Steenbras Dam Viewpoint in Mountainside, Gordons Bay, Western Cape
This road to the Dam's viewpoint is seldom used as it is predominantly an access road for the water filtration and treatment plant near the top of the mountain with a stretch beyond leading to the actual Steenbras Dam.
At the Water Treatment Plant there are control booms and a permit is required to go beyond the plant itself on toward the Dam. When available, this permit can be purchased at the control point. If the traveller does not have a permit, it would require turning around and going down the same assent section. Even if one does not have the required permit to proceed to Steenbras Dam, the trip to the final viewpoint culminating at the plant, is well worthwhile as the view over this section of coastline is truly beautiful with Gordons Bay's housing hugging the steep slopes and the flat lands of Somerset West beyond. Also clearly seen is the strip mall section of high-rise buildings in the Strand, a section of exquisite flat bathing beaches. This view, over this very large extent of azure blue, deepening to ultramarine, waters of False Bay, has a most calming and tranquil effect on one - a breathtaking experience, all from one vantage point!
This section to the treatment plant can, however, become quite busy on public holidays and weekends, with tourists anxious to take in the view. The road goes through several twists and turns, but the entire stretch up until the boomed area, is in excellent condition.
This road is reportedly the only pass in South Africa that has a hairpin bend that exceeds 180 degrees. This bend itself, is brick paved and is very spacious, providing a safe negotiating distance for passing vehicles, as well as on both sides of the bend, the traffic has a very good view on the approach, thus eliminating any nasty surprises.
There are also several viewpoints from which the traveller can take in breathtaking views of False Bay. The views on the assent open up to reveal the towns of Gordon's Bay and Somerset West. The south-easterly wind in the summer months can become exceedingly strong at times.
It is always a good idea to take along a little something to eat and drink, so that appropriate time can be spent enjoying this panorama. There is also a narrow foot path, leading along the fence line of the tall treatment plant building entrance. The culmination point of the foot path, which is only perhaps 600m long, is a further vantage point, exposing closer views of the Gordon’s Bay harbour area. All along the path are examples of lush mountain flora and below are glimpses of the homes that hug the very steep cliff face. There are some fine examples of stilted homes using this method of construction to overcome the steep slopes common to this area.
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