Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Welcome to Murray’s Place

After a quick overnight stay in Johannesburg, we were in the air again heading to the Eastern Cape. Now, I knew NOTHING about Africa geography, so needed to look at a map to see exactly where we were going.

This is Africa, with South Africa in the lower right…..

THEN, there are numerous regions within South Africa…..

…and we were headed to the Eastern Cape.

We flew into East London and drove to our first destination along the Kat River (marked in blue)….

James Quin (fondly named Quinny) picked us up at the airport and drove us to the new camp. I kept seeing groups of young people walking along the road and quickly snapped a shot thru the car window. I was amazed when I looked closer at the photo…..

I had NO idea that they were singing as they walked along!!!

Once we left East London, we never passed thru another highly populated area but houses were scattered all along the way….

We arrived at Murray and Yvette’s place (we nicknamed it Murray’s place) just after lunch and were immediately made to feel right at home. We walked down a long walkway…..

to get to our hut…..

I have never been “up-close-and-personal” with thatching and it was interesting to see how many layers of material were used….

Note that it had been raining and you can see that the rain only penetrated about 1/4 of the way thru the thatch!!!

It was equally interesting to look up into the rafters of our room…..

I was afraid that the room wouldn’t stay warm but the propane heater that they provided kept everything snug!!

I loved the designs in the wall stucco…..

Regardless of how nice our accommodations were, the real heart of Murray’s place is at the Fire Pit…..

If I sat at the firepit, this is what I saw…..

…. sitting room on the left and kitchen on the right. This is shot in panorama view so it looks flat but in reality, this makes a neat Horseshoe shape!!

Although they have a stove and oven in the kitchen, much of the cooking takes place outside. On the first night, they cooked steaks. To do this, they moved coals from the fire…..

….to a shallow stone pit…..

Then a grate was swung over the coals and Quinny cooked the steaks…..

It was a magnificent meal that started with spicy mussels…..

…..and ended with perfectly cooked steak and fries…..

Since the weather was nice, we ate on small tables in front of the fire…..

And when it started to get chilly, they gave us seatwarmers. Not the kind that Michael has in his new truck!!! These were cast iron “skillets” that were filled with coals and placed under your chair…..

It was AMAZING just how much warmth it provided!!

Murray’s place was our base of operations for the next three days so stay tuned for more…..

While I enjoy all aspects of the wonderful art of quilting, I equally enjoy presenting inspirations and stories from around the world. To make sure that you don’t miss a single one, be sure to subscribe to this blog!!

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