Day 121: Leasowe to Waterloo
Distance: 13.80 miles
Ascent: 430 feet
Weather: Heavy Rain Morning, Sunny afternoon
Accommodation: Devon & Tom's House
After being very well fed over my rest day, it was an early start and James very kindly gave me a lift the short distance back to the coast about 7am. The reason for the early start was that I had between 6 & 7 miles to the Mersey ferry, which only does the commuter crossing till 9:40 after which the journey takes longer and several times more expensive.
The forecast today was for heavy rain till 9am and then the weather would improve slowly becoming sunny. And as I set of from the carpark just after 7am it was certainly raining heavily. The first part of the day was very exposed, as I walked along the sea wall just keeping my head down and ploughing on until reaching New Brighton, which has absolutely no resemblance to Brighton, where the path takes an almost 90 degree turn and starts heading down the Mersey.
It was a shame it was raining hard as the cranes and dockyards on the other side would have made for a great photo on my camera. But I was making very good progress and the rain was starting to ease and the Seacombe ferry terminal was getting steadily closer. It appeared the ferry was not actually sticking to the schedule from what I could see as I came down this side and seemed more like every 40 minutes as opposed to every 20 minutes (maybe normally 2 boats running.) But I could see it coming back across as I approached and I arrived at the terminal just as the ferry arrived, and it was on it’s way just before 9. The ferry is dazzle painted, in a nod to the way war ships were painted in WWI to confuse the enemy about there speed and direction, though the Mersey Ferries is a bit more colourful and elaborate than the images of the old ones.
I got of the boat at Liverpool where the sun had come out and though busy was fortunately not too bad, and there was some really nice architecture some old like the Liver Building and some modern like the Liverpool Museum. I did not turn left and start following the Mersey back up the other side but instead had to head to Liverpool Lime Street Station as I was heading to Decathlon. I caught a train out to Huyton and walked the short distance to the Decathlon store. I had slightly cheekily arranged an exchange of my boots as they were still under warranty and they did now need changing as they were starting to have a few small issues. The woman asked for my old boots and seemed quite surprised when I just sat down, took the ones I was wearing off and handed them over but she still happily did the exchange. It was slightly sad to say goodbye to the boots I had walked almost 2200 miles in but also very nice to get some new ones. I was not really looking forward to walking in the new boots as expected them to be a bit painful for a day or two as no time to break them in gently.
I caught the train back to the centre and was now back on the proper route. This next part was not very fun, as though some of the old docks and industry were interesting the route took me down a busy road with HGV’s bombing passed constantly covering me in all manner of dust and dirt.
My dad was heading to Southport to join the walk tomorrow and had arrived early and he bumped into me under the flyover just short of Waterloo. Rather than stop and chat at the side of a main road, we continued and caught up next to the marine lake at Waterloo where I was finishing for the day.
I had to send my dad away at 3pm as I was meeting someone from BBC northwest who was coming to film a little thing for their online section. I was strangely a little nervous about this, but also found it quite funny. I had to walk passed the camera many times and have several different shots and I have no idea what it will look like. I also had to answer a few questions which were not pregiven, so my answers could contain anything hopefully I didn’t say anything to silly. Thank you to Yunus for doing this and intrigued to see what it will look like.
My half niece Devon (and Tom) had kindly let me stay at there house in Waterloo, and as I had arrived quite early, we collected the keys from her at work. My Dad headed of to Southport ready to join the walk tomorrow and Devon cooked a great meal. Fortunately, Liverpool just about scraped through in the football as otherwise I think there would have been riots.
So a slightly different day, with only 13 or so miles of actual walking, but felt like a busy day with the trains, exchanges & filming.