Goin’ back home, fe nan e’; To the land of the beautiful queen; Goin back to home to my baby; Goin’ back to New Orleans… Having, myself, grown up in the deep, swampy south I admit to being partial to the haunting allure of New Orleans. It’s a place steeped in mystery and mythology and the backdrop stories in novels and movies alike. There’s just something special about Ole N’awlins.

So imagine my delight when, with fishing pole in hand, I stumble back in time to a part of history I never thought to consider – New Orleans circa 1940. Here at MadPea our Fishing Tournament is going on stronger than ever and, following the fish, I found this sweet little beauty I am more than happy to share. The owners of this sim have painstakingly captured the soul of the Big Easy in an era before it became more commercialized and dotted with the chintzy tourist attractions that line the streets today.

Bayou Du Chat Noir is a beautiful homage to a place that has inspired lifetimes of stories, dreams, music, food and the very heart of the New Orleans culture itself. Dirt paved roads give way to beguiling swamplands so meticulously detailed you might think you need to reach up to wipe away the humidity gathering at your brow. If you look hard enough you might even hear the buzz of crickets and cicadas singing across the murky waters or see the ripple of a gator moving stealthily through the bayou – or maybe it was just a log?

Start out at a gazebo at the edge of what could easily be the beginnings of Bourbon Street before it was draped over in booze and beads. A left at the dusty weather worn street will take you down the old timey shops, bars, inns and restaurants before tapering off to a strop of old bayou townhomes, lovingly referred to as ‘shotgun’ houses for the simple fact that you could aim a shot gun through the front door and shoot straight out to the back. Yep. Welcome to the old south.

Cross a few old bridges and you’ll find yourself wandering through the heart of swamp land, blanketed in a hush of hanging moss and older buildings floating up on stilts to survive the ebb and flow of swampland waters – and one of the best parts? They’re all available to rent! You can have your very own piece of southern paradise – that is if you can find one available. There are traditional above ground graveyards, dusty churches with a casual familiarity about them and more than a few shacks that look like they’ve seen better days but still manage to hold on to that old bayou charm.

So grab your fishing poles and make your way down to Bayou Du Chat Noir and lose yourself for a little while in the timeless, easy beauty of this magnificent sim. Put on some big band in the background, heck – put on a pot of gumbo on your stove – you’ll be craving it by the time you’ve discovered all there is to find here. It’s definitely a treasure you don’t want to miss out on.