Day 1797 Wednesday 16th September
Leaving Houston we passed over two huge bridges, high enough to let oil tankers pass beneath on route to the many oil refineries that dotted the landscape. Huge coal stock piles were being hosed down, there size equal to the ore piles we saw in Cape Lambert, Western Australia. Also trains at least two km long, loaded with crude oil being slowly pushed into the receiving dock, two cars at a time being drained of their black gold.
At a gas station in Lafayette we met Hank and his wife who were very interested in our trip. They were on route to ‘sinners paradise’, a casino and invited us to join them, we declined as it was not our mug of tea. Many photos were taken and we went our separate ways after much hand shaking.
In Lafayette we took a very nice camp ground, complete with electricity, wood fired braai’s, hot showers and under cover camping, excellent! The evening spent watching racoon’s wandering the grounds looking for free food. Oblivious to our fire burning not far from their foraging.
Day 1798 Thursday 17th September
Trying to leave at sun up and head east to New Orleans where we advised to spend just one evening sampling the wild night life, we were postponed by the Honda being a no start. After a little smooth talking and carb tickling I managed to bring the old bird into life, not knowing why it did not want to start.
Interstate ten was the easy choice, the local route road ninety passed through so many traffic lights we took the highway. The early morning fog that developed at around eight only added to the atmosphere of the Henderson Swamp that we passed over, thirty km of it on a raised highway. Made me wonder at the technology involved in the building of such a road in ‘gator infested waters, were there guys with rifles on guard duty? I hope so, as passed over some of the bayou’s I saw nostrils and eyes cruising the waters. The swamp stretched to the horizon, misty fog covered the dark waters of the bayous that seamed from the highway to be running perfectly at ninety degrees, must be a little of an illusion…
Stopping off for gas at Baton Rouge we breakfasted on left over cereal and semi dried figs, kindly given to us by Kiki. Noel came over and asked of our trip, we swapped tales of countries we had in common. Leaving there we managed to cover just under one km before Diane’s Honda died on the roadside. I doubled back to see her looking unimpressed at her beloved bike. She said it was like being out of gas, as we had just filled, unlikely. A few minuets found split vacuum hoses from the carbs to the fuel tap, replacing those saw us under way. The cause of the reluctance to start this morning,
Asking for camping at the French Quarter R.V. Park we were told “no we don’t have that kinda thing here” by an attractive looking Thai girl. Well that was ok as the book said ‘no tents’ but we had to try as it was very close to the action in downtown.
Attempting to leave RV paradise for camps unknown the Honda once again was a no show. This time the immobiliser light not doing what it should, the only quick fault I found was the main power supply multi plug was corroded, a quick clean and a squirt of WD saw the light off and bike running.
Taking a down scale camping/RV site we were soon set up, laundry done and heading out to take in the night life.
Taking the bus into town and walking the streets of jazz bars, strip joints, pole and lap dancing clubs. There was no entry fee, however the doorman asked for I.D. and the drinks were expensive, after one beer in a jazz club we stuck to ‘free’ street entertainment and no beer!
Day 1799 Friday 18th September
Aiming to leave early but did not as the freight train yard behind our tent kept us awake for most of the night.
We fed from a greasy spoon diner next door, as we stood in line to pay a very local guy sat at a table called out to me “hey y’all riding a horse?”. I looked down at my dusty boots and scuffed leather bike pants and could see point of view. I told answered “no were on motorcycles”, “I’ll be damned there and back” was his reply! Having eaten our very greasy hash browns and eggs, we passed on the grits, looking to much like wallpaper paste and the samp we tried in Zimbabwe. We were on the road by nine.
Taking a short cut across Lake Pontchartrain via a huge bridge, thirty km long. The same as across the English channel but probably not as deep or as much ocean freight using the water way.
We cut through charming pine forests and small towns until we hit I fifty five northbound, where we headed for Mississippi.
Stopping for gas we filled and tried to pay with my Auzzy travel card that often does not work, the lady tried many times and eventually it went through. Heading out for Mississippi I think maybe our ten minute delay was good fortune for us.