Last year, I took Mr. T to Louisiana for the first time. Now his grandfather was born an hour from where I was in southern Louisiana, but his immediate family hasn’t gone back. This allows me the perfect opportunity to do all the touristy things you miss even when you lived somewhere for 18 years. We missed out on going to Alligator Bayou on his first trip but this year decided to make it a priority.
This was my favorite day of the trip. We started at Georges’ Southside for Shrimp poboys, then booked it down to Prairieville, 20 minutes from my mom’s.
I can be a jaded traveler, but this Alligator Bayou Tour was SO MUCH FUN. I wondered why we’d never been. The owners explained how they were doing this new work while also giving tours, of reclaiming and working on restoring wetlands. I learned a lot about the effect of nutria on wetland destruction — these are the vegetarian, invasive rodents brought from South America that have destroyed much that I’d incorrectly believed was solely the oil industry.
I learned why I knew so little once they reminded that during the 1990s the swamp in the current form wasn’t there — there was basically a drought, at least by this area’s standards. More recently, you could still see the water lines from recent hurricanes and tropical storms. The ’00s have not been easy on my home state.
As part of the tour, they showed off the alligators in one area, let tourists feed them (!!), then the group of ~30 boarded the boat to cruise down the bayou for more landscape. The owners talked about the history, region, and wildlife — and were so funny throughout that I hardly noticed the time passing. Perfect three hour tour with surprise nutria and baby gators on board.