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Continuing on from Part 1, we rode back to near where we landed on the island originally, at the airport, where we were staying in some cabins at a campsite.
Unlike the Casa Rural where we stayed the last 2 nights, this was not as nice as expected, I guess I fell for the marketing tricks they used (“minimal Eco cabins near the beach!”). The campsite was near where they were building new developments, and was completely walled in with high fences, you had to go through a tiny locked gate to get to the beach. Jolien said it felt a bit like a refugee camp. The cabin was OK, no kitchen though, just a fridge. That was sorted out by the huge amount of free, left-behind camping gear we found in the Camping kitchen. Stove, pots, cutlery, even a little coffee maker!
We went for a sunset hike up the Montana Roja nearby, from where we took most of the pictures. There wasn’t much else to see around. This part of the island was very different. Dry, empty with most tourist developments being on this Southern side due to the lack of rain compared to the North and East side.
We went for a smaller inland ride, that’s me speeding by on some rare photo’s of myself riding for a change. We end up in a tiny town to eat a sandwich, where a large group of women were protesting due to it being womens day. Lots of whistling and yelling involved while they moved through the main street. It was interesting, having lived in Sweden where women’s rights are something much more entrenched in people’s minds (I don’t know enough to make any claims on actual rights differences between Sweden and Spain), you could tell here in Tenerife the (old) men sitting outside observing (as you get so many of in Spain) the whole phenomenon were thinking something along the lines of “who let these crazy ladies out and what are they on about?”
We went out for another ride in the evening, stopping at a natural arch, the kind of unique thing Jolien always gets excited about.
Our goal during that sunset was the Sanatorio de Abades, an abandoned former leper colony built during Franco times, over 60 years ago. It was never completed or used (due to an effective leper medecine being developed) and is still mostly standing today. Centrally the interesting architecture of the church is a real eye catcher.
This place was seriously cool, as the pictures hopefuly bring across. I wish we had some more time there as we were really chasing the last sun rays there, and Jolien understandably struggled getting her heavy bike over the bumpy, sandy track leading there. Looking back at the photo’s we’re like Indiana Jones characters in a movie or something!
We rode up El Teide for the third time the next morning. Not that we minded, the sights and roads up there are just amazing, and we descended over the east side, a road we hadn’t been before, taking you past the Space Observatory. Jolien really started to have fun riding and remarked often how nice the roads were. That’s my girl!
At the bottom we had an amazing lunch at a local restaurant, I didn’t mind skipping my vegetarian requirement for these amazing roasted chickens!
We really weren’t expecting what came next. The east side of Tenerife is not talked about so much; it’s covered by lush green mountains due to the amount of rainy weather it gets. clouds are often trapped between the mountain tops when they blow in from the sea. This part of Tenerife is not very wide, so at times it’s possible to see the sea on two sides of the mountains. We were just blown away by some of the sights and roads here. You’d be riding on the actual ridge of a mountain line, ocean in the distance, while clouds float around you and roll over the mountains around you, abslutely mind-blowing.
We rode that road multiple times, there’s really not much more to add to the pictures. We loved it there, and staying at the hostel up in the mountains was a good choice. Even though it wasn’t very luxurious, we had the best views I’ve had in any hotel ever, anywhere in the world. From a 17 euro room with bunk beds!
Our hike the day after was cut short when we experienced first hand the rain and clouds that make these mountains so green. We felt a bit like failures compared to our Estonian roommates, who went out hiking early every day…
Instead we rode down the mountains, where weather was instantly better, to satisy Jolien’s craving for greasy croquettas. Afterwards we visited the main, oldest city on the island: Santa Cruz. We had our only ride of the whole trip in rain that evening, heading back into the Anaga mountains.
Our last riding day turned out really epic, as we headed down a one-way stretch towards Benijo. Where the road stopped there was a great lookout spot, where the mountains meet the ocean.
I’d looked up some lesser-known beaches before the trip, so the second one we visited was also quite good, though a lot more busy due to its proximity to cities and tourist areas. By the time we got to Puerto De La Cruz, we’d done almost every part of the island and I guess most of the interesting roads. We considered going to La Gomera or Gran Canaria, but the ferry costs for two motorcycles just weren’t worth it. If I come back here with Edelweiss I’ll get the chance to try out both.
It’s safe to say this trip was a real success. We had such variety in scenery, hotels and roads. It was a very different way of travelling than with the van, and we both really liked the change, and I’m super proud of how much Jolien has come into her ow with riding. Oh and finally: the strict German rental agency owner, who we feared would charge us for every little scratch, found everything to be perfectly ok!