Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

March 7, 2011

Windy bicycling and kayaking, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Unlike our first trip to Fuerteventura, where there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the wind was calm, we got a full dose of wind and clouds this week.  But it was still warm and dry, and I wasn't about to lose an opportunity go to bicycling outside, instead of on my trainer.    I rented a mountain bike in downtown Corralejo, and since all roads lead south from here, well, I headed south.  The strong winds were at my back, and the sun came out enough to make my arms start to burn.  So it was a fast journey at first. 

I had it in my mind to go about 100 miles on my dusty rental, just to get down to the mountain roads that I had enjoyed so much during the last visit.   However, the bike shop hadn't opened until 10 a.m. that morning, so I knew I would be running short of daylight if my pace dropped.  I climbed steadily to the highest road on the island, and my favorite curving road through Betancuria was just down the other side of the hill.  Stopping at the overlook, which was chock full of other bicyclists and busloads of tourists, I realized that the wind was going to significantly slow my journey back home, and that I probably would end up riding after sunset.  With no light, that wasn't a great idea.  Change of plans.

Luckily, my husband and our friends were out and about in the car, and we agreed to meet at a tiny black sand beach they had discovered the day before.  Heading back to Las Molinas against the wind, I was lucky enough to arrive within minutes of their rental car. We played on the beach for a while, watched the waves crashing high on the cliffs, and then had a late lunch in the tiny unnamed restaurant serving the fresh catch of the day. 

I had saved myself a few minutes by shaving some miles out of my intended route, but I still had a long way of fighting the wind to get back to the hotel.  I left my companions still shooting photos of the waves, and headed out again.  This time is was a very slow pedal back again, going at half the speed and cursing the wind.   But, the roads were wide and smooth, the traffic minimal, and the desert scenery was awesome. 

I do admit to a feeling of relief as I hit the last hill down into town after 67 miles, with cracked lips and a strong desire to escape from the buffeting winds. 

Trying to safely get through the surf into open water

A few days later, I noticed that there was a kayak near the hotel pool, and asked if I could rent it.  The surf and winds had been high all week, so conditions weren't great. But as a future Adventure Racer, I figured I needed all the experience I could get with paddling, as it's harder (and colder) to get into the water in England.  I think it should have been possible for me to take the kayak out to sea and around Isla Los Lobos, which isn't very far away, but the staff convinced me that the conditions and currents would be very rough and quite dangerous.  After getting into the kayak and starting to paddle, I fully agreed with them.  The waves were quite high, and paddling against the wind and surf took a lot of strength.  I'm sure I could have made it out to the island, but getting back might have been another story altogther....

Anyway, I had a rough hour's paddling out into the bay, and then called it a day.   Unfortunately for me, the next morning as we were flying out, the winds dropped and the ocean was much calmer.  I would have had a much easier time of it then...asi es la vida.

My kakak and I getting lost in the waves
View from our airplane window as we were leaving...

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