WharfedaleBex

By WharfedaleBex

"Smile!"

"I can't!" is Rich's reaction, with his back firmly to the camera on arrival at the last summit.

It was epic for a ride of only 33 miles! 

Amazing and epic! Over five thousand feet of ascent in the first twenty miles. That's a lot for our legs in one go. And it was mighty hot at times. 

We found the scenery though and that's made gruelling completely worthwhile. 

We'd finished the grand ascent in two stages with the most delicious tortilla we've ever had half way up; secret ingredient - banana! That set us up well after feeling like we'd just scaled a cliff face on six miles of seemingly endless switchbacks.

We were cycling in the north-west from Garachico and heading up to the col before dropping into Santiago del Teide. 

A quick bar stop for a drink and refill had us on the first of three short but not insignificant climbs back out of wonderfully lost-in-time valleys through the ancient village of Masca (Blip). The difference between the north and south of the island is dramatic. Humid, mist-filled air makes for a lush landscape on intertwined and towering cliff faces.

It is a tourist route but we were fairly lucky with our timing only finding one bus blocking a hairpin and many considerate drivers. The rest was careful, steep descents and just slightly-too-testing ascents in intense heat before our last high point.

The way down didn't disappoint. Over ten miles of glorious wide road on good tarmac. We managed another cafe stop on that too! It's taken forever but that's OK when you're feeling good and the scenery keeps on coming.

A 'one of the best' kind of a day to add to our collection of magnificent memories.

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