I've gone on a fair few cycling expeditions this summer, taking advantage of all my spare time. Maybe it was the perfect weather, or feeling a bit loopy after not sleeping well the previous night, but I decided to go on a last long ride before starting work on Monday. So I made a circuit that included the Putney Punt.
It's a real anachronism - a little cable ferry that carries up to 15 cars across the Parramatta River between Mortlake and Putney. It became totally redundant when the six-lane Gladesville Bridge opened in 1964, only a couple of kilometres downstream, but some sort of heritage order keeps the ferry running. It's even toll-free!
I first cycled to the north side of the river by way of Drummoyne and the Gladesville Bridge, and then made my way across to the ferry's embarkation point. I forgot to bring any sort of map, and received rather vague directions when I asked in Putney, but was lucky enough to find the right headland on my first try. I even had a few minutes to wait for the ferry to leave, and watch a pelican circling overhead.
There was another wildlife moment as I rode home along the shore of Exile Bay. I passed a cormorant swimming almost submerged, with only its head poking out of the water. Then a large fish, about the size of a big carp, leapt out of the water for a second or two. It was as if the birds and the fishes wanted to challenge my ideas about their natural elements!