LOCATION: Abbeville, Louisiana in SW part of state
CAMPGROUND: Palmetto Island State Park. Water and electricity at sites. Spacious, level and gravelled sites with fire ring and picnic table. Very woodsy/swampy. GREAT showers and bathroom. With senior discount, $14/night. A real deal! 5 stars out of 5
WEATHER: Overcast. Showers in evening. High 69
DISTANCE DRIVEN: 6.5 hours – see below!
Deja vu all over again! Our daughter says we get in to these pickles so that I have something interesting to write about in the blog. Not! This really did happen to us…..again…..
We left our drenched RV park near Holly Beach around 10:00, in order to avoid the predicted rain storms. The planned route was nice and easy…..a 30-minute drive to the ferry (free), followed by a scenic drive through the delta. Total time – 2.5 hours. Did that happen? Of course not!
We arrived at the ferry and got in line with other vehicles, and then waited. And waited, and waited. Finally this huge tanker sailed by, on its way to fill up with natural gas. We had waited an hour as they have to take precautions with these highly flammable ships, and had to give it plenty of time to come and then go. Finally, we could see the ferry come over to our side of the waterway. The captain started walking down the row of vehicles. We could hear him tell Rob that his vehicle could not go on the ferry. Then, he approached us, and told us the same. It is because it is a temporary loading dock (due to the hurricane), and the level is too steep to accommodate our hitch. So, we made a U-turn and tried to figure out another route.
The problem is that there are rivers, lakes, and the inland waterway to get around. The only option was to go north to the dreaded Interstate 10, then east, and then south again. Sound familiar? I-10 was its usual horrible self, full of semis, holes and bumps. There were huge bridges to cross. Did I mention who was driving???!!!
We got off in Lake Charles, LA to buy some propane. Then, tried to figure out how to get to the state park. We tried keeping in touch with the Glanvilles, but we lost cell service and gave up.
The route took us through massive oil refineries, with roads stopped one way due to construction. It could hardly have been worse.
As we drove through the countryside, we continued seeing so much devastation from Hurricane Laura. Roofs of most houses are covered in blue tarps. Many buildings have been totaled. Trash everywhere from remains of buildings. So sad! And this all happened more than 6 months ago. They must be very frustrated. We also saw lots of FEMA temporary housing units.
On a positive note, as we left Lake Charles, we ended up in a small town called Iowa (pronounced Ioway). We found an authentic Cajun restaurant with a nice big parking lot. Hallelulah! Like many Cajun restaurants, it was just for locals and not fancy at all. We ordered one of their daily “plate specials”. It was rice smothered with okra, sausage and shrimp “piquant”. The 2 sides we selected were cheesy broccoli and cornbread. All paired with a Shriner Bock. The amount of food was ridiculous, all at $10. We have arrived in Cajun country! YAY!
With full propane tanks, empty bladders, and full tummies, we continued on down the road. We passed through rice fields, that are used to grow crawfish this time of year. I think their system is ingenious…….After harvesting the annual rice crop, the farmers flood the fields and seed them with a few pregnant crawfish. The crawfish start multiplying quickly, and then the farmers harvest them in the spring. Two crops out of one field! We are in luck, as it is crawfish season.
To top off this terrible drive, the roads were some of the worst we have encountered. Patches cover patches. We also had to pass large farm machinery that take up both lanes. Did I mention who was driving?
We finally arrived at the park, around 4:30. (Original estimated arrival had been around noon.) We got set up and I dashed to the bathroom for a glorious shower. Top notch!!
DINNER: The Glanville’s turn. Irene is German and made some delicious goulash.
BOOK: “The Blackhouse” by Peter May. My Nova Scotia friends recommended this book, and it did not disappoint. A murder mystery made very interesting due to its location – on a remote island off Scotland. This is part of a series and I will try to read more. 5 stars out of 5