The Delta Blues Highway, Homochitto and Natchez

Published: June 14th 2014
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Taking the Blues Highway (Highway 61), I was able to get more of a feel of the sights and feelings of this vast country. It got its name from the history of blues in the Mississippi area. So of course when I saw the signs for the Blues Museum in Clarksdale, I just had to take a detour to have a look. Filled with a jumble of artefacts, some classy velvet/questionably colour choice suits, and the odd placed mannequins, it was an interesting leg stretching moment. They did have an entire room dedicated to Muddy Waters detailing his life and influences over lots of other artists. It even included his original house in which he grew up and lived. This consisted of little more that a wooden room, from which great music was made.

I had decided to camp at Homochitto National Park, a good 6 hours south from Memphis. This was the first time I've camped on my own... It was interesting, but I certainly would prefer the company. Dinner for one, and conversations with your ipad has it's limitations for entertainment. Although the complete time out was a bit like a reset button. Completed the hike around the lake, which involved negotiating a broken bridge, scrambling, and hoping I wouldn't fall into the muddy water below! In the middle of the night I dreamt a bear was trying to get into my tent. I woke up and my body decided to have a sleep apnea moment. Frozen and still hallucinating a bear was pushing and clawing, the small logical part of my brain managed to tell the rest of me I was being stupid and just to go back to sleep. What will I be like should I actually camp in bear country?! But then there's cougar country too! Best not to think about it I think...

The next morning I had a few hours to kill before I had to be in New Orleans, so I headed about 40 minutes west to Natchez. This sleepy town sits right on the Mississppi and is one of the oldest settlements in the states, colonised by the French in the early 1700s. Its actually been one of the prettiest towns I've been to, retaining many of its old French and Spanish architecture styles. There I wondered round an old early 1800 estate, that had amazing grounds with immense cypress trees covered in Spanish Moss (just like the movies!) and walked along the river. Got a bit cultural, it had to be done.

Next stop.... New Orleans baby!

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