For Christmas my mom sent us tickets to go on a guided punting tour! Since they didn’t expire for a while we decided to save the trip for warmer weather. Today being a holiday, Richard had off work, the weather was mild, and the breeze not so bitter, we decided to take advantage of this super fun gift.
We set off late morning for the long trek over to the Cam…. ok maybe it wasn’t even long enough to justify the kids taking their scooters. If our flat faced the right direction we could make out Scudamores (the punting company) across the park from our window….
We were, however, not the first to have the idea of getting out on the first beautiful sunny day over Easter. Mill Lane was full of people sitting around drinking coffee, watching the river, passing through, or waiting to go punting themselves. Already the river was full of punters! You have the option of getting a punting tour or renting the boats and trying it out for yourselves. A lot of the colleges allow their students and staff to rent the boats for free so there are always people out. And on a day like today, with the possibility of sun and mild weather the river is full!
The back end of quite a few major colleges butt up to the river. They call this part of the river “the backs”. Some colleges are stunning, amazingly old, and look like castles. Some lucky students even get to live in what is practically a palace! I’ll take Kings and St. John’s and avoid the “atrocity” of Queens! Queens College has a new student residence (built in the 1960s – yuck) right beside Kings College. Polar opposites. One is old, beautiful and spacious, the other… well you’ve seen 70’s buildings before. I don’t remember nearly as much as I’d like of what the tour guide said, mostly because although I was trying to pay attention, there was just too much to remember. Maybe when we try out punting for ourselves, we’ll remember details as we pass through again.
Judah was a snuggle bug the whole time. He made sure he had a blanket and tucked himself in my lap and watched as we drifted along the river. Watching people try to punt is rather humourous. Apparently falling in the water while trying the steer your boat happens a lot, especially in the summer. We didn’t see anyone fall in today. Maybe next time 😉
Sydney and Norah loved it too. When asked what their favourite thing about the punting trip was, Sydney said “listening to the man talk” and Norah said “touching the water”. But at no point is one allowed to put hands outside the boat, especially when it’s so busy on the river, because fingers can get pinched off if another boat slides into yours. Boats often touch, and punting guides will help set another boat straight by bumping it back into the right direction. So alas poor Norah was not allowed to touch the water; but apparently she did sneak in a few opportunities when no one was paying attention. She is rather good at that. Little stinker.