The reason for the stopover in Lafayette was to attend their annual International Festival. The Festival included music from Africa, the USA and other places set on around 6 stages spread around downtown. Again, the downtown area was closed to vehicular traffic and you were able to drink anywhere in the vicinity. Every pub in town also had their own acts outside of the official festival performances.
Although it was a really fun night, I got to thinking about how something like this might work in a NZ city. Overall I decided that there were likely to be a minority of bogan losers that would try to spoil it, and others that would have to much to drink and start picking fights etc. Police presence would be everywhere to control the drunken crowds. In Lafayette, although there were a lot of people that were drinking, the atmosphere was much different. It was non-threatening and fun.
For some reason, photos at the International Festival were somewhat blurry.
AIRBOAT SWAMP TOUR
The day after the International Festival, I headed on to New Orleans to meet up with Brad and Jess who were flying in from Houston. On the way, I stopped off and went on a swamp tour to the Southwest of New Orleans. The airboat felt a lot like riding in a jetboat, in that it could do spins and operate sideways - but with one important difference - that it could go over solid surfaces (albeit slowly). The process seemed to involve gunning the 550 hp chev engine to get on top of whatever surface existed, then gunning it again to get down the other side.
Overall the wind and speed of the airboat was a nice break from the stuffiness of the car (even with air conditioning). On the tour we saw a few alligators, various birds and other swamp critters.
Before heading on this road trip I thought that the Texas accent was somewhat weird - with the slow drawl that they are famous for. However, after going through Louisiana and Mississippi, these accents are far stranger - especially Louisiana with Cajun / Creole influences from its French past.