Tuesday, July 15, 2008

London attractions : Hyde Park boat rowing

Hyde+Park+boat+rowingLast Sunday's fantastic weather was a respite from the gloomy and mostly overcast skies that plagued London for the most last week. It's one of those days when you feel like basking in the sun. Well, we went one step further, we went boating at Hyde Park.

After our boating experience in Wales , it wasn't too difficult to get Wife onto a rowboat now that she is absolutely convinced of my rowing prowess. In other words, there's little chance of the boat sinking.

What surprised us was that we were charged on a per-person instead of per-boat basis; instead of £8/hr/boat (in Wales ), it cost us £8/hr/person. I began to wonder whether it's actually worth it for those who actually squeeze four onto a single boat. Well, there is another option to pay £6 per person for 30min but it doesn't really make much economic sense, does it?

Anyway, after the initial paddles trashing and boat rocking we were on our way. Steering the boat gingerly through the flotilla of paddle and rowing boats and out of harm's way required my vast rowing experience gathered over the years (a grand total of two hours behind the paddles, add 30min more if you include the dry run when I was 14).

20min passed when we were finally in the clear, out came the camera and picture taking took up another 15min. Then I got the funny idea that my wife should be handling the paddles while I enjoy the view. Actually she handed them pretty well considering that there was an idiot on board who was waving madly at every passing boat.

There's something about boating. It's like driving along a windy path on a clear day. It just seems so right to be in the middle of a lake, just me, my boat and my wife. It felt pretty therapeutic in fact... would be better if the lake is bigger and there was less water traffic around though.

Before long, we were heading back to the pier. Not because the time is up (it was anyway) but I was worried that my muscle aches, which was setting in, would prevent me from getting the boat back. Though I think there will be some rescue boats coming if I begin to wave my shirt around but I wouldn't count on that.

Well, if you're in the vicinity, why not head down towards Serpentine at Hyde Park? If you see a guy waving his shirt around in the middle of the lake, that'll me.

Read also...
The Royal Parks - green patches within London
Tower of London - History and reivew
Shakespeare Globe Theatre

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Yang said...

Hmm... Seems like a good place to bring my wife when she come over. Better start training my arms now.

C K said...

Well, you should! Anyway, I think it's only there for summer and perhaps early autumn so must go at the earliest opportunity.

Worse come to worse, opt for the paddle boats. It's the same price but hey, your wife can join in the paddling as well!

Eaststopper said...

Strangely though, both wife and I were never interested in the boats everytime we are there. ;-)
Guess we were just happy to have a drink at the many cafes nearby...
Anyways seem that you had a good workout!

C K said...

Are there cafes nearby? So any good ones there? We can meet up there for coffee!

waitingkitty said...

We saw many paddle boats when we were there in May but we didn't give it a try. Though it would be too tiring for us...

C K said...

Paddle boats is always an option... though it'll be less romantic, but then again, dropping a paddle (or even two!) into the water is not either. :)

Fëanor said...

but I was worried that my muscle aches, which was setting in, would prevent me from getting the boat back

...Muscle ache? Dude, muscle ache is what happens when you've been kayaking against the wind and the waves in the open sea in Maine. Ooh, my arms ache even now thinking about it 8 years after... :-)

I'm enjoying your writeups on London life - please continue!

lina said...

I remember once at Shinobazu (spelling?) pond at Ueno Park, a guy in the row boat let the girl row her way all to the middle of the pond. Very romantic. NOT! :D
My DH never took me on a row boat, pity.

Dutchie said...

My former German boss in Sg took 5yrs to built his own sailing boot. It was great fun to navigate thru uninhabited little islands n sandbanks, where we had BBQ for lunch. Very hot tho ... hardly any shrubberies to shelter us from the sun :-( !

My in-law's hv a thing abt boats as well (as does most Europeans I'm sure). My neighbours too - they would spend most of the warm summer days sailing thru the canals or in the lakes. U would oso see kids with their rubber boats paddling the shallow canals alongside their homes. All that happy laughter n squealing does rubbed off on u even if u r just sitting near the water-edge reading ur fave novel !

C K said...

You know what? I get a kick out of just by reading your blogger profile. lol

I can hardly imagine how my puny arms would perform in the open waters... I think I'll be better off just letting the kayak drift along... :)

C K said...

Haha, the girl must have refused to accept the guy's proposal. lol... well, not a bad idea at all... "Marry me or you'll have to row the boat back by yourself!".

Your DH? I assume you're talking about Zaini, no? I think my wife would give anything not to get up on a boat with me ever again. :p

C K said...

I assume your former boss didn't build his boat in Singapore... it'll be quite hard to condorn off an area to do just that... :)

Aww... hmm, ironically, Singaporeans, coming from an island, do not exactly have the culture of spending our time by the sea. Instead we spend most of it (and out money) in the malls and cinemas instead... sigh.

eastcoastlife said...

Your wife did the rowing? Tough job!
I tried once and in the middle of the lake, my arms were so tired, I had to get help to row it back. hehe...
I seldom exercise.

C K said...

Ah... generally, I exercise only just before my NS reservist, which is basically not very much. Like I said, my puny arms were basically flailing around... lol

Deb said...

My father's hobby used to be fishing, and for years we have a little boat parked outside our front doorstep...um, we live in a HDB exec apt in Pasir Ris. The sea is not far away. Free rides, yes, but I get seasick, so it wasn't fun!! Sold the boat a couple of years ago when he stopped the hobby.

Dutchie said...

ck, my former boss did built his boat in Sg leh, at Tuas. Well, it's a constructive thing to do, as they were alway complaining abt having nothing much a-do in Sg lor !

There was a phase in my life when I enjoyed the outdoor life but admittedly, I did opt for the plush life in restaurants n clubs once my after-office-hours-sales-pitches were conducted in those conducive surroundings ;-)

C K said...

I didn't realise that they do private construction of boats in Tuas as well! Oh well, a new thing a day.

Hmm... you must have enjoyed yourself quite a bit, on company's expense somemore... lol

C K said...

Wow, a boat! Not many Singaporeans enjoy that luxury even though yours might not be a double engine yatch. :)

Dutchie said...

ck, in Sg, I do socialise with colleagues, bosses n the firm's clientele. Some stayed friends to this day !

In Holland I am told to keep private n working life separate. Therefore, it's a lonely existence n no one is breaking this rule to improve the situation. How's the situation in the UK ?

And yes, those were the good old days with a carte blanche expense account indeed :) Consider it as overtime pay lah ! Afterall I dont get fringe benefts for working such long hours leh !

C K said...

I guess the situation in the UK is pretty much the same as Holland. Other than the occasional Friday drinks, we don't really hang out much with our colleagues and clients.

But hey, at least now you've got some time with your husband. That's not too bad, isn't it?