Ferry Cross The Mersey: Chester To Liverpool. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

April 26, 2014

Ferry Cross The Mersey: Chester To Liverpool.

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Waste incinerator plant near Ellesmere Port.
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Victorian era milestone.
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The morning is bright and breezy with sunshine breaking alternatively from big fleecy clouds. The breakfast at the guesthouse was the normal full English and although appetising, once you've eaten all that bacon, egg, sausage and beans, you don't want to eat the same again for a while. It's the same with fish and chips, they leave a heavy oily taste in the mouth.

Brook Street where I set out from, is by a roundabout with Liverpool and Manchester on a big sign, from where I head towards the former following the A49 on a cycle-path at the side. Then turn off on a B road in the direction of Ellesmere Port, wanting to end up in Birkenhead on the south side of the river Mersey, where the Ferries to Ireland leave.

Very soon I'm riding along built up streets and through numerous roundabouts, from where all of the places signposted aren't in my atlas. I lose a lot of time when I turn from one roundabout, along a street thinking it would lead somewhere. But on it went. Before long I'm riding on a long road through an industrial estate where suddenly there's no traffic, except for two artic trucks passing. I ride by the gates of an oil refinery, then along another stretch, which leads to a slip road down onto a motorway, and so, I double back. Sometimes I think a GPS or, a phone with a downloaded Google map would be useful in such situations.

At last I find myself on the road I should've left Chester on. The original old road from Chester to Birkenhead with white painted metal milestones with "Chester County Council" and the year 1896 moulded on top. Although a busy road, it feels okay cycling along, more so with a tailwind pushing me along as fast as the cars.

Coming up out of an underpass in Birkenhead.
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The vista of the Liverpool waterfront opens up.
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On reflection now, I should have ridden round the other way, into Liverpool city centre, as the ferry to Belfast doesn't depart until 9 PM, and it is only midday. There's bugger all to do this side of the river, so I'll be taking the Mersey ferry across to the centre.

The Mersey Ferry is as much a sightseeing attraction as it is a way of getting across the river, with an address system speaking on Liverpool's significance in history and how it has recently been declared a UNESCO World heritage site.

From the ferry, I make my way to the main commercial district and wheel my bike along through the crowds of Saturday shoppers and I'm drawn to a Pound Bakery, where I lunch on a pasty and a sandwich for two pounds. Then find a Starbucks to upload photos to this journal. This takes a lot of time and I'm there most of the afternoon. The first photo loads slowly, then the second just as slow, then a third photo kicks the network off, and the only way to continue loading photos is to reboot the computer.

The Mersey.
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The old tobacco factory. The largest brick building in the world.
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The Liverpool Belfast ferry arrives.
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Today's ride: 39 km (24 miles)
Total: 15,164 km (9,417 miles)

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