Friday, September 09, 2011

Toyota Zone – On Table Mountain

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So a couple of months back I shot the SANPARKS (South African National Parks Board)’s fleet (or small part thereof) on Table Mountain for Toyota’s magazine, Toyota Zone. Yes, Table Mountain is a national park. Now, for those who’s never been at Table Mountain, now you can see what it looks like right on top. It is not set with giant plates and cutlery for the gods, but just beautiful rocks, fynbos (indigenous plant type to the Western Cape of South Africa), a couple of dams and trails. And it’s not very flat. Trust me. I’ve done the South – North hike from Constantia-nek to Platteklip Gorge along the length of the mountain. 6 hours of hard hiking no less.

Getting the vehicles on top of the mountain is done by taking a single service road that was built to get vehicles to the dams on top of the mountain, and for these rangers to be able to travel up and down easily. This road is open to hikers, but not vehicular civilians. The vehicles need to travel through some really hard terrain as they do their patrols and the like, so they don’t play around. It’s Toyota Hi-Lux 4x4’s and Land Cruisers, baby. But not the frilly Prado, shopping centre-hopping variations of off-road transport, built to park on pavements. Nope, the real, hard, no mags and ugly dashboard variety. And, there’s not a lot of cars that just gives you serious “nature” cred like a Land Cruiser with grey steel rims and a bull-bar. No need to spray on your own mud either. You’re bound to get dirty here in the mountains. And guys: chicks AND guys will notice you in this thing.

There’s not a heck of a lot to say about the shoot photography-wise, as its intended market is editorial. It’s just that the location, the view and the rest made for a really enjoyable couple of hours.

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The vehicle driving on the trail. That is False Bay to the south.

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We had to shoot the rangers around the vehicles as well, which gave things a bit more context. The ranger is holding a shot-gun shell he picked up there. Poaching is real people, right under our noses. Beware though, these guys are armed too. Or if you sneak a midnight cycle up the mountain, you might find yourself being transported back in the back of one of these Toyotas.

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On the mountain trail. This could be somewhere in the Karoo too?

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At the dams. There is a museum on the other side of the dam. It holds old pumping equipment and such memorabilia. I would venture that this is one of the most inaccessible museums, and probably least visited in the world. It was probably less effort to build a museum than carry all the equipment down again.  20110411_0268 blog

As always: proof that I was there.

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The view on the way down. That is False Bay in the distance, with Constantia and the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town in the foreground.