Lanzarote Day 1: 80kms
There’s a well known truism in the world of cycling: if the wind is blowing, it will invariably be in your face. Of course, like most Brits, cyclists too like to engage in the national sport of complaining……
My hire bike was delivered to me at my hotel by Roberto who, surprisingly, turned out to be Italian (married to a Venezuelan and now living in Lanzarote…..now, work that one out)
..and that’s why I ended up with an Italian bike with Campag equipment. It took me a few wobbly kms to get used to it, reminding myself that the brakes (as on continental Europe) are set up in reverse (back on the right, front on the left), the gearing not quite the ratios I’m used to (this is a 53/39 on the front, not the compact 50/34 I’m used to……) but hey, who cares, this is only for a week.
I headed into the hilliest part of the island, the north, unprepared for the near gale force winds coming in from the north east. But let’s pretend I’m a real, hardened cyclist……….such eventualities are part of the package of cycling life, aren’t they?
My plan was to ‘cruise’ the 80kms and build in 4 major visits:
…the first at an Aloe Vera museum that had this curious ‘stick woman’ telling me to “keep out!” of places I shouldn’t trespass:
….the third at another cave system (Cueva de los Verdes) which, because of its super acoustic, is used as a concert venue…but back in the 15th century, the natives used this cave to hide from pirates and corsairs, whose primary intent was to capture them and sell them into slavery…
……and the final stop was to re-visit a ‘mirador’ (cliff top viewing point) which overlooks the tiny neighbouring island of Graciosa
Still some 50kms from base, I knew my work was cut out for me to get back to the hotel in Costa Teguise.. A few sharp hills, followed by a prolonged but dramatic switchback ascent,
combined with head and crosswinds, both fighting for priority…..well there’s a story to tell there.
But I knew that, eventually, I had to turn with my back to the wind, and for the last 10kms, it was a cruise.
All’s well that ends well…..which means, I ended with a long-forgotten experience…..a long soak in a hot bath……and before any of you wags dare to ‘guffaw’ at my general lack of hygiene, I’m usually a shower man. 🙂 …..QED.