Cambridge is a beautiful old city centered around the University of the same name. The River Cam runs through it, and “punting on the Cam” is a time-honored tradition there and a really, really beautiful way to see the gorgeous campus.
On a clear, warm Sunday in August, we took our turn down the Cam. Although we could have had a “professional” (college student) steer our boat, we opted to rent our own, and thanks to Matt’s skill we had a lovely ride down the river.
The boats are long, fairly wide, and flat-bottomed, with a platform at the end for the driver to stand on. Rather than row, you punt: you steer and move forward (or backwards or sideways) using a long pole that reaches to the bottom of the river.
He only almost fell in three or four times. And he only hit his head on one very low bridge.
To be honest, that’s a remarkable feat that I am certain I could not have accomplished. It’s nearly guaranteed that I would have either fallen in, crashed us into something, or lost the pole and have been adrift.
Since we didn’t have a guide, we didn’t learn what every ivy-covered building was called or the legends and stories behind each of the lovely bridges we cruised under.
But we spent a day together in the sun exclaiming over the beauty surrounding us, and that’s a day well-spent.
Every time we embark on one of these adventures, I am reminded again of how lucky I am. These places are beautiful. These experiences change our perspective of the world.
Adventure takes different forms; this wasn’t high-speed or daring or very far away or anything but relaxing and beautiful. Instead it was just peaceful day of food for the soul.
Except for the parts where Matt almost fell in, those were scary.