A tornado watch had meant that my stay with Juanita & Chris in Pecan Island was extended to two nights, but Juanita made sure I would get to New Orleans for Christmas. Even though she had left the house at 1:30 am and not got back until around 1 pm for a ride to Houston to pick up a couple of stranded previous guests, she had no problem driving me to my next host in Norco. Juanita is a simply amazing person.
In Norco, I stayed with Judith and her room-mate Ellis. She’s from Alabama and so I could learn lots about the south including that Mobile is apparently the home of Mardi Gras and not New Orleans. Who knew! He is from Florida and talking to him gave me plenty to think about as far as sailing in the Caribbean goes. That’s one of the possible ways I’m thinking of using to get to go to some of the countries down there as flying between the islands would bankrupt me pretty quickly!
Leaving Norco, I only had about 25 miles to go until I got to Darryl’s place. There were a couple of options, but I decided to take the main road rather than following the Mississippi as it wiggled it’s way to New Orleans. There was a decent shoulder, but the smell was pretty bad from all the refineries. I saw a rather rare sight of a person parked in the shoulder and so I stopped to make sure they were OK. I found Joe trying to re-attach the bumper to his car so gave him a hand.. or at least tried to. I wasn’t really sure how to do it so my main job was to shine my torch so he could see what he was doing. I’ve had so many people stop to help me when I’ve been on the side of the road and it felt good to return some of the kindness that I’ve received on the trip to him and his mum.
The rest of the ride into town was a bit less enjoyable when the shoulder vanished, but it wasn’t too long a ride and soon I found myself in NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana, one of the names locals use). Darryl, my host, was about to go to work so he took me to the pizza shop he helps run and we spoke for a while while eating pizza. He mentioned he had two more guests staying with him, one from Bulgaria and one from Germany so we contacted them and worked out where we could meet up. Darryl had to work that night so me, Diana and Martina hung out wandering round New Orleans and then met up with some other couchsurfers they had met during their time in NOLA. It was a really enjoyable way to spend Christmas Eve and while it still only felt a little festive, it was definitely good to be spending it with others.
Talking with Juanita
Summary of the two days recorded when I got to New Orleans