Difficulty: medium to advanced
Duration 4 to 5 hrs
We were really excited to get this hike started the morning!
We have done Kasteelspoort up to the dams many times, but the starting point was always from Theresa Ave in Camps Bay. Even tho we were in the vicinity of the pipe track, we never saw the actual pipe track.
The track is named after the pipeline that runs next to the track and was built in 1887. The pipeline conducts water from two of the dams on Table mountain.
We parked our cars at the entrance of Tafelberg Rd and at the parking area, where the Micity buses collects the public for trips to the cable car up Table mountain. Opposite the car park are steps that leads you to the track. Follow the bend around the mountain and you will be greeted by the
gorgeous blue Atlantic coastline. As you walk along the track you will see the famous pipes. A overwhelming feeling came over me, and I almost felt like doing some pull ups or crazy monkey bar tricks on the structures of the pipes, cause I had now finally seen the pipes of the pipe track!
As you make the way on the path, which is relatively flat, pay attention how you step, if you’re not careful, the little rocks and stones can easily trip you or let your ankle twist! As you approach more greenery on the mountain you will notice a pointer board approaching. Stay on the path and follow on to the next pointer to the path up Kasteelspoort. This is a good place to have some water, a small snack and just to gather your thoughts for all the lunges approaching as your head up the steps.
As you follow the trail you will notice on some paths there is yellow footprints painted on the trail, just to keep you sticking to the right path. The climb was exhausting for our group and we stopped many times to take a break.
As we pushed along we reached a half point up the mountain, called
Breakfast Rock. With that name, it only seemed fitting to have something eat and take in the views of The Atlantic Seaboard, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and a little piece of Robben Island in the distance.
After some treats, water and a bit of a rest, we followed the trail. It was very challenging for everyone as the South Easter was pumping, clouds becoming heavier with a little drizzle and the cold was really starting to settle in.
We hike for the love of nature, and to keep active, so we were in no rush to get up the path. We waited for others at various points just to make certain everyone was at least still in sight.
Approaching a flat area and a log bridge over a stream, the view is
breathtaking standing between the two mountains of the Twelve Apostles, looking down at the coast. To the left of the path we could see the beacon with directions of various sites on the mountain and times of how long it will take for you to get there. At the beacon we headed to the right to have a look at the foundation of the the first cable car on Table Mountain.
Looking straight ahead, you will see the Ledge, or Photo rock as it’s
called, where many photos has been taken. We had previously taken pictures of us doing planks on top of each other here, but with the wind pumping the way it was today, we thought it’s not a god idea.
All of us took our turn with various poses on this natural masterpiece with gorgeous views in the background and below.
After our photography session, we headed back to the path and past the beacon, on the way to the dams on this mountain. I always get amazed, when I think, this is the same dam we see when we hike up from Constantia Nek’s side, just making you realise how close the paths are leading to the top of the mountain.
Heading through the valley, we came across a flat cemented path, which is so scenic with the trees on the one side and the dam on the other. It gives your feet a bit of a break too after all the hiking and watching out for loose rocks. On route to the Hely Hutchinson’s dam is the Waterworks museum, with old equipment and a steam engine which gives you an idea of the scale of work done here back in the 1800’s.
To be surrounded by the sound of waves splashing against the dam wall, the mountains and the trees, I can see why people hire cabins on top of the mountain to spend time close to mother nature. Photoshoots and recharge sessions done, we made our way back the way we came, sticking to the right hand side of the trail, that leads down the the ravine. We waited for the others to catch up so we could have some more fun doing the Mannequin challenge on breakfast rock with Camp’s Bay beach and Lion’s Head in the background.
As with any path going downwards, always be aware of your footing as some of the rocks can be smooth and slippery. The pointer board was in sight and we were so grateful to walk on flat ground! Heading back to the car park, the track was much busier as people arrived for a brief walk with their families. Seeing the familiar pipes on the way back, told me that the hike was almost done.
Having a seat while waiting for the others to catch up was just what I
needed to give my feet a rest. This is a hike I won’t forget, taking into account all the elements we
encountered. Next time I do this hike, I will definitely do it from the
same starting point. The track from this side just makes the whole
experience more memorable.