Following up from the previous post, Lutz, Steff, Rocco and I spent a nice rest day on the beach just downhill from our house on the fifth day of my vacation. While we were hanging out at the beach, Gregor and Martina went to pick up Ben from the airport who just arrived from Berlin. That evening, we cooked a big meal on the grill and hung out upstairs in the bar at the house. Everyone had fun chatting and then we decided to show some love to our favorite crazy Canadian.
On the sixth day of my vacation in Tenerife, Lutz, Steffi, Ben and I decided to go for a ride despite the threat of bad weather. We drove to the bottom of a nice trail and then started hiking up. As we hiked up, the weather changed from clear to foggy, then rain, and finally some sort of ice-snow-slush mix. Despite being cold, we continued up a bit more before riding back down. Steffi stopped at the car and Ben, Lutz and I continued down an additional trail, at the bottom of which Steffi picked us up.
When we got back to the house that evening, we had a nice hot meal and hung out by the fire while we prepared for our big day to come. We were planning on hiking up the 3700 meter volcano in the center of the island. This was to be the highlight of our trip on the island. We had heard murmurs of issues with snow on the top but decided that we would still give it a try and turn back if it got unsafe. Thus, on the morning of my seventh day we awoke at 5am and started the two hour drive to the bottom of the climb. As we were driving, we saw lots of evidence of the big storm on the previous day and as we drove higher up the mountain, we began to see snow and ice on the road. As we pulled over to discuss our options with the other car, a local car passed us and told us that the road was closed higher up. Thus our attempt to climb the peak was unsuccessful before we even started to hike. We decided to instead head towards a trail in the area that we had been considering riding. The other car with Gregor, Martina, Rocco, Marco and Jana decided to have a day off and headed back to the house.
That left Ben, Lutz, Steffi and me to head towards this trail. In contrast with other trails we had done so far, this one started higher up (around 1000m) and headed to the sea meaning we would ride down first and the hike back up. As our attempts to ride down the technical trail continued to get more and more difficult, Lutz, Steffi and I decided to stash our unicycles and turn the day into a nice hike. Ben, always hardcore and ready to ride, continued to try to ride down the trail but was also walking the vast majority of it. The weather changed from rain to sun every five minutes but the hike was down a really stark and beautiful ravine so we were happy despite the spouts of rain. We stopped frequently to figure out which way the trail went (often quite tricky to discern) and to take pictures.
Further down the track, our adventure was less of a hike and more of a scramble and canyoneering as we had to use all our limbs to climb over boulders or even traverse down rock features. While a bit more than we bargained for, it created awesome views and was a lot of fun. After over five hours of hiking down, we arrived at a rocky beach that opened out onto turbulent ocean waves with a view of the next island in the far-off distance. We took a break, looked around the beach a bit and had some food. While it was too dangerous to swim, Steffi and I shed our clothes and walked down the rocks to the waves and got soaked by incoming waves and spayed enough that it still count. We hiked back up the trail to the car in the sun and subsequent rain taking only four hours despite the elevation and challenging track. We returned to the house after a fourteen hour day exhausted but quite satisfied despite our failed attempt on the peak.
After sleeping in, on the eighth day we decided some easier riding was in order so excluding Martina we all drove to the bottom of a flowy trail, hiked up, and cruised on down. Following a nice lunch, Ben, Lutz, Steffi, Rocco and I headed up a second trail. The trail was really muddy which made the ride a bit more difficult but still relatively easy. Near the end of the ride, I attempted to ride some really slippery stairs that I nearly made on my first and managed to fall and strain two fingers. Luckily they were on my left hand and it was a relatively short ride back to the car. After stopping at a gas station for ice, we drove back to the house to eat dinner and relax.
On the ninth day, we drove Gregor and Martina to the airport and went for a ride in the rockier south part of the island. The ride turned out to be much rockier than we bargained for and thus turned more into a hike and trials ride. However there were some fun technical sections and nice light for some photoshoots. After a dinner of pizza in the village where we finished our ride we headed back home.
On the morning of the tenth day, Steffi, Lutz, Ben and I decided to park at the bottom of a long trail and then take the bus up to near the base of the climb to the peak of the island and then ride back down to the car. After waiting for the bus for 30 minutes (we thought it might just be on Spanish time) we asked a local and they told us the bus was canceled for at least the next few days due to the snow. Without the bus, we decided to just hike up. After starting in mist, we quickly rose above the fog into a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky.
What started as a nice forest trail turned into a snowy hike that started to remind me of tree skiing in Colorado, excepting the June temperatures. After hiking up for about an hour, we reached the road after which we had planned to ride back down. However, when we looked around, we saw people walking up in the middle of the road and after a ranger drove past, we found out that the road was closed to vehicle traffic due to the snow. This explained the lack of busses. Since lots of people were heading up, we decided to follow.
After to climbing to just above 2000 meters, we came to a visitors center which was closed but had personnel that told us that the road was totally closed higher up. Thus we stopped there, relaxed in the sun (it got up to 35ºC in the sun) and had some snacks before riding and sliding back down the road and trail to the car.
Today, my eleventh day on the island, Steffi, Rocco, Marco and Jana drove to the airport to end their vacation and head home. Now without a car, Ben, Lutz and I took a bus to the biggest city on the island, Santa Cruz. After arriving at the hotel, Ben went for a quick ride while Lutz and I took a day off and walked around in the center of town and on the waterfront. It’s quite strange to be hanging out in the hotel writing this after staying at the house with everyone. It’s very quiet and I miss the big group however I will be seeing one of them again in just a few days! (More on that soon!) We’re about to head back out into town for dinner, hopefully more tapas!