Sunday, April 08, 2012

Cycling to the north and south of Corralejo

Some sites are keen to promote Fuerteventura as a place ideal for family sports, including cycling. Much as I want to promote Fuertevenura as ideal place for everything, “ideal” for family cycling it is not, at least not in the North, around Corralejo.

Both kids are now cycling to schools and sports, under our supervision in Timur’s case. I was thinking for a while that we should do some longer rides and the Easter hols seemed like an ideal opportunity. So we did two slightly more extended trips — one to the north-west, towards Majanicho, one to the south, to the dunes by the road. What follows is an advice by a lay person who cycles, not a dedicated cyclist, keep that in mind.

The road to the dunes is the easier one. The guide to the Fuerteventura cycling (which I can’t locate now, but I am pretty sure I am right) recommends to go on the road, outside the white line that separates the car space for nobody’s space. My personal advice is — don’t do that. At least, don’t do it when you are with kids. The road edge is about 70 cm wide in most places, and the wind (Fuereventura, remember?) could be strong and sudden. Last thing you want is your kid swaying unexpectedly into the path of the cars, and mind you, quite a few cars are rented, so drivers are not local and not ready for anything like that, plus a few are driven on the “wrong” side of the road from the driver’s point of view. It’s a hazard for everybody involved.

What you can do is either use the parking space that stretches along the road, or space beyond the line of short poles. Push the bikes where you see sand on your way. Those spaces are less convenient for cycling, but at least safer. When you just leaving Corralejo and start going along the shore, you can use a hard, flat salted ground on the level of the beach — push the bikes up to the road level once you run out of cycleable space. You should be more than half-way to the first of RIU hotels in the dunes, it really helps.

Once past the hotels, the dunes proper begin and you feel rewarded for your effort.

Road to Majanicho (officially “bicycle path number one”) is trickier. It’s a dirt road, there is no surfacing as such, and it is extremely dusty. When a car comes (and there are plenty, apparently there are good surfing beaches that way), you are engulfed in a red cloud. Dirt and stone surface also mean that if, like me, you have fillings in your teeth, you feel like you are about to shake them out any moment. There are people who drive surprisingly fast, given the surface or rather lack of it. I guess rented, fully insured drivers feel like it’s OK to bash the car; maybe failing to grasp that they might bash a lot more’n a car.

Timur got tired very quickly, and he is a reasonably fit boy. So we didn’t get to Majanicho this time, just stopped by a small surfing spot, where there was a group of cars, boards on the roofs, waiting for the right kind of waves. It didn’t arrive while we were there.

Kites in the dunes

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