Natchez, Mississippi USA
Our longest drive of the trip so far! We can’t complain, after all, we did lengthen our journey by following the Mississippi instead of taking the quicker route via the I55!
Tennessee into Arkansas into Mississippi! Crossing the mighty Mississippi was incredible. The route took us through the back and beyond of the Deep South. Travelling through some quaint little towns, some not so quaint! Long straight roads joining each town, roads as far as the eye could see! Upsettingly, we saw a vast amount of roadkill, armadillos, raccoons and some we couldn’t recognise! The roads are vast, you feel so small in comparison to your surroundings! As a result, you’re easily distracted and oblivious to how fast you are going, the law is 55 on these types of roads!
Taking in the sights, tootling along, the next minute a sheriff travelling in the other direction switches on his lights, spins around and came after us! Suddenly, we both realised that it was us that was speeding, and over 70! The flashing lights got closer and we pulled in. It was like something out of a movie! The sheriff got out of his car, Dave and I panicked as the officer strolled up checking our registration plate!
Hmmmm Georgia! Can I see your driving licence sir! I caught you speeding a little over 70 in a 55 zone sir…
Sorry officer we are travellers from the UK on a road trip and wasn’t sure of the speed limit.
Ok, sir give me a moment!
He then backs away from the car with Dave’s licence, we stared at each other and sat in silence, not knowing what would happen next!
Sir can I see your international driving licence – a what, we don’t have one officer!
He just stared at us saying hmm I am not sure what I am able to do about this, looking at the licence then back at us for what seemed like an eternity. Feeling like harden criminals, with our heads bowed in submission… he eventually said…
Ok sir, maam I won’t write you up a ticket on this occasion!!
Thank goodness!! I’m still convinced he was teasing us, with his coy little smile and twinkle in his eye. Anyway, he then proceeded to lecture us about American speed limits and let us on our way reminding us to stick to the speed restrictions!! 55mph all the way from now on!! Check before you travel folks this licence is a new requirement introduced in 2015.
The drive was awesome, swinging close to the Mississippi then back out again! Birds of prey soaring above the highway with their shadows cast on the tarmac was amazing! Feeling like a storm chaser too, we appeared to be just behind a storm. Seeing the weather change in the distance, and before you know it you are in the thick of it! Blinding rain, thundering and forked lightning. Really scary at times, however, we got a feel for what the storm chasers enjoy! It wasn’t long before the blistering sunshine was back creating heat mirages and steam on the road. Absolutely amazing and everything I wanted to experience!!
Arriving in Natchez after a fantastic day of driving. A charming little town, perched 200 feet above the Mississippi River, completely different to the other places in the Deep South we had visited so far.
Natchez was first established as a French port in the early 1700’s and due to the climate and rich soil (being set so close to the Mississippi) soon became popular to planters who made their fortunes from cotton and slaves. Natchez is steeped in history if you’re interested in that kind of thing, which I am! Certainly, a fascinating, quaint little town put on the map by the very famous river running through it. The 30-mile views north and south of the mighty Mississippi were spectacular!
Our hotel Hampton Inn and Suites, part of the Hilton group, was beautifully set overlooking the river, we had the most amazing view! After wandering around down near the Mississippi, the town, a few drinks in Biscuit & Blues (fabulous little blues bar) and dinner at Fat Mama’s Tamales we headed back to our room as a storm was on its way! We watched the most exciting display mother nature had to offer – it was gripping as the forked lightning lit up the sky!! Absolutely amazing, brilliant day!