As we chatted over our brunch yesterday in the French Quarter, we pondered over where all the well-heeled people in New Orleans lived. Appreciating that parts of the City are still recovering from the events of 2006, we were not that surprised that we had not seen many obvious displays of wealth as we had cycled in on Friday. And we had witnessed some gritty realities in our cab ride to the (closed) bike shop and back on Saturday … to be honest, we had been thanking our lucky stars we had taken a cab rather then tried to walk or cycle. But, we couldn’t help but wonder, where do all the Saints, Hornets and Zephyrs players have their houses? This morning, on our route out of the city towards Baton Rouge, we think we found out!!
The ride started out well. Despite leaving a little later than we had intended (ain’t it always the way), the fact that it was Martin Luther King Day did us a few favours. The streets were deserted. We cycled through the Garden District, and gasped at the size of the houses, and the intricacy of a number of them. Heading down St Charles Street alongside the streetcars, and past Audubon Park, we decided that we had found the answer to our question… And before we knew it, we were out to the bike path that runs for around 30 miles along the levee next to the Mississippi River. In our exuberance, we started singing about driving our Chevy to the Levee (sorry TMG…we claim artistic licence to mention a car other than a Ford), but stopped abruptly as we realised what the next line was… Don’t worry though. We’re both here in one piece.
After the luxury of the bike path, we had the contrast of about 50 miles riding along the US61, a 4-lane highway, with the usual suspects rearing their heads every few miles (McDonalds, BK, KFC etc etc). There were some pretty wild stages in between, though, with swamps, storks, herons, turtles, and gators (we suspect, although we still haven’t seen one). And before we knew it, we were 91 miles down, into Baton Rouge and at our hotel.
We were a little disappointed with ourselves for not taking any photos today. To be honest, other than the luxury houses, there wasn’t an awful lot to see. As always, Anthony was mustard keen to take photos of the heavy industry, but Kat was a little perplexed: why is it that men always want to take photos of super-sized meccano? However, we realise that, sometimes, we should take a few snappy snaps of the terrain, just so we can remember it, and show you guys what we are seeing. We’ll try to be a bit more diligent in future.
The best thing of the day… supper at the hotel: mmm, mmm yummy!! Yes, the hotel puts on a “Manager’s Reception” each night. We decided to give it a whirl, only to find that, not only did it have some decent wine and beer, but it also had the tastiest Louisiana rice and spicy bean stew you’ve ever had, along with some delicious corn bread. After about 3 bowls of the stuff, we were extremely contented, and definitely not in need of any further sustenance for the evening. We had a great chat with the General Manager, Garrett, who told us that, tomorrow, he is cooking Gumbo. We can’t wait…