La Palma Cycle Adventure

 


 

When I was told I was off to La Palma, I thought I was yet again going to Palma, in Mallorca. A sheepish google later and I realised it was a small volcanic island off the coast of Tenerife. Having now been there, it is very clear that the tourist board's claim below of being the pretty island is very much under-selling the island! 

"Home to incredible landscapes, imposing volcanoes, dense forests, unique beaches, and star scattered skies, the island of La Palma is rightfully named ‘La Isla Bonita’ (the Pretty Island)"

Sold by the video the tourist board produced, we packed our bikes on to an Easyjet flight and strapped a couple of days kit to our bike to attempt to ride up, over and round this beautiful island. 

By Chris Smith

Thursday 29th November 2018

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Just west of Tenerife, the island feels a million miles from anywhere. the sleepy airport, quiet roads and 23-degree temperatures, are a complete change to our normal November London lives. We arrived and checked in to our bike friendly hotel. Our warm up ride was a rude welcome to the islands beauty and harshness. Steep ramps away from the coast and a 1600m climb from sea level over 25km, through volcanic landscapes, forests and lush palm trees allowed us to get a real feel for the island. The constantly changing vegetation and climatic layers providing a different photo oppotunity at every turn (or an excuse to stop and get my breath). 

Day 2, we strapped our kit for an overnight to our bikes; (don't worry we can arrange a baggage transfer for those that don't want to do this), and set off to cross the island at the highest point. 2235m from sea level over 40km made it a very very long climb. We climbed through volcanic landscapes and lush rain forest before we poped out on the top. A landscape filled with telescopes, akin to the moon and with a splash of snow. Weird as we had been sweating in 20+ degree heat earlier in the day. The other half of the day (other than the odd climb out of a river valley) was gloriously downhill. A quick stop at a petrol station for a very late lunch and we crawled in to the town of Los Lanos for our overnight and a well earned Spanish feast at a local restaurant. 

 

Relive 'Morning Ride'

 

Day 3 was mercifully easier and took us to the furthest tip of the island. The beautifully wierd black volcanic landscape being very prominet here and accentuated by the mist that rolled in off the sea when we were there. This road was like a wilder Sa Calobra. About the same length and severity and a great climb. From the top, we stopped in a cafe for lunch, and then all was left to do was to whizz back down to Los Cancajos for a quick dip in the sea. Not a bad finish for a November day! 

 

Relive 'Morning Ride'

 

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