To Oberlin 130km
To Newton Texas 127km
To Silsbee 82km
Louisiana is a lot of swamp, river, and boggy stuff. In fact, some of it is below Sea level. But this makes it very attractive to some of the locals, and many see no reason to travel anywhere, except into the swamps to hunt..... crocs, 'coons, armadillo, fishing and "frogging". Apparently when frogging it's best to grab them in your hands, but you can use a net, and give it a flick, so the frog is trapped..... then you skin it, and throw it on the grill. But just be aware that skinning the frog on the boat or canoe, and leaving a blood trail, attracts the crocs..... Some of the frogs are very big, and I'm sure, very tasty, but I chose not to join them in the dark, in a very narrow canoe, in crocodile waters..... Yep I'm chicken. Instead, I stayed at the Firehouse and ate Cajun Chicken, cooked by the Captain..... yum.
The cycling is tough. It's hot. Humid hot. I didn't realise fluid could pass through the human body so quickly. Sweat drips out of my hands like a tap. One night, in my tent, I thought I had insects crawling over me. Nope. It was sweat, and I was lying still. My cycling clothes are soaked within five minutes of getting on the bike. After 100km today, for the first time in a very long time, my backside was raw with "nappy rash". For the next 20km I couldn't sit. Very uncomfortable.
But I'm loving the locals. Every time I stop I'm asked questions. Often they've got no idea of where NZ is, but just telling them I'm cycling to California astounds them. I met John. He cycled across the south a couple of years ago, with six others, writing and performing a play as they travelled. He's also been to Christchurch, travelling with the Coast Guard to Antarctica. Lots of common ground to chat about, and I was glad for the break.
It's been raining heaps, but that's good. It's refreshing, and cooling, but when it stops, it's steamy. My glasses keep fogging up from steam off the wet road....
There's been a lot of rain here in Texas lately. A couple of weeks ago they had 15 inches (40cm) in two hours. The Newton Fire brigade spent over 24 hours rescuing people. The station was in disarray, and before I had even realised, the Captain had booked and paid for me to stay in a local motel.... wow. Then the Motel owner took frozen pizza from her freezer for me.... and wouldn't let me pay. I was warned about Texas hospitality.
"You can't cycle across Texas", was another warning, from my mate Bill D. Now that's a challenge...... but he might know a thing or two...... I'm exhausted. I've stopped for a day.... sleeping and eating, and enjoying the AC.