After packing up the tent, the rest of our morning was slightly delayed by the fact that Maria was cleaning the bathrooms when we arrived. So we hung around in the rec room for a while and discussed the route we were going to take to New Orleans. Bob and Maria suggested a coastal route and said they would print us off a map to follow. Eventually, clutching our map and having bid Bob, Maria and Pookie goodbye, we set off at about midday, hoping to reach New Orleans at about 7pm. The route was much nicer than the interstate, although we went slightly wrong at one point we managed to correct it, and passed several lovely looking beaches. Our lunch stop was in a seaside town called Fort …something, just after the town of Destin. Reluctant to sample the many fast food outlets available to us, Lizzie selected a restaurant from the GPS ( I was driving). When we reached Big Mama’s Soul Food, chosen specifically for its name, we decided that it looked a bit (read extremely!) sketchy, it was basically a wooden shack by the road and looked a bit like a local restaurant for local people. Driving on we noticed a Mexican restaurant called Tijuana Flats and decided that it sounded good enough. It was great, the food was amazing and there was a hot sauce bar to choose your own sauce. Lizzie tried the hottest one there, and declared to a member of staff that it wasn’t too bad. He replied that it wasn’t the hottest one they had, and if she wanted to try that then she would have to sign a waiver. “Okay” she said, both of us thinking that he was joking. He soon returned with the waiver, he wasn’t kidding, and a bowl of tortilla chips. He then put on gloves, unlocked a cabinet and put a single drop of sauce on a chip. Apparently it was pretty hot, although not too bad.

Having sampled THE hot sauce, Lizzie signs the wall of fame.

He then brought her a large bowl of sour cream to take the fire away (works better than water) and said she could sign the tile in the cabinet, which once it is full, will join the collage of decorated tiles on the ceiling. Wall duly signed, we returned to the car to continue our journey, this time with Lizzie driving. Later in the day we switched over once more for me to drive the final stretch. After leaving the coast the drive was unremarkable, we stopped for gas in Alabama and also drove through Mississippi on our way to Louisiana. (Finally we’re out of Florida!!!)  After hitting a massive traffic jam just outside New Orleans, we finally rocked up at the campsite at about half past 8. Registering was simple and we found our campsite and set up the tent (with the light from the headlights). The wireless internet didn’t stretch quite far enough so we spent a bit of time in the laundry room (inside, with chairs and most importantly with internet and electricity) to check emails etc. After such a long drive we were both pretty tired so an early night was in order.

 

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