America Day 9 – Galveston to New Orleans

I wake to a beautiful sunrise.. over the Gulf of Mexico! and yep I’m humming Glen Campbell as I brew coffee. Galveston is a thin sandy island, has a big pier with roller coasters and so on, and miles of sandy beachfront, bit greyish and with what look like drains running out every half mile or so along the beach with signs to either side warning you not to swim. Guess we get very spoilt in Australia – but its still a picture this morning. I have an eight hour drive to New Orleans today so I go for a paddle, pack up, and head off along the Esplanade.

Listening to Shawn Mullins with Glen Campbell as a side track – can’t believe I’m on the Gulf of Mexico!

Yep, that’s me, on the Gulf! Did swapsie photo’s with a lovely young African American couple on their honeymoon.

Here’s a bonus treat – the GPS guides me to a free ferry across a wide stretch of water! It’s about a 30 minute trip and I see a pod of dolphins on the way over, very nice!

Thats the other ferry coming back across.

The entire area is flat, lots of holiday houses up on stilts like Queenslanders, called things like Two Mad Dogs, Sundowner Special… and its true, the roads of Texas are full of men wearing Stetsons driving huge utes and for some reason they all have their exhaust pipe pointing sideways so as they pass you get belted by booming exhaust noise. They walk bandy-legged too!

Once again I’m impressed – they don’t mind building the odd bridge here either, and some of them are enormous. I did over fifteen miles on one across a ‘genu-wine’ swamp (trees festooned with Spanish moss, scary looking bayou’s obviously infested with alligators), and  heaps of huge arching ones over rivers and inlets.

Heading for another giant bridge, this one was over the Shining River which I thought a lovely name for a river…

And today’s the day I take a wrong turn in the Louisiana swamps… there’s a bridge out which of course GPS doesn’t recognise, I find myself deep in swamp country looking at this!

NO! pretty clear really I’ve come the wrong way – but it was an interesting diversion none the less, past little shacks and trailer parks. The poor end of the States.

If I was this close to the water on such incredibly flat land I’d want to be on high stilts too

 

I’ve lost an hour, the day’s passing, I bite the bullet, find Interstate 10 East, and reach New Orleans about 8pm. My hotel is twice what I have been paying elsewhere, it’s right in the heart of the French Quarter, and it’s all happening when I get there, crowds of people milling around along Bourbon Street drinking and partying. Narrow streets for the first time since arriving, lots of one ways, and Bourbon St itself closed to vehicles. Turns out it’s one of the only places in the States where you can consume alcohol on the street.

Bummer – the room they give me while very comfortable and having a huge “hot tub” (spa bath!) has no window! Can’t do that – can’t change room till tomorrow – it’s sleeping pill time for me.

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