Tenerife 2016: first impressions - Alex Rybakoff's live journal
янв. 21, 2016
10:59 pm - Tenerife 2016: first impressions
First few days in Tenerife are over and I'd like to share some impressions while they are still vivid. Click "more" to see the sun, the ocean and the colorful Spanish towns.
+22. Sunny. Can go out in sandals and shorts. Am I in paradise?
The first thing I usually notice in the South are flowers and their smell. That's strange, because in the normal life I don't really care about smells, I'm more a visual. How about you, dear reader, what do you notice first when going to the South?
It's very funny to see how our "Christmas flowers" (sold for 3€ per pot) grow everywhere in flower-beds.
One of the first places I've seen this time in Tenerife is La Laguna, because there the closest bicycle repair shop is located. (My bike was a little bit damaged after the flight). I was impressed with the size of the shop and the range of goods it offers. And even more surprised I was when they said that I don't have to pay for the bike repair (it was the quick one, but anyway). That's so touching!
People are mostly friendly here. They smile, greet each other, talk very loud and sing sometimes. And very few speak English, so "yo hablo un poco español" already :)
A huge university is located in La Laguna, making the city quite lively.
Department of Philology. unhappy_raver, this is where we would have been spending our young years if we would have been born in Canary Islands :)
Beautiful tranvía. When I write to people something like "I'm in a tram now" and they know that I'm in Tenerefe, they are quite surprised. Well, it's a part of that big and remote world indeed, but local people use it and like it. There are even double trams running now to provide more capacity.
Tram is a good beginning, but Tenerife still has a long way to the sustainable transportation. It's a shame that such a beautiful piece of land is spoiled by an excessive amount of cars.
I needed only 2 bus rides to La Laguna and back to be able to navigate through the center without a map and to feel like a local, waiting my bus and going down to the valley with other suburban dwellers. It takes me not that much time to adapt to any place and I am very happy about it.
By the way, I tried AirBnb for the first time and it worked well. A decent price/quality combination, let's say.
* * *
On the next day I needed to buy a local SIM card. There is no place to buy it in my village so I went to the town not far away, Tacoronte. It would be an ordinary bicycle trip otherwise, but there are 600 meters of height difference between my place and Tacoronte. Buying a SIM card was never so demanding :)
First stop in Valle de Guerra to stay in a shade a little bit and to rest after a couple of short but steep ascends.
The road to El Pris. This would mean 200 extra meters of climbing up, so I left it for the next ride :)
I felt awkward on my own bike at that day because I mostly rode fatbike in Helsinki during January and got used to it. Moreover, I installed a new seatpost and bought SPD sandals, so 2 out of 3 contact points with the bike were new. Too many changes, I would say. Fortunately I regained the feeling of "my own bike" on the next ride.
Finally Tacoronte! I was tired, my face red despite of sun cream and I thought why the hell I am doing this. Then I remembered that I had the same feeling during the first demanding ride in the mountains of Switzerland two years ago. This feeling quickly changed to "wow! that hill is awesome, I'll climb there".
The mobile phone store was closed, but I didn't care much. Mañana! :)
Time to go back, time to go DOWN :)
* * *
Remember El Pris? One evening I decided to go down there and then climb on the nice serpentine road.
150 meters down in a minute. How much time will take to climb 200 meters up (the other road is located 50 m higher)?
It was windy during that day and the waves were huge.
I really like the fact that almost in any place there is a safe alternative to swimming in the open ocean. I have a place like this near my house and appreciate it really much.
The good side of now knowing local language is that you'll try the food you'll never try otherwise :) Sometimes it's awful, but most of the time it's good or at least... hmm... interesting :) This one is of the latter category :) Something made of milk, with syrup. And café con leche of course!
My bike will miss bicycle racks during coming months.
There is a short stretch between El Pris and Mesa del Mar, where it's not possible to ride. But it's easy to walk the bike and then continue cycling.
Budget accomodation. Sea view.
Hairpins are awesome! They made very gentle ascent. I am sure that anyone can cycle there without much effort. 200 meters felt like nothing, but the views were stunning.
Only 20 minutes ago I was there, drinking coffee on the embankment. Now it's time to ride back home!
I wouldn't say that asphalt roads are pleasant in Tenerife for cycling, there are plenty of cars on any road. But at least the drivers are mostly polite and will probably not cause any harm. This is likely to be related to the amount of road and MTB cyclists who come here especially in the winter. I see them every day and perhaps the local people are used to them and respect them on the road.
Beside cycling, I've been also hiking in the mountains, of course! So more pictures are coming! :)