We cycled as high as you can get on Tenerife. We cycled to the top of La Gomera so we thought “Why not cycle from the marina to the top of Gran Canaria?” One good reason is that it is over 100 kilometer there and back. Another is that the top of the island is 1900 meters above the boat and over a steep pass. Neither reason was good enough for Heidi.
The alarm went off at six and at seven we were cycling through the dawn light. There was about fifteen kilometers to get warmed up and then a sign warning that the next nine kilometers averaged 7.7% with a maximum of 14.6%. Luckily we turned left before we had done all nine kilometers and followed a tiny pass road that averaged 10%. Later we told a local guide we had done the pass and his comment was “steep!”
At the top of the pass there was a man in the middle of the road giving out samples. A great sales gag which also worked. We bought fruit and cheese in honey for lunch and met two New Yorkers on their honeymoon. A little later we passed some construction workers and were rewarded with cheers and a victory arch of two workers left and right.
More cycling through absolutely amazing scenery and we finally reached the village of Avarata at 1300 meters. By now, we had both had enough but we were “only” 11 kilometers away from the top – and 600 meters below it – so we both switched to “bloody minded mode” and cycled the rest of the way past huge rocks and through pine forests.
At the top the clouds were closing in but we were rewarded with a view across the island with the peak of Teide a hundred kilometers away poking through the clouds.
The 55 kilometers back were almost all downhill with a stop for coffee and amazement at how far and steep we had cycled on the way up. Our route is at gpsies and shows that we actually cycled nearly 2700 meters uphill today