Follow That Pipe!

Yesterday, I discovered one of Table Mountain’s best kept secrets.  It was a cold, wintry morning here in Cape Town and Dons and I headed out early to hike the “Pipe Track” trail.

The beginning of the Pipe Track trail.

The beginning of the Pipe Track trail with Camps Bay in the background.

I am not sure why I have never done this hike before, I’ve heard of it countless times but we never seemed to venture to this side of the mountain for some reason. The Pipe Track is a much less strenuous walk with absolutely fantastic sea views overlooking Camps Bay and the coastal road that leads to Hout Bay and the sheer cliffs of the Twelve Apostles all form some of the best landscape in Cape Town, if not the world ~ Well I think so anyway!

The clouds creeping down the slopes of the Twelve Apostles.

The trail is named after the pipeline that runs next to the track and was built in 1887.  Right from the word go you are aware both of Camps Bay and why the hike is named the pipe track.  As you round the first bend, you see the pipeline as it crosses a small rav­ine. These pipes, which apparently brought Cape Town its first clear water in 1938, are still clearly visible along many parts of this trail. It is amazing to think that all the construction materials and tools,for the dams construction were hauled by man or donkey power along this path. The actual pipe that was layed begins in Orange Kloof where it goes through the mountain to emerge at Slangholie ravine. From here it follows the path back to Kloof Nek, where we started. Although no longer in use many sections of the pipe are still plainly visible.

Some hiking routes off the main Pipe Track trail.

The Pipe Track.

South Africa's beautiful National flower, the protea.

The original pipes are clearly visible in places along the trail.

Looking back along the trail we had just walked, we had a beautiful but cloudy view of Lions Head and Camps Bay, we stopped and watched as a few people headed out like little ants in their toy­land cars.

This is apparently a "break-pressure plant" built at the same time as the Pipe Track in 1887.

Dons and I taking a moment to enjoy the incredible views that lay before us.

Heading along the ridge of the Twelve Apostles.

Walking along the ridge with views of Camps Bay behind us.

A stretch of the Pipe Track, with some of the original pipes still visible ~ our views just got more beautiful along the way.

The mist rolling in off the ocean.

Donna with the amazing contrast of scenery behind her with the gorge disappearing behind the mist. At times the spectacular mountain side turned into misty, spooky hills.

The pipe leading up the mountain side.

Donna about to disappear into the mist coming down the mountain side.

The Pipe Track trail.

Some flora along the way.

Every now and again the mist would almost completely envelope us before pulling back again.

A fallen giant. One of the old pines lies toppled over.

A wooden bridge with the original pipe running alongside it.

On our way back, just before the trail ended, we stopped for a moment to take in one last look at the exquisite view that lay before us as the mist continued to roll in.

This hike has undoubtably become one of my favourite, favourites! The views out sea­ward are incred­ible and the views of the Twelve Apostles even more so.  We will definitely be back to hike this route again and to try one of the numerous, more adventurous hiking trails that lead off the main Pipe Track path, up the gorges of the Twelve Apostles.

Such a beautiful morning spent on the mountain side yet again training for Kilimanjaro. One thing I have always loved and that is hiking in the cool, wintry weather ~ I know Kilimanjaro and I are going to get along just fine…!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Mist on the Water « The Authentic Me

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