One of our favorite experiences in the New Orleans area was taking a tour on the bayou. Unlike the tour of the cemeteries, this is a tour we would recommend to anyone going.
We have been on air boats over the Florida Everglades a few times and this is similar because of the animals that you see, but the experience is completely different because of the vibe that the bayou life exudes.
We made the 30 minute trip out of New Orleans and we surprised by the amount of water that covers that end of the state. Sadly, most surprising was seeing petrol prices under $3 a gallon! We should have stopped and taken photos of that like a tourist destination haha.
The tour was on a small boat carrying about ten of us. We trolled passed the Cyprus trees draped in Spanish moss (in Hawaii we call it Pele’s hair) and watched the shore line for wildlife. We saw hundreds of turtles, several types of birds, raccoons, and, of course, alligators.
We saw gators small and large. It was crazy to see how deceiving it was to only see the head of the gator and it looked small then when it climbed onto a bank you see its enormous entirety.
Part of bayou life are the people that live there. They have houseboats that float on the water—just like Amsterdam in a more ‘back-woods’ version. They use ropes to tie their house to the nearby trees and some even have electricity going to the boat.
There were also solid houses built along the banks. There were two classes of these: one class are the large modern mansion-esk houses (for some reason we didn't take any photos of these) built for the vanity of being near water and the other are ‘get-away’ fishing cabins that look like they will blow over in the next storm but are still equipped with a big screen TV to watch the local football teams. Some of the new houses were beautiful but I cannot believe they built so close to a flooding bayou. The guide told us that some houses their flood insurance is more than their mortgage! YIKES! On top of that, what about the alligators, insects and snakes that want to come visit? I guess it works for them or they would not have built there.
In fact, when Lady Hiva and I returned to Washington, DC we saw that Discovery channel has a show dedicated to people that want to buy property on the bayou. As they say, one man’s purgatory is another man’s paradise!
We both really did enjoy the trip. Well worth it if you are in the lower—wet—states you should check out a tour of the bayou. It really is a peaceful place. I am just not sure I ever want to be caught out there at night in a rainstorm…