“For this week’s challenge, share a photo of liquid in whatever state, shape, or colo(u)r you happen to capture it in. You can go as big as the ocean or as small as a teardrop, as clear as vodka or as opaque as milk. Let’s raise a glass to your photos — I can’t wait to dive in.” Ben Huberman of WordPress, making suggestions regarding a liquid theme.
At a previous occasion in 2016 I shared some laymen’s scientific facts about water with photos taken on a mountain (not this week’s mountain) in H20: reflected, suspended, internalized and thirsted
Being from the financial industry I am quite aware that the meaning of liquidity is not what I refer to in the title of this post but I think the analogy is clear as vodka and there happens to be, as referred to in the 2016 post, more liquid in the form of water around our bones than liquid in the form of blood. Except maybe if you have a dis-appropriate love for fermented potato juice. I could mention a country where this problem has a greater tendency, but I won’t as I do not want the remnants of the KGB to be on my case…
This time I am taking you on a guided hike and as this post contains more photos than usual, I have combined them into a collage so that it is easier for Ben Huberman to decide which photo to dive into before I dive into the individual photos myself.
I was going to charge you for attending this guided hike but as we are walking backwards there are some risks of injury, for which I may have to accept medical responsibility should I charge you. I do not know if my financial position is liquid enough to oblige. Let me explain. I am showing the middle part of this hike to you. When I took the photos we hiked towards the Overseers Cottage, having passed the water tunnels a few hours before. In our hike today we are walking backwards into time towards the water tunnels. Do take utmost care – falling over backwards does have its consequences, the brightness of the sun in your eyes being the least of your worries…
⇑The Overseers cottage has an amazing view of the Cape Peninsula, False Bay, the lakes of the Cape Flats and the Hottentots Holland mountains. While staying at the cottage the mountain itself can be hiked. Yes it is possible for mere mortals to hire these 2 cottages and wake up on top of Table Mountain!
⇑We hike past 2 reservoirs which have been built between 1904 to 1907 to provide water to the growing population on the Cape flats side of the mountain, while our aim is to get to the water tunnels dug through the mountain to provide water to the population of Cape Town itself. Pictured is Victoria reservoir and built out of sight underneath it is Alexandra reservoir. In the 1970’s this area looked like Europe as Pine tree forests surrounded the reservoirs, but those have been cut down and removed in order for the Cape Fynbos (indigenous plants) to be re-established and as can be seen here it was successful.
⇑By walking in reverse we have progressed to the adventurous part of our hike without cracking our skulls open. To the right is Woodhead reservoir completed in 1897. And to the left the Disa Ravine which hosts the water tunnels.
⇑Soon after Woodhead was completedit was realized that it does not hold enough water for the growing need in Cape Town and the Hely-Hutchinson reservoir was completed in 1902. Here the dam wall of the Hely-Hutchinson is contrasted with the irregular shapes of Woodhead reservoir.
⇑”Table Mountain WOODHEAD RESERVOIR”. At this point you can stand against the railing, face the water and imagine to be on the bow of the Titanic and sing your heart out, okay everybody together:
I believe that the heart does go on
Love can touch us one time
And last for a lifetime
And never let go till we’re gone
- And now that you are in a nostalgic mood you can read up more about these dams in the post Dam(n) I engineered a rarity
⇑The dam wall of Woodhead is 42 meters high, certainly an amazing accomplishment for 1897 and while the stone looks warn it is still true to its original purpose.
⇑It is rumoured, no rumored (this a remark for Americans) that this is a popular spot for American cowboys to test there their bull riding skills. If you survive this, a bull is a kitten. The water is released at this point from the dams and flows through a tunnel and via pipes for kilometers to a water treatment plant at the foot of Table Mountain⇓
⇑ Here the natural path of the water is blocked creating this thick foam and diverting the water through the Apostle tunnel which goes right through the 12 Apostles section of Table Mountain and has a length of 1,3 km. It was completed in 1967 (and is therefore of a very similar age as the blogger). Nowadays the 2 reservoirs feeding the tunnel only contributes 1% of the water needed in Cape Town and financially it just wouldn’t make sense for such a project tody. But 51 years ago the biggest dam in the Western Cape (Theewaterskloof) and the 3rd biggest (Bergrivier) did not exist and the thirsty people were much less. I do not have numbers but in the 1960’s it provided proportionally much more water than currently⇓
⇑I will admit that on this photo I look like a cross between an exited school boy and somebody who just discovered, fire, the wheel, penicillin, electricity, the fountain of youth and Stanley finding Livingstone: “Dr Woodhead Tunnel I assume….”. This was on my bucket list for something like 25 years but as access is limited and hard to come by permits are needed I in turn needed a kick in the but from a friend and hiking buddy Danie van Niekerk to arrange this. And finding it was special because I didn’t know the exact location. And yes I did dive into that photo and went on a journey to the center of the earth, but that is a tale for another day…
I leave you with a profound theory. On the right hand side trees are reflecting on the water and on the left hand side the sun is illuminating the water showing its orange colour. It is quite obvious that Donald Trump came to Africa bathed in the orange waters of Table mountain, and while bonding with Africa, it left a lasting impression on his appearance…