Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gators in the Bayou

"You're going to see more alligators today than you've ever seen in your entire life," our guide said as he slowed the air boat and turned into a magical world under a canopy of Spanish Moss.  We were in the swamps of Louisiana.  And true to his word, there were alligators to the right, alligators to the left, alligators sunning on logs and the "payroll alligators" swimming towards us in the hope of getting a tasty marshmallow.

Our guide had lived here all his life and raised gators himself on his own land.  He was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining.  I felt comfortable and secure even though I was in territory so foreign that even the colorful dragon flies seemed surreal.  I confess I tuned him out a bit as I took in my surroundings.   I did not expect such beauty.
Because we rented a car at the New Orleans airport for the first couple of days, we drove over to Airboat Adventures in Lafitte, to catch this tour.  It took us only 30 minutes to get here from the French Quarter.  They do provide shuttle service, however, if you don't have a car.

  There are many airboat tours available, but this is a good one.  It was recommended by our hotel's concierge.  Be sure to take layers of clothing, especially if you take the morning tour.  The boats go FAST so it's very breezy.  The tour takes about two hours and you have the opportunity to hold a baby alligator and get a close-up look at the anatomy of these fascinating creatures.  It's great fun and a highlight of our week-long stay in New Orleans.

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