Great music, Gators and Gas
Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
43Trip End Ongoing
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Next stop was The Blue Nile. Here we had a couple on stage, the guy was playing guitar and the girl was singing, playing the maracas and a kazoo......yeah. Her voice was brilliant and their renditions of songs like Summertime and House of the Rising Sun were quite beautiful.
By this stage we were quite drunk, me on Jack , Trace on vodka, the Coke not even worth mentioning at this stage. It came to my attention that the men’s restrooms (toilets in American) were the foulest I’s ever seen
We staggered back to our hotel via an all night diner at about 2:30 am....completely sated. This place is just brilliant....it would inspire anybody.
I’ll say this to anybody going to New Orleans, once you get over the scattered ass and cover bands just going through the motions on Bourbon Street, make your way down to Frenchmen where the artists actually give a shit about what they do. Just my opinion folks.
Just when we thought our holiday had hit its peak, up jumped the bayou’s of New Orleans
Captain Sam welcomed us onto his air-boat, he was suitably weather beaten and a "Har!" wouldn’t have seemed strange. We cruised slowly into the actual bayou for conservation issues ie. no wakes allowed, but once we hit the normal, smaller canals , Captain Sam shouted “OK guys , let’s make some noise” at which we put on the hearing protectors or “ear-muffs” provided and the Cap’n cranked her up. The muffs are essential as that fan makes a helluva noise. We took off like a bullet and my hat shot off, the Captain stopped, turned around but it was gone R.I.P. Take two, off we went again. The speed those boats pick up is incredible. We weren’t strapped in in any way but we never felt like we had to hold on to anything. Even when we skidded around corners sideways smashing over huge clumps of water foliage we never felt like we were going to fly off our bench.....it was all quite exhilarating. I got hit in the face by something flying passed..... it felt like a small aircraft. Sunglasses are essential as there are many bugs flying around and if they go into your mouth, there’s every chance they may come straight out of the back of your head.
The captain took us to the places he knew there were alligators, but he made it quite clear beforehand that all he could promise us were trees and water....of which there was plenty
It sounds like a kids joke but our captain swore by it. What do you feed gators in a swamp? Marshmallows!!!!! Cap’n Sam said they were like crack cocaine to the gators. Something about them having no other form of sweetness in their diet. He then proceeded to prove it. We stopped in a spot where the water was covered by some kind of water vine. As we stopped several gnarly gator heads popped up about the surface. Samwise, as I was now calling him, partially because of his swamp knowledge and because it amused me, secretly, shouted out “Here come the crack-wagon” and threw a marshmallow into the water. It was instantly snapped up by a five footer. About 4 other smaller alligators started swimming towards us but were sent on their way by the big fella, ....but not before most of them got some sugar from our man on the boat. Then Captain Chaos (a new name that will seem appropriate after the next bit of the story) then held a marshmallow in the air so the gator lifted itself out of the water and put its front legs on the boat....about 2 feet from Trace’s legs. It was funny, for me anyway, Trace shielded me from certain death quite bravely. Then Chaos tied the boat to a tree and went a-shore (oooo very nautical)
By the way, the area that he was sitting in was where a 14 footer had been spotted recently. Apparently that guy had become that big by eating almost the whole male population in the swamps the previous year.......Captain Cannibal Croc.....no friend of Captain Chaos.
At the end of the tour the captain said , funnily enough “This is the end of the tour”....thankfully he also said “We’ve only got a little bit of time left and a lot of distance to cover to get back to the base” . This meant it was full tilt fan boat fun all the way back, we sent alligator splashing off in all directions. I had a smile on my face that threatened to split my cheeks.
Fittingly, as we approached home base the captain geared down and pointed out a Bald Eagle sitting on top of a pylon. It was beautiful, and according to Captain Sam, the first one of the season. I had Creedence Clearwater Revival in my mind all the way back to town.