JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Day 23 - New Orleans

We ordered an in room breakfast this morning as we had to meet the bus downstairs at 8.30am for our all day Oak Valley Plantation and Small Airboat tour. It took an hour and a quarter to get to the Plantation.  As we left New Orleans our very informative tour guide/driver talked about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina almost 17 years ago.  New Orleans and the surrounding area is very flat so you can well understand how it would flood.  The French Quarter where we are staying is the highest point in the city and only had a small amount of flooding but when you get to the outer areas, that are in fact below sea level, you can understand why it would flood.
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.
 Further on we were in scrubby swamp country where would do our Airboat tour later in the day.
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 Mississippi

Cane fields

The bridge over the Mississippi
No cotton this far south in Missouri. The harvest had begun and we followed trucks hauling cane.  Every now and then we would pass plantation homes surrounded by their wonderful gardens.

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 read, sadly, about the lives of the slaves.
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.
The Airboats

Our first view of Alligators

The Airboat skims through the hyacinths

They seemed to like the marshmallows

Our guide

The Spanish Moss is everywhere in the Bayou

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