New Orleans and Louisiana locals
13.03.2013 - 13.03.2013 10 °C
Day 6 and it hasn't yet warmed up. Despite fine weather and clear skies it remains cool at about 10 degrees for us in oz. We felt that it would be good to do a local thing outside of NOLA, so it was off at 10am to go on an "Air boat Adventure" see www.airboatadventures.com
We were collected at the Astor by "billy bob" who was a good ole boy from the bayou. He spoke very quickly and I understood every fifth word. Mandy understood every third word being from Tassie so between the two of us we got most of his tour guide information about NOLA. Whilst he was supposed to be informative, it was more like mobile advertising for places to eat.
About a 50 minute trip on the freeway (everywhere is a freakin freeway) saw us arrive in the bayou at Lafitte on the Bayou Barataria which is an arm of the good ole Mississippi River. We paid for a 6 person Air Boat and given the mentality of the driver (Capt'n creole) and one of the god damns on it; was probably an equivalent of a 4 person job and that's being kind given she is a school teacher.
Interesting place to begin the tour with lots of trailer trash parked nearby. The hurricane didn't affect the place apart from flooding which about kept everyone in doors for months. Probably accounts for the mentality and looks of some of the locals.
The jump off point had a display of white gators which according to the good ole boy get eaten by the population of other gators because of their colour. I think we ate one last night, read on further for details.
The air boats are exactly that, very basic and built to fly across the water in shallow or no water situations.
The boats come complete with ear muffs which are a necessity. Loved the way Cap'n dick head insisted on explaining things whilst the motor was running and no one could hear a thing.
The short journey to the Bayou only took a few minutes via a short passage through the open water. Once the Air Boat hits full speed it certainly flys along. Not much worries the boat from shallow water or fallen branches.
Into the bayou and noted that many of the trees are yet to recover from recent strong winds (read hurricanes).
Our first Gator siting was for me a disappointment when Capt'n Snooze said this was a real big one......from my experience of crocs in Nth Qld and Northern Territory, this one would be considered a throw back baby.....
And then Capt'n wanker brought out this pearler. It was his pet and he was as proud as....not sure what. He was really keen to pass it around for everyone to feel and believe it or not pat. He even gave instruction on how best to pat it.... Something not right with this guy. The yank gun laws still worry me with dudes like this being able to associate with the public, us good aussies anyway.
And then it was Mandy's turn to pat the pet. Thank god it wasn't a python or that would have been it; he'd be gator bait himself.
Saw more gators, turtles and apparently a woodpecker. The bird life is generally non existent for such a diverse eco system such as this is supposed to be. We have more birds in 5 minutes in our yard than we saw the entire tour. Maybe it had something to do with the cams worn by our bayou brother.
The tour lasted for about 2 hours and in my view we had to do it. A rating of 6 out of 10, once done no need to do it again.
Got off the bus (thank god as Bayou Boy was starting to get into his stride with a joke which fell flat) at the Civil War Museum. Interesting place in as much it showed the degree with which the god damns killed each other. Not that Aussies are immune to this type of behaviour, only on a smaller scale. The confederate memorial hall was freezing and is the oldest museum in Louisiana. Saw plenty of old clothes, weapons and visitors. The last vet died in the early 1900's but I swear that a few were still walking around the museum.
Had an early dinner at a New Orleans local favourite and we ate Capt'n gators gator. Had it as an Apertiser and a great steak for entree which is the yank equivalent to our main course.