Oxford, Day 25: Punting and a Picnic

Originally posted June 20, 2012, this blog post series is an undergraduate short-term study abroad trip in Oxford, UK in partnership with Salve Regina University and St. Clare’s Oxford. The blog post may have been edited for clarity and updated with relevant travel information and links.

We finally got to go punting! We went to the boathouse down the road from the university academic building and split the group into four boats. As enjoyable punting along the river was, it was a little nerve-wracking keeping the boat straight against the current.

How Punting Works

The act of punting involves directing a boat using a long metal rod that touches the bottom of the river. So, how much force you exert on the pole determines how fast you go. Punting can get tricky because sometimes the bottom of the river is too soft or the river is too deep for the pole. 

There’s also the possibility the pole might get stuck and the punter could fall off the boat–thankfully that did not happen to anyone today.

The punter* is toward the back of the boat and then there is a paddler* at the front. The paddler keeps the boat straighter. Then, up to four additional passengers can fit. Basically, punting looks something like this:

*These are not legitimate punting terms, but for the sake of explanation, putting labels makes more sense.  

We were supposed to keep punting for a little longer and head to the University Parks for a mini picnic, but a tree went down in the river, so we turned around and had our picnic at the Boathouse.

The most intriguing food on the table was the quail eggs. You know those miniature eggs at Easter? The ones that look like real eggs but are actually filled with chocolate? Quail eggs look just like that, but they’re not filled with chocolate. Had my roommate not asked our teacher what they were, I would have been in for a mouthful.

I did try one, even though I am not a big fan of hard-boiled eggs. Not bad–it is just like any other hard-boiled egg, maybe sweeter.

Cherwell Boathouse
Brie and Bacon Sandwich, Quail Eggs, and an Apple Tarte

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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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