“Do you miss Cambridge ?” they all ask.
Well, no, clearly not, or I wouldn’t have left. Duh.
But the city does have its appeal, and despite it being the obvious touristy thing to do, taking a punt along the backs is the second thing I’d recommend after 5 pints in the Blue.
In typical alpha male fashion, I charged ahead, leading our team to the wrong jetty (?), meaning we turned up fashionably late for our 12:40 launch (?). Quite why I had to fill out a Track-and-Trace form still eludes me.
Self-hiring a 5 person punt for 90 minutes costs £42. That’s a saving of £80 on the cost of the tours. AND toy avoid the endless yap yap yap of “in 1683 Sir Henry blah” and “Steve Hawkins invented the Universe here in 1973 blah blah” and “by tradition the fag carries the young masters collection of Beer Guides blah blah blah“.
Of course, you have to find a
sucker brave young man to do the punting (?).
I’d done it before a decade ago, and I can tell you it hurts. The legs, not the arms. I’ll let him off the lack of commentary on the pubs, and frankly there’s only a couple on the half mile route, and the Anchor is covered in scaffolding.
Matt did a great job, keeping a steady pace and avoiding the bumps that would have seen Mrs RM spill her Blanc Brut.
I panicked a bit when I saw Google Maps place us in the water.
The route takes you past the Arithmetical Bridge, which was built in 1749 to allow the safe transport of Tolly Bitter over the Cam in what was then Greene King country.
I have no idea about the other buildings; buy a book.
Oh yes, I know this one;
The outward leg, which ends at the famous Las Iguanas on Quayside, took 35 minutes.
The return took considerably longer. Emma got out the paddle and helped steer.
“Would anyone else like a go ?” said Matt, staring hopefully at me. But if I’d have got up, I’d have fallen in. And Mrs RM would have taken a photo, then laughed.
We were overtaken by a boat with beer on it, but they weren’t offering tasters so we let them pass.
Just before Clare we met a trio from 1957 who had got stuck by the bank and were going nowhere.
Suddenly our 90 minutes were nearly up and we hadn’t past King’s. “Faster, Matt” I urged, hoping he’d find a late surge of speed like Redgrave in 2000, but sensibly we limped over the line late, and no-one said anything. Unlike 1983 (me) and 1973 (Stafford Paul), we’d stayed dry.
I bought Matt a beer, a Lost Lager, while Mrs RM enjoyed a tasty Vienna Lager by the Lion Yard loos.
Let no-one tell you we don’t know how to live in style.