We met a real Cajun, today, “Captain Earl”. He threatened to leave us all in the swamp when none of us admitted to having watched Swamp People.
But. He did let us all have a go at holding his cute little alligator, “Fluffy”. Anyone who has an 18 inch long alligator called Fluffy can’t be all bad. “Don’t strangle my ‘gator – if I don’t come home with Fluffy, my wife’ll kill me.”
At times it reminded Me of the safari I did in Africa, when all the swamp boats clustered around a group of gators – much like they did in thenAfrican veldt when the call went out that someone had spotted a lion! In this case, though, the captains throw marshmallows into the water and the alligators chomp them up. Who’d have thought gators had a sweet tooth?
So yes, the touristy things continued, as we did the swamp tour with a real Cajun and saw lots of alligators. What can I say, but it was great! Being from a land-locked state originally, I’ve never done anything like it. When he opened up the throttle, it was really, really loud but very fast. He called that “Cajun air-conditioning”.
The swamp is surprisingly beautiful, with it’s Spanish moss and ancient cypresses, logs with turtles sun-bathing and the odd alligator snout poking just above the water. When the sun went behind the clouds, it became a ghostly monotone study of sky and water, with the other elements sitting somewhere in the middle. I would be lost in the avenues between the plants, but Cap’n Earl navigated them with ease.
When we got back, we found ourselves wandering down Royal Street in the French Quarter, gazing in the windows of art galleries and antique shops, drooling over the menus of Antoine’s and The Court of Two Sisters – New Orleans institutions both. And the weather was a lot better, lovely sunshine! I could get used to this.