Fuerteventura: Athletes in winter training
On my last day with the hired bike, I decided to head south and visit the second largest town on Fuerteventura, Gran Tarajal, and also check out the many references to a sports training hotel in Las Playitas. Everyday, I encountered numerous racing cyclists, either riding in pelotons or solo, obviously in training for the forthcoming season. Where were they coming from? A German couple I met the other day told me about a hotel in Las Playitas that specialised in training camps.
When I eventually found it, several kms off the main highway, obscurely hidden in a small cove with a ´fantasy beach´, I expected the frontage to be swarming with cyclists ready for the off, and their bikes littering the entrance lobby. The opposite was the case. No sign of any bikes. I had to enquire at reception if this was the hotel. I was not only in the right place for budding triathletes, but I discovered the hotel catered for a plethora of sports, including tennis and golf, each discipline with its own team of professional coaches.
Behind the scenes, the place was crawling with young athletic-looking people, mostly engaged in some kind of warm-up activity or gym-type cross-training, that required spinning bikes to be stationed by the beach, or pilates and stretching by the olympic length pool. The whole place was disturbingly purpose driven. The hotel guests had not come to spend time sunbathing on
the beach. Their purpose was to get themselves primed for the new season in their sport.
That is not to say that they never had time out. But nowhere would you see common beach sunbeds, but rather these elegant carriage seats that gave a measure of privacy, especially
for those who had an artistic talent to develop.
For those of you who spend hours driving yourself hard in the heavy atmosphere of an indoor gym, imagine doing what you do out in the open, in 25C of sunshine, looking out onto a white beach and blue sea!
If you want to cycle in Fuerteventura and avoid the hassle of taking your bike on the plane, I would heartily recommend Caleta Cycles owned by Geoff and Estelle, in Caleta de Fuste. Their prices are very reasonable, they include a lot of extras (helmet, pump, puncture repair, pedals etc…) and their service is open and friendly. Check out their website here
Total distance covered in six days: 405kms