Day 186: (Liverpool Port-Dublin Port) – Distance travelled so far 11,140km “How to get to Liverpool Port!!!”

You would think that we would be chomping at the bit to get over to Liverpool Port so as to make sure we would be on time for our ferry to Dublin. You would think that!!!! Us being us, we miscalculated the journey over to the port thinking that we could cycle easily over a bridge……There was no bridge but there was a tube/train under the river….so we ran,went up escalators (with bikes!!), stuffed them into the train just in time…..Absolute mayhem and panic insued which I guess was largely down to “really longing to come home” We boarded the ferry with 4-5 dozen truckers or so and went straight to the dining area for some grub. The weather was horrendous and jokes about a potential last supper and sinking at the final hurdle were passed. We all looked at each other again, knowing that when we woke up in the morning, We would touch our wheels down on Irish soil for the first time in 6 months. After dinner, we grabbed some beers, chatted and watched the movie and The Story of Tina and Ike Turner with all the truckers. Wrecked tired, we crashed out in a pretty comfortable and padded kids play area. Thanks to reception who provided extra blankets…..Tomorrow Ireland awaits us!!!!

Day 184&185: (Liverpool) – Distance travelled so far 11,135km “Party Time!!!”

 

Yippeeee!!!!!!!!!….Liverpool here we are…..Freaky really. It has felt like such a trek from Michael and Vanessa’s Stratford pad in East London. Adrenaline has played a key part in keeping us on top of our game. At least we got a free gaff in Sandbach which gave us a good nights sleep and in out of the rain….Liverpool brings us a chance to do some site-seeing…..”Beatles” style….but first of all…a great chance to relax, have a hot shower, some hot food and another frothy beer or five!!!!…..

IMG_0447In the spirit of the trip

The Beatles tour

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In Penny Lane there’s a

IMG_0453 barber showing photograph

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nothing to say here!

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John Lennon’s home

and for the pool fans..

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We find a newly renovated hostel called Hatters (good one for a cheap w/end) which suits our pockets in the center of the city and with the bikes locked up for a night or two…its time to get freaky in Liverpool….Some clubbing and some caper ensued!!!!

Waking up in the morning was bliss. Cosy beds and not a chance of getting on a 2 wheeled anything. We shower up and get a breakfast in. Site-seeing is on the agenda today therefore, we didnt delay in booking The Beatles” Black cab tour of Liverpool, which takes us to all of the Fab Fours houses, penny lane, strawberry fields, Eleanor Rigby’s grave. Yeah yeah yeahh!!!!!

After a mighty tour which incorporated Anfield, the home of Liverpool football, we headed back to our hostel.
After another hairy nights party time, we would would wake up the the morning to get ready to board a ferry for Ireland…Absolutely incredible!!!….We honestly cannot wait!!!

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Securing the bikes on the ferry. This is it!

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Day 183: Sandbach – Liverpool(82km) Distance travelled so far 11,135km “A you wrecked mate!!!”

After our free nights accomodation we were ready for road again.


More canal cycling


A stonesthrow from Wales


Chester, a lovely part of England


Smiles all round


Close to the Pool


Just a couple more kms boys..


Signs for Liverpool start appearing


Yes please


Not so fast now, eh!!


The Bridge, entering Liverpool


A roadside break


Liverpool


Alls well


We made it

And so, the Thaireland trio make it to Liverpool. Next stop- Dublin (IRELAND)……17 countries, over 11,000kms, and alot of pedalling we can finally say…..we made it……we’re home….

A reminder to all, our homecoming is on the 5th of July in Killaloe Co.Clare. Please come along.

Day 182: Hinckley – Sandbach (104km) Distance travelled so far 11,053km “Free house in Sandbach!!!”

We were all surprised at how humid it is in England. The weather does not help while on the bike. Very sticky, very quickly!!! After the few days on the road, there was a slight bit of a pong coming from each of us!!!!

Please god let us complete our journey today with a shower at the end of the road


Power Station


Canal that leads pretty much into Liverpool


Lookin and feelin good…


Nearing the end of the day….still very humid


Fancy a spot of bowls???

Well, our prayers for a shower were answered….

When we finished our days cycle we decided to stop into the local pub and watch Andy Murray play at Wimbledon. Of course, our looks only drew attention. We met a lovely couple and before we knew it, they offered us a place to stay for the night. A shower was the no1 priority!!!

Tomorrow…Liverpool….. oh yeah…

London

London Baby!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!

With plans in place to stay with Mike & Vanessa, and Vanessa’s brother Pat, we could now chill out and plan our final route home. This route plan had always been to head up to Scotland and to potentially “pedal boat” across the Irish Channel. We had been secretly planning this finale for some time throughout the trip and had secured a safety boat to guide us across, but unfortunately we could not source a pedal boat which was sea worthy!!! Perhaps we will do it again someday…

With the pedal boating looking pretty unlikely, we now had more days to chill in London which to be honest was a welcomed outcome. Ok..so lets do some site-seeing then!!


Londons eye


Big Ben


Travalgar Square


Chilling out in Travalgar Square..


Heavy night last night?


Picking up asbo’s is easy


Corrected this street artist’s Irish of Go raibh maith agat


The auld Covent Garden..I remember only too well….


Brian gets roped into this street perfomers act…(It took 30 mins!!)


Abbey Road

While in London, we decided to head down to Wembeldon…Lawn tennis, strawberries, sherry, and lots of tennis balls..The weather was pretty good so lots of people camped (like ourselves) in the hopes to gain early morning entry…
The Wimbledon Queue is world famous as it is still possible gain entry to Center Court on the day of the event. People queue the night before and the first 500 get center court tickets. Unfortunately we were no. 880 in the queue so we had to settle for court NO. 1. Not bad… we still managed to watch Venus Williams and Andy Roddick cruise to the 4th round……


Brian in the Wimbledon queue


Squatters rights!!! – Mike relaxes Pakistani style in the queue


Henman Hill/Murray Mound. It was jammed for the Murray game


The Ball boys and girls enter


Venus and Kateryna enter


Kateryna mid serve..Very good service indeed


Andy Roddick


Chilling with Mike and Vanessa at their apartment..


Prime Real Estate – View from the apartment over-looking Londons Olympic Stadium for 2012 Games

It was great to chill with Mike, Vanessa and Pat. Thanks a million for putting up with us. We would have had loved to stay for a couple more days!!! ha ha….PS – Hope Kevin Webster gets things sorted out…”fancy you like mad!!!”

Time to get prepared for a three/four day cycle up to Liverpool…..Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 173: Faversham- Stratford (East London) (82km) Distance travelled so far 10,751km “Thank you Phil”

Last night we decided to head out for a pint in Faversham. With our red hairy beards we obviously drew alot of attention…People were very interested in our story.

The barman, a very nice gentleman named Phil, asked us to come back in the morning and he’d cook us up a breakfast. We couldn’t turn down the offer….


Our campspot

The bacon-butties Phil cooked us up was just what we needed. Thanks again.


Behind the bar with Phil

With our bellies full we hit the road. The Thaireland trio couldn’t wait to have a couple of rest days in London


A typical English town

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Nearing the city

We couldn’t get over the size of London. We were cycling in the city for half the day, to get to our destination….

We finally made it to Stratford and will be spending the next few days with Pauls brother, Mike and his fiancee, Vanessa. Tonight we will head to a BBQ hosted by some of Mikes work buddies so it should be fun!!


Us with Mike


With Mags


Mags with Una the wonderful BBQ hostess


Declan and us at the BBQ sucking back on some Ales


…with Brians mate Alex


Mags and Declan

Day 172: Bruges – Oostende – Ramsgate (England) (80km) Distance travelled so far 10,669km “Andrew the Ukranian Saviour”


Early morning coffee in Bruges

Knowing we had to catch a ferry across to England we headed from the city of Bruges very casually.


Leaving Bruges


Famous church in Bruges


Crossing one of the many bridges in the city

We had to cover an easy 24kms to the port town of Ostende. Leaving Bruges we got very mixed up with some of the road signs and lost alot of time. We finally got on the right track, but there was a horrible gail wind blowing in our faces and slowing us down considerably. We were beginning to think we would not make the ferry!!!

We finally arrived in Ostende 15 mins before the departure of the ferry. Oh, but another shock was to come our way!! While investigating into the price of the ticket for the ferry, we were informed that the ship only carried vehicles- no bikes!!!!!!

With 5 mins to departure, we quickly came up with a plan to hitch a ride onto the ferry. We came across a Ukranian man with a big empty van who had no problem with throwing our bikes in the back and giving us a lift. Thank you so much, Andrew……


Mike in the back of Andrews van

We all agree that Belgium was a fabulous country. Being so close to home we swear we will be back……


On English soilRamsgate


Our first English pub

We put down a nice 40km when we got of the ferry. The English roads are incredible difficult to cycle on. No such thing as cycling lanes or hard shoulders for bikes.

Went out for a couple of pints in a small town to celebrate our move closer top home.


Our campspot

Tomorrow- London, and a couple of rest days…..thanks be to Jaesus!!!

Day 171: Bruxelles -Bruges (115km) Distance travelled so far 10,387km “In Bruges”

With heads on us like Medusa (We drank a considerable amount last night) we slowly get going to Bruges….


Early morning site-seeing - Power hangover site-seeing…Asprin anyone?


The bitches love him…and dogs want to be him…


Making some bad turns we find ourselves on very busy motorways…


No..not The Netherlands…but pretty close to it at the moment


Ghent..An absolute wonderful place…Get to this place people!!!


Ghentastic!!!


Full of canals…and a great buzz about the place too….


On route to Bruges…If only Ireland had cycling routes like these ones!!!


Dying for a burger at this point!!


Bruges…Fine spot this one…

Tomorrow morning, we will head to the port of Ostende (approx 30km outside Bruges) and from here we shall head to Ramsgate in England. We are absolutely buzzing at the moment!!