Monday, November 07, 2016

Cajun Riviera!

We left the camp near Amite, Louisiana, in the morning and planned a stop at a rest area along I-10, but it was gone. So many rest areas have been taken out and GPS's and maps don't have the information yet. So we continued on.

We had a couple spots to stop for the night near Lake Charles, but first we had to cross that high bridge at Lake Charles! The first camp was a motel/RV park which gets really good reviews and we did go by it. It looked like a very nice park and we thought if the other spot didn't pan out, we would come back to that one. We got on down near Sulpur, Louisiana, and crossed over the lift bridge that spans camp the Intracoastal Waterway. We could see the camp on the far side of the canal, but we had to drive on around the curve to come back into it. It is a very nice county park with water and 50A electric for $12 a night. Whoo hoo! Terry's kind of park. There is a bathhouse, but it's not as nice as ours! We are parked right on the canal with steps that lead down to the water.

We can see all kinds of barges, boats, yachts, fishing boats, etc., going under the bridge. It only has to lift the deck when something extra high goes through, so most of the time, it stays down. It's pretty cool.

Yesterday afternoon Terry wanted to go down to Cameron, Louisiana, because he read really good reviews about a restaurant there. I looked up the venue and found it was basically a burger joint and all the fish/seafood was fried, which I don't care for. But we decided to go have a look. What a ride!

It was a bit reminiscent of the drive down to Cousin Gary's place at Leeville, except it was even more desolate and less populated. Water on both sides and marshy grasses. Most of the way was a nice two-lane highway with pull offs and parking areas for you to fish the bayous and canals. And there were a lot of people fishing. There were warning signs for alligators. . . no thank you! We passed through Hackberry, which was the last "town" we really saw that had a grocery/post office, before we got to Cameron.

We first came to Holly Beach, which is known as "The Cajun Riviera." We have heard of this before and were always curious about it. It is one fine beach. You can drive and camp on the beach. There are no high rises, but there are houses on stilts and lots of RV's. One person had rentals at one time and they got blown away by one hurricane, then another finished them off. So now he has some FEMA trailers in there and rents them out to tourists. He said he can't get insurance on any structures there anymore, so he went cheaper. All the roads are still there from before the hurricanes. From my research, the first hurricane to hit the populated beach was Hurricane Audrey in 1957. Next was Hurricane Rita in 2005, and then Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. Still there are about 300 people who live on this stretch of the Cajun Riviera. It really is an unspoiled bit of paradise where one could sit on the beach enjoying the sand and the winds off the Gulf. There appear to be many RV's on lots, some are rentals, but some may be owner occupied.

We decided to continue on to Cameron, even though we discovered we had to cross over an inlet by ferry! We couldn't remember the last time we were on a ferry! Perhaps the Yukon Territory? But we made it across, watching the dolphins play in the water. One was pushing straight up in the water, then he eventually made two leaps/flips completely out of the water! How cool. He was too quick for me to get pictures, but it was a thrill. We continued on to Cameron and found the "restaurant" Terry had wanted to eat at. We passed. . . I didn't want fried food and there were more restaurants on our GPS. . . . Yeah, we fell for that one. We continued the "14" miles which turned more into 35. The Harborside Seafood Restaurant was supposed to be in a small community on "Big Lake" but when we got there, we found only houses and no restaur
ant. Bummer. We were really hungry by now. We had decided to drive on up the east side of Calcasieu Lake (we are camped on the west side). . . how far could that be? Plenty far we found out. It was a LOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG drive and it got dark on us. It was even more desolate than the east side, but we still enjoyed the adventure. Once we got into civilization, we found a Taco Bell and ate a couple tacos before gassing up and making our way back to our camp. It was a FOUR HOUR ADVENTURE, kind of like what the "Minnow" took that fateful day. Ours had a much better ending, and Duchess was waiting on her supper when we got back. She opted to eat first, then go out. . . LOL.

Today we have our window shades pulled back so we can see the activity heading under the bridge. It's raining, as it did for the entire night, but it is supposed to stop later this morning, so it should be an enjoyable day. May head up to a casino later.

Till next time. . .


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