NOLA stand for New Orleans Louisiana
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
The time had arrived to finally start the westward journey through the Florida panhandle and into Louisiana. Most of the trip through Louisiana is through "legit" swamp, meaning visor down otherwise you'll be getting your protein in an unorthodox way. Many long, low bridges make that possible and the ride is thus interesting as you cruise through miles elevated to the height of tree canopy. There is something magical about being in that arboreal level - indeed Costa Rica built it's main and vital tourism industry around the concept (read more about CR in July 2020).
Highway 90 was once again my route of choice. Nothing too spectacular to see along the way, however, I did ride through Rayne, proudly cruising on its famed (maybe) reputation of being the frog capital of the world. And besides the frogs there were plenty of other creatures along the way - snakes crossing the road as well as all other sorts of winged and swamp beast.
My stop in New Orleans was rather short unfortunately. I witnessed a wedding photo session on the famous Bourbon street where the annual Mardi Gras celebration takes place, and after exploring the French Quarter a little I decided, against the suggestions of locals I had asked for directions, to ride down to the 9th ward, the impoverished neighborhoods that suffered the most damage when the levies broke during hurricane Katrina.
The 9th ward, (a terrible name for a neighborhood in my opinion reminding of some psychiatric hospital or max security prison) is an impoverished, mostly black neighborhood that now looks as if a war has passed through and destroyed everything. Houses are either not on their lots, or were badly damaged by obvious signs of flooding and fire after the devastating hurricane Katrina. Utter destruction down each and every block, and nothing but silence, a stark contrast from the bustling streets of the French quarter a few minutes to the north.
I spent that night under the stars in a small park in Lafayette where in the morning as I was cleaning my tent I met a lovely couple, Kurt and Marta, also avid motorcycle travelers and nature lovers. We enjoyed a conversation as the sun continued to rise signaling another beautiful day. Thank you both for your contribution to The Pegasus Project. I would highly suggest any visitor invests 2 or 3 days in the iconic city of New Orleans.