We’re up the coast on the first leg of a surf trip, but I’m really missing my hikes and trail runs. So I reached out to a friend and she recommended the Dam Dash! It’s a 5.5km loop that starts and ends on the dam wall of the Garden Route Dam.
I asked around on the Cape Town Hiking groups for more info and was sent the same link to Dam Dash map
This is the route we took:
My friend messaged me first thing in the morning to say that it was absolutely pouring in George which is the town nearest to the dam, but the weather forecast said it would be getting better from 11am. So we left Mossel Bay at 10am with my folks, my husband and 2 teens all piled into 1 car for the hour long drive.
By the time we got to George the weather was partly Cloudy and dry and as we arrived at the dam we were gobsmacked by how beautiful it was!
I think we happened to choose the most spectacular day to do the hike and we’re rewarded with incredible views of the dam.
The hike started in a very muddy carpark and the first heads onto the bridge of the overflow. I reckon this would be spectacular if the dam were full, but parts of our country still need to get a little more rain as we head into our wet winter season.
Initially there was a slight breeze that caused a ripple on the water but as we continued along the dam wall the light wind dropped to absolutely nothing. And the results were incredible!!!
The first km of jeep track along the edge of the dam was pretty muddy. It made for slow careful walking and loads of photo taking! My mom kept asking how far we’d walked and I’d say 400 meters, 600 meter etc.
I pulled out maps.me and compared the hiking tracks with the map from the site and soon we turned right, up the hill, away from the dam. I was really sad to leave it behind us. I thought we would be walking towards / through the forest but unfortunately it seems the plantation has been chopped down and all we saw were the remnants of the tall pines that were once there.
By the time we got to the next intersection my mom had pulled ahead of us while we had been taking in the last of the view. But the kids quickly caught up and went ahead. We turned right heading down the hill that lead around the back contour of the hill.
I think @m8duck was being distracted from the pain in his ankle (he had a very bad sprain back in January which is still healing) by my dad chatting for the entire walk!!! I don’t think he stopped at any point!
I caught up to the kids to try to stick to the rules of hiking and because they had no map but my mom ended up near the middle on her own, but determined to finish. We were well passed the point of turning back.
The paths were lined with pink Heath as we walked that reminded me of Table Mountain and the Silvermine Reserve. Taylor streaked off towards the dam wall, she doesn’t seem to mind exercise as long as she’s got her EarPods and music blasting, singing along all the way. Seth stayed with me and consistently walked the entire route. Hardly a word. Just stopping to wait while I took pictures every now and then.
I then got a message that somehow my dad and @m8duck had finished!!! Apparently they’d taken a short cut and skipped the last big bend of the trail by going along a bike path.
Back at the dam wall we were all ready for lunch and a cold drink!
We took our last look at the amazing views and headed for the car, piled in, begged @m8duck to put on the AC and headed to the Redberry Farm for lunch. It was awesome!
I’m so proud of my folk and my husband for finishing the 5.5km. Some aches and pains along the way, but were all good today.
Here are some stats from the site:
I love how it calls the hike - easiest 😂 - my mom doesn’t agree!