Sunday, May 29, 2016

Carlow to Clonmel May 29, 2016

What  a great day!  It started with a huge breakfast of sausages, eggs, ham, black puddings, fried tomatoes, cereal,  more toast than you could imagine, juice and coffee.  Wow! Racey Byrnes B&B really set the bar high for the rest of the trip. It was about 9:40 Am by the time we rolled out to Carlow. 

The route took us down a fairly major route however there was a huge bike lane and almost no cars. The pavement was perfect and it was a bright sun morning with a tail wind helping us along.  It just doesn’t get any better.
At about the 45 km mark we stopped to take some pictures by this old stone church.  The guide who was at the church was not going to have us take a few quick shots and roll on.  It was his job to make sure we got the tour and he was going to show off his bit of history.   The quick stop turned into close to an hour but the guide was absolutely fabulous.  He showed us stones from 3rd to 6th century.  Stone sarcophagi with Tempar Knights on them. Like this is stuff right out of Sword in the Stone movie stuff.  The cathedral had originally been built around 1050 , then enlarged around 1150 and then again in 1225 when it was dedicated to St Mary.  The guide talked about the history of the region and how this place was the cultural and spiritual center of the region and how Oliver Cromwell had invaded and sacked the cathedral.  Absolutely fascinating. It was called Saint Mary’s Church in Gowran.

After lunch we rolled down to Thomastown  where we picked up some things for our lunch be as the big climb of the day was just ahead we decided to eat at the summit. 

The climb was really tough it was about 6 kms of 5-8% and then 2 kms of 13-15% before it leveled off to 3 kms of 5%.  I was following Ken and was thinking if he walks then I will walk.  He has a triple chain ring on the front and a 32 on the rear. I have a double on the front and a 27 on the rear.  He made it about 250 meters into the steep section before he walked.  Thank God he did as I couldn’t have made it very much further.  We got back on the bikes and rode the last 3 kms to the summit where we ate lunch. 

After lunch it was all down hill and we had only 31 kms to go.  There were some really neat roads on the way into town.  One section was little more than a wagon track but both tracks were sealed.  Well sort of.  More kind of lumps of asphalt  pilled somewhat together. 

I was all in by the time we got town.  However what a beautiful day.  Not a drop of rain.  Unbelievably  quiet roads with almost zero cars and the most beautiful scenery of lush green rolling hills and fields. 



Jim said...

Terry, enjoying your adventure and pictures. This ride is sounding quite civilized civilized with a 9:40 am start after a huge B&B breakfast. As I recall, a leasurly social breakfast is the norm with a B&B. What is with the one hour church tour too? Trust the roads are dry and it isn't too cool. You all look like you are dressed for cool and wet. Keep up the good work! BTW, did a 60 miler here with temps in the mid 90s. I did well, but next week we move into century territory. Ciao.

dermot said...

Looks like a great trip Terry. Today's route has to be Clonmel, Ardfinnan, Clogheen and a beer at my uncle's pub Meaney's Bar in Ballyporeen (my birthplace). Then over the Vee close to the highest peak in Ireland, Mt Knockmealdown. If the weather is clear you will get a great view back to Canada across the Atlantic in one direction, west. And another great view to the mythical Galty Mountains back to the north. Have a great time.

Anonymous said...

Weather looked a lot clearer today, hope that continues. Sounds and looks like you have done a good job of finding small roads to travel. Well done. I am enjoying keeping up with your progress. Have to admit I was spoiled when you were in NZ and your blog would be there for me each morning., because of the time difference! Later,Earnie