Bicycletour in Tenerife, La Palma : most steepest island of the world - Teide, Roque de los Muchachos, Cumbrecita, Santa Cruz, Orotava, Loro Park parque
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My climbs above 2000m
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Canary island


2008 aLPS - by bicycle

2006 Alps by bicycle

2005 Alps by bicycle

2004 - French Alps, cols

2003 - Croatia

2002 - Greece

2001 - Switzerland

2000 - Dolomites
Lake Garda

1999 - Tátra

1998 - Tátra

1997 - Tátra

1995 - Tátra

1993 - Tátra

After the much work in 2008 winter and 2009 spring, and because I have been working for 10 years, I felt that I deserve a little bicycling recreation, rest in the early spring at a warm zone, region. The low cost airplane ticket’s price to the Canary Islands was not much higher than to South Spain, so I decided to visit Tenerife and the wonderful La Palma which is the steepest island on the world. On the islands the typical temperature at winter is about 18 Celsius, while the summer is only 26-28 Celsius warm. The islands is said to be the island of the forever spring. I watched the weather on the internet 3-4 weeks long and the maximum temperature was consistantly 19-22 degrees Celsius, on South-Tenerife there was no rain. La Palma is the most rainiest island of the seven islands, but on the 2426m high peak of Roque de los Muchachos (Rock of the Boys) the sun is always shining. The islands seemed to be ideal target.
As I read and found more and more texts, pictures about Tenerife, I wanted to cycle up to the 2000-2300 m high Teide plateau, I was attracted by the laurel forest, the small wild mountain ranges (Teno, Anaga), and the Loro Park / parque which is a wild park with orca, dolphin and seal shows, and penguins and a lot of parrots, etc.

I searched the target to cycle in the spring to be able to cycle in good weather, but to have opportunity to cycle above 2000m. The terrain of La Palma is 706 m2, so it’s the 5th big islands of the Canary islands. It’s highest point is the Roque de los Muchachos (2426 m), on which can be found the 3rd serious observatory complex of the World with minimum 12 observatory. This height is the highest on the world for such a small island. The island has 85000 inhabitant, and 18000 people live in the capital of the island, Santa Cruz de la Palma. The island is not visited by masses, as Tenerife or Gran Canaria. The following link writes that: „If you are a respecter of the wild nature and admirer of the wonderful nature pictures, then la Palma is sure to spellbind You.” It happened!

On this 2 islands I cycled two wonderful weeks: along cactusses and admiring volcanos, the panorama to the ocean, often enjoying the views down to the clouds below me. I pushed the pedals in tropical forest on La Palma, through lava field on both islands and cycled into and out from clouds and I hardly could feel the total experience of cycling above clouds. This is what we can experience very rarely in Europe. Eastern European people usually feel a bar in the brain that Europe is, where we had to look around, it is our world and the canary islands is thought to be luxury islands, but…. After enough information gaining we can organize an economical tour for the holiday. Before it, I hadn’t have too much infos about the islands. On the map I looked at mainly the more montainous islands with higher roads. Gran Canaria and Tenerife is the often visited, but on Gran Canaria the highest paved road goes up to only 1949m, while on Tenerife it is 2386 m (or little bit less), while on the 30kms wide and 60kms long La Palma you can bicycle up to 2426 m.

I could do only a few training tour before I left; the most serious was 100km long and the climbed heightdiference was more than 1920 m.
On Friday, the 10th of April I travelled by train and cycled an hour to the airport of Vienna, from where my airplane (Airberlin, Flyniki company) left to South Tenerife at 6.00 am. The distance was ca. 3600kms. The airflight was fantastic, the lower parts of the Alps was snowy too, beside this I was surprised that the airplane didn’t fly above the Alps, but just North from it. The airplane left the continent at Portugalia.
The display showed that we flew at the height of 10700m and the speed was about 860 kms /h.

1st day, 10th April, 2009 : South Tenerife airport – Camping Nauta – Arona – Vilaflor – Arona - Camping Nauta = 91,8 km + 2004 m heightdifference
The airplane landed at 10 am at South Tenerife airport, where bright sunshine and serious wind greeted me. I built up my tent in the camping 8 kms from the airport (only 2-3 camping can be found in Tenerife), and I could start cycling up on the Teide mountainside only at 2 pm. I choose the climb from Los Christianos through Arona, but towards Los Christianos first it was hard to find the right way; I lost time there.
I never cycled in subtropical climate, along / between such plants. I enjoyed the cactusses, the many volcanos, the views from the upper sections down to the ocean, although the weather was a little bit humid.
I cycled into a cloud at the height of ca. 1100m; the wonderful fir tree forest was part of the national park. Because the time passed by I couldn’t reach the 2100 m high Teide plateau, I turned back at 1850 m, but after coming out from the cloud I had the first great moment in Tenerife : wonderful view above the clouds to Gran Canaria! Good holiday-start! I was amazed just on the 1st day.

2nd day – 11th April, 2009. : Camping Nauta – Los Christianos – Adeje – Güia de Isora – Tamaimo – Santiago del Teide – Masca – Buenavista del Norte – towards Teno point – Garachico – Santiago del Teide – Arguayo – Güia de Isora – Playa de la Americas – Camping Nauta = 164,79 km + 3367 mheightdifference
For raising my physical fitness a long hilly tour to the Teno mountains and back seemed to be good for the 2nd step. At the beginning of the tour I spent more than an hour in the two tourist center and resort, Los Christianos and Playa de las Americas.I got information about trevel by ferry to La Palma (planned for the 4th day) and looked around a little bit at the shopping road, between nice shops. Most of them was known from the hungarian huge shopping centers, plazas. Although I was just cold and it was only 20-21 degrees Celsius, more dozen people were lying on the beach and were enjoying the sunshine. The time passed too much, and that’s what caused disadvantage for me.
Leaving Playa de las Americas for a while I avoid cycling on the highway and could cycle on secondary roads, but as I had climbed 40-60 m heightdifference on a wrong road after a fauld of mine and I sould have cycle on hilly and longer road I decided to lift my speed for a short section and cycle on the hard shoulder of the highway. For an hour long I put on long trousers because of the colder weather, but after Tamaimo I had warm, sunny weather on the ascent between cactusses to Santiago del Teidé. That was the weather I hoped for the 2 week long holiday. From the 12% steep road towards Masca, the former pirate village, I could see the 3718m high Teide for the first time. That mountain is the highest peak of Spain.
Masca is a piece of pearl of the Teno mountain range. It is situated between very steep, wild mountains, rocks with views to the ocean. The whole district / environs is very recommended.
From Buenavista del Norte I didn’t have enough time to cycle to the edge of the island (Teno point), so I cycled only to the end of a rockwall from where I got nice views too. Although I could see a banana plantation. From Garachico I started the climb again to the saddle of the Teno mountains not much before sunset, so I reached the top in dark. An hour later it was good to see downwards to the lighted villages of Tenerife and at a time I realized that far-away also there alre lights: they should be at La Gomera. At the environs of Playa de las Americas there was no so calmness, because o fit is a tourist center. For the time I arrived back to the camping the half o fit was almost empty; the long weekend ended.

3rd day – 13th April, 2009: Camping Nauta – Chafiras – next to the airport – San Isidro - Granadilla – Arico – Fasnia – Güimar – Arafo – mountain road to 1550m – Güimar – highway – Chafiras - Camping Nauta = 166,06 km + 2898 m heightdifference
For my third day I planned a more harder tour: cycling on the SE side of the island to Güimar than to climb to the Teide plateau and from there rolling back to the camping. I left the camp at quarter past 10, but I arrived to Güimar late, at 4 pm because I had to face with strong wind for hours. I could push the pedals not too much at the light terrain of the beach environs, the road on the 400-600m high mountainside often twisted and turned. I needed a lot of effort to reach Güimar, but all the way long I could see the beach and the ocean, but because of the strong wind I couldn’t really enjoy the views. I was angry because of the wind, while I saw that at the sunny mountainridge above 2000m there was no wind. I reached Güimar after struggling 73 kms, and after it I had to climb the 23km long ascent going above 2000m. At that time I knew that there is no point in cycling to the plateau which I could reach in dark, I modified the plan: cycling to the saddle above 2000m and after coming down on the highway the homeward cycling would be fast with enjoying the backwind.
Cycling on the lower section of the ascent as I was watching the mountainside I realized that the clouds came sharply and seriously down from the ridge just at that place where my road would go up. Above ca. 1000m the twisting road made me struggle so much against the wind that sometimes I cycled on the other side of the road if that was sheltered by the rockwalls. When the small clouds were flying around me, at 1550m at 7:25 pm I turned back.
If it were earlier I wouldn’t chose the upper, twisting road ont he mountainside back to the camp, because it needed much effort from me and I couldn’t arrive back before 11 pm. or midnight. That’s why I choose the highway: i used light at the back of the bike and I put on light-resistant vest on me. Initially I was cycling by 35-40 kms/h, but az hour later my speed was about 35 kms/h. I was overcome by policecar twice but wasn’t fined. The burned kcal shows very well the difficulty of the 166km long tour with 2900m heightdifference: 5174 kcal.

4th day – 14th April, 2009: Camping Nauta – puncture – San Miguel – Granadilla – Vilaflor – San Miguel – camping – Los Christianos – FERRY – Santa Cruz de La Palma = 80,28 km + 1453 m heightdifference
That evening I had to catch the Fred Olsen ferry to La Palma, so I could do only a half-day long bicycletour. Normally the time was enough for cycling up to the 2000-2300 m high situated plateau of the Teide, but two puncture (1 of them was my fault) caused so much timeloss that I had time only to cycle up to the 1450 high situated village, Vilaflor and back. In that day there were clouds above 1000m, but unfortunately Vilaflor wasn’t above the clouds so I couldn’t cycle through the fog and enjoy the sunshine. Although it wasn’t so bad cycling in the fog, while inside the clouds usually everything is so calm and noiseless. I hardly met any cars. After pulling down the tent I cycled excited to Ls Christianos from where I travelled by the world’s fastest ferry (Fred Olsen) to the 120km far situated La Palma. During the journey we stopped for 10 minutes at La Gomera, another small island of the Canary islands. The ferry goes by 60 kms/h, so it takes 2 hours to la Palma. That’s why the price for the retour journey (bach 5 days later) was 130 EUR. It was interesting when travelling farther once the distance was so far that I could see above the clouds around Tenerife and could see clearly the Teide above the clouds. Wow!
The reserved cheap appartman was only 1km from the port just in the pedestrian zone in a calm, old-fashioned house.The owner suggested me an option which I accepted: in spite of the room for 21 EUR, I paid 24 EUR/night but for an appartman with own bathroom and living room, and TV.

15th April, 2009. – 5th day: Santa Cruz de La Palma - Mirca church – Roque de los Muchachos (2426 m) – Mirca – Las Nieves – Santa Cruz de la Palma = 90,38 kms + 2839 m heightdiff.
After enough sleeping and calm walking and cycling on the surrounding streets I left for the Roque de los Muchachos (2426 m) the highest peak of the island not much before noon. The ascent (with a little bit descent) is 45 km long: it goes up continuously to 2290m, then it goes down to the juction of the observatories (2160 m), and then 3kms yet to the peak.
After the 1km long section along the beach it started to ascend. First it went between a few houses, along with palm trees, cactuses, lemontrees, orangetrees and I also saw papaya. This panoramic mediterranean vegetation changed for tropical vegetation with its firtrees, mosses, brackens and lichens at about 600m height, and uppermost, above ca. 1700m the vegetation and surrounding typical at mountains.
Above ca. 1100m I pushed the pedals between fir trees and sometimes I could look down to the ocean and to Santa Cruz. Then I met not serious clouds and fog, but cloud scraps (small clouds). With sunshine it was amazing.
At ca. 1800m high I met rarely with trees and I could catch sight of the Teide mountain of Tenerife above the clouds. As I noticed this, I took more photos and videofilms. Cycling higher and higher on the bare mountain, I could see the endlessness through the ocean to North and down I realised Barlovento and a lake and the holiday district between the wild wooded mountains. While at the height of 2200m the road went along the north ridge of the huge crater (it’s name is caldera), at a parking place I stopped and walked up to the ridge curiously. I thought that it will be beautiful, but I couldn’t think how wonderful it will be and how I will realise and live it.
As I got the panorama my breath changed and I could hardly say any whole sentence. I felt something in my throat and in my eyes and in my voice. It was unbelievable: I could see the 3 circle shaped crater above 1800m, while at that height everywhere there were clouds to the unending. The Sun was shining above the clouds and I could see 2-3 observatory on the highest part of the ridge. I spent there 10-15 minutes I took a lot of photos, videos and enjoyed the slow movement, living of the sunny clouds. It was an adventure for all of my lifelong.
After the 2-3 km long descent I had to climb 260m to the peak, while the sun was shining from lower and lower. I had to reach the NOT (Nordic Optical telescope) observatory to 8:30 pm, because every half hour will be taken the taken photo onto the web, and I wanted to be photographed and archived on the web. With my hurry I could just arrive there in time and I was just lifting the hungarian flag above my head when the picture was taken: (NOT link search for 15. April 2009). Of course I phoned my sister and parents: it was funny that they could see me through the webcam (update in every 30 sec.) from 3600 km distance. With the sunset the cold arrived, so I had to put on warm clothes, and cap for the descent on which my POLAR measured 3 degrees Celsius.

6th day – 16th April, 2009: Santa Cruz de La Palma - San Pedro – Rifugio del Pilar (1455 m) – Cumbrecita (1315 m) – Rif del Pilar – San Pedro – Santa Cruz = 87,88 km + 2621 m heightdifference
The 1315m high situated Cumbrecita, the 2nd BIG ( link on the BIG site ) peak of La Palma can be found at the inside / south part of the Caldera. The climb of the Cumbrecita is about 500 m, but as „nomad” cyclist without the help of any vehicle I had to face with ascending ca. 2600m heightdifference on the whole tour: For 1 BIG !
Cycling through the tunnel of the main road towards the middle point of the island is prohiobitted for cyclists, so there was one option to visit the Cumbrecita by bike: pushing the pedals and cycling up to the Rigugio El Pilar (1450 m) at the south part of the island and from there rollimng down to El Paso, the feel of the ascent of Cumbrecita.
As I left the houses of San Isidro (550 m) the road became 9-12% steep for a few kilometers long, so I had to count with hard musclework ont he road that went mainly in forest without too many views. Reaching the top the forest amazed me there: much mosses, lichens ont he trees; it was a really subtropical forest; I could almost feel how the forest „breathe”. I had never experienced such forest.
1-2 kms after it, as I came out from the forest the road went through a mountainside with small volcanos and lava field. Another interesting and amazing thing. I also had panorama to the middle part of the island. Unfortunately the weather was cloudy in the Caldera, so I ascended in fog, so I could enjoy only the calmness of the nature. The road is very quiet and good paved. I heard voices of birds and could see the typical canarian bird that I could see on souveniers. By the Cumbrecita I walked half hour, and could see the Caldera crater only a little bit. The route back to the accomodation was the same; on the last descent I was rolling down by twilight.

17th April, 2009 – 7th day: Santa Cruz de La Palma - Barlovento – Puntagodra – El Time - Llanos de Adriane – Todoque – Las Manchaz – Los Canarios / Fuencaliente - Santa Cruz = 163,97 km + 3380 m heightdiff.
I planned cycling up to Roque de los Muchachos from the other side for my last day on the island, so – to spere my strength for that day I could choose only the 3rd day to cycle around the island: it is a ca. 160km long tour on hilly terrain. I started the tour northwards – so in headwind - under clear blue skies. The road started to ascend after 1 kms: first I climbed along the ocean to 150m, then next time to 400m where from I could enjoy the continuous views back and ahead. The first 60km long section (the NE quarter of the island) is the most beautiful, wild: there are steep valleys, rocks, rarely visited forests, nice rocks, small viaducts and romantic sections. On a section as I looked back I realized that the island that I saw far is La Gomera. At Barlovento the road ascends: from the village we can choose between two roads for the following 20kms: the upper is rarely visited and goes on the steep sides of the mountains in wild, living green forests with lichens on it. Sometimes it gives nice views. The other road twists and turns at the hight of 400-600m and after 10-12kms starts to ascend to reach the 1000m height to meet the other road which arrives from above it. Because a fault I cycled the upper road, but didn’t regret is. At 1000m I couldn’t avoid the clouds again, but after it I cycled in a wonderful forest a little bit sunshine in it. On the west side of the island the route is not so hilly, it goes between 500-700m and gives views to the ocean. At a place I stopped to visit a rare dragon tree. At ca. Halfway I arrived to one of the 10 most serious sight of the island (Top 10 sightseeings ) : from the El Time point we can enjoy a 270 degrees panorama: from the rocky beach to Los Llanos de Adriane and the south half of the island and a little bit to the Caldera.
After rolling down I cycled thorugh Los Llanos de Adriane, from where I cycled on continuously and lightly ascending road to the volcanos of south La Palma through a lava field. As I just cycled through a lava field (lavastones at right and left) I got a present: the Sun came under the clouds and shone the rocks. I cycled through Los Canarios under lamplights; from there I had to cycle half hour on almost flat terrain again through lava field and then the descend started which lasted to Santa Cruz, to „my” home. I had a wonderful, nice tour.

8th day 18th April, 2009: Santa Cruz de La Palma - Los Canarios / Fuencaliente - Santa Cruz = 72,92 km + 1356 m heightdifference
To between two hard days (rounding the island and climbing Roque de los Muchachos on its western ascent) I organised a light day: enough sleeping, peaceful walking in the center of Santa Cruz, and souvenir purchase. After it, for the afternoon I planned visiting the southern volcanos by bike. The previous day I were there in darkness.
To Los canarios / Fuencaliente I choose another road than 2 days ago: on that lower road I smiled when a black skinned young girl shouted to her Mom with smile as she saw me: „-Mamma, bicikleta!”. It seemed that bicyclists were not too often seen there. The San Antonio volcano and its museum, and lower the Teneguia volcano (last eruption happened in 1971) can be found by Los Canarios. In the museum I could see a film about the eruption in 1971.The environs of the volcanos were barred. From San Antonio there is nice panorama to the mountains, the western ocean-side and the lower situated Teneguia volcano with its lava.
After arriving back to Santa Cruz I visited the small church / santuario of Las Nieves to where I had to ascent on a 2km long 12% steep road. By the coastal promenade I saw the replica of the Santa Maria, the ship of Colombus.

Saturday, 19th April, 2009 – 9th day: Santa Cruz de La Palma - Barlovento – Llano Negro – Roque de los Muchachos (2426 m) – Santa Cruz de la Palma = 129,88 km + 3685 m heightdifference
Knowing the hilly terrain going to the feet of the eastern climb of Roque Muchachos ascent, I left Santa Cruz earlier than before and I had to be strict with myself to stop rarely because of taking photos and videofilm. Because of the clearer weather than 2 days earlier at Barlovento I was amazed when I got sight of the 2000m higher situated peak of Roque de los Muchachos (2426 m) with a small cloud at its „waist”. Towards the start of the steep climb I had to cycle a few kilometers again through clouds (at 1000m), but above it I pushed the pedals again in breathtaking beauty: through thin forest I could often look down to the ocean.
I had fortune that the mountain just sheltered me against the strong wind. When I arrived above the trees, to the bare terrain the panorama was unbelievable: looking to North I could see the clouds to the infinity, but to West I could see the end of the cloud layer and above the horizont the Sun was shining brightly. This time I reached the top a half-hour before 5 days ago. After the photo taken by the webcamera I could clearly see into the Caldera crater. Thanks to the weather I could see the whole island; southwards the mountainridge with volcanos and a cloud stopping on its East side and also the end of the mountains and the island.
The panorama was again an unforgettable memory, after that I rolled down in twilight and darkness again. I said goodbye to the island after a wonderful, perfect day. I can say: in my life I would like to return there. I fell in love with it.

Monday, 20th April, 2009 – 10th day: Santa Cruz de La Palma - ferry – Los Christianos – San Miguel – Granadilla – Teide plateau (2360 m) – La Orotava = 116,08 km + 2731 m heightdiff.
I woke up early, because my Fred Olsen ship left to Tenerife at 6 am. During the shipping I could enjoy the view to Teide in early sunshine, but I was tired so I felt better to sleep. After landing I realized my mobile phone might slipped out from my pocket, so I after it couldn’t send a message to my family at any time. I didn’t thought to the phone box on the streets, only e-mail sending was in my mind. I spend a little bit more time in Los Christianos as it would have been better, and that had a disadvantage later.
After a few kms towards the camping I turned left to Valle San Lorenzo, to where I had to struggle on 12% steep sections. From a hainpin bend there was nice halfround panorama to the SE edge of teh island. When – 6 days ago – I cycled up to Vilaflor I realized that the road isn’t too steep, so it seemed to be OK with heavy panniers. The upper part is nice road in the forest and then after Vilaflor the road goes though the National park: nice trees and sometimes panorama to the ocean and the terrain. After leaving the forest I was worried about the wind which turned to be reality as I arrived onto the 2000-2300m high plateau next to the 3718m high Teide. Just before and after sunset in twilight I had to face with headwind while there was almost no traffic and I could see hardly any people. The air started to cool down very fast and because I didn’t felt it’s good time to eat I felt hungry, so at a time on the ascent in heavy headwind I elbowed onto the bicycle and felt spiritually at my end of my strength: „Why do I have to fight again and again after a long day and after climbing 2400m?”
At last I arrived to the 2370m high saddle in warm clothes (at ca. 9:00 pm) from where I started the descent to La Orotava with lamplight on my bike. Without a mobile I could’t phone the owner of the flat that I reserved. It’s not a good feeling to glide alone in the dark forest. I hoped that no animal would jump in front of me. At about 10 pm I arrived in the ca. 400m high situated La Orotava where I had to ask people to find the accomodation. I had fortune with a girl who suggested me to follow her while she had to go at that direction. It seemed that I push the bell in vain, but after a few minutes a guy opened the door and what a miracle: he greeted me in hungarian. He slept there for a few weeks, he wanted to work at Tenerife.

21th April, 2009, Tuesday – 11th day: La Orotava - Puerto de La Cruz (Loro Parque) - Santa Ursula – La Laguna – Pico del Inglés (992 m) - La Laguna – Santa Ursula – La Orotava = 94,34 km + 1525 m heightdifference
After enough sleeping I rolled down to Puerto de la Cruz which most known attraction is the Loro Parque / park, az animal park, circus with animal shows. The main shows are performed by orcas, dolphines and seals. The orca show had friendly, nice trainers, funny texts on the huge screens and 4-5 clever and skillful orcas. They jumpes 1-2 meters high from the water and performed in a romantic scene with a small children. In the dolphine show 4-5 trainer and 7-9 dolphines performed themselves. They jumped through circles, or above rope at the height of ca. 4 meter and also had romantic scene with the trainers who were lying on the water embracing the dolphines. Sometimes the dolphines pushed the trainers out from the water or tossed up into the air. One of the most serious attraction was when two dolphines were holding a trainer on their noses while a third dolphine jumped above it. At the end the dolphines and 2 children were kissing each other hearing romantic music from the background. I was amazed by the lovely animals and the show, so I repeated visiting it during the day while after entering the park the peoples don’t have to pay again for a show. I enjoyed how the smiling trainers and the smiling dolphines loved each other.
The seal show was the most funniest with small stories in it. A few times a seal and a trainer embraced each other and the seal kissed the guy. Another times they danced for romantic music.
After the experience I started cycling to the 1000-1200 m high Anaga mountain range which can be found at the north side of the island. This mountain range has nice panoramic roads from the beaches and has laurelsilva forests. I wanted to visit that place because a BIG listed peak (Pico des Ingles, 992 m: -Link on the BIG site ), but cycling to there I got rain. At the height of 500m I was cycling in clouds and rain and unfortunately I had no clear views from the peak: everything was in clouds. In the rain the famous laurelsilva forest could hardly show itself.

22th April, 2009, Wednesday – 12th day: La Orotava – La Matanza – La Esperanza – Las Canadas (2300 m) – El Portillo – Parador hotel (kb. 2150 m) = 85,05 km + 2797 mheightdiff.
I missed only one of the climbs between the Teide plateau and the beaches of Tenerife, so it was not accidental that I planned to cycle back to South Tenerife through the pleteau and from north via the Esperanza forest with laurel trees. I enjoyed looking around a little bit in la Orotava which city has the most nice and historical buildings in Tenerife. Bicycling to La Laguna, as I wanted to shorted the route by La Matanza I searched other roads everything was very-very steep. At last I struggled up on two 300-500m long 16% steep sections with „slaloming” through the road upwards. With my 25kgs pack on my bike I felt tired after it and although I hadn’t started the real climb to the pleateu.
After La Esperanza I was cycling on 4-8% steep road that went upwards changing the different steepnesses. First I got views back to la Laguna (north), then rarely to West and to the Teide and at a time to East, to the road where I cycled a day a week ago. It’s true that this climb was a must too! Because of the photo shooting and the long climb I arrived to the observatory a little bit before sunset. The last kms to the saddle by the Teide I did in dark (9 pm) with lamplights on my bike and with music in my ears. Finishing the ascent I was thinking if I wouldn’t go on cycling to the camping, but sleeping there at a hotel. At last I decided: once (or in every 10 yeaers) in the life I should afford to sleep at a **** Hotel, at 2300m opposide of the Teide. Next day it came light that it was a good decision.

23th April, 2009, Thursday – 13th day.: Parador hotel (kb. 2150 m) – El Ratemar – bypass to Lavas Negras – Vilaflor – camping - Los Christianos – Nauta camping = 88,41 km + 570 m heightdifference
It was a good decision that I slept on the Teide plateau. First I had buffet meal breakfast in a hall that gave sunny clear panorama to the Teide from the tables, then outside I enjoyed the panorama to the Teide and Los Roques and the lavafields. I was happy to have enough time for enjoying the beauty of the plateau the bare terrain, lava fields. I enjoyed the panoramic descent often with videocamera in my arm. Late afternoon I sat into a cyber-cafe so I could send e-mail to my parents and sister who were worrying more serious than I thought. Because they had no informations from me they called the Vodafone and had the info that I didn’t use my mobile for days and planned to write email to the spanish Consul General.

24th April, 2009 – 14th day: Camping – Arona – Vilaflor – El Ratemar – Lavas Negras – Güia de Isora – Los Christianos – camping = 112,55 km + 2397 m heightdifference
In my last whole day I wanted to cycle up to the Teide plateau and rolldown on the last road (to Chio) on which I hadn’t cycled between the Teide and the lower sections. I had no mood cycling un boring environs to Chio and climb from there so I changed the direction. Again I climbed through Vilaflor above 2000m just as on my 1st day. This ascent was the frame of my 2 week long tour. Comparing the days on this day I pushed the pedals in wonderful clear weather bwetween cactusses and enjoying the small volcanos. I enjoyed the blue sky, good sight-distance, fresh air¨it was wonderful. Above the clouds first I saw the islands of El Hierro and La Gomera, then later from the black lava field La Palma.
Reaching the plateau in spite of the road to Teide and Los Roques I turned left to cycle through the Lavas Negras = black lava field. The lava stones followed me along the both sides of the road as the sea after Mozes had devided it into two. At some places I saw such stones on which I could imagine how they had been shaped in 1798. The descent towards Chio went on lava field then between thin forest with lava stones. I had to notice: the quality of the asphalt was very poor for ca. 10kms. Aafter rolling down much I joined the main road on which I arrived to Playa de las Americas where I again sent message to Hungary thanks to an other cybercafe. I said goodbye to that touristic environs.

25th April, 2009, Saturday – 15th day: Airplane flight and travelling by train to home
Oh, it was so long ago when I arrived at Tenerife and I visited a lot of wonderful places. Unfortunately the time of going back arrived. After waking up early morning I cycled to the airport after sunrise. I rolled down to the airport on a half km long road with spreading my arms and feeling happiness: I HAD A SUPERB TWO WEEK! I did it well! I achieved most of my goals, I didn’t feel any lack of great adventures. Only one thing was that I was sorry about: the visit in the Anaga mountains in rain.
Opposite with the flight to Tenerife the back flight went as the crow flies. Realising the windspeed and the speed of our flight on the screen I was surprised very-very much: the windspeed (backwind) was 272 km/h, so our speed was 1126 km/h. Although the airplane decreased our delay, but nevertheless I had to hurry to catch the train ca. 20kms far away. The strong headwind made me struggle very much on my bike with 25kgs packs on it. I gave all I have and felt tired, but because of choosing a wrong way I couldn’t catch the train. After it I travelled by train a little bit, then had to cycle (I chose it) in dark to reach the hungarian border to sleep in Hungary. Int he restaurant I enjoyed hearing hungarian words again.

Cycling 2 weeks on Tenerife and La Palma totally I cycled 1544,3 kms and ascended 33723 m heightdifference (on the islands). During this period I cycled 5 times above 2000m – 4 of them happened on different ascents.
Tenerife but more La Palma became adventure for all my lifelong and I would like to return there at least once in my life. Besides I can suggest visiting these islands with pleasure. La Palma is really La isla bonita = beautiful island….. or, not! More wonderful!

For more photos: click here

Györgyi Gábor