Sunday, April 12, 2015

Full Immersion Cajun Experience

The much anticipated arrival of Tim and Diane came and we immediately began the full immersion Cajun experience when we stopped on the way back to Betty's to buy some boudin for them to try. They got right into the happy hour mode sharing stories with all the other RVers.  That first evening was very laid back as we had planned a whole day of Cajun adventures starting early the next morning. 
We welcomed Tim and Di with the traditional Louisiana lei of Mardi Gras beads. 
We were joined by several others from Betty's for Champagne's Cajun Swamp Tour.  Here Danielle, Di, Nanc, Austin, Dave, Renita, Mark, Mary, Cheryl, Tim and Louise are all smiles waiting to head out into the swamp.
Tim, Di, Jim and Nanc at Brian Champagne's tour site.  We have been on the tour before and he has come a long way from the first time, when he met us at the boat launch with a single boat.  He now has a store and office and offers not only guided tours, but also rents kayaks and canoes.  This is a great tour in a nice flat bottomed crawfish boat that can get into real shallow areas very quietly.  We saw many different birds and a lot of gators.
Almost immediately we saw this Great Blue Heron, Nanc's favorite, with this catfish.
We all got several pictures before we got too close and the bird took flight.
Next, we got a great look at this owl high up in an old cypress or should I say he got a good look at us.
There were many night herons in the trees and walking on the swamp grass.
Here is a baby blue heron stacking some prey.
We saw many alligators and the pictures do not give you any idea of how big they are.  No one would volunteer to stand by one for prospective.  It is the mating season and the big males were all about showing off their size.
This is a young one hiding from the big males who would very much like to have them for lunch.  The females will protect them for nine to twelve months before they are on their own.
This young one sunning itself on a log was about three feet long.  Even at that size I would not want to mess with one.
This much bigger one was showing off his size while enjoying the warm Louisiana weather.  This is the third time we have been on Champagne's Cajun Swamp Tour and highly recommend it if you are in the area.  
Next stop was the Bon Creole Lunch Counter in New Iberia for a real Cajun food experience of gumbo and a big variety of po-boys.  Everyone was happy even though you can only see half of Tim's big smile.  If you are near New Iberia don't be put off by the way Bon Creole looks from the outside, inside it is one of the best.
Next was Avery Island to tour the Tabasco Pepper Sauce plant.  This is another great local stop that is not to be missed.  If you use Tabasco it came from this little plant.  They ship their products to over 150 nations
We made another stop to see more birds at a rookery near Delcambre.  We have been here before but were able to get much closer this time than in the past.  There where many roseate spoonbills and several white heron.
I count over a dozen spoonbills in this one shot.  Like flamingos, they get their beautiful pink color from the iodine in the shrimp they eat. 
Here is a pair of mating white herons and several other birds.  This is another great not to be missed local stop. 
And the day was not yet over.  After happy hour (and a couple naps) we headed to Magdalen Square in Abbeville for a wonderful evening of Cajun and Swamp Pop music by the Pine Leaf Boys.  It was the perfect ending to a great day and we all slept very well, so we were ready for more Cajun adventures.

1 comment:

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Great images and great immersion!