The Western Cape and in particular the city of Cape Town is currently in the midst of a water crises as a result of the worst drought in decades. Ralph suggested a walk starting in Gordon’s Bay running directly up into the Hottentots Holland mountain range towering above the town, along a fire break. It’s quite steep and not a recognised path. The town lies on False Bay about 50 km from Cape Town.

The first thing anyone approaching Gordon’s Bay sees is the giant anchor of whitewashed stones and the initials GB on the mountainside overlooking the harbour. The rocks that form these were originally painted by students in 1949, a year after the General Botha SA Nautical College was established. The initials therefore do not stand for Gordon’s Bay.
Ralph and I effectively climbed past this landmark and up a gully to the top of the mountainside, an ascent of some 450 metres.

Much of the vegetation had been burnt bare in a recent fire, the landscape resembling a wasteland.
Continuing on we reached a jeep track of cleared fynbos which joins up with the tarred road inside the Steenbras Dam area. Whilst difficult to judge water levels by eye, at the time of writing the lower Steenbras Dam was officially just over 50% full. Low cloud moving in from the north-west, an indication of pending rain for New Years Eve, enveloped the wilderness landscape with an imposing sense of gloom.

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