Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cahir to Clonmel - Ireland 2016

As I finished my ride yesterday, I rode up to the Swiss Cottage just after the last tour of the day. Knowing the tour was worthwhile, I came back at opening time this morning. The Swiss Cottage was built as the country house for the Butler family a mere two km from their castle in Cahir. It  was designed to be informal and blend with nature. I like the tree trunk columns and thatched roof and different window shapes, but the crooked door and window frames were a bit odd. I was also put off by the idea that they dressed like peasants when they were here, yet had a fleet of servants in the basement attending to their needs. And despite the fact that there were two bedrooms upstairs, Lord and Lady Butler never slept here. They just came out for an occasional sunny afternoon party. I asked if that meant just twice a year!

After completing the tour, I rolled back into town and picked up some snacks for the day. This was a good choice as I had a hard day, with lots of climbing and strong headwinds and minimal services. 

I had a favorable wind for a while, but given the almost loop nature of my ride, I knew I'd face less favorable ones for the second half. When I took the turn for Mahon Falls I realized I would be climbing, but had no idea I was about to do the 4th most difficult climb of the whole trip. A very stiff headwind and extended sections of 20% gradient made for a tough ride up to the falls. But I seem to be well trained now and made it up and over. The boardwalk out to the falls was packed with school kids, so I passed on getting a closer view.

The descent into Clonmel made up for the antagonizing headwind and soon I was at my B&B. 







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