In late January, earlier this year, I arrived in Louisiana. Of course, I had plans to visit new Orleans, but first I was stopping off in the much smaller city of Lafayette. I’d decided a few weeks prior to leaving Australia that I wanted to check out the swamps of Louisiana. Wherever I travel, I like to see the natural world as well as getting a feel for the local culture, and in the ‘heart of Cajun country’ I had the opportunity to do a little of both.
My guide for this tour – whom I stumbled on by chance online – was Marcus de la Houssaye, of de la Houssaye’s Swamp Tours. Of all the Cajun characters I met whilst in Louisiana, Marcus was really the ‘classic’. I’d called him up a few weeks before I left for the US, and explained I wasn’t really interested in the typical tourist approach to visiting the swamps. “Sure thing”, he said, “we can work something out”. We agreed that I would simply rock up on a given date, and we would figure it out from there. “You won’t be disappointed”, he told me. Of course, I had no idea what was going on, but I don’t mind that so much when I travel.