Punting

Cambridge Travel Blog

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S attempts to knock me in
On Friday evening I cycled home the requisite 6 miles and collapsed on the bed back in the apartment. I don’t know which is harder, a full working day or cycling home after it. T often tricks me into following him over the hills when we cycle home. He uses phrases like ‘it’s the shortest route’ or ‘it’ll be nicer because it has less traffic’. I’ve been duped by this once too many times and now I think I have cycled pretty much every semi-direct route from T’s house to work and they are all thoroughly knackering with a side order of poor road surfaces. Besides, T’s interpretation of which route is the shortest changes on a daily basis. I think Monday’s route may take us via Glasgow. (note to self: pack extra sandwiches)

After a quick meal of sausages I packed a few things into a bag and then set about helping T & S pack for our weekend in Cambridge.
punting near the Mathematical bridge
Helping T & S pack is a curious art. T was lazing on the sofa and making S do all the graft. I found the best time to help S was when her back was turned. I could then place random items into their suitcase with the minimum of fuss. At one point I had an Iron, a recorder, a piggy bank, some cotton wool balls I found in the bathroom and one flip flop (I think it was the flip). S appreciated the assistance but then insisted that I go and ‘help T get off his lazy Ass’ as S put it.

Then, after a mere hour of cajoling and persuading we hit the road and went to get Cadbury’s chocolate éclairs (a must for any expedition) and some fuel for the car. An hour and most of the next one later found us in Cambridge having listened to both CDs in S’s ‘Now 22’ collection. Quite amazing that a seemingly reputable recording company can squeeze so much tripe on to two discs.
T poses for 'punting today' magazine
Sorry S, I must be getting old.

My two Labradors R and F welcomed us in and of course my lovely Parents too. I hit the sack early as I told T & S to be up by 9:30 so we could get on the river while the weather was good. As it turned out the weather was pretty fine all day so after a fried brekkie we wandered into town and secured tickets aboard a trinity punt of superb calibre. Being a seasoned punter myself I took to demonstrating correct Cambridge punting technique to T & S. T had been with me before so knew the routine, but S was very wary of falling in. We punted up river to the Mill pond where I eventually persuaded S to have a go (see attached photo). S was very good, although didn’t want to let me sit down while she tried punting. This left me miming S’s actions immediately behind her in order to not get knocked into the water by the punt pole.
Fitzbillie's Chelsea buns. yum!
T had hysterics watching us and we almost fell in anyway.

We punted up and down the entire section of the ‘backs’ (the section of the river Cam that runs past the backs of the university colleges). When everybody had had enough we retired to Fitzbillies for Chelsea buns, but not before T almost fell in. Approaching a bridge with above average speed, T attempted to synchronise the punting stroke so that the pole was submerged when we went under the bridge. Sorry T, you are not so lucky. The handle caught the underside of the bridge, the punt kept rolling on underneath it and T was caught with that awkward dilemma between punt and pole. The pole almost got the better of him and was in the lead with points until T let it go and fell forwards into the punt. We paddled back with the emergency paddle and rescued the now apologetic punt pole from its position caught in the transom of the bridge.
The Chronophage (time-eater)


Fitzbillies and their Chelsea buns deserve an entire paragraph because the shop is amazing (10) and the Chelsea buns are off the chart (10 doesn’t quite do them justice). Fitzbillies is a patisserie in central Cambridge; they serve an exquisite selection of cakes and confections including Sache tort and their infamous Chelsea buns. Basted no less than seven (7) times in their own rich dark syrup during the cooking process.

We then stopped to see the Chronophage and then high tailed it back home for some lunch.

In the afternoon we had a hankering for something random, so we went and looked at a whole bunch of recumbent bicycles and met a complete nutter (nutter: see devoted enthusiast) who runs the place.
me on a recumbent bicycle
S came along to persuade T not to buy one. We tried a variety of strange and wonderful contraptions some with two wheels and some with three. The result of the experience was T doesn’t want to buy one. Unfortunately S does. I tried a few myself. I might try and build one when I get my super-dooper arc weld. 
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S attempts to knock me in
S attempts to knock me in
punting near the Mathematical brid…
punting near the Mathematical bri…
T poses for punting today magazi…
T poses for 'punting today' magaz…
Fitzbillies Chelsea buns. yum!
Fitzbillie's Chelsea buns. yum!
The Chronophage (time-eater)
The Chronophage (time-eater)
me on a recumbent bicycle
me on a recumbent bicycle
S trying out a recumbent trike
S trying out a recumbent trike
the zoo of strange bikes
the zoo of strange bikes
R & F
R & F
Cambridge
photo by: Ann_Hells