Fiona Ellsworth: Queen of South Africa!

Welcome to my 100th post on Sellers Abroad! It’s been one hundred stories of worldly adventures, wild animals, weird foods, cool foreigners, embarrassing nights, extreme excursions, and crazy good memories with crazy awesome people! To commemorate such a milestone, I am dedicating this post to one of the most beloved doggies in the world; her name is Fiona Ellsworth. She’s not even my dog.


Dan, who the heck is Fiona and why would you dedicate a post to a dog? Well, it just so happens that today, since the trip with the Kayamandi kids is over, Chris and I must start working on the perks we promised to all of our contributors. One of those perks is having your name written on Table Mountain. No we won’t vandalize the mountain in any way, we planned on creating names out of small colorful rocks. Table Mountain has gained the prestigious honor of becoming one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. Its 1085 meters high and it gets its name from its flat, table top like, surface at the top of the mountain. Clouds usually cover the top and drape over giving it the illusion of a table cover. Once we create the names out of stones on the highest point of the mountain, we will take photos and create something wonderful to our donors!

What does this have to do with a dog?

Well, one of those contributors is Kelly Ellsworth, a friend of mine and the nicest human being to ever exist on Earth. She actually suggested the idea that I raise money towards school supplies for the kids last year. Kelly has a dog she fostered and adopted named Fiona, who is possibly the most spoiled dog in the state of Michigan! I’m not even kidding about that…



Spoiled much?
Spoiled much?

Kelly contributed to Reaching Out 2 The World and wanted the Table Mountain perk. She mentioned how it would be great if I could put Fiona’s name on top along with maybe a picture of her. She came up with the idea of a makeshift flag of Fiona for me to stick up there. I thought it was a joke at first but then I realized how serious she was and I thought it would be kinda fun for me to do once I got back to South Africa. Kelly sent me a picture of Fiona that I took to a photo shop in Stellenbosch and blew up into a larger size. Before we went up the mountain, Chris and I went to a local supermarket to buy supplies to make a flag. We found a bug catching net and some tape. Perfect! We took the train to Cape Town and then hopped on a cab to the bottom of Table Mountain. All we needed were rocks to use for the names. Preferably rocks that would stand out that you could see from a distance. On the base of Table Mountain, were a few trees that were surrounded with small orange rocks that would be perfect for name building! So we grabbed our bags and stole a few while we kept watch that security wasn’t looking. A guy, who I presumed worked for the mountain, came by and told us we can’t do that. We quickly said it was okay, we had “permission”, and that we would return the rocks once we were finished. He believed us, so we gathered more rocks!



Both Chris and I have hiked Table Mountain multiple times in the past already, so there was no urge to hike it again, especially since we were on a time limit, we decided to just take the cable car up. A decision that proved to be smart because my bag was pretty heavy with all of the rocks we put in it. There was no way I’d want to carry this bag up this mountain! Once we made it to the top, Chris and I immediately went to go look for the perfect place to create our donors names. We went past the crowds of people and found a place that had an excellent view of Cape Town and the ocean. From the spot we chose, you could see the Waterfront, Lions Head Mountain, Robben Island, the Cape Town Stadium, Long Street, and so much more! We found our position!


We started crafting the names out of the stones, but we didn’t realize how long it was going to take! We thought we would have enough time to walk across the table top and take some shots of our own once we were finished with the rocks. We brought a frisbee, a couple of flags, a deck of cards, and even some juggling balls to get some creative photography going! Instead, we were busy spelling names out of stone which took about 20 minutes or so for each name. At points when Chris was busy compiling a name, I was busy crafting a flag of Fiona.





It was pretty simple. All I did was tape the bug catcher’s net to the back of Fiona’s picture and presto! The Fiona Flag was complete. Once that was complete, I continued in helping Chris craft everyone’s names on the cliff.


After we got most of the names done, and took photos of them from about every angle imaginable, we went up to a higher part of the mountain with the Fiona Flag in tow! I found the perfect place to set the flag, situated between a few slabs of rock on a boulder that overlooked Cape Town.







There she was…Fiona’s face high above Cape Town, South Africa! I’m not gonna lie, as we were putting together the flag and carrying it around for pictures, we had waves of bystanders looking at us like we were absolutely nuts! What are those two guys doing with a giant photo of a dog??


Nonetheless, we continued on creating more names out of rocks. It took us a few hours but we got the job done!



If you are reading this and were promised the Table Mountain perk from us, we decided to not show it on here so your surprise won’t get ruined. I put one of MANY Kelly and Fiona’s photos here because, well…it’s only fitting for this post. Chris and I had a train to catch at 5:30 so we didn’t really have much time left to wander on top of the mountain taking awesome photos like we planned, but we did catch a few anyways.





We walked around with the Fiona flag while people stared and wondered what that was all about. It would be too long of a story to tell people why we have a flag of a dog, so we came up with something a little more interesting we would tell people when they asked. It’s our dog that we hiked up with here before, but she fell off the mountain. This is a flag in her memory. We took the cable car back down the mountain, returned the rocks that we stole, and found a cab. This was my fifth time on the mountain and it was Chris’s fourth. I don’t plan on coming back to Table Mountain anymore unless I HAD to! We took a cab back to the train station and saw there was a train leaving fifteen minutes earlier than what we were told. It was headed our direction, so we took it to save time. THAT turned out to be a huge mistake! The train was the most crowded I have ever seen! I could barely move and my elbow was jammed in poor Chris’ stomach most of the way. We realized we were on the wrong train when it zipped past our stop. We ended up in Strand and took another train that took us somewhere else we didn’t need to go. It was dark and there were no more trains running! Fortunately, Zulu’s son came and picked us up from a station a few towns away when we called and asked for help!

We left early today to go to Table Mountain and got back so late, but we got the hard part of the Table Mountain perk finished. Now all we have to do is some editing and printing (which we will do once we get back to America). Tomorrow we have a big day planned! After our first failed attempt at visiting my old school near Muizenberg a couple of weeks ago, Chris and I will try again in the morning to reunite with the kids I became so close with last year. A perfect way to begin another 100 posts around the world for the long run!

This one was for you Fiona Ellsworth, who became the 8th natural wonder of the world for that day on Table Mountain!


Spoiled dog. 🙂


Author: Adventure Born

I'm Daniel. A cereal lovin', traveling machine from Michigan on a solo journey around the world, documenting and sharing my unexpected tales from abroad. My aim is to inspire people like YOU to discover your very own adventures. The world is truly too big not to explore it!

3 thoughts

  1. I happen to be kellys’ aunt and fionas’ great aunt. i loved your story about “my girls” and continued sucess with your good works. auntie gago


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