We approached Shifford Lock via Duxford ford. The water was about 8 inches deep across the ford, with a slippery concrete surface.
The third swan encountered (0.5 mile downstream of Shifford Lock) was most unusual. Firstly, it was not mute but did seagull impressions. Rather good seagull impressions, just not as loud. I kid you not. Secondly, rather than the usual swan behaviour of keeping to one side of the river as I kept to the other side to pass it, it seemed to think it a personal duty to keep fifty yards ahead of me and shepherd me all the way to Newbridge. Once we were within sight of the bridge, it turned round, started an immense flapping and ran on the water to take off, and made it, this immense bird airborne, flying back in the
direction of Shifford.
current take me further along. The kingfisher looked at me for awhile, and looked around, showing me its characteristic long sharp beak, and then after a short while, flew off.
I had started at 4.30pm for an early evening swim, and the sun made the whole thing glorious, going from bright sunny sunshine to fantastic dappled effects and long shadows as it got lower in the sky.
There was a magnificent sunset going on after I got to Newbridge and the Rose Revived.
|Sunset at Newbridge|
feasible if you turn round and sit on the ramp with feet towards the water, then reverse up the bank. However, I didn't fancy providing entertainment for the pub-goers, so I used an exit point further along
the bank, just past the punts/rowing boats hire place. There's a sort of low concrete raft attached to the bank, which you can either haul yourself up over, if you're feeling strong, or get someone to help
you, or at the upstream side of the raft, it is thigh-deep (but muddy) there and easy to get out without assistance. An added plus is that the concrete raft is much less overlooked by people so makes a good
place to change.
There are also lots of points along the route where there are shallow entry/exit points so if you are getting fed cookies from walkers this is easy to manage.
The river temperature felt slightly higher than in previous swims, and I made it to the endpoint half an hour earlier than expected, compared to previous swims. I don't think I have improved my speed that much, so I think the current must have been a bit faster in this stretch of the river - possibly due to the rain a few days ago?