Day 65 - Hot Stuff in SwamplandJune 25, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C
Woke up inexplicably early yet again, then went to breakfast at the unearthly hour of 8.30am.
We got ourselves ready at a leisurely pace, then headed to the local Laundromat to do some much needed laundry. We were both down to our last pair of clean pants!
Things didn’t bode too well, when the 1st person we encountered was the local village idiot, who was shoving quarters into a penny shove machine with all the concentration he could muster.
Jackie put on dual loads of washing, whilst I listened to the cricket on the radio on my phone, well until Stokes was bowled out. We were receiving a lot of furtive glances, but I don’t think they get too many cricket listening Brits visiting their Laundromat in Sulpher, particularly in a bright red convertible Beetle!
A lovely little old lady who worked at the Laundromat, helped with our change & was keen to know all about our travels. She warned us to be careful in New Orleans, because last time she was there she was attacked by a woman with a piñata!
After our clothes had been tumble dried we re-packed our rucksacks & hit the road in the pouring rain. We drove east to Lake Charles, then headed south on LA27 towards Creole. We had now entered Swampland & we were driving with the top down on a single carriageway road flanked on either side by swamps and/or high reeds.
We passed through Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, where the reeds were teeming with birds. The roadkill was not the norm, we saw a dead otter, half a dozen small alligators, one large alligator & a few other unidentified hunks of furry rotting meat.
At Creole we turned east on the LA82, passing through Grand Chenier & Abbeville, before arriving a couple of hours later at Avery Island, the home of Tabasco. Avery Island is the only place on Earth where Tabasco Peppers are grown & made in to Tabasco sauce, bottled & distributed worldwide.
We paid our $5.50 admission fee for which we received a self guide tour map & three souvenir mini bottles each of Tabasco of varying temperatures & flavours.
We started at the Museum, which provided a potted history of the company which was set up by Edmund McIlhenny in 1868 & is still owned by the McIlhenny family. We then went into the shop, which had all the usual gifts for sale, but most importantly they had a little tub of each of their products to sample by dipping in pretzels.
We made the most of the free tasters & both sampled (a couple of times) the Scorpion Tabasco Sauce, which is their hottest product. To cool down our tongues, we also sampled Tabasco ice-cream & Tabasco soda.
Eventually we dragged ourselves away from the freebies & continued with the tour. We went to the Greenhouse growing a sample of their peppers, then the Barrel Warehouse where all the barrels are made & stored, full of Tabasco Pepper paste for up to 3 years.
Next we went the factory where the Tabasco was blended & bottled. A digital counter informed us that 367,680 bottles had been produced so far that day. It was certainly an interesting tour, but we wouldn’t want to work there because there is quite a strong pungent odour in the air.
It was now gone 4.00pm, so we headed north passing through the towns of New Iberia & Saint Martinville, before arriving in Lafayette, ‘The Happiest City In America’. After a bit of to-ing & fro-ing & buying some very cheap booze, we settled on another decent looking Baymont Inn for just over $50 including breakfast.
At check-in, I enquired about decent Cajon & Creole restaurants she could recommend & the receptionist kindly provided us with the name of one just a couple of miles up the road & with a voucher for a free Gumbo.
Soon after we arrived at Prejean’s ‘Southern Cuisine Dome Right’. The free Chicken & Sausage Gumbo was only free if ordering a main meal, but we only wanted starters, so I paid extra for their ‘Tree-Time World Champion’ Gumbo. When in Rome..........
The Gumbo was nice but not really my thing, it was a bowl of dark brown bisque with bits of chicken & sausage, with a side plate of rice & a bread roll. It was a meal in itself!
After, our starters arrived, Jackie had Firecracker Shrimps & I had a skillet of Brussel Sprouts, with bacon, onions, garlic etc etc. All washed down with a (two for one) pint of cloudy Tin Roof Voodoo beer. Lovely.
Song of the Day - Hot Stuff by Donna Summer.Read more