6.50am, sunrise will be upon me in a few minutes, no tour today. Normally that means a bike free day…..but today is another “adventure day”. Everything is laid out from the night before, so breakfast is a rather calm affair. Porridge with a big spoon of raspberry jam. Whoever said porridge was only for a cold morning?
I know, but I don’t know, where I’m going on the mountain bike. I’ve never been in this lava field that I plan to visit. Even so, a map is left on the table with a series of circles, numbered from 1 to 8. It’s easier to explain where I am if something goes wrong. 2 phone call times are scheduled in as well.
I love “adventure days”, I love my MTB and Lanzarote’s got that unique off-road terrain that quells my hunger for more of it. Will today uncover a new route? Can I add in changes to existing tours? Who knows, but I’m like a boy at Christmas and even though the legs might be lethargic for the first while, that excitement for what lies ahead makes the lactic acid from a hard week disappear very quickly.
Once I get to the general “zone”, it’s about getting on the first unfamiliar dust track or lava path. I’ve looked at the google map in detail from the night before and from the track, I’m expecting to go around the top of a Volcano. I’m about 30 minutes into it when I realise that my expectations are not going to be met. The loop simply circumnavigates the base of two Volcanoes and comes back out again…..a little like a “lollipop” route. It doesn’t matter…..behind every cloud, lies a silver lining, well, at least the saying has an air of motivation about it and I like it.
Half way around the volcanoes and the scenery is just off the reichter scale, the only problem is, I ain’t on it, I’m about 3km away from where I now want to roll. “Stick to the plan” I’m thinking, “get around the volcanoes and come back”….and so, it’s another half an hour of going through the motions. I can’t wait to get up on this new play ground.
It becomes a tough ride as narrow 4×4 track turns to pecan single track. Nevertheless, it’s special and you get that feeling it’s only going to get better! Those thoughts are confirmed as I reach the top edge of the Volcano.
The Volcano is a work of art…..the beauty is of a different planet. The thought process immediately turns to bike tour potential. Right at that moment, it has tour wrote all over it…..but for now it’s about finding a different route back out. That’s when it all went “pete tom”.
The route quickly becomes invisible, steep and snow deep in pecan if that makes any sense. In between slaloming down the volcano, I stop on occasion to relieve my footwear of pecan chips. But the fun or maybe not such much fun was just about to begin for the next 2 hours.
Back on track in the middle of the lava field, the terrain was rough. It’s an Armageddon playground, except this looked like an old quarry that had been well tidied up and restored to liken the natural terrain……the pathway must lead somewhere. 30 minutes later, I’m in a dead end. Going backwards is the best option if I want to get out of there. If I do, I am going to see all that fabulous terrain for a 2nd time in one day, but what lies ahead? What lies undiscovered?
It’s super rough, the bike is on my shoulder. I can see where I want to go, but the terrain dictates that I cannot go in a straight line. What looks like an easy 15 minutes takes 1 hour and 35 minutes!
Finally, I’m back on some “ruta unica”, I’m ready for home. Another hour and a half of time standing still in my head until I get home – a watch really has no place on a bike tour guides wrist. Put it in your back pocket, forget the time and enjoy your bike. Will any of the route become a bike tour? I already kind of know the answer, but I’m going to sleep soundly on it tonight!