14degrees off the beaten track
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January 28th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (LOUISIANA)

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Today’s distance / ???????: 58 miles / 93km
Average speed / ????: 8.1mph / 13km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 7h 10m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 2091mi (plus 266mi) / 3365km (plus 430km)
Ascent / ??: n/a
Descent / ??: n/a
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N30.38.30.1, W092.25.07.5

Wow. Sooooo tired. I really did feel like I was wearing my legs down to stumps today (as Rob from www.chinawheelie.com suggested might happen).

Melville ferry, Melville, Louisiana, USA

I was woken by the ferry at the ungodly hour of 5am this morning. It was still well and truely dark, and jolly cold. Ice on the inside and outside of my tent. For some reason, the cold feels different here than in, say, Turkey. This time last year, I was holed up in an internet cafe due to icy snow. I prefer that to whatever is going on with the cold here in Louisiana. Brrrr.

Chilly morning at the Melville ferry, Louisiana, USA

The day didn’t improve much, with rough roads and sore legs. I am now on the Adventure Cycle Association route again. I abandoned the route in Alabama due to too much traffic. So at least I didn’t have to think about the route. Just turn left or right where the map tells me to.

Misty morning near Melville, Louisiana, USA

Just in case you were thinking about it, no, you can’t ride your horse through Pamletto, Louisiana. No. Naughty. You just can’t. Jamie from Slidell (who has moved to Florida), if you’re reading this, keep that in mind. No riding your horse through Palmetto.

No horses in Palmetto, Louisiana, USA

All the pain and suffering of today was forgotten however when I got to Mamou. This rather unassuming town of not quite 3,000 people is the Cajun capital of the USA. They have a Mardi Gras festival that attracts tens of thousands of people, even from overseas.

I asked directions to the local campground at the local Piggly Wiggly grocery store, and a guy that talked kind of funny gave me directions to the only motel in town. He thought that perhaps they would allow people to camp there.

I went to the ‘campground’, and found a seedy looking place complete with a slightly out of it looking woman sifting through the rubbish dumpster. US$15 a night for a campsite, was the going rate. I decided I would be better off sleeping under a tree in the nearby woods.

I went into town to buy some food, and was advised by a local to ask at Saint Anne’s church if I could camp in their back yard. Great idea, I thought, and a few minutes later was sitting at the church office desk working on the website, with a spot to camp all sorted out. Thanks to Father Bob for being so helpful!

Not long after however, the guy who talked kind of funny came wandering into the church. The guy from the Piggly Wiggly’s. Mat was his name, and he had come to find me to offer to stay at his place for the night. His dad, he explained, was cooking up a big pot of stewed duck, and I was welcome to stay. Say no more, I said, and off we went to his place.

Arriving at Mat’s place, it was apparent that this ‘talking kind of funny’ is just the way people talk around here. His dad Todd, mum Susan, brother Chris, and sister Olivia. They all talk different from the southern drawl that I have become accustomed to here in the south. It is an almost melodic, clipped accent that is easy on the ears. It really sets the area apart from the rest of Louisiana.

And the food. Mmmmmm. The food.

Stewed mallard duck and dove Cajun style in Mamou, Louisiana, USA Stewed dove Cajun style in Mamou, Louisiana, USA

Todd knows what he’s doing when it comes to Cajun cooking. He nursed that pot of duck and dove for more than an hour. Adding water when it needed it, adding spices…a Cajun delight. The duck and dove were shot by the guys of the family themselves, Todd apologising as he pulled out a bit of lead shot as he served up a bit of duck breast for me.

It was a great finish to a not-so-great day of skating.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (4)

Comment by Jamie — February 2, 2008 @ 2:13 pm | post a comment

Well thanks for that advice Rob,I'll keep that in mind. Riding my horse through Palmetto was my absolute dream, thanks for smashing it!! lol just kidding silly. :D but I am happy to hear I cross your mind, and your travels are progressing, although not as fast as you would like. You'll be on my mind darling, good luck. Keep us posted! :D

Comment by Mike C — February 2, 2008 @ 9:07 pm | post a comment


I've been following your journey closely from the beginning and have recently figured out that typing the names of the places into google earth is a great way to track your progress. I recommend it! Bro, you must really cruise on that skateboard!

God bless,

Mike C

Comment by Li-Anh & Lily — February 3, 2008 @ 6:20 am | post a comment

Oh my – boudin, duck & dove – I told you the food would be awesome! I'm happy to hear that Mamou is still the pleasant little Cajun town I remember. Nice to find that your Louisiana trip thus far has been enjoyable with food and friendship. Yes, I agree, hope you get to do some cruising on the roads soon. Have you encountered flights of geese and ducks around those rice fields? Take care – loving reading about your travels. Li-Anh & Lily

Comment by chris ardoin — July 3, 2009 @ 7:17 am | post a comment

my dad can cook he really wants to be a chef

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