Liz was up shortly before me and just after my 8.30am alarm went off, she appeared at the door of the tent to tell me that we had forgotten about daylight savings and that it was in fact 25 to 10… oops. Once we were awake and showered we followed the somewhat interesting directions to the Algiers Ferry, where we paid $10 to park for the day and then caught the free ferry across to the French Quarter. Arriving at the ferry terminal we first headed into the Riverwalk shopping mall in search of a tourist information centre where we could get a map of New Orleans, the campsite had given us one, but it was so badly photocopied that you could just about make out the grid of streets, but not their names… helpful! Map in hand, we headed towards Decatur Street, in search of Coop’s, a restaurant recommended in our 99 Best Trips book. Coop’s was interesting, dingy inside, but I sampled some local cuisine, Red beans and rice with Cajun fried chicken. Now, Liz and I had both assumed from the name that Red beans and rice was vegetarian, however it definitely had meat in it. I think it might have been rabbit… Whatever it was, and I prefer not to speculate, it was very nice. After lunch we wandered some more, this time through the French Market.

Tennessee Williams' favourite bar

Being a Sunday it was very busy and for some reason there were cheerleaders everywhere (ranging in size from very young to high school age). The market was good although much of what was on offer was overpriced. Finishing in the market, the next item on our agenda was a drink at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, Tennessee Williams’ favourite drinking establishment. Wandering through the streets of the French Quarter we took lots of pictures, although the sun was all wrong and they are pretty rubbish, on the way there. The drinks prices told us that it was geared to tourists, but we had to have one drink there. It was not exactly as expected, dark and dingy inside with mismatched and torn chairs and an uneven floor, it certainly looked as though it had been there a while. Leaving, we wandered along Bourbon Street, past all the bars and then headed back towards Jackson Square where we visited the Mardi Gras displays in the Louisiana State Museum. We were a little annoyed that we had been sold a $6 ticket only 50 minutes before the museum closed. The museum was good though and after perusing the various Mardi Gras exhibits, had a brief look at the Hurricane Katrina exhibition before we were kicked out at 4.30pm when the museum closed. Wandering back towards the Mississippi we joined the huge queue to sample the Café au Lait and Beignets (square doughnuts) at the famous Café du Monde coffee stand. Eventually we got a table and waited for our order to be taken. Although it was a pretty long wait it was definitely worth it for the hot doughnuts piled with powdered sugar and delicious hot chocolate (Liz tells me that the coffee was good too). Since it was pretty late in the afternoon at this point, we headed back to catch the ferry and after picking up the car headed to Walmart for supplies. As so often happens, we emerged from Walmart surprised at how dark it was (we have a tendency to go in just before sunset) and headed back to the campsite. Still full from lunch and doughnuts, neither of us wanted supper, so I decided to take advantage of the free laundry facilities while Liz stayed at the campsite to watch some TV on the laptop. Although the laundry was free, it took HOURS, and I don’t think my clothes are particularly clean either. About 3 hours after leaving I returned to the tent to go to bed.

 

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