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Ninja Dan 01-30-2013 06:49 AM

Tenerife
 
Well, I'm fairly new here to the forum and while I don't off-road travel so much I was really drawn to all the beautiful photos and great stories here. I was very fortunate to take a trip to Tenerife this year and was able to rent a bike for a day. For those of you who do not know Tenerife is one of the Canary islands off the west coast of Africa and it is part of Spain. *It is beautiful there and very diverse from black sand beaches and palm trees along the perimeter and then as you go up the mountain there are a mix of trees turning into mostly pine until the very top just below the volcano El Teide where it is a surreal barren rocky surface. *The weather is just as diverse with the sunny shores of the south island to the rainy and cloudy northern side. *It can be 72 degrees at the shore and below freezing at the top of the mountain, all within an hours ride.

Before I get to the photos I have to discuss the roads. *For the most part they are in terrific shape with rare instances of filled potholes and debris. *The roads are incredibly twisty with the exception of the expressway and a few places atop the island near the volcano. *They are narrow though and in some cases only wide enough for two small cars to pass through with very little room for error. *Thank goodness most of the cars are tiny. *The roads also don't have shoulders for the most part, it's usually a rocky wall on one side and a guard rail or in some cases nothing and a precipitous drop on the other. *Thankfully there are pull outs along the way to let faster traffic move through or to stop and take some photos.

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Start my trip on the sunny southern coast with warm weather, sea breeze and gently swaying palm trees.

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My FZ6 rental. *Cost about 18 Euros to fill the tank. *It was almost empty and the tank holds about 5 gallons or 20 liters. *It lasted the entire day but I didn't track how many miles I travelled, my guess is the mpg isn't very good.

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Overlooking the town of Vilaflor. *It is about a half hour up the mountain from the coast. *The weather starts warming again as you approach.

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A door in Vilaflor!

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Stumbled upon a local parade. *All were encouraged to march with the group including myself. *I followed for some time but had no idea what all the excitement was about. *There were no floats just an array of costumed townspeople from the very young to adults. *It was followed by a van that was blatting out music from a roof mounted PA system. *I was told later that this was the remnants of the Carnaval festival that had ended as we arrived to the island.

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One last view of Vilaflor. *Note the clouds, the weather at the coast is probably in the 70's. *In the cloud as you ascend it gets very cold and when you are on the north end usually some precipitation. *Once you break through the clouds it warms up again, that day it was in the low 60's as long as you are in sunlight.

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This is a combined photo. *The bike did not move I just shot the road from in front and behind, trying to illustrate the twisty nature of the roads.

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Still climbing the road to El Teide, the volcano mountain peak.

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Look at the dark volcanic soil. *The forest was just starting to thin out as I was reaching the plateau.

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Once you get to the top it looks like an alien world.

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There is still variety in the landscape and some amazing rock formations.

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The highest point on the island is just over 12,000 feet. *The roads won't take you to the peak, a cable car is needed for the last part of the journey.

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The pink church, highest in the land resting at 7,700 feet above sea level.

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Passing the mountain and heading to the north side of the island, sandy with rocks scattered about unlike the very rocky southern section of the mountain plateau.

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Overlooking the clouds for the first time. *I had no idea how cold and wet it was going to get as I was heading down the northern slopes.

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Standing above the clouds. *A nice German couple took my photo. *Made fun of me as I ran my hands over my head to fluff up what little hair I had left, I thought it might be mushed down from the helmet.

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My last moments in the sun for quite some time.

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Looking back at El Teide one more time before my descent.

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I was about to head down the mountain and into the clouds. *I chose this route based upon the map. *While twisty it seemed far less tight with more straights than my other options.

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The ride down was cold and foggy/cloudy. *There were times when I couldn't see more than ten feet in front of me. *Then the stinging ice crystals and sharp rain drops attacked me. *Even with the discomfort it was beautiful. *I stopped along the way hopping the I could photo the fog and clouds rolling off the side of the cliffs and over the road. *The camera did an okay job capturing the scene but it was much more dramatic to the naked eye.

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Along the other side I visited the coastal town of Candelaria. *Stepped inside this beautiful church.

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Outside the church along the sea wall is a row of eight statues. *They represent the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands.

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On my way to find something to eat I ran across this dog and cat show. *I don't know if any of you remember the old Warner Bros cartoon where the new puppy constantly sneaks up on the cat and barks and barks to frighten the cat. *This was the live performance of that very cartoon. *The dog looked to be having so much fun and the poor cat couldn't wait for him to go away.

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I had octopus with potatoes.

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And small fried fish. *Never know what you are going to get when you can't quite read the menu. *You eat the fish head and all.

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Near the church in Icod De Los Vinos.

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In the coastal town of Garachino is the Castillo de San Miguel. *Constructed in 1575 as a fortress.

I went back up the mountain afterwards, there are four main roads so I did a convoluted figure eight across the island. *The way back up was even colder than the way down. *I was completely uncomfortable and wanted nothing more than to break into the sunlight once again. *While there were some gorgeous views I simply wanted to press on and get out of the cloud bank.

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I stopped at a restaurant near El Teide and had a bowl of chicken soup to warm me up. *So glad to be back in the sunlight.

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The incredibly winding roads near Masca.

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The village of Masca built along the cliff walls. *Later that week my wife and I would take a four hour hike from the village down to the sea.

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More of the bluffs near Masca.

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The sun was starting to set on my adventure.

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After I returned my bike I was greeted to a beautiful sunset.

Tenerife is a beautiful place with gracious people, delicious food and diverse landscape. *Most people speak English as it is a popular destination for UK travelers as well as other European visitors. *It isn't horribly expensive, prices for food and services are slightly more than the US but not out of line. *A great place to rent a bike and explore!

Comrade Art 01-30-2013 03:41 PM

Tenerife looks amazing.
Great pics and thanks for posting!

eemsreno 01-30-2013 03:48 PM

Great R.R. but I just couldn't eat the food, no way.:clap

Rutabaga 01-30-2013 03:48 PM

Wonderful pictures and narrative. Don't get too many reports from Temerife and this one is memorable. Contrast between the sun foggy sections is dramatic. Nicely captured.

Domromer 01-30-2013 08:12 PM

Wow! Beautiful!

Babelbabek 01-30-2013 10:44 PM

great pics!, i was there a few months back, rented a suzuki gladius, and did a similar kind of roundtrip, although not on such good weather as your trip, i got hammered with rain in teide, and was freezing my ass off, but as i am from finland, we are quite used to it in here as it rains most of the time in here.

some of the best roads that i have ridden in asphalt were in tenerife, one of my favourites was TF-28 from granadilla de abona to guimar.

Teide and itīs surroundings are quite unbelievable also, the sights are hard to beat on a sunny day.

https://maps.google.fi/maps?saddr=G%...a=1,2&t=m&z=12

edit: you can check a few pics of my own here: http://redneksi-babek.blogspot.fi/20...aristossa.html

the text is in Finnish, but pics are universal, :)

Ninja Dan 01-31-2013 04:56 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

eemsreno, for the most part the food isn't all that exotic. I couldn't eat many of those little fish. I tried to give some to a wandering cat and even he wouldn't touch it. The octopus was quite good, very good in fact.

Babelbabek, thanks for sharing your photos. I think I was on that road with the car I had rented earlier in the week, there are some very narrow and twisty roads going up the mountain.

jmcg 02-01-2013 01:51 PM

Great report and pics.

Thanks,

JM.


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