From town to city

From town to city

It was an early start this morning and we were rewarded with a colourful sky before the sun had even risen. What a way to start a day!

Dawn colours

Riding along the sand by the lagoon the sun was shining and it was just us and our bikes following in the fresh footprints of someone who got up even earlier than we did, haha!

The sand was brief and we turned off onto a very smooth fresh cycle path, the perfect answer to the feeling of our legs today after yesterdays gravel hill fest. Plus there's nothing worse than riding to catch a ferry and having serious off-road sections that take hours to ride. We were heading for Morro Jable on the south of the island to travel by boat across to our next island, Gran Canaria.

Flat miles

I wasn't feeling too good this morning and really needed to use the bathroom, it was all I could think about when I was riding and after an hour I asked Charlotte to keep an eye out for any open cafes when I spotted a hotel just off the road. Striding through reception and pretending I was a guest I headed for the nearest toilet. Rather unexpectedly I was in for a suprise and not the good kind, I'd gotten my period. It wasn't due for another two weeks so my body is obviously feeling a bit stressed and thought for some ridiculous reason that the answer was just to add to my stress, particularly as I hadn't brought anything with me to deal with it. Charlotte to the rescue with an emergency tampon - phew, crisis averted!

The rest of the ride to Morro Jable was a lot more comfortable and as we cruised along the nice cycle lane everything seemed to be a lot greener. There was grass. Green, green grass of home kind of grass, and trees too. There's been a distinct lack of any colour other than beige really in both Lanzarote and here in Fuerteventura so it was a nice change to see a bit of colour.

Finding the port we soon had our tickets sorted and time for a second breakfast of spanish omelette, bacon and cheese in a baguette.

Second breakfast time

Boarding the 11am ferry it was time to say adiĆ³s to Fuerteventura and look forward to our third island, Gran Canaria. One of the best things about this trip is that we did zero research on the route or islands so we have no expectations and therefore can't be disappointed :-)

Two hours later we docked in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the place looked huge. There were lots of massive cruise liners docked and I hadn't actually appreciated just how large a city it was. Riding through it the cycle infrastructure was impressive and luckily it was a Sunday so there wasn't too much traffic. Stopping for a picnic lunch in a square it was nice to just people watch and see families out and people walking dogs.

Picnic in the square

Still in the city we then found ourselves on a gravel trail hemmed in by rock walls and surrounded by blocks of housing. Charlotte showed me the banana plantations and there was a lot of greenery to be seen, a little urban oasis in the middle of the sprawling city.

It was a long gradual climb but it looked almost flat, fake flat Charlotte called it as we weaved our way along the trail. It was very humid and pretty exhausting but we kept slogging away up to Tafira Alta, the highest point of our ride and the beginning of the fun stuff, the downhill. Ooh it was a good one, nice fast tarmac with very little traffic and winding roads, just what we needed to cool down after the sweatfest of the climb. I don't have any photos, I don't have many of the downhills as I'm always too busy enjoying them!

All good things come to an end and as we could no longer freewheel it was time for a well earned snack stop. Eating ice cream in a bus shelter, classic cycle touring - and only the one today ;-)

Our final stretch of the ride saw us slowly climbing again to the historic town of Telde. Having checked tomorrows weather forecast for our planned ride up and over Pico de las Nieves it showed rain and thunderstorms, not what you want at 1,800 metres. On the ferry ride we'd decided to book a hostel for two nights to avoid the worst of the bad weather and so we found ourselves checking into the Canary Sun Hostel in Tende in the late afternoon. Mentioning the weather to the lady checking us in she seemed to think it wouldn't happen and we both looked at each other as if to say, do we still stay here tonight? Well we are here and I have to say that the shower was magnificent after three days of very sweaty riding. Let's see what the weather gods bring tomorrow but for now I'm happy just to be clean and excited to see the delights that Gran Canaria has to offer us.