Recovery & trial hunting
Today is the last effective day of this training camp in Tenerife. After yesterday's heavy ride up El Teide today was about two things. First to get a recovery ride of about 50 kilometers on the racing bike. Just to ease the legs, and get the blood flowing through the body. Nothing special training wise, just keeping the watts and the heart rate low. It was also a great excuse to get some nice video's for the website. I'll be uploading them in a few days.
The second part of the day was about some trial hunting on the mountain bike towards a little decommissioned building on a hillside not far from here. I've been seeing this sad looking building everyday as I rode past after ascending El Teide. Today was the day to finally try to get up there.
From being here more than a week now, I know the roads a little bit. So I knew were to go, more or less. After reaching Costa Adeje I had tot turn onto a forbidden part of the land somewhere. Eventually, after some searching I reached the entrance of the road that is suppose to lead up to the church. At the entrance there was a big sign saying "prohibido el acceso". Which translates to me "have fun".
The first part of the road was still on tarmac which meant good steady progress. But after a few kilometers the tarmac just sort of stopped. Instead I got these big loose rocks. I had myself another enduro stage. A lot of fun navigating these difficult roads. At this point I also reached a little horse range. There were no people there, but there was a very annoying dog which kept barking like crazy.
A few kilometers further there were a lot of abandoned houses. Somewhat like a ghost town, and it's exciting and scary at the same time.
Cars that have trees growing out of them, house with lots of graffiti written of them, some cats and again some dogs. Very friendly dogs & cats this time.
Up ahead I could see the church building getting bigger and bigger, which meant I was getting closer and closer. I must say it again, the views are incredible, even at only 350 meters altitude. After getting up to 400 meters altitude I reached a little house on top the hill. A sort of american style house with lots of abandoned cars and old material. But also, funny enough, chickens. So somebody must still be using this place for something. I decided to stop here for a nice panoramic shot.
After having eaten some tasty Etixx strawberry energy bars, I remembered a story that a few locals had told me about this part of the hill. Basically what they said was: People don't like trespassers and sometimes they do own a gun. So I got on my way. Don't wanna be shot on my last Sunday in Tenerife. Would be a bit of a bombshell.
The roads are still used here, because it's more fine grid that i'm riding on now. After a few hundred meters I started to go down a little bit, and then I had to make a small deviation from the main road to get onto a food path that lead up to the church. All in all I must say, this my Garmin didn't let me down. It knew all the roads here. I stopped for some more pictures and got on my way again.
After this deviation the roads turned for the worse, but it was just a final very steep push towards the church. Minutes later I reached the top, and the little building. I say building now, because after reaching it, I came to realize that all the church part of the building had fallen down the hill already. So it was just the living accommodation that was still standing there. I say standing, I mean that was still holding on to the hill desperately. I think, in 4 years, this will all be have fallen down the hill. because of erosion. Nevertheless, I'm here now, let's have a look inside. Just hope nobody is using this a there current house, of drug storage, or gun storage. Or even more scare, ghosts. Anyway, I explored the surroundings and the building in this next video.
After making this "Blair witch project" video. I decided the best thing to do was to get down as fast as possible. So I did. Discovered on the way down that cactus plants hurt when colliding with them. And big rocks don't move. Eventually, losing 8 of my 9 lives, I made it down towards the residential aria, where, you guessed it, the gates were closed and locked. My luck ran out apparently. But I had my multi tool in my bag. So I could easily Macgyver of A-team my way out. I just needed a bulldozer. I didn't find a bulldozer, but luckily this is Spain, and the build quality of stuff is not, let's say, as reliable as Dutch or Polish construction. So I could stretch the fence, and climb over it. Seems not that hard, but try it with a 20+ pound bike on your back. But I made it out alive.
Thank you for reading my story today, and I'll write to you tomorrow. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
And here are some more pictures from this amazing day.