Award and tell your story.
We hope you enjoyed this entry in the We Said Go Travel Photo Award. Please visit this page to learn more and participate. Thank you for visiting We Said Go Travel. We hope you will share this photo on social media and please leave a comment below about what you think!
Want to make your own video? Use code WESAIDGO10 at EpicMakers for 10% off your first video.EpicMakers
Want to take better photos? Enter the Travel Photography AcademyTravel Photography Academy