Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Out and about in the Kat River

I had one day moving about the Kat River area and then one day when I wasn’t feeling well so I sat in this chair in front of the fire…..

Plus, it rained off and on all day so it was a good day to be inside.

Of course, “inside” is relative since this area was open at the front. You could walk further back into a sunroom that was so comfortable…..

But more about that later.

The area terrain was different from any that I had experienced in Africa. It was very hilly and EXTREMELY rocky. I was thankful for the hard-soled shoes that I was wearing but desperately wished that I had brought my trekking poles too!!

We spent all of the morning on top of a ridge, looking into a long valley. As the sun moved further into the sky we sat and watched and “glassed” (looking thru binoculars)……

….and slowly the animals appeared.

This was my view for much of the morning…..2 trackers to my left and Michael and Quinney on the right…..

Because of the distance, photographing the animals was almost impossible but it was very sweet to watch them appear at one end of the valley and slowly saunter to the other end.

I did manage to get one photo of these nyalla females…..

This would have been a great place to use the telephoto lens but I wouldn’t have wanted to carry it as I scrambled over the rocks!!

As the morning rocked on we also saw warthogs, buffalo, and Kudu.

We were accompanied by Quinney’s dog, Cane…..

He is SO WELL trained!! If he got out in front of us, Quinney would simply point behind him and Cane would obey and come and sit behind Quinney’s left leg. It was fun to watch!!

Interestingly, there are very few flowers. Of course, this is mid-winter so that may be part of the problem!

I did find this one flower that was gorgeous…..

Quinney told me that it was “Bauhinia galpinii” and is called the “Pride of the Cape”. After seeing this one example, Elliot (one of the trackers) pointed out this bush that was fully engulfed in orange flames…..

I also saw one bird with iridescent blue wings and would see flashes of the blue and orange flowers as I glassed the area. It was gorgeous!!

As we were hoofing it along, I stopped to take a photo of this tree….

One of our trackers (Frinda) had to wait for me but he smiled and said that it was one of his favorite trees too!!

There was also this beautiful Shepherd’s Tree….

It is a protected tree in South Africa and is often called the “tree of life” because it offers sustenance to both humans and animals.

Finally, for the morning, we came across a young Kudu that had been killed by a leopard. I was amazed at how clean the bones were…..

Apparently, a leopard doesn’t like to share!!!

When it was time for lunch, we watched Quinney unpack our feast for the day….

The main course was a classic South African dish called Bobotie (pronounced ba-boor-tea). It is considered a true comfort food. The dish is a minced, curried meat casserole with an egg custard topping.

It was served with “Mrs. Ball’s Chutney” and it was YUMMY!!!

I feel like this is turning into a food blog, but I have to tell you about our dinner!! We had Eland “Filet-mignon”. We watched as they prepared the marinade using olive oil, mustard, ketchup (tomato sauce), and Worcestershire sauce…..

A healthy amount of chopped garlic was added….

The meat was very lean and tender before they started, but they used this interesting machine…..

….to tenderize it further.

Murray repeatedly pressed the sharp tines into the meat to do this…..

the meat was added to the marinade and left to sit for several hours….

When it was time to cook the meat, they placed it on a well-heated grill and then proceeded to sprinkle olive oil around it……

This kept the flames up and helped to brown it better. They repeated the procedure every time the flames died. I had never heard of doing that….have you?

The leftover marinade was cooked down a bit and TONS of black pepper was added…..

The meat was sliced and was PERFECT…..

AND, as is typical for any “braai” (the African term for BBQ) the men enjoyed their time around the grill, especially our chefs, Quinney and Murray!!

So that was one…..very busy…… day in the Kat River Conservancy!!!

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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