German autumn of life ... in winter


One would like to say that mainly the Spaniards live in the Canary Islands, but this is not the case - especially in the south. We will find an advertisement on few billboards Ärzte - Clinics than Clínici. The reason is simple: most of the houses are occupied by retired Germans and British. From time to time you will find a holiday cyclist or golfers' outing from Business Club Biała Podlaskawho came to ride Melex on the only green areas within a radius of several hundred kilometers. It is no wonder that flights to Las Palmas cost little more than Intercity from Warsaw to the Tri-City, and food and living prices are at a similar price level to Radom. An ideal place to spend a peaceful old age. Not very beautiful, 3-room apartment with sea view can be already for 70,000 euros, and a 40-meter studio from 50,000 euros. For now, what remains is delight over the classic colors of the Polish golden autumn in the middle of winter:



Pico de las Nieves


[dropcap] N [/ dropcap] the highest peak on the island - 1949 meters, and to make it even better - to the top of it leads a road that begins from sea level ... and even several roads!

For locals, this is one of the few places where snow can be touched. Apparently they stick a little snowman on the hood of the car and try to bring him to the bottom in intact condition. We do not have such a fortune, although we are short of appearing on the beach as idols. The weather can play a trick and even if on the coast we melt in a 29-degree heat, during a downhill ride of almost 2 kilometers the temperature drops sometimes more than 4 times. However, there was no day when we would regret the clothes of short pants.

Pico for Gran Canaria is like Stelvio for the Alps, Col de Rates for Alicante, or Teide for Tenerife. No matter how long you are on the island, no matter if it is the best way, you have to get there.

Driveway with Maspalomas has over 46 kilometers with an average slope of 4%, it gives exactly one and three snowmen of the elevation (1888m). From the village Ingenio it is almost 23 km with an average of 7%! There are also several other possibilities.

At the top there is a viewpoint, which with a little bit of perseverance you can climb in cycling footwear, leaving some blocks on the stones. The car park should also be a busik with mandatory cycling equipment: sweet drinks, coffee and biscuits. Roads are relatively even, nice scenic (although on the local scale - average).

It is not worth wondering if the Pico entries are rightly the most famous ways of the island - anyway, you have to appear on them.



Take a picture of ordinary riders


The island is divided into two parts: south of the airport (as it usually happens in the world - richer) and north (sometimes a bit more wild).

If we care about equal roads, routes where the density of cyclists reaches a dozen or so kilometers, segments covered by hundreds of people a day, this is the right choice. It will also be warmer, more sun and definitely windier. All you need to do is stand for a few minutes at any viewpoint, and we'll hear a question with a Montyxtonian accent: "Excuse me sir, could you take us a photo? ". Traveling around the island, you get the impression that there are 3 roads that everyone can drive along - Gassy: you also wave your hand more than a gear. One of them is a flat coast where professional groups pass us (including Cze-Cze-Cze and Verva), the other two are "epic loops in the mountains", which in time turn out to be not very epic. It's probably not for us. We feel like Bear Grills in McDonalds.

[pullquote] Hey guys, do you think that's what a vacation should look like? [/ pullquote] We choose (not consciously at first) north. Primitive, empty, with roads with such a different surface that we happen to drop by at 70km / h on the grater, after which wrists still ache for a week. Although such fast descents are rare here - the number of corners makes people with my downhill technique dial here higher mid flat on flat than down ... that is, they would turn flat if it existed. The roads are so empty that the sight of a pedestrian tourist or cyclist creates a smile, surprise and a look of respect. All this, along with the multitude of routes and views that do not allow the camera to turn off, give a general sense of being a knight of hard-rock. If I had chosen to live again, it would be again around Teror and Valleseco. However, this is not the right choice for everyone. If you like a cycling community, a cup of coffee with strangers, cycling talks or you left the training plan - you will be a little disappointed. We are not normal. During 9 days we spend riding more than 60 hours in the saddle (moving time), covering over 1,100 km and over 30km of honest overhangs.



Make a selfie at the top of the world (or neighborhood)


Contrary to appearances, it is not the Pico de las Nieves that are the best views. During each ride, we pass a few characters on Mirador de Cośtam. Mirador after ichnimu is a balcony (in the sense: viewpoint), which pretty well illustrates what you can expect. Most of them require a temporary exit from the bike, but reward such sacrifice with a vengeance. This is not, for example Miradorand a small rock at one of many corners:




Do not get killed on GC-200


[pullquote] Heading from the north along the route with the eloquent name "No el Paso", we can drive her the best fragment [/ pullquote] Called the most dangerous route of Spain, GC-200 attacks with surprise, but the risk is worth the game. The route that goes definitely to my top-10 biker because of the views, surface, traffic and profile ... that is basically everything. Called the most spectacular route of Gran Canaria, known for advertising and catalogs of automotive companies, for example Porsche. More than 360 corners on 35 kilometers winding on cliffs, reaching up to 900 meters. Somewhere in the distance you can see Tenerife and the Teide volcano towering above the clouds. Sounds great? 150 avalanches are blocked every year, blocking the passage. November, during which over 300 tons of rocks flew, closed the road permanently. The authorities decided not to repair it in the future and set up a built-in fence, which does not allow to get further (seriously, it does not allow it effectively). Fortunately, he is practically at the top, so we can pass the best fragment from the north along the route with the meaningful name "no el paso". It's worth it, even if it requires traveling several dozen kilometers along the same route. Especially, that cars do not drive anywhere on the roads. I would write that it is a mandatory point for every cyclist, but I do not want to have you on your conscience if something goes (or falls) not as it should.



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One step too far means the end of holidays

Over time, we discover that the best views are not available for everyone miradorów. All you have to do is pull off the main roads to the forest paths, overcome some entry bans, go past the stones, cut the tires and draw the carbons and we're in the most charming place on the island. Almost like cliffs in Orzechów or Jarosławiec ... only higher. And Teide in the distance, Agaete village below and the GC-200 winding at the ocean. You are the king of the world, like Jack and Rose in the Titanic, Maciek and Rose are standing on the edge of the abyss where no one will ever find them. Our seat is somewhere herebut there are probably a lot more of them. At the peak, mandatory selfie. And even a selfie taking selfies.






Sunset in the north


Midnight, except that it rains more often on it, the sun appears later and occurs earlier (a bit of a paradox) has one major advantage. Clouds have their advantages, especially when you go over them. It's hard to describe it in words, it's hard to stop taking a picture as it rushes down to make it before dark, but every night it looks something like this:




Sunday round on the south coast


A visit to the southern edge of the island resembles a holiday in Italian Bibione in 1996: a beach, a hundred thousand sun loungers on the beach, and concrete molars all around. The unfinished part, the part so complicated that the tourists are brought to them by elevators and queues, all integrated into the rocks and as charming as they are. The only thing missing is a trailer with a video game saloon, a Mexican selling watermelons and a Somalis with Rolexes. It is so much that it looks caricatural. In contrast to the coastal areas known to us all, there are no advertisements, billboards, banners and other trinkets. Plus, about which I mentioned above, it is such that on the road we will probably meet thirty three other cyclists who are going this way to avoid the mountains.



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Get on the road of dreams


The road we came across by accident. Someone told us something about her, but we could not find her. Intersection of the Atlantic Road in Norway and Stelvio in Italy. Sztos - stakes.

Serenity Climbbecause it is so called in Stravie, it has only 8.5 kilometers with an average of 6%, but what are the kilometers! Perfectly smooth asphalt bristling with safety pins. It's hard to take a picture that will show them all. It is also difficult to predict during the congress how many of them we still have.

From a typical cycling point of view - probably the most epic place on the island.




Eat everything you can


[Pullquote]Tortilla española or tortilla de patatas - a Spanish tortilla, a variation of an omelette, made from eggs with the addition of potatoes and other ingredients; the whole is fried in oil. Wikipedia.[/ pullquote] Friday, 6:30 am. In the dark kitchen, we look with Krzysiek empty eyes into a bowl of cereal. This is the third bowl that I empty, then I will eat sandwiches and bars. The day before we pedaled for over 6 hours, on Wednesday over 9. It is impossible to supplement these calories only with scones from roadside shops ... but you can try!

Our life on the island consists of a change from eating, sleeping and riding a bicycle. Sometimes, to save some time, we combine these activities with each other in every possible configuration.

During the day, there is a fiesta called "sweet breads and local inventions with a sticker Canary product from the roadside store ", in the evenings HiperDino comes in for help, which is the equivalent of something between Lidl and Biedronka. It is worth remembering that in most places on Sunday you can die of hunger, because everything is closed.

Local delicacies, in addition to nuts, dates and flour derivatives, usually consist of potatoes in one hundred ways and vegetables, for example: cabuli. So if you are on the spot and want to eat something really traditional, there is no other option than: Spanish tortilla. Ours will be a potato omelette. Maybe not as much as we do for 1 euro with Dino with own addition of Jamón (ham) and a cheese-like product, but still. They serve them even in pubs.



Get dried up in your tears


[Pullquote]Guys, I am going to die here, and my dehydrated body will eat vultures circling above us.[/ pullquote] After leaving Tejada, I drive without a rear brake. Nearly 2 kilometers with an average slope of 14% on a perfectly even surface, which ends with a roundabout surprise. Braking deprived me of the front brick on 100 meters - we had to replace them in places. He turned to dust, showering my knee, raising his heart rate with every meter when his whole life appeared before his eyes. This is probably normal, because Szymon's carnivor also did not withstand this reunion. Another 10 km approaching 10% near Candelaria allow me to look around. It's even better because the surface is so bad that even a cross would suffer.

We are looking for the Valley of The Tears segment. Something with this name and QOMami Jolanda Neff guarantee tourist success. Somewhere in the distance a path leading up through serpentine vertically appears. "O ku *, but someone built a staircase!" Are our first words. It's hard to believe that it would be podieżdżalne or even that anyone would think that it can be asphalt. It was a segment Valley of Tears - The Wall, i.e. inclination at 14%. I do not know what the designer of this road thought, but he had a sense of humor. It is a pity that on this day I did not have a standard apparatus with me to give away what we had to experience.

Then it was just worse. 12 kilometers of the Valley of Tears they were probably the most difficult kilometers in my life. Not only because of the slope, but also because of the element of surprise. The temperature is approaching 30 degrees, the sun is burning and there is no lack of any catering infrastructure. Even in the hidden areas of Liguria, we could always find a water tap - there was nothing here. Scenically, the road crushes. Both the beginning and every next kilometer.

On this day, we recorded the first ever case of soreness in the diaphragm. Panda was so infected on the uphill> 15% that she could not sneeze or cough for two consecutive days.



The bike is drowning in greenness


Parque Natural de Tamadaba is one of the few green areas on the island. There are no walls, from time to time you get a nice view down, a good place to rest. A small loop can be extended by dams and abandoned settlements to the north-east. The road from Lugajeros to the village of La Hoya is surrounded by mud huts, rooms carved in the rocks and, if not for a few cars parked along the roads, you might think that the area was abandoned many years ago. Different world.





Go on a route that everyone rides


Remember how I wrote about cycling Gassach in the Canary Islands? Maspalomas is a place like this and an 80-kilometer loop is on North to San Bartolome up to the view point. The road is perfectly even, with a lot of well-curved corners, a lot of traffic (for our small one) and a thousand (slightly exaggerating) cyclists in every corner. On the way, we're on the lookout point Mirador de Fataga. Interestingly, on the first day of our stay and on the occasion of the only one with rain we move between these places, we do not meet anyone (hence the pictures that can give a slightly curved picture).



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Bicycle from Freemotion, car from Cicara

As for the organization, in Spain there is usually no problem with anything, but everything is mañana, so a lot of patience is necessary. Taught by experience, we rent the car from the company Cicar - it is cheaper and more convenient than in all "known and popular". Without bail, with a free second driver, no problems, straight from the airport. The fact that this is the best solution is always confirmed by the queue, which is about 5 times longer than other windows. For 2 days of the big Vivaro we pay about 160 euros, for 10 days Corsa with a bicycle rack - 170 euros. That we got Vito instead of Vivaro? No problem, please go to the office to replace. That we do not need the third row of seats? No problem, soon someone will come. That the Corsa trunk does not work? In 2 minutes someone will come. That Corsa is not here at all? Cool, he'll come in a moment. In this way, we spend 3 hours in the parking lot at the airport.

We bring some of the bikes in suitcases, we take the rest from the known and well-liked company Freemotion. It is more expensive than the Corsa: from about 17 euros up. On Sunday only one point is open, at the other end of the island ... it turns out that a Pole is working in it.

Accommodation, of course, with Airbnb or The prices have such a break down depending on the conditions, place and date that it makes no sense to give it. With a bit of luck, however, you can count on costs not much higher than in Zakopane.




Have a relax

Of course, I'm kidding, there's no time to relax. The right exit strategy is one after which we return to work with the thought "ufff, end of holiday - rest." However, if an injury occurs or you can spend some time sleeping, I recommend going south (once) to Maspalomas. There are dunes ... like in Łeba, only to the horizon. On the one hand, surrounded by the city, on the other - the ocean, which in December is still suitable for bathing. In the evening it is even warmer than air (so subjectively). As usual, we were a bit late for a romantic sunset, but we managed to get there at night. An unforgettable impression, especially that German pensioners are already sleeping (or playing hotel bingo). By the way, I also remind you that there is nothing better for tired legs than a cold pool ....