“Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.” – Olin Miller
Good ol’ Oli spoke the truth and it’s a good thing I’m not trying to make a living out of my blogs. But Louisiana is the exception where they’re making a living with the gators. If you’re in the neighborhood of Lafayette, check out Cajun Country where you can find a ton of swamp tours and you might even find yourself wrestling some gators!
We found a tour about 15 minutes off the highway with a staff that was intermixed with twangy and Cajun locals, French heritage, and a swampy lifestyle. The tour was approximately 2 hours long. I always had this image from watching the movie, the Labyrinth, that swamps had a certain foul stench to them and weren’t very pretty. This tour proved my bog-engraved mind wrong! It was beautiful and not a polluted smell in the air.
We hopped into a 12-man motorboat and perused the swamp. Our tour guide seemed as Cajun swamp as they come using the letter “d” to replace all of his “t’s”. He showed us the way of his people and the history of that swamp. There was a houseboat anchored in a shaded area which was open to anyone who wanted to use it and duck cubbies were first come first serve so most hunters try to get there at 3am to claim their spot.
We pulled up extremely close to the first gator we saw and our tour guide cautiously stood at the front of the boat with a paddle. In his words, “Jus’ da make sure da female don’ ged in da boat.” Of course, nothing happened, but it definitely made you more attentive to her. After the mating season, the females are more aggressive because of their protective motherly instincts of their eggs.
We just missed the months where the whole swamp is filled with beautiful purple flowers sprouting amongst lily pads, but we saw a few hiding amongst the brush. The protected bird sanctuary is open during certain months, which allows the tour to expand into that territory. We caught a few that were perched upon the trees through the tour.
Overall, the tour was great experiencing the roots and life of the swamp people in Louisiana. I suggest taking the tour later in the day, we took ours at 4pm, because any earlier and you might melt. If I could do it again I would time it to the months where the swamp flowers are in bloom.