A Knight’s Tale (121: A Bottle Of Rum)

I may have become slightly out of sequence in this next stage of the long walk, but who cares? I never had much idea of where I was, anyway.

The first few were images from the early stages of the row, as Sam, with James’s guidance, left Henley and enjoyed the width of the River Thames, as he approached Sandford Lock.

James rowing

Once through, James took the oars,

Girl in punt

and we soon passed a young lady in a punt considering modelling for Ophelia.

Cattle and horses, with their foal, drank from the river,

while a red-legged partridge took her chicks for an airing. Can you spot two in the second picture?

Sam and James in Pacific Pete 7.03

Fast forward to Napton where, with far less oar-space, the lads were making their way through the moored narrowboats.

It was quite likely The King’s Head where we enjoyed a meal and a drink with friends we had found. I was not to know it at the time, but, Don in the front of the image, had given Sam a bottle of rum with instructions not to open it until he had won the Atlantic race. Fortunately he was victorious, and, as a thank you for my support, was to start on it with me.

Just beyond that location is the 250 metres long Newbold Tunnel. As we didn’t have a horse, a couple with a narrowboat offered to tow Pacific Pete through it. Here are the preparations taking place.

Bridge underside 7.03

This underside of a bridge may or may not be part of the tunnel, but it would be similar.

Goodness knows how I reached the other side, but the standard of towpath was all downhill from here. However, I did, and was able to photograph grasses, convolvulus, and burdock clogging up the potholed paths.


  1. At least there were no 15 men on a dead man’s chest with the bottle of rum. Nice pictures though. ?‍☠️?‍☠️?‍☠️

  2. That young woman does look like she was trying out for the role of Ophelia, and I did see the second chick.
    Quite a journey you took through the grasses and weeds. I’m sure you were pleased to help with the rum when the victory celebration commenced.

  3. The towpath does look very scenic, albeit hard to navigate. I love the burdock photo. I’ve never seen it look that aesthetically pleasing before.

  4. Fascinating. I am watching this series about a man who sold all his property, bought a longboat, and spends all his days sailing The Cut. The lovely scenery reminds me of your photos.

  5. Lovely
    Photos and the one from the Kings Head eatery was fun
    Also –
    Glad he was victorious so you could all enjoy the rum

  6. I’m with Yvette. I enjoyed the images and particularly when relaxing at the pub. So glad you were able to share the rum!

  7. These are wonderful memories, Derrick, and I am glad you got to enjoy the rum with Sam after his victory.

    I spotted the two little partridges. They are cute!

  8. When I was a teenager, we visited my aunt and cousin near London. One of my memories was punting on the Thames. These photos brought back wonderful memories of that day — this is the first time I’ve seen photos of the Thames other than the segment running through London itself!

  9. The ordinary native partridge, the grey partridge, is now more or less an endangered species. It has made the fatal mistake of wanting to eat plants and weeds in set-aside fields , winter stubble crops and crop margins Few farmers will tolerate such a waste of land as that.

  10. YoHoHO what a great gift! 🙂
    And OH, what beautiful scenery and creatures greeted everyone on this journey/adventure!
    The two chicks are cute! Always seems one little slow one is always trailing behind mom and one little curious one is out ahead of mom. 🙂
    Ophelia! 😮 I hoped she stayed out of the water!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  11. I imagine there were some peaceful times out on the water. Even Ophelia’s water is lovely. Maybe the sun was in her eyes. 😉

  12. What a great post! So exciting to follow this journey. The partridge chicks are adorable! So fluffy and round. And the shot of those long oars navigating the narrow lane were telling. So many things to think about on such a journey.

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