No car, but that’s no problem. Yours truly knows his way around public transport, even more so thanks to Merseytravel’s web site which has PDF timetables for every bus in Merseyside. Seriously, it’s a fantastic resource, because each timetable has a little map showing the full route, so even if you’re unfamiliar with the area, you know where you are.
Train arrived on time at Hillside (or “Bootle Oriel Road” as the automated announcer insisted on calling it). This was where things started to go a bit wrong.
As I got off the train, it started raining. Really heavily. I walked along the main road for a few minutes, getting soaked, before it dawned on me that my usually reliable sense of direction had deserted me and I had no idea where I was.
Stopping in a bus shelter a few minutes later to consult my map (something I should really have done before I started walking) I realised that I would need to go almost all the way back to the station. Bah.
Now on the right road I saw a corner shop and — having forgotten to bring any beverages with me, and forewarned that refreshments at Woodvale are expensive — I went in to buy a bottle of water. Having already been delayed, I was held up further by a man paying for his Daily Mail using 2p coins.
I left the shop and strolled along the road, putting my change in my pocket next to my Saveaway. Or rather, where my Saveaway had been until a few minutes ago. Where was it now?
I really didn’t want to lose my ticket now. I had two bus rides and another train journey ahead of me. I didn’t hold out much hope of finding it, but I decided to retrace my steps. Walking past the corner shop and back the way I came — hurrah! There it was on the ground near the bus shelter.
I picked up the now soggy ticket, sandwiched it between two sheets of card to try and flatten it out, and walked back, passing the same corner shop for the third time.
I finally arrived, late and damp, having learned the hard way to invest in clothes with zip-up pockets.
(worth it in the end though! Check out the Class 502 homepage for more info!)