Day 214 - 30 September - Back in the UK Yay

Trip Start Mar 01, 2011
Trip End Oct 24, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, September 30, 2011

What a bad night's sleep, got up at 6.30 – packed our things and was very tempted to wake my mate from last night but thought nah.

When downstairs I told Leon about my 'little’ experience last night. He had heard me yell at the guy but as it all went quiet then he didn’t wake up fully.  But he did decide to go back to the room and have a few words to him.

So tired, but knew we had to carry on, we walked to the bus terminal, bus arrived 15 minutes late, travelled about 20 minutes to the ferry and got out with everyone else.  Suddenly became suspicious that we were in the wrong place as the Stena Line (ferry mob) did not have a desk at this terminal.  Found it we should be down the other end of the port.  Quickly  got a taxi who took us to the right spot, queued to book in.  On ferry – Farewell Ireland!!!!!  Very nice ferry, I was asleep on one of the lounges within about 1/2 an hour while Leon read.  Slept for about an hour (well it’s a start).

Arrived in Holyhead and walked through to train station.  Heaps of peole with heaps of luggage, hoped it would be a big comfortable train – what a frigging joke, 2 carriages, overcrowded to the max, we managed to get seats opposite each other, but within a couple of stops people were standing everywhere.  We had to do a train change - how exciting when we found out the station was CHESTER.  So of course we had to do the photo shoot with Leon!!!!

Got to Manchester Picadilly Station – I hit the wall, so tired, I couldn’t go any further.  Our b&b person had not contacted us so we needed to find somewhere else to stay.  Leon went wandering off to find us somewhere to stay, I didn’t care where I just didn’t want to take anymore public transport.  He came back after a while – had found a cheap B&B around the corner, good man, 5 minute walk and we were there – a lovely old hotel and with a lift (old and slow, but no stairs with luggage)

Got to the room, laid down for a while, realised it was still too early to sleep, so had a great shower, we laid around regrouping for a while then decided to head off for a walk into the city.  Our hotel lady had said there were a large number of people in town because of a few events: there was a comedian Peter Kay, at the concert stadium, a huge rave called The Warehouse Project, a Tory Conference with the Prime Minister and of course the big home game Manchester United and Norwich City.  She didn’t know how to get any Man U tickets and was also not able to give us a second nights accommodation as they were booked out.

So we made our way through streets, squares, until we got to the main mall, walking towards the Manchester version of the London Eye, theirs of course is a lot smaller and not so grand looking.

Leon was taking photos when I decided that being a Friday night before a big game then maybe the pubs near here might have info as to where a little Aussie lass can get a couple of very last minute tickets.  Spoke with a nearby bouncer who didn’t follow football (not a good start) but he did suggest I go and speak to another bouncer nearby, so wandered down a couple of doors to the Crown and Anchor and the bouncer there had a mate inside the pub who could get tickets to things like that!  Fingers crossed.   Unfortunately his mate had just sold his last two – he had 15 more but he needed them!  So close but yet so far!!!!  There is hope though he said, as it is not a big match?!?! (ie not Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea) then if we turn up early in the morning we should be able to get ticket at the gate – maybe.  These would be season tickets whose owners didn’t go for whatever reason.  Or of course he said there will be touts (scalpers in Oz), he said not to pay more than 50-60 pounds if we did go to a tout.  I was prepared to pay more but thought wow, this may be a goer.  He did say that even if we dont get in to the game, that the atmosphere in the nearby pubs is great as well.

So excited by this news I went and found Leon and we went back to the pub and had drinks, chatting with the bouncer – we booked into the pub next door and then came back out and had a few drinks with some locals – a few – yeah right.

Leon:  At some point a guy came over and asked if I had been told I look like Chuck Norris - I replied no. He was so excited he asked if he could have his photo taken with me.  Jen took a couple of shots.  He was with his work mates from their store - Urban Outfitters.  They all seemed to agree with him.  So Jen took some shots of me with all of them as well.  The store they work in sells books as well as clothes and without me knowing the Manager of the store rode his bike to the shop and grabbed one of the Chuck Norris books they sold.  Came back on his bike and all the staff that were there signed it to Chuck.  One of those special moments we are having on our journey.  Hilarious almost surreal but very real.

That was the end of a great night.  Wow finally back in the UK - nice weather - and lots of fun.  Big day tomorrow.  Hope to see Man U
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