Friday, 20 December 2013

Hiking on the Back Table...

Candace and I had a lovely final day together in South Africa on Monday, November 4th. It was the day before Candace departed for the USA, and we decided a hike up the Back Table of Table Mountain. We started above Camps Bay and hiked up the Kasteelspoort (Afrikaans: Castle Gate) trail, which led us onto the Back Table. Candace points to where we're heading in this shot. :-)

Here there are many interesting things to see, including five large dams which used to supply the City of Cape Town's water needs. The remains of a whole village that stood here over a century ago, built during the construction of the dams, is still visible to this day. One can still see where a railway line went on top of the mountain, and the train engine that used to steam along this route stands in the Waterworks Museum nearby. The train was transported in pieces up the old cableway from Camps Bay. It was then assembled at the top, before pulling carts loaded with large rocks used in the construction of the dams. The Hely-Hutchinson reservoir is captured in the photo here.

We had a lovely time exploring these snippets of history, before walking along the Jeep Track (pictured here), which comes down at Constantia Nek on the other side of the mountain. It was a great day spent being active in beautiful Cape Town!

 Camps Bay beach and Lion's Head visible as we hike up the mountain.
Spot the lizard sunning himself in this photo!
And can you see the camouflaged fellow here?
We hiked up Kasteelspoort, this little ravine. The cliffs on either side were quite sheer - but beautiful!
We came across a pretty little stream. It was swarming with frogs!
The remains of the old cableway system at Kasteelspoort.
View looking back at the old cableway station.
Candace being adventurous. Camps Bay is below.
I was a little less adventurous. I went out on the ledge, but couldn't bring myself to stand up!
There was cement for a structure on this slab of rock.
Overgrown foundations of a building.
The railway track went along here.
The Scout Hut on top of the mountain.
The Jeep Track goes past the Waterworks Museum.
Equipment from the construction of the dams sits outside.
The old steam locomotive in the museum.
The dam wall of Hely-Hutchinson reservoir.
Overflow outlet of Hely-Hutchinson. Really cool curved masonry!
Woodhead reservoir.
Cross-shaped tree. :-)
Looking back at the little bridge we crossed over on the Jeep Track - heading towards Constantia Nek.
Our route is outlined in green on this map of the Back Table.

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