We took an early morning tour on April 10. We were picked up at our hotel in the Quarter and, after picking up several other adventurers, we were driven to Slidell. Our bus driver, whose name I don't remember, was excellent. His commentary about the damage the area suffered from Katrina became a litany, with his repeated phrase, "It could not be repaired, and so it came down." We had a glimpse into what people and communities suffered.
We had a short wait in Slidell while all fees were paid, and then we were called to our boat. We were so incredibly lucky to be assigned to the care of Captain Buddy, occasionally known as Captain Crash. Extremely knowledgeable about the swamp and life on the river, he taught us about different ways of raising a house to protect it from flooding, different river craft, and about how the ancient lift bridge works.
We were very lucky to see 4 alligators, and Captain Buddy told us how to tell how large an alligator is by estimating the distance from the bottom of his eyes to the tip of his snout. A 6" snout measurement means a 6' alligator. We learned about alligator farming.
We talked about gumbo, and Captain Buddy showed us how everything needed for gumbo could be found right there along the river and in the swamp. He pointed out the catfish lines, the arrowroot plants, wild rice, mushrooms on the base of trees, herons nests, and turtles. He told stories of moonshiners meeting at a certain tree in the swamp. And as we glided through the cypress trees, drinking in the beauty and peace of the swamp, he told us, "You came to see the alligators, but this is what you will remember."
He demonstrated his famous pig call, and we delighted in the appearance of 4 wild pigs. Our tough captain shared that he didn't want people hunting these pigs; he felt they were pets.
I have taken tours in many different parts of the world, and I can state unequivocally that Captain Buddy was one of the 3 best tour guides I have ever had.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.