Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Barataria Preserve and New Orleans

Woke up, ate breakfast and headed down to the Barataria Preserve, a unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. We were excited to see some of the bayou plants and animals,

dark anole

especially the possibility of seeing an alligator. We started at the visitor center where we grabbed a hiking map and stamped our passport books. We than hit the trail, or in this case, boardwalk.

Boardwalk Trail

There were a lot of interesting things to see right away. We checked out a cypress swamp, some dwarf palmettos,

Noelle and palmettos

spanish moss and even saw a few animals, including lots of bright green tree frogs

Sunning Tree Frog

and anoles.


Eventually we made our way to a paved trail and saw some more tree frogs

tree frog

and eventually some alligators!


We also saw a few birds that we were able to identify including a white ibis. We heard lots of other birds which we never saw and couldn't identify.

Eric crosses bayou

We crossed a canal on a footbridge and stopped to eat a snack at the end of the trail before retracing our steps. It was a great hike and we both agreed that we would love to return to explore by kayak or canoe.

From Barataria, we headed into New Orleans. I forgot to get the directions to the Algiers Ferry until we had already passed the exit and so we had to park in town which was expensive. We walked around the French Quarter quite a bit. The residential areas were relatively quiet and interesting, but neither of us particularly cared for Bourbon Street. It was dirty, loud, and expensive. We stopped in one bar to get a beer and it cost $10.50 for a pint of domestic beer in a plastic cup.

Eric and 10 dollar beer

What a rip off!

Jackson Square

The highlight of the French Quarter was the beautiful Jackson Square. We also enjoyed the Jean Lafitte Visitor Center. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, however, did not offer much. It seems it's current location is only temporary though, until it moves into a new visitor center in Louis Armstrong Park. We had planned on going into the St. Louis Cemetery #1, where the burials are above ground due to the low elevation of New Orleans, but it closed at 2 pm, about an hour and a half before we arrived.

No comments: