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North America » United States » Mississippi
August 3rd 2011
Published: August 26th 2011
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DAYS 23-24

Mississipi

I had a good night sleep in NOLA and decided to stay in bed until check out time and then I started driving towards my first destination in the Mississippi. I was expecting a bit more from my drive through the Mississippi to be honest, the views are very monotonous, everything is very spread out and some of the places I visited were deserted even in the middle of the day. But I’m still glad I visited it and maybe I should have planned a bit better my itinerary and being a bit more concise about the places that I wanted to visit and what I wanted to see.

My first stop was Natchez where I arrived at about 2 pm. I went straight to the visitor centre and after watching a 15 minutes film on the history of Natchez, I got a map and was told that the only antebellum house I could visit was the Longdon house, one of the few octagonal houses in the whole country. So I made my way to the house and paid $12 for a tour. The tour was very informative, the history about the house, which is unfinished and will remain unfinished forever, as the different generations of the family who owned the house, never had enough money to finish it. The good thing about Natchez is that the majority of houses weren’t destroyed in the Civil War, so it’s a very good place to go if you are interested in antebellum houses and architecture.

After the tour I went into downtown but there wasn’t much to see and everything was closing down. Went to the river bank to take a few shots and made my way to my next destination Vicksburg, famous for it’s strategic location in the Civil War. The downtown is quite nice but again tiny and not very lively, at least at the time I got there, about 5ish. I took some shots of a confederation memorial and went to see the casinos in the stretch of the Mississippi river.

Most little towns in Mississippi have casinos and in the river towns the casinos are always in steam boats moored by the river.

After Vicksburg I was feeling really tired and decided to drive a couple more hours and stop to get some sleep. It’s the first time I got a little bit scared or worried. I was running out of petrol, I maybe had 15 or 20 miles left of gas, it was dust and the roads were deserted. And I couldn’t find a bloody gas station! I was driving pass little towns with near to nothing, very few bars or shops open if any, lots of plantations but that was it. All the gas stations were closed and the ones that were opened were automatic, which was fine, hadn’t been for the fact that for some strange reason they wouldn’t take my cards. I tried with my Qatari cards and all the gas stations there ask for the postcode which we don’t have in Qatar, so it wouldn’t take the card. Tried with one of my UK debit card and didn’t work either so I moved on and carried driving. Finally I found another deserted town with a petrol station and for some reason it took my Qatari card. Filled the tank up and it only took $1 off the card. Not sure whether this will be rectified later or I just got lucky and filled my tank for a miserable buck.

My next destination was Clarksdale but it was still a few hours away so I decided to leave it for the next day. I finally stopped in Cleveland MS, which seemed to be quite a big place. Then I learned it is an University city with quite a large population. I stayed at Econolodge and although I was recommended a few good restaurants around, I decided to go healthy and went to Walmart to get a salad and a drink. I also fancied staying in as I was quite tired from the journey.

I got to Clarksdale in the morning and I really had a good time there. Maybe it’s because I had a good night sleep and had finally recovered after New Orleans, or maybe because Clarksdale has more to offer, but although the city looks quite run down in certain places and downtown is not particularly nice, the Blues museum was really good and it gives you a good insight on the Delta blues and artists like BB King or Muddy Waters. It’s a shame that I didn’t spend more time in Clarksdale and couldn’t make it to any of the Juke Joints.
In Clarksdale I went to eat o Abe’s Bar-b-q restaurant which is supposed to be one of the best bbq places in the whole of Mississippi. I’m glad I did go there, I had some Tamales and a bbq pork sandwich and they were all delicious. I then made my way towards Memphis where I arrived in the afternoon.



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