Our tour took place on Lake Martin, about 30 minutes from Breaux Bridge. this is a very well established company and our captain, Daniel, is a local guy who grew up about 10 minutes from the lake so he knows it well. We really enjoy a tour like this when the person giving the tour is very well informed. There wasn't a question asked that he did not know the answer to. Oh, and his accent, pretty cool too!!
Specially designed boats for the swamp....very sturdy with swivel seats too!
I think Doug looks quite pleased to be here, don't you?!
No, after trolling through the water for less than 10 minutes, we came up on our first alligator. There was quite a hush in the boat as we glided up to him, keeping a reasonable distance away. Apparently, since it has been unseasonably cold, the 'gators have been quite elusive, hiding in the mud and such. Too cold for them. But today, glorious warm weather and they were out in full force!! Even Daniel was surprised as many of them just laid there and stared at us. Often times, they slip into the water, wanting to be undisturbed, but not so today. Check this out....
...and another 'gator!!
Cypress tree estimated to be about 500 years old....
So cool how we just coasted through by the Cypress and Gum trees
with the Spanish moss just dripping off them.
It was just gorgeous out there, not even eerie like I thought it would be.
We would have loved to see the trees in colour, apparently this
happens in about mid-March.
See the osprey....
Now, see the osprey with his fish lunch???
Simply stunning scenery and alligators galore!! Daniel the guide, said he hasn't seen this many out for quite a long time. This last one was the biggest (luckily he was on Doug's side of the boat so Doug took these great shots!!) He was almost catatonic. Daniel said that never before have they laid quite that still. It was because they were cold so they were soaking up the sun.
He said that normally when the boat gets this close, they always go under....
So, all in all we counted about 13 alligators. Can you believe that? I mean, we have never even seen one, let alone 13!!! The tour lasts about 2 hours and costs $20 per person (If you have BCAA or AAA, they give each family a $2 discount). We did tip our captain a bit as he was so good.
Heading back to the landing.....
Interesting facts about 'gators as told to us by Daniel. 1) an alligator can run approximately 25-30 mph. You cannot outrun them. The only thing you can do is to try and out-manoeuver them by zigzagging along the ground. 2) a female will fight to the death to protect her eggs/babies and a female never loses (so you know what that means!) 3) they have a very good sense of smell. So as you are wandering down the levee with your little dog off-leash, chances are the 'gator has seen you and is following along, just waiting for that tasty snack of dog when he strays too close to the waters edge! 4) each inch measurement between the eyes and the nose equals 1 year of life.
Again, it was one of those times that you feel like you need a recorder to remember everything that is said. What we got from him is that they are a very proud people, these Louisianiens. They are pretty environmentally aware and are very protective of their Cypress trees, swamps and all that comes with it. It is their national heritage and way of life. We loved learning about it!!
After the tour, we headed back up to Breaux Bridge (about 15 minutes away) and went to a recommended place for a crawfish boil dinner. Hold on to your napkins folks. If you haven't ever had this, you should come down here for this purpose alone!!
First though, make sure you know which way to go
in case of an emergency!!
This was actually taken as we left so it is dark but
I wanted to show you the restaurant name.....
Pretty quirky place!!
This was a 3 lb plate and it cost $25. There is a larger order that is 5 lbs and it cost (we think) $35.Our waitress was really good and showed us how to eat them. It is traditional
to put potatoes, corn and sometimes sausage in with the crawfish when they are cooking.
Kinda ugly little things, aren't they? Also known as mudbugs!
I couldn't really look at their faces......
After we were done eating our server, Lacey, took us out back to the prep kitchen and the guys there showed us how they size the crawfish.
Our server, Lacey....
Sorting them out....live from dead ones. The live ones are used in the crawfish boil and
the dead ones are cooked and cleaned and used in the etouffee and other dishes....
Apparently, the owner, who was also eating in the restaurant had just
bought 19 bags of crawfish that evening for a cost of $3,000!!
Sorry guys - all sorted and ready to cook.....
What a day, again!! We can't even begin to tell you all how much we enjoyed seeing the swamp and the alligators today. A real wish come true for this trip, that's for sure!!
Tomorrow we are staying here at Poche's camp for the day. Catch a bike ride or two around the ponds, do some laundry and chill out. Looking forward to it!!
Thought for the Day: Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly...Robert F. Kennedy