Since we had planned a busy schedule for today to pack in everything that we had not managed to do yet we were up quite early. After emails and showers we were on the ferry to the French Quarter by half past 10. Although we had planned to go for the afternoon cruise, we decided to take the earlier steamboat tour up the Mississippi since the weather was so nice and we knew that we would kick ourselves if it clouded over later. After a speedy walk over, we bought our tickets and boarded the steamboat “Natchez”.

The Natchez Steamboat

We managed to get great seats in the sun on the top deck (although this was to be our downfall later, were either of us wearing suncream? Of course not!) and sat enjoying the sunshine and light breeze as we waited for the boat to leave. The narration as we sailed up the river was very interesting and the cruise was much more enjoyable for knowing what we were looking at. We were a little disappointed that although it was billed as a “Jazz Cruise”, jazz was only played for a short while in the middle and you could only hear it from inside the second floor cabin, which meant missing the sights going by outside. We did pop in briefly, but then continued our explorations to find the engine room and take pictures of the paddle wheel at the back of the boat. We were both able to get some great photos from the boat, both of New Orleans itself and of the surrounding area. The two hour cruise was over all too fast and after disembarking we headed towards the voodoo museum. Our directions this time were much better, and we managed to find it easily. It was a little expensive for what it was, two tiny rooms and a narrow corridor, but it was packed with stuff and really interesting. Our next stop was the Cathedral in Jackson Square, where Liz stayed out in the sun while I went in to have a brief look around. It was pretty impressive inside, but I was annoyed at a group of teenagers messing around inside. After leaving the Cathedral we decided to head back to the campsite for the rest of the afternoon, to have an early dinner before heading back in for jazz at the Preservation Hall later on. After a brief stop at Walmart for Ben & Jerry’s and firelighters (there were none, but we got lighter fluid instead) we arrived back in the campsite. Lighting the grill was a bit of a debacle, we only had a small book of cardboard matches, which bent whenever we tried to light them. I ended up with a burnt finger, (luckily our friendly neighbours gave me some ice) before Liz managed to get it lit. Our roasted vegetables and baked potatoes with sour cream were delicious, and well worth the wrestling match with the grill and the burnt finger. After dinner we headed back to catch the ferry, and although we arrived in plenty of time, discovered that the ferry runs less frequently in the evening, so arrived at Preservation Hall at about the same time as we had done the night before. The queue was even longer than the previous evening and amusingly enough we were next to the same family as we had been the night before. We chatted with them which made the time go faster and we eventually got in for the last set. The jazz was great, and although slightly marred by a rude family with tired, bored and rude children next to us we still had a great time. The band were great, although one of them looked like he was about to keel over and die at any moment since playing the trombone was such hard work, he also had to adjust his teeth several times. After the jazz we hurried back to the ferry, just missed one, then had to wait ages for the next one. Eventually we got back to the campsite and fell exhausted into our sleeping bags.

 

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