Yesterday I was lucky enough to go on a boat tour around Honey Island swamp, a short drive from New Orleans.
The tour was fantastic, and we were able to catch sight of a couple of juvenile alligators (it’s the wrong time if year for alligators to be out and about), snakes, herons and some wild boars who must’ve eaten their weight in marshmallows throughout the day – it’s not just us that do it, ladies!
If you ever get a chance to do such a tour, I’d highly recommend it.
As well as the wildlife, it was interesting to see first hand the impact of Hurricane Katrina, and more recently Isaac, on the landscape. Floods have washed plenty of things out into the marshes and swamplands that don’t belong there. Tyres, refrigerators, and – in some cases – houseboats. And no matter how hard people work to clear it up, the next flood will just ring it all back.
The drive out of the city was also an eye-opener. I’d heard stories about what to expect to see. I watched the news reports during, and after, Katrina. But there’s nothing like driving past a hospital, abandoned for the 7-8 years, with a ‘for sale’ sign out the front to bring it home.
Without getting all political on it, I just want to say how sad it was to see certain areas basically ignored. People are still living in damaged houses, surrounded by abandoned properties, and without access to local services such as medical centres, which were shut down years ago and never reinstated.
Not political at all.