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Tenerife Mountain Goats, Rabbit Stew and an inquisitive local
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Contributed by Dr. Leslie Brown   
Friday, 27 October 2006

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Tenerife Mountain Goats

While Tenerife is mostly known for the climb to Teide, there are some equally impressive bicycle rides elsewhere on the island.

Afur is situated in a radical location; nestled right down in a steep sided valley. Perhaps Taganana is more spectacular overall, but Afur feels much more remote.

Unlike Taganana, there is no road access to the beach – one reason Afur is not as popular.  The valley has a cosy, secluded feel to it, but it isn’t as dark as Masca in the afternoon. This is one place on this island where you feel that mass tourism has not beaten you there.

Tenerie Mountain Goats 

What it does have is a certain charm. It’s what I imagine Tenerife used to be like: little isolated towns and villages, linked by mountainous walking tracks.

Finding the right way to Afur is not particularly easy. It is best to ride along the secondary roads to the old city of La Laguna, and then you must transgress that network of labyrinth-like one-way streets.

Tenerife Mountain cycle climbs 

It’s no exaggeration that your guide has spent hours going around in circles & generally getting lost here, orienting himself with the place. Maps don’t do you any good as there are no street signs; you either know your way through this maze, or you don’t. 

Once you pass Las Mercedes, you won’t find cyclists, or even cars for that matter, just empty winding roads. And smoother than you’d think possible - given the location. In fact this whole region is just waiting to be explored, boasting terrific views around every corner.

After the initial 400m climb to Pico del Inglés, there are spectacular views either side of this mountain backbone. Following this, there is an amazing 700m decent, down into Afur.

Tenerife Mountain Bicyle climbs 

There is only one restaurant in Afur itself. They don’t even have a menu in Spanish, let alone English! Specialties of the house? Take your pick from either rabbit or goat meat. Just a handful of German hikers pass through here each day, stopping to admire the place and refuel. 

When I arrived with my bicycle for the first time in March 2006, there were three local old retired men talking outside. While I sat eating my meal and later rested, one of these characters stared and puzzled over the bike and I, like we were from another planet. It was even a little off-putting at times, especially when I was eating that hardy rabbit stew lunch, as he didn’t take his eyes off me the entire time – for half an hour no less! It’s like he’d never seen this new contraption called a bicycle, nor a rider, at least not in Afur.

Perhaps he thought I was Lance Armstrong, because no one else would be silly enough to cycle so far down into a forgotten valley to eat at his neck of the woods. 

You can never stay in Afur too long, as there is that 700m climb looming overhead, and the fog eventually starts to roll in. So once the food has at least been partially digested, the slow ascent begins, up and out of the beautiful region that is called Anaga, back towards civilisation. 

Since then, I have ridden with people all over Tenerife, but this is one tiny town that people remember the name of. 

For more information about cycling to Afur (and other locations in Tenerife), either guided or self-guided, please contact:

 

www.Tenerife–Training.net

 

Located in La Orotava, we can arrange bicycle tours & quality road bike hire during your stay in Tenerife. Dr. Leslie Brown.
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