We did not explore the town, but walked instead by an old wooden lock located by the river, in a separate channel. A man was maneuvering his boat into the lock. He never looked up, but he obviously knew what he was doing. He jumped to the side and, using a big paddle like a handle, shut the lock gates. Then he turned wheels and opened two sluice gates. Creamy, green water gushed from one part of the lock to the other, and his boat rose to meet another level of river. Then he reopened the gates, untied his boat, jumped back on, and put-putted away. I felt like applauding. I could not imagine myself doing such a thing. I would have panicked and, no doubt, disrupted the flow of water or disabled the lock.
Just beyond the bridge, the river widened and opened up, with an old mill on one side and the squat gorge on the other side. We enjoyed the view but had seen enough. Looking for Oscar’s old haunts seemed a bit silly now, even to me. Besides, we were all very hot and getting hungry.
Losing the Ties that Bind Us
5 weeks ago