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Published: August 11th 2011
I woke up quite early and drove a bit less than 2 hours to reach New Orleans. The drive is very cool as you drive by the swamps and you can see how the bridges that go on for miles and miles are literally built over the wet lands. Quite an experience! I got to New Orleans with no problems and found my hotel that was located right in the middle of Bourbon st, the most famous street in NOLA and where all the action is. The hotel is called Royal Sonesta and it was really really nice. Old French style deco but with all the amenities including again, swimming pool and gym. I left my stuff in the room and went for a walk outside. I checked Bourbon st, which looked amazing during the day and then checked a few more streets of the French Quarter and a few shops. Then I walked to Charles st and I wandered around for a bit until I decided it was time for something to eat.
I hadn’t had any breakfast so I was starving and really wanted to try some Cajun food. I found a
restaurant called Redfish Grill in Bourbonb street and decided to give it a go as it looked very nice. I had the lunch menu , alligator and shrimp sausage as a started and catfish salad as a main all with a nice cold Miller lite. It was just delicious, best food I had since I got to the US. After lunch I went for another wander around Bourbon st and then decided to go to my room for a little rest and to check on the internet what other things should I do/see in NOLA.
After chilling out for a bit I went to a visitors centre to get some information on tours available. I really wanted to go to the swamps so I enquired and the guy recommended a tour on an airboat by a company called airboatadventures. The tour lasted about 3 hours and it was $60 which I thought it was quite reasonable, so I booked it for the day after.
Then I got the street car on Charles st and went all the way to the Garden district where you can see some absolutely stunning houses. After half an hour walking it started to
rain really heavily so got in the street car and went back to the hotel where I had a shower and got myself ready for a night out. I went out at about 8:30 and the place was already quite busy.
The good thing about Bourbon st is that you don’t have to pay cover anyway and that you can get in and out of the different bars with your own drink. A bottle in any bar will cost you 5 bucks but you can get big ass beers in 2 or 3 street shops for only $4 and same with hurricane. So after paying $5 for a bottle in one of the bars, I started getting beers outside and just hopping on and off the different bars. Some of the music was really good and its good fun just going from one place to another.
Despite being Monday it was quite busy and got even busier as the night progressed. I ended up spending all my time between two bars, one with a really good band of 8 musicians and another one with a band of 3. All were black and the repertoire was very varied.
Then as I was walking towards one of the bars I heard something saying Barcelona from inside a bar, so it caught my attention and went it, just to see that it was a karaoke bar and there was a couple from Barcelona singing, or trying to, a song. It was very funny because in between the guy keep shouting Forca Barca, but obviously no one understood what it mean by that. When they finished I spoke to them and we ended up spending the last couple of hours together. Irene and Miquel were quite nice and they are travelling from New Orleans to California, they were doing more or less my itinerary but the other way round. Nice people and I ended up having a good time with them. At about 4:30 in the morning we decided to call it a night and we agreed we would see each other again the night after. So off to sleep I went.
The morning after I had to wake up quite early as they were picking me up from the hotel at 9:30. Needless to say that I was feeling quite rough again. The bus driver didn’t shut up
in the whole journey from the hotel to the swamps. He was extremely knowledgeable in history and a very nice bloke, but a lesson in history in the morning when you are shattered and hangover is not the thing I needed. Anyway we finally made it to the tour place and after a bottle of water and some nuts I started to feel a bit better. The tour was fantastic. Being in an airboat is fun by itself but in addition the swamps were great. Very beautiful and picturesque and the tour guide was very good. Everybody wanted to see alligators and we not only say lots of them, but the guide managed to catch one which was good fun. It was extremely hot and I forgot to put sun lotion and also forgot my cap so I got burnt.
After the tour I was taken back to the hotel and decided to take it easy for the rest of the day. So I went for a workout in the fitness room and I run another 40 minutes. I then wanted to go to the pool but it was very busy so I gave it a miss and went
back to the room where I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until 8pm!. I got showered, changed and I hit the streets again. It was busier than the night before and I ended up doing the same things and spending time in the same bars. I didn’t meet the catalan couple again so I don’t know if we just didn’t manage to see each other or they just didn’t make it that night. I had fun but ended the night a bit earlier at 3 in the morning. I’m too old for this really, and 2 nights in a row is far more than my body can handle. But I was in NOLA and had to go out, so I did myself proud.
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