Holiday Ride Notes
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Sunday, 22 April 2007
Sunday 22 April. Circuit via Pinos de Valle.
Today weather started with rain in the morning eventually clearing and some sunny spells in the afternoon. We split into 4 groups in the end, a long 45 mile ride, a short 25 mile ride, a short short ride of 10 miles and a walking group.
I decided to take it easy with my back problem and joined Alan and Liz on the short short ride. We rode down the narrow road to Lanjaron with a descent of 600ft down the cliff. We joined the walking group, Mike, Jim, Eileen and Elizabeth for coffee and waited out some heavy rain.
We then rode on a little way and stopped for a picnic lunch and then down to some giant windturbines. Then back up the hill and some relaxing by the pool.
The short riders were Avryl, Richard, Ernie and Nicola who went down to Pinos Valle and then a loop round the lake of Embase de Beznar and then climbed back up to Lanjaron and then up the hill back to base.
Phil Mary Gill and Ann did the long ride. From Pinos de Valle they did a long backroad downhill to the south and then up and along the valley on the far side from Lanjaron and on to Orgiva and a long climb from there back up to Lanjaron.
Phil and Ernie impressed onlookers with short swims in the very cold pool.
We rounded off the day with another splendid meal prepared by our host Ann including Roast Pork and vegetables
Saturday April. Gatwick to LanJaron.
Day 1 of the 9 day trip by 15 Club members to southern Spain staying fxed centre at LanJaron in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range south of Granada.
Phil and Mary organised the trip staying with Mary's sister at a house with a complex of outbuildings turned into Guest cottages.
Cast of characters - Phil, Mary, Alan, Liz, Jim, Eileen, Richard, Elizabeth, Gill, Ernie, Nicola, Avryl, Ann, Mike and yours truly Edwin. Unfortunately Christine had to cancel the day before due to flu.
Most of the group travelled to Gatwick by train. Ernie Nicola and I shared a large taxi which took the 3 of us and 3 bikes.
Checkin and the flight went without a hitch except that as we boarded a forlorn looking bike was propped up in the entrance tunnel with a sign saying ID required. The tag must have come off but it turned out to be Avryls and was duly loaded. Luckily it didn't jet off on its lonesome to Timbuktu.
Normally when flying to Med we leave a dull and dismal England to the sunny south. This time fortunes were reversed with clear blue skies over England and much of Europe and cloud over southern Spain. Luckily for us a reversal back to normal state is forecast for the coming week.
We arrived at the small Granada Airport with an unusual few hundred yards walk to the terminal instead of the usual bus. Everything was organised with a van for the bikes and 2 small minibus taxis for the group to take us the 30 miles to Lanjaron. Towering above the scene were the snow-capped peaks of the high Sierra Nevada floating above a band of low cloud.
Lanjaron is situated on the SW edge of the Sierra Nevada Massive. After valley roads the route took us up hairpin bends to Lanjaron. Phil pointed out the houses of our accommodation about 500ft above the town clinging to a cliff tumbling down from mountains above.
The taxi made its way up a narrow concrete road clinging to the cliff edge and no more than 1 car width. There were 1 or 2 murmuring about the climb at the end of each day.
The upside (unintentional pun) was the great views from our accommodation down to Lanjaron and the valley below. We had a splendid evening meal with our hosts and were entertained by the dogs and cats. The big alsation believed the cats were its puppies and that it had to gently carry them in its mouth by their necks. The cats didn't seem to appreciate the idea.
Tuesday, 12 December 2006
Crete October 2005
Thursday, 6 October 2005Passport Disaster. Thursday 6 October
9 of us were due to fly to Crete on 4 October, down from 10 due to Bruce being taken ill at the last minute. Alan, Liz and I shared a taxi to Gatwick (people carrier type able to take 3 people and 3 bikes) A 5.00am pickup for me and then on to Alans'.
As we were leaving Alans' the taxi driver asked for some details of the flight back and I checked the tickets and I noticed there was no Passport in the flight wallet. I had checked it the previous evening and put it in the Barbag with the flight tickets. After a lot of searching through the barbag I asked the taxi driver to go back to Pagham where we all searched the house and the luggage and the floor of the taxi but no sign of it.
We now had to go on up to Gatwick with more searching en route and at the airport through the luggage. I then sorted out paperwork and handed over to Alan the maps, booking details and accommodation cash and then got the train back and spent the rest of the day searching the house but with no luck.
Then massive relief at about 4.00 when my Sister rang to say a man in Felpham had found my passport while walking his dog and rung her as the emergency contact number on the passport.
From the location of the mans' house I was able to deduce what had happened. When I opened the flight wallet in the taxi at Alans house the Passport must have slipped out unnoticed and lodged between my seat and the door. About 1/4 mile from Alans house the taxi driver noticed a light was still on so a door wasn't properly closed so he stopped and I opened and shut the door and of course the passport fell out into the gutter.
After getting back the passport I checked on the Internet and booked a flight for 2 days later, Thursday 6 October. Flights to Hania only go out on Tuesdays so this was to Heraklion about 100 miles to the east on Crete's north coast. My second trip to Gatwick went without any hitches and on arrival at Heraklion I was able to get the bike on a taxi to join the others only 2 days late - phew!!!
Friday, 7 October 2005Crete, Friday 7 October, circuit from Kissamos.
Today's ride was planned as a circuit from Kissamos on the North coast, where we were staying, on roads along the far west coast of Crete.
Weather was warm and sunny about 24c. After a visit to the port along the coast we started a long climb to Platanos at 780ft and a taverna elevenses stop. Beyond Platanos the scenery suddenly opened up with wild remote landscapes and views down to the west coast 900ft below us
We had a roadside picnic lunch with tremendous views. We then retraced our route a short way before turning off onto a narrow traffic free byroad.
The mornings ride was quite frustrating for Jan who had never cycled over a Mountain before (1000ft) Greatest height was 940ft. However as we cycled up the byroad it gradually climbed until at the high point it was 1015ft and celebrations followed.
Afternoon tea was at a basic village taverna which probably rarely saw tourists. Then a long downhill back to Kissamos.
Sunday, 9 October 2005Crete, Saturday 8 October, Kissamos to Paleohora
Today was a moving on ride from the North to the South coasts over the western edges of the White mountains. Weather was warm and sunny about 25c.
We had a long gradual climb up the valley with a good grade and the high peaks rising up ahead of us. We stopped for elevenses at a taverna in Topolia.
Round the corner from Topolia the road entered the dramatic Koutsamatados Ravine. We had to go through a short tunnel which had problems as it was one vehicle wide and the traffic lights had stopped working and cars were backing out as others came the other way. We waited at the entrance to the tunnel until 2 cars came up behind us and then followed them in.
Beyond the ravine the landscape opened up into a valley. We then turned off onto a minor road and started steeper climbing with traffic counts down to about one every 10 minutes.
We stopped to regroup at a junction. A farmer and his wife were tending a field of grape vines and possibly (correctly) thinking we needed it approached us and gave us great armfuls of grapes which were consumed with relish.
We continued on through wilder and more remote mountain countryside eventually reaching the top at 2539ft.
After lunch near the top we continued with a fast descent, but then I impacted a wasp at high speed which stung me on the lip. This was not good as I get an allergic reaction. Avryll gave me an antihistamine tablet. I was able to continue a few miles to a small village with a cafe to recover. By this time my lip and cheeks had swollen up massively but breathing was not affected. Some old villagers were taking coffee and Arthur came across a dead wasp and was able to mime what had happened (complete with buzzing) The villager walked straight to a nearby tree similar to a fig tree and picked some leaves and directed us to apply the sap to my lip. This seemed to have an immediately beneficial effect.
I was able to continue after an hour and we went on down to the South Coast town of Palaechora which was to be our base for 3 nights.
Distance was 30.3 miles with 3241ft of total climbing
Arthur gratefuly receives the Grapes.
Climbing High, getting near the top.
Edwin receives the leaf herbal treatment
Crete, Paleochora. Sun 9th to Tues 11 October.
Crete. Tuesday 11 October. Waiting for the ferry at Palaeochora.
Breakfast at Agia Roumeni
Samaria Gorge, The Iron Gates, 1000 ft high and 3 metres wide
Crete, Samaria Gorge
Thursday 13 October. Agia Roumeli to Loutro.
View of Loutro
Crete, Friday 14 October. Loutro to Hora Sfakion.
Crete, Morning view of Loutro
Crete, Walking the cliff path from Loutro
Crete, Saturday 15 October. Hora Sfakion. Day ride to Frangokastello.
Crete, Avryl rides the clifftop road near Hora Sfkafion
Crete, arriving at Frangokastello
Saturday, 9 December 2006
Crete. Sunday 16 October. Hora Sfakion to Georgiopolis. A Sunday ride over the White Mountains.
Crete, Sunday 16 October. A birthday surprise for Avryl.
Crete, Monday 17 October, Georgiopolis to Hania.
Crete, Alan and Liz climb the hairpins from Georgioupoli
Tuesday 18 October, Hania to Rethimno.
Today everybody else was getting an afternoon flight from Hania back home. Due to my flying out later due to the passport problem I was starting a 2 day ride back to Heraklion to fly back Thursday.
Weather was warm, about 23C and sunny in the morning and clouding over in the afternoon. Some rain came through but luckily not till evening.
I got a little lost coming out of Hania and ended up joining the National Road. On the flat and with a NW tail wind I got up to 23 mph which was OK with panniers!
After Souda I rejoined the byroads we had taken the previous day via Vamos and stopped for lunch at a cafe in Georgioupoli.
In the afternoon I took the Old Road which is well inland from the new National Road. Ridges come down from the White Mountains so travelling east there are constant ups and downs gradually increasing from 500ft to 837ft.
I found a very plush Hotel on the seafront at Rethimno and gave it a try. Arriving on the day and at the end of the season I got a room for 40 Euro, 20 off the normal rate.
Mileage for the day was 47.
View west of Vamos at 738ft
Crete, Wednesday 19 October, Rethimno to Heraklion.
View down to Heraklion on the Old Road at 1570ft
Tuesday, 5 December 2006
Friday 13 January. Lanzarote . Puerto del Carmen to Costa Teguise and back to Puerto del Carmen.
Costa Teguise Beach
Byroad between Volcanoes on the way back
Saturday 14 January. Lanzarote. Volcanoes Ride.
Riding up to Asomada
Shattered volcanic cone
Riding towards Timanfaya
Sunday 15th January. Lanzarote. Circuit to Mount Tarnia.
Sunday 15 January. Lanzarote. There are Trees!
Wednesday 18 January. Lanzarote. Tabayesco and La Nieves Ride.
Byroad climbing fromTabayesco
View from the top of the pass
View from La Nieves
Thursday 19 January. Lanzarote. El Golfo Crater and Femes Ride.
El Golfo Crater
Near the top of Femes Hill
Saturday 21 January. Lanzarote. Club Ride to Teguise.
Riding inland from Costa Teguise
Lunch at Teguise. Photo by Alan
Sunday 22 January. Lanzarote. Costa Teguise.
View from Cesar Manrique House
Tea at Avryl's
Lanzarote, Monday 23 January to Thursday 26 January
Lanzarote. Wednesday 25 January. Descending towards village of Soo
Lanzarote. Thursday 26 January.Alan and Liz on Playa Blanca Seafront
Lanzarote. Sunday 29 January to Wednesday 1 February.
Lanzarote. Sunday 29 January. Alan and Liz at Jameos de Agua Caves
Lanzarote. Thursday 2 February. Viewpoints Ride.
Lanzarote. Thursday 2 February. Hairpins on Haria Pass
Lanzarote. Thursday 2 February. View from Mirador del Rio
Lanzarote. Saturday 4 February to Monday 6 February
Lanzarote. Saturday 4 February. Plane coming into land over cyclepath
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