The journey begins with the Atchafalayas, the mystical swamps that adorn the mouth of the Mississippi, inhabited by rare birds, alligators and pelicans. This is the home of the 18th century French-Canadian settlers, the self-titled Acadians, with a culture still vibrant with music and dancing. A bit upstream we come to New Orleans, where, despite Hurricane Katrina, the old town of the Big Easy has lost little of its charm with its narrow alley ways and iron railings. The birthplace of Jazz is still true to form, where tuneful notes can be heard from the over-filled cafes, as the new talent pays homage to the never-forgotten old masters.
Further upriver, the Angola Prison Rodeo opens its doors to the public as inmates sell hand-crafted items or risk their luck and limb inside the rodeo ring. Finally we are taken to the jewels of the Mississippi, the old plantation houses, some of which are still in the ownership of the families who built them, still dusting off the portraits of the ancestors in the dining room and tending to the ever perfect manicured lawns of these great estates.