Cruising in Tenerife – Part 1

Jolien and me have been traveling exclusively by van up until now, so we thought for our spring trip, we’d change things up a bit. Jolien can ride a little 125cc motorcycle legally without a proper motorcycle license, so we decided to head to Tenerife  for her first “motorcycle holiday”, due to its compact size and the relative affordability of flights and motorcycle hire.

We spent a whole sunday in Puerto De La Cruz, waiting for the rental shop to open on Monday. It was nice to leave cold Europe, but one day was enough in such a touristy place: we felt a bit out of place among all the silver-haired pensioners strolling along the surf!

Our hotel was also a bit atypical for us. While the rooms were a bit worn but further quite OK, the breakfast was not all that great. I’d expected it to be at best typical uninteresting Spanish breakfast fare, but Jolien was honestly expecting something amazing, even talking about “spending an hour having breakfast”. It turned out that even I was overestimating the breakfast, as it was truly one of the worst we ever had: bad instant coffee, juice more akin to syrup, jam that smelled like paint and cornflakes and bread similar to cardboard!

An bicycle ride to the abandoned Gordejuela pumping station turned out a lot tougher than expected: they sure have steep hills in Tenerife!

Monday morning we picked up the bikes, slightly worried because of the extremely strict attention to detail of the rental shop’s German owner’, and packed them up with the fancy Mosko Moto luggage I’d purchased for this trip. I almost received Mosko gear to review for my big adventure trip in Sweden 2 years ago, but that never happened so I decided to just purchase them myself. They turned out fantastic.

I planned the routes for this trip a bit different than with Edelweiss or my adventure rides: they were mostly shorter so Jolien could get used to it all. She’d only ever ridden a bit back and forth in Belgium, so these mountain roads are a big step up.

The bikes are really just simple, Chinese-built 125cc’s. Jolien chose what she thought looked cool, yet still had space for luggage, I chose what I was most comfortable with. It’s all a bit slow up the mountains, but no matter, they’re good for learning and enough to get us there while take in the scenery.

We arrived in the little town of Chio around noon, and got accustomed to Spanish delays while we waited to be let into the place we’d booked. After our last time in Spain, we were more prepared to go with the same rhythm, not doing much around noon when it’s hot, and getting going again in the afternoon.

That first day I was also quite proud and relieved with how well Jolien did. For me a totally different motorcycle on unknown, very twisty roads is nothing new as I do it for 2 months a year with Edelweiss. But for Jolien this was the first time on another motorcycle, in another country, on twisty mountain roads, in hot weather. It was exhausting for her at first!

We planned to change location every 2 nights, and our first booking, a “Casa Rural” in Chio turned out fantastic, one of the best of the trip.

We did a loop on the Northwest side of the island, past the famous Masca-valley. We skipped on the hike since it’s just not practical with motorcycle gear, plus I’d read about how it gets overrun with tourists these days.

Lof Gigantes cliffs in the late afternoon. This was a bit of a busy side of Tenerife, quite the difference with sleepy Chio.

Our method of taking a break mid-day and then going for another ride in the late afternoon meant we could go for sunsets in just the right places. The Mirador De Cherfe on the Masca road was worth another visit.

The next day we rode up to El Teide again. Jolien remarked how she couldn’t remember most of this, even though we rode it just 30 hours earlier. Back then she was so exhausted from that first day I had to stop to buy her a Red Bull so she could make it down. This time around, after 1000’s more curves in a single day, she was much more prepared for it.

Our favorite part up at El Teide was the big valley, it seemed straight out of a movie when riding through on a motorcycle, you could just imagine “Born To Be Wild” playing in the background!

I’ll post part 2 soon.

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