170820-The Long And Winding Road

I wandered about Liverpool this morning working my way towards the 11 am Free Walking Tour. A round-the-world clipper race started from Liverpool today, with part of the point of the race having crews that were unskilled before preparation for the race.

On the way across city center I ran across this display:

“The National Electric grid delivers power across the country. The mains power supply makes a constant humming sound, yet there are tiny changes to the frequency of this sound every second. Most recordings made in the UK have a trace of the mains hum on them and this can be forensically analyzed to determine the time and day they were made, and as a result whether anyone has edited the recording. … www.hummingbirdclock.info”

Wow. I know about a fair number of techniques (at least in theory) that can be used to analyze computer data, but that’s really interesting.

I managed to find the meeting point for the tour, and it occurred to me that the brochure was 100% in Spanish, which had some implications for the tour. Fortunately there were separate English and Spanish tours. Our guide Tony was an absolute riot; probably the best free walking tour I’ve taken.  I learned a lot about Liverpool and its citizens. In summary, Liverpool has knocked down a lot of historical things and built new things on top of them, almost always a hotel, car park (parking lot), or student accommodation. Also, Liverpool has a long history of being the “best” (longest, tallest, widest, oldest) only to now have lost that record.

After the end of the tour I wandered through the town hall, art museum, library, and history museum before headed back towards the hostel and the Liverpool Museum (history of Liverpool).

The Beatles have their origin in Liverpool. The original venue where they performed (The Cavern) still exists, but it’s been knocked down and moved somewhere else. The town isn’t quite as Beatles obsessed as, say, Cong for John Wayne and The Quiet Man, but then Liverpool is just a bit bigger. The port itself is 8 miles long along the coast of the bay.

That causes its own problem. I chose the correct ferry and hostel for both being on the same side of the bay. But where I’m headed (south) is the other side of the bay. I can either cycle around the bay, or take a short ferry hop across. While there are scads of campgrounds along the coast headed south, they don’t start until 30 km (as the crow flies) south of here. However, that path south is not a straight line. My best guess is at least 70-90 km as the cyclist cycles to the first campground.

The rains forecast for today started mid-afternoon, but light enough to let me wander from dry place to dry place. That lighter rain means that the forecast for rain carries through to tomorrow. Yet I’m ready to move. Once that rain clears mid-afernoon (in wild theory) that hurricane clearing through should bring dry warm weather for the next couple of days after that. I try hard to duck rain, but there are always exceptions.

I have the additional choice tomorrow that I can either cut across the peninsula in the way, or cycle around the coastline, which adds another 20+ km.  The route around the peninsula appears to have a defined cycle path along the coast, which will be much faster than navigating, and have much less traffic.

Decisions to make tomorrow.

I spent much of the evening chatting with Lee (Singapore), Janet (UK), and Kristof (Germany). Earlier Janet and got into a protracted debate about the US and gun control, where my attempts to inject data kept convincing her I was wildly anti-gun control. Pointing out that only 36% of US households have guns did come as an abrupt shock to her, she was certain that number was almost everyone.

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