Rising from my tent into the misty morning clouds I was feeling rather tired after a poor nights sleep. I'd thought I would sleep like a baby after the exertions of yesterday but it seemed that my body had other ideas. After tea and porridge the sun was creeping over the hills and it was a lovely morning sight.
After a nice bit of downhill to wake us up it was time to start climbing and Charlotte stopped to raise her saddle. I heard a clink and a groan from her and turned around. The spare seatpost clamp that she'd put on yesterday had completely snapped, now this was quite a pickle! Not one to be defeated she tried various things before settling on simply riding with the saddle at it's lowest.
With the seatpost taped and cable tied to avoid it swivelling round she tied her saddle bag on top of the handlebar bag and continued to ride up the hill. Anyone who rides a bike will know how hard it is to ride with your saddle too low so I was very impressed that she simply pumped away and got up the hills.
The sun was shining and it was very calm and serene, with only the odd bird call to break the silence. We were surrounded by wonderful views and as Charlotte pushed her bike up a particularly steep section of the trail she said, 'I can't think of anywhere I'd rather walk my bike' and I couldn't have agreed more.
The climbing ended on a road section and then it was time for the good stuff to begin. We turned off onto a gravel trail and our smiles grew as we saw the bounty that lay ahead of us.
The trail was pretty smooth and sweeping and oh so lovely. It felt like this was the downhill that we'd been craving yesterday from Pico de las Nieves and it was the gift that kept on giving as we grinned our way down the glorious mountainside track.
The breeze was divine and the riding was just effortless, nothing too taxing or too technical, just flowing beautiful lines with big scenic views around every corner. It really was rather epic.
Reaching a section of switchbacks we could see a couple of riders much further down the trail as we began to zigzag our way to join them.
It's been a long time since I've enjoyed such unbridled joy on a bike. I was grinning like a cheshire cat and ooohing and ahhhing around every turn. As we neared the bottom we could see the sea, it had felt like weeks since we'd been by the coast when in reality it was only a couple of days.
After a spot of lunch we began to climb again on a trail lined with pine trees. These were more of a classic round tree shape and smelled like lemon disinfectant. The rockface also changed with bright colours on the rock, deep reds and light greens.
Even though Charlotte was riding with a low saddle it didn't impede her speed at all, she was still ahead of me cranking out the miles and I honestly didn't know how she was managing it, I would have been crippled with knee pain in her situation. She really did just put her head down and deal with the thigh burning pain, she's one hell of a strong rider and a damn tough cookie!
One final bit of gravel downhill brought us out onto the road and even that was a pretty spectacular sight along the coastline.
It was road all of the way to Agaete where we would get a ferry across to Tenerife but as usually it wouldn't be all smooth sailing, there was still nearly 300 metres of elevation to conquer along the way. For now though our thoughts were firmly focused on the winding fast road ahead.
Seven kilometres of descending followed, it was a zen-like experience as we didn't see a single vehicle and had the road to ourselves. Coming to a junction ahead we met up with two other riders following the Granguanche route so we chatted for a bit before parting ways. Our next road section was definitely not a dreamy downhill. The road was busy, the uphills relentless and the sun was beating down on us with it's searing afternoon heat. We could see the ferry port in the distance and it taunted us as it wasn't getting closer as quickly as we would have liked.
Cresting our last hill of the day we wheeled down into Agaete where I celebrated with my favourite post ride drink, chocolate milk! It never fails to disappoint and I'm sure it has magical abilities for recovering tired little legs, haha.
We headed for the beach where Charlotte had a swim and I paddled for a bit before sitting down for a rest in the shade before our 4pm ferry.
The ferry was quick and we arrived in Santa Cruz de Tenerife not long after 5pm.
We headed straight for a bike shop to get a new seatpost clamp for Charlotte and in the second shop we came up trumps, woohoo. We rode to our hotel for the night, there were no hostel rooms available and no camping and tomorrow we'll be meeting up with Alice, one of Charlotte's friends who is going to be riding the route with us for the next few days.
As for Gran Canaria, it was pretty awesome, big climbs, big downs and big memories. I wonder what Tenerife will have in store for us....