Well, I didn’t sleep very well last night so am up a little later than I wanted to be. I decide I am going to have to ask for another room, this is just too noisy.
I go to the bathroom and find that the toilet is blocked… I give up! I get ready, pack everything up again and call down to the reception. I explain that I cannot stay in this room so can they please give me something else away from this noise. She does offer me another room but I need to move now… I can’t I’m going on a tour so, as I’m already all packed up, can someone move my things for me please? Yes, madam no problem. Great. I did tell her about the loo too by the way.
I rush over to the steamboat and get my ticket, (I get a $5 discount for being an old bag so I quickly book a swamp tour for tomorrow and get a discount on that too). I’m gasping for a coffee so grab one from the nearest cafe… $6 for a cup of coffee… I mean Starbucks is $4.75 for a latte, but this is just a cafe au lait out of an urn and it’s not a great one either… hurumph!
I arrive at the Natchez just as they start boarding.
I find a table near to the rail so I can get a good view and settle down. Now I feel I can relax….. phew!
We pull away from the dock on time and it’s really great… I love boats. The guide begins the narration over the tannoy system and I’m sorry, but he has the most annoying voice ever. The information however, is interesting. I am sitting on the wrong side of the boat but I don’t care, I’ll see it all on the way back. I’m just enjoying the ride… so glad I brought my binos with me, I can get a good look at the views.
The old warehouse was badly damaged during Katrina, you can see in the photos where the new brickwork has been added. They used white bricks to form the words. Apparently it is now being used to house people displaced due to the recent Louisiana floods.
This is the other paddle boat that offers tours, The Creole Queen; it is not steam driven like the Natchez, which is the only original one left on the Mississippi, so the guide says.
Here’s a selfie fest aboard the Natchez
On the return trip we pass under the bridges that join NOLA to Algiers Point
As we pull into the dock I see this on the quay… I thought it was a statue…
but as we disembark I see he has moved so now I realise he is one of the many street performers to be found here, just as they are in other major tourist areas.
The one thing that is striking about NOLA is the number of people living on the streets… I mean London has its fair share, but here they are everywhere. Now I don’t know if they are all genuine or not, in London there are alleged to be gangs of ‘professional’ beggars who beg during the day and drive home in their Mercedes at night, if so, I’m sure that’s pretty much true of everywhere. There are some who look the part with the, what seems to be the standard here, placard declaring their plight – homeless and starving; then you see them on their mobile phone… for me food comes before facebook.
Oh oh it’s that declaration of world fame again… hehe
I really enjoyed the trip, it was great. Next I look for one of the other must do’s on the list of suggestions Cat and Dustin gave me… the Cafe Du Monde for Beignets and Coffee…
On the way I pass the horse drawn buggies that I’ve seen around the Quarter, I expect they are quite expensive so not in my budget I’m afraid.
I also find this:
So there you go… ahhhhh found the Cafe Du Monde.. it’s very busy but I find a table ok and order the requisite Beignets and Coffee. They come surprisingly quickly.. impressed.
They are very nice… like a square doughnut… but they come in 3’s and that’s too much for me so I ask for a bag to take them back to the hotel for later.
I take a slow walk back to my hotel and go to the reception to ask about my new room. They haven’t moved me… really… she says I have to go and get my luggage, come back to the front desk and she will allocate a room for me. I am not very impressed at all especially as the woman this morning assured me my things would be moved. I struggle with the luggage back down to reception.. wait in the queue, again, and then she gives me a new room. I struggle with the luggage up to the new room.. it is on the same side as the old one so I can still hear the noise from the adjacent building. It isn’t quite as loud as the other room so I think it will be ok.. anyway I really can’t be bothered to hump the luggage about any more.
I half unpack this time and take out my cozzie.. at least I can enjoy a swim and sitting by the pool for an hour or so. The pool is very cold, but I am brave and have a very refreshing dip. I only spend just under an hour before I decide to get ready and go out for a while.
I have a little wander around and pop into one of the Jazz cafes.. I decide to try a Mint Julep not realising it has bourbon in it! I ask for a taller cup and if she can make it weaker so she adds more soda water… it’s still very strong and quite sweet.
I don’t really drink these days so can only manage about half. I then decide to go back to the gay bar and see if the guy I met yesterday is there, just to say hello. He isn’t working today, its a different guy. He is also friendly and we chat for a while… of course the bourbon has made me a bit tipsy so I order another one.. bourbon that is not Julep. Now I am getting hungry.. must be the alcohol.. the chap at the bar, whose name I didn’t get unfortunately, recommends a restaurant just up the side street he says the food is very good and a reasonable price.
Off I wobble, I mean after having a bout of vertigo a few years ago I can’t walk in a straight line at the best of times and it’s still daylight 😮
I order blackened chicken, another item of creole cuisine. It is really delicious, I must say it is the best food I’ve had in NOLA. Last night I tried a Beef PoBoy… it’s really just a sub with roast beef and gravy in it, it was ok but the chicken tonight was excellent.
I go back to the hotel and blog for a while… time for bed… the noise seems louder, this is just too much! I am booked in for another night, but to be honest I’ve had enough so I am going to check out in the morning. I have a look at the booking conditions and it seems they will charge me the full nights fee.. well I’m not going to pay it, not after two nights poor sleep. I mean I asked the woman for a quiet room, then she puts me on exactly the same side just 1 floor down… did she do it on purpose I wonder?? Well wait and see what happens in the morning. I am booked on the swamp tour at 10.30 and once that’s done I’m going to get going to Pensacola the next stop.