A local reveals the unexplored side of the Cape Winelands
Ivy du Toit can almost touch the clouds below the mountain peaks. The wispy puffs appear within reach – but not quite. It’s an illusion, albeit a captivating one, drawing her further up along this trail. Accompanied by her canine companion, Benjamin, Du Toit pauses every so often to take in the sweeping views of Slanghoek Valley and the town below.
Like many of the small towns in the Cape Winelands, Rawsonville is known for its vineyards. Du Toit is a vintner here, but her connection to the area comes from her childhood. “I grew up here and our way of living is peaceful,” she says. Du Toit created the hiking trail at Jason’s Hill to reveal the countryside from a different perspective. Just over six kilometres in total, the circular path can be tricky for a beginner to navigate. A steep ascent and some scrambling lead to numerous lookout points, perfect for bird-watching. During the winter rains, waterfalls cascade along the route. “I just love seeing nature and how it flourishes,” Du Toit says.
The trail is a reminder of the Western Cape’s natural splendour. Every day, Du Toit can step away from her work in the vineyards and head for the hills. “It feels like the mountains are hugging you,” she says. “Slanghoek Valley is a haven that has stolen my heart.” High above, those elusive clouds drift on. Unlike them, the beauty of this valley is in reach.