We went down to the river & boarded the Natchez paddle steamer for a 7pm depart. It seems that it really is a paddle steamer, one of only two operating, the other one is in Louisville. The boat itself is 45 yrs old but the paddles are 90 yrs old having been recovered from another vessel. It was a very interesting trip, although in reality there is nothing scenic to see. The Mississippi is a working river & is industrialised either side of the town of New Orleans. The facts & figures that the guide gave were were fascinating together with more information, this time visual, about Hurricane Katrina. We saw the famous levees which do in fact go all the way up to St Louis, a mere 1200 miles.
The Natchez is quite a big boat & tonight there was a buffet meal provided in 2 sittings. I reckon that each sitting catered for about 200 people & there were plenty of folks who didn’t eat, so I suppose there must have been upwards of 500 people on board. The meal was not haute cuisine but was comparable with most golf club food that I have encountered. The whole thing was very well organised & a logistical success in limited conditions.
We wandered back to our hotel via Bourbon St again & this time I had the misfortune to spot of one of the ‘oxymorons’ that I mentioned in last night’s post. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
We are just about all packed & will be settling down soon ready for an earlier start than usual tomorrow.
I’ll round the whole thing up when we get home so keep looking for a few days.