We find ourselves taking the short hop over the mountain to visit the apple rich Grabouw/Elgin area quite often, which of course then means we travel via the N2 national road over Sir Lowry’s Pass and past the Steenbras Dam (Upper) to get there.
On one of my recent expeditions to the area with my girls, I thought it a good opportunity to stop at both the entrance to Steenbras Dam (which is these days sadly closed to the public of course), as well as the Sir Lowry’s Pass view point.
(The girls were of course not impressed with this plan of mine, but I bribed them with the promise of ice cream, so all was good in the end.)
Although still a bit on the low side in terms of water level, thankfully the Steenbras Dam (a reservoir for Cape Town as well as part of a pumped-storage power system) is looking a lot better than what it was just a few short months ago – which is a big relief when you consider just how gloomy the outlook in terms of Cape Town’s water supply for the upcoming season originally was.
(Sure, it’s still not great, but it is a damn sight more positive than the original forecast outlook!)
Anyway, after a couple of minutes of standing next to the car and taking photos of the dam, guarded entrance and pretty tree next to me, I hopped back into the Getz and headed up the road, only to pull off at the Sir Lowry’s Pass view point which is probably only a kilometer or two away from where I had first pulled off the road for the dam.
The girls opted to stay in the car once more, allowing me to take my time strolling around the rather large view point area, happily snapping pictures with my cellphone in pretty much every direction that presented itself to me!
Named after Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, governor of the Cape in 1828, today’s modern and upgraded Sir Lowry’s Pass is essentially a cantilevered four-lane highway which then crosses the Hottentots Holland mountain range between Somerset West and the Elgin Valley.
As you might imagine, the lookout point affords you a spectacular view of the Helderberg basin… not that you would necessarily say that if you have only ever had my not so great cellphone camera photos for reference! ;)
Lastly, a handy map in case you need a better idea of where this view point actually is: