Day 7: “That’s Cajun” (Meridian, MS -> New Orleans, LA)

When we planned this trip, we all provided a list of things we wanted to do or places we wanted to visit as part of the tour. There was only one place that made it onto all of our lists; New Orleans.

In order to get into New Orleans in enough time to enjoy the city during day and night we awoke fairly early, and for the following reason, unfortunately so did everyone else. We discovered early on that the Ultra Glide I’m riding had been factory fitted with aftermarket ‘Screaming Eagle’ exhaust pipes, the result of which I’m sure you can imagine. While it’s fun for me, it does have an adverse effect. This morning me hitting the ignition (which is noisy enough) managed to set off an even louder nearby car alarm. We made haste out of the hotel car park shortly after..

In an effort to get as much time in the city as possible, we didn’t stop except for fuel and lunch until we hit the state border. As with the change earlier in the week from Florida into Georgia, the architectural difference was obvious once we got into Louisiana.

And if there wasn’t buildings to mark that you were in Louisiana, the perpetual swamp was a big clue too..

We got into New Orleans early afternoon, and rode for the French Quarter which was where our hotel was for the night. Having been split from Crawford for a few days, we knew he was in the city somewhere (having arrived earlier) but by sheer chance we happened to ride past him on the way in.

(Reunion hi-five)

The hotel we had picked was called ‘The Chateau’ and was a converted old mansion. It was very fitting for the French quarter, with all the rooms off of a central courtyard.

With the bags dropped, we got on with the important stuff!

And then headed out onto the famed Bourbon St, spiritual home of jazz. Craig and I drink beer (generally) but Dana is one for the whiskey. Normally fine in the UK, but in the USA where free pouring is the way forward, this has proved rather deadly as one drink often has as much as 4 UK measures in it. Needless to say, she was an early casualty of the night.

After trying a few bars and hearing some cracking live music, we set off in search of some true jazz and found the wonderful ‘Maison Bourbon’ club. The Jazz Quintet were amazing and the hours slipped by as we were treated to Jazz as it should be.

Whilst at the club I was delightfully reminded twice in quick succession what life here was like:

1st; whilst walking to the toilet of the bar which was across a courtyard at the rear, I heard a crunch and looked down expecting to see a snail. To my surprise, the courtyard was filled with crawfish who were scurrying around (except for the one I’d just abruptly flattened). Whether they were the local wildlife or just escapees from a nearby restaurant remains unknown!

2nd; once I made it to the toilet I discovered there were no locks on any of the doors (this later proved to be true of most Orleans establishments!) and predictably I was interrupted whilst using the facilities. When I said to the other person that there were no locks, he had one simple response; “That’s Cajun!”

With the evening at an end, we walked down to the waterfront for a glimpse across the city, and then called it a night. 

Tomorrow, Texas..




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