Thursday, September 21, 2017 : From Baton Rouge to Natchez


We begin the day with a rather short drive from Baton Rouge to the Atchafalaya visitor center, very conveniently located close to Interstate 10 exit.

 

This interstate has a highly specific feature : to cross the bayou, it has been raised by 50 ft. for about 20 miles.

 

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The Atchafalaya bayou

 

We are expected by Kim and his dad. Their company does boat trips in the bayou. We are doing our trip with another couple of French tourists.

 

The trip introduces us to the vibrant life of the bayou : plant life, with cypress forests that grow underwater, water lillies and similar plants, obviously. animal life, too : we see 3 alligators that, oddly enough, flee underwater as our boat approaches. And birds, all sorts of birds : egrets, herons, kingfishers and cormorans.

 

When we are back at our starting point, I notice that we have been on the boat for 3 hours. I have not seen a minute pass, which tells volumes about the vibrant life of the bayou, and also about Kim's extensive knowledge of this place where it's wise not to get lost.

 

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The Acadian Village in Lafayette

 

We then drive to Lafayette, where we visit the Acadian Village. After being expelled from Canada after 1763 for refusing allegiance to the King of England, the Acadians finally resettled in the only remaining French land in North America, Louisiana, where they built villages like this one. Gradually, they developped the cajun culture, famous for, most notably, its music and its food.

 

We then take the road again to Natchez. We cross the Mississippi river and enter the State of the same name.