Tuesday, January 25, 2005

If music be the food of love

...I'm getting a fat belly.

[sorry for the delay in posting this one - the computer in the hostel was playing up]

Just got back from another amazing night's music - anamazing band called Rebirth Brass Band(http://www.rebirthbrassband.com/rbb/index.shtml) wereplaying at a cool venue miles away out away from downtown (sorry I can't be more specific, I've notreally grasped New Orleans' geography yet). They wereamazing, loads of people had told us they were worthseeing. They were an amazing sort of funky jazz, with three trumpets, a sax, two trombones, a tuba and acouple of guys on percussion. I went there with Liddy,Frank and Larry from the hostel, but got dancing with a really nice Austrian girl, Katerina, who was herefor a few days on holiday from doing a law masters inBoston.

Had a really cool day today, though didn't manage to fit in half the stuff I'd intended. Cycled through the city with Liddy and got the ferry across theMississippi to look at the Mardi Gras floats that are being built. I'm missing the festival by a few days,which is a real pity. But it was cool seeing thefloats being built, especially the ones Liddy wasdoing - most people don't get to go in the warehouse.Took a ton of photos. Also sneaked into the main mardigras tourist thing where they have loads of random old huge mardi gras polysytrene figures and stuff. it's$15, but Larry gave me his pass from yesterday, dead handy. There was a cool Voodoo shop in that area too,and I got chatting to the woman who ran it for ages. She put a cross of potion for luck on my right wristand a cross of love potion on my left...

Rode around the garden district on my bike for a while- they have these amazing old Greek revival wooden houses, some really plush, some really beautifully rundown. And noticed a bunch of people being given a tourof the cemetary there, so I tagged along on that. In the cemetaries here the cockroaches eat the bodies and boxes, then the next time another body goes into the family tomb they sweep up the remains to make room forthe new body.Then at sunset I headed to the revolving bar on top ofthe World Trade Centre here. It was surprisinglyempty, it was magical up there. I got a real surprise seeing the city from up there - the mississippi river winding it's way through the vast sprawl, the bridge, the barges, then suddenly the skyskrapers of downtown,the lights of the cars going up Canal.

Then headed back to the hostel for supper, some beers,some chat, watched a really badly dubbed version of a kung fu film, then headed out.

I'm going to leave tomorrow, I think I'll be finallyable to extract myself. But my rear gears have stopped working - the shifter's jammed. But there's a bikeshop nearby if I can't get it fixed. I'll get a greyhound back north into Mississippi to rejoin my route, then attempt to cover the last 750 miles or soin the time I have left. If I'd left this morning I'd have made it... If... But I don't really care if I make it or not. I want to divert down to the forgotten coast of Florida anyway, and there's a few towns whereI can catch a greyhound if I need to, though getting abox for my bike could be a hassle. It was a nightmare getting to New Orleans - I ended up missing the bus hunting for a box. But I'll not bore you with thattale of stress.

See y'all!

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