As we left New Orleans we passed a massive freshwater lake that was quite shallow, about 2 metres. The water was feed from the Bayou.
We once again crossed the mighty Mississippi River and now we were in sugar cane country.
|The tee-pee is actually a giant bon-fire that will be lit christmas eve|
|The bridge over the Mississippi|
When we arrived at Oak Valley (named for the Oak tree lined driveway) we were taken straight away to the home for our tour. The home has been fully restored and our guide told us that when the Oak Valley Plantation took it over in 1972 it was a home to cattle.
The home has had many owners but we heard about the original owners who were there until the Civil War began in 1861 when they lost everything. Prior to the war is not a proud moment for America when slave labour was the norm. The Oak Valley home was built by slaves who made the mud bricks from the Mississippi River mud.
|The object hanging from the ceiling is a "Sho- Fly" a giant fan that kept the flies and bugs away from the food|
|The large rolling pin on the bed is to smooth it down each night. Mattresses were made from Spanish Moss and Horse Hair.|
|The giant Oak Trees that are two hundred years old|
|There was no kitchen in the house (too hot) so the cooking was done outside in this garden|
|This small section has been left exposed to show the mud bricks under the plaster|
After our tour of the house we wandered around the beautifully maintained gardens and then on to where some of the slave homes had been restored.
|Inside Emelia's quarters|
|Behind us is a walkway lined with Pecan trees|
We had lunch in the restaurant/gift shop before making our way back to the bus.
Our next stop was the small Airboat swamp tour. I had already talked myself out of this tour. I am not good with speed but the tour guide was adamant that I should go and he would not drive too fast!
What a great ride it was and I am so pleased that I did it. Our tour tour guide lived and breathed the swamp and bayou and his love for alligators was apparent. We stopped in one area where he fed the Alligators marshmallows! He said that some tours feed chicken to the gators but as far as he was concerned it made them too dependent on humans for their food. I could go on and on about how great this tour was but that would just be boring so I will let the photos do the talking.
|Our first view of Alligators|
|The Airboat skims through the hyacinths|
|They seemed to like the marshmallows|
|The Spanish Moss is everywhere in the Bayou|