Days 29 and 30.
Leaving the plains behind, the route plunges into the forests of Arkansas where we overnight in the thermal resort of Hot Springs.
On reaching the mighty Mississippi, the journey becomes immersed in Civil War history. We cross the river to Vicksburg which was pivotal in the war. The
military park holds the restored USS Cairo, an ironclad gunboat used against the Confederacy. We stay in a hotel overlooking the Mississippi in Natchez, a small town where wealthy slave-owning southern planters built their homes and shipped out the cotton and sugar cane. Many of these superb ante-bellum homes remain in the town.
A circuitous route through creole country surrounded by the bayous leads us to our two day rest stop in New Orleans.
At leisure in the city of jazz, riverboats, ironwork balconies and creole cuisine.
We return to Natchez to pick up the start of the “Natchez Trace Parkway”, and we spend the day meandering along the route of the old walking trail to Tennessee. No billboards spoil the view and no commercial traffic is allowed. There are sights along the way such as Emerald Mound, the location of a ceremonial centre from 1250 to 1600.