A Travellerspoint blog

Going home

.... home again

View Canada/US 2016 on MissWalker's travel map.

30 October 2016 - 1 November 2016

I was picked up from the hotel at 7.00am on Sunday and five flights and 40 hours later I arrived home at 3.00pm on Tuesday. I flew from New Orleans to Houston, to Los Angeles, to Auckland, to Sydney and home to Canberra. The premium economy flights with Air New Zealand were very comfortable and definitely worth the extra money.

My time in the Canadian Rockies was certainly the highlight of the trip. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery , which seemed to get better each day. Feeling unwell for the last week of the trip was the low point and I just wanted to go home - I've never been so sick while travelling before and it was a challenge to keep going every day.

I already have next year's travels planned but I will need some time to fully recover from this trip before committing to another long journey ... I'm sure it won't take long!

Posted by MissWalker 19:47 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

New Orleans: Day Four

Just one more day

sunny 27 °C
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29 October 2016

This is the last day of my holiday. The last part of this trip has been really hard on my health and I'm definitely ready to go home.

In the morning I walked to the French Markets. The markets were just like markets anywhere else, with tourist t shirts and jewellery. One difference was the food: alligator, cajun spices and beignets (deep fried dough covered in icing sugar).


The police were out in force. There's a lot going on: Voodoo Festival, NFL and NBA games and the lead up to Halloween on Monday. There was even an armoured police vehicle parked on a street corner. But I have to include the following photo because it's the cutest police car I've ever seen.


I ventured out into the heat one more time, to the nearby butterfly house. I love butterflies! The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium had a very scary tarantula and some baby alligators. I enjoyed watching the butterflies flit around - they were very active so I gave up trying to take photos. A couple of butterflies landed on me. One sat on my shoulder and stayed there while I walked around.


I didn't have the opportunity to properly explore New Orleans. There was a lot more I wanted to see but I didn't have the time or energy. The French Quarter, where I stayed, is party central. While it was interesting to see the weird and wonderful people in costumes, this is definitely not my kind of city.

Posted by MissWalker 17:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

New Orleans: Day Three

Plantations tour

sunny 28 °C
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I forgot to do a wrap of the tour so here it is. The tour was called Dixieland and Rhythms and was another Cosmos tour. There were a few highlights for me, especially Graceland and the recording studio tours, but overall this tour wasn't great. It didn't flow and we seemed to spend a lot of time just filling in time, waiting to get into hotel rooms. The scenery along the way was really, really boring. Having a full bus of 51 passengers was terrible, when the virus started to spread there was no no escaping it - a lot of people ended up very sick, including the Tour Director and driver. I've done a lot of coach tours and always enjoyed them but this one definitely goes to the bottom of the favourites list. Of course my opinion of the tour hasn't been helped by how wretchedly ill I've been for the last week.

28 October 2016

I still wasn't feeling anywhere near 100% but I was determined to go on the tour to Oak Alley and Laura Plantations. I was ready for pick up at 8.20am, we made one more pick up and drove for about an hour to Oak Alley. This was a sugar plantation that used slave labour. We had a guided tour of the house that lasted about an hour - the guide was dressed in a military uniform. I found the guide a bit difficult to understand. The highlight of the property is the rows of beautiful old oak trees.


Next we drove down the road to Laura Plantation, another sugar plantation that was run by slave labour. I really enjoyed this tour: the guide was very good and she covered the history of the property and the complex relationships of the people involved. We also walked through the gardens to the original slave huts.


I did this small group tour with Tours by Isabelle. We had eleven people plus our driver Billy, who immediately started calling me Miss Jennifer. I was dropped off around 3.00pm, tired and a bit sunburnt.

I had an hour's rest before walking along Bourbon St and down to Jackson Square. The music was pumping out along Bourbon St, you don't need to go inside to listen to the music (or see the male strippers). It's pretty sad to see so many drunk people before it's even dark, and even sadder to see young drunk people passed out on the street.


I hadn't had a chance to try out any New Orleans culinary delights, so decided to try a roast beef po'boy for dinner. I couldn't believe how big it was or much much meat was on the roll - and this was a starter, not a main meal! I couldn't even eat half of it.


Posted by MissWalker 20:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

New Orleans: Days One & Two

Not sightseeing in New Orleans

sunny 27 °C
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26 October 2016

Today all I saw of New Orleans was the inside of my hotel room.

It was the last day of the tour and I was too sick to go on the city tour. I also missed a plantation and swamp tour that I had paid for. I needed rest more than anything else.

A day when I didn't take any photos: that's a terrible day!

27 October 2016

I ate a light breakfast, my first food for days. But I was still feeling unwell. I went for a short walk along Bourbon St, which is just one block from the hotel. Bourbon St looks really seedy and run down. I'm sure it looks different at night with the lights and crowds of people. The streets had been hosed down. All nice and clean to start another day and night of drinking.


The tour director told me about an urgent care medical centre a couple of blocks away. I went there in the afternoon. The consultation took a couple of hours and it cost me heaps of money. I now have some medication and should start to recover.

Even in the afternoon there were quite a few people walking around with large containers of some cocktail concoction.

I can't waste another day, so tomorrow I'm going exploring.

Posted by MissWalker 18:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Lafayette to New Orleans

sunny 26 °C
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25 October 2016

If I could have stayed in bed I would have. Instead I was up at 6.00am, ready for bag collection at 7.00am and on the bus at 8.00am, but I felt terrible and just wanted to curl up and sleep.

The first stop was at St Martin to see an oak tree from a Longfellow poem.


Around 10.00am we arrived at the Atchafalaya Basin for a boat ride on the swamp. The really old guy who took us in the boat had been living in the swamp too long: he had his own language and I couldn't understand a word he said. We saw a few alligators - they aren't easy to see because they blend in with their surroundings.


We had our lunch break at an outlet mall. A long lunch break of over two hours. I wasn't interested in eating or shopping so this was a miserable time for me. It was a hot day and I found a seat in the shade and rested until it was time to go. We were only filling in time before we could check in to the hotel in New Orleans - there seems to be a lot of just filling in time on this tour.

We checked in to the hotel around 4.00pm and I lay down for a rest. At 5.45pm we were back on the bus for the dinner on the steamboat Natchez. I had been looking forward to this dinner cruise but I was feeling wretched and I'd been unable to eat all day.The music was too loud and I escaped outside so I wouldn't have to watch everyone eat. It was cold outside but very pleasant watching the lights of New Orleans. I was feeling very sleepy by the time we docked at 9.00pm.


Posted by MissWalker 09:42 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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