Life from an outsider's perspective…

Cycling in December

Hello Leslie,

I was saddened to hear about the forest fires and hope they did not get close to where you live. News reports I have read on the Internet have not been very detailed. How did the fires affect you personally? How are the islands coping?

Well, on to happier topics. In February I read an article on cyclingnews.com about Daniele Bennati training in the Canary Islands and I have been dreaming of vacationing there ever since. I couldn’t believe it when I found your website. An English speaking person running a cycle touring company in Tenerife???

I am making plans to be there the last two weeks of December and will want to hire your guide services for a couple of rides. I love your description of all the rides on the Islands and am looking forward to doing some of them. I will be bringing my own bike and am pretty adventurous about riding on my own, but I will definitely compensate you for all of your advice and help.

I was hoping you could help me with a few questions, mainly about hotels. I am thinking I want to stay in Puerto de la Cruz. What I would like to find in a hotel are:

– Nice pool and/or beach
– Good location to restaurants and nightlife (I am not keen on eating at the hotel restaurants)
– Parking for a rental car
– Kitchenette
– Internet access is a must unfortunately

100-125 euro average per night or less would be great, but I am certainly willing to go higher for a nice place. From what I have found it looks like part of my stay would be at the maximum rate and part of it at a somewhat reduced rate based on the season.

I have read good things about Hotel Riu Garoe, Turquesa Playa Gran Hotel and the CasaBlanca Apartments. I haven’t researched hotels very much yet, so if you can narrow down your recommendations to just a few, or even one, that would be great. From what I can tell, I should probably make a reservation soon. Also, any advice on getting the best rate from one of your recommendations would be much appreciated as well.

Thank you for your help so far. If I get up early enough tomorrow, I might give you a call!

Hello,

The forrest fires are of course all under control. It started about 5km to the west of Puerto de la Cruz, in a district called los realejos, and from there spread further up & west. Hence the region around Santiago del Teide, Masca and Teno was hardest hit. The fires WERE deliberately lit, and its beyond me why they do it… apparantly one was a forrest worker who “wanted to keep his job”.

Driving through there yesterday was pretty saddening… but its nothing compared to the true danger & devastation that Australian bushfires pose (I’m an Australian by the way, living with my new Canarian family) Having said that, I just went out today with a british client, who drove through there to get here and she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary! It has affected the morale of the local Canarians; its the worst fire in their history I believe, and naturally they’re upset about it. Gran Canaria also had a deliverately lit fire.

I started my website because there was practically NO information about cycling in Tenerife in 2005. The only way I make any money with the site is with the hire bikes, and doing some guided rides occasionally. Rides were never as popular as I had originally anticipated, so I’m going to branch out into other things such as “challenging training events”. Actually its taken me over a year to compile my “cycling in Canaries” links, both on the main links page and in the blog.

Its best to hire me for the Anaga Rides…(difficult to get to, spanish needed for the few restaurants there are. etc), and possibly the Esperanza one, as you can’t go on the highway… Getting to Teide etc is pretty straightforward.

The standard of hotels varies considerably… some are for German tourists, some are for spanish… pretty much all hotels have pools, so no worries there.

Have not heard of Riu Garoe actually. OK I’ve just seen it on the web… looks pretty flashy. I know the Riu Adeje in the South is definitely a grand hotel. The south (as a whole) is just not reccommended though. Anyway, could not locate it exactly on the map, but I do remember visiting it on one of my leaflet drops and the staff were actually very friendly. It does look really nice, but not particularly close to any life or beaches. Not sure if there are kitchenettes/internet. The closest restaurants will be in the El Botannico region (really quite nice), probably 500m away. Its in the La Paz zone, which translates as “The peace”.

Turquesa Playa Gran Hotel reminds me of an airport, with shops in the main multi-storey foyeur (spelling?) and a separate gym. Not sure if it has a kitchenette. Its definitely it an odd location, but quite close to playa jardin (the main beach) I suppose. There are a few restaurants by the beach road, otherwise its a bit of a hike to the downtown region- like almost a kilometer.

Casablanca Apartments should have kitchenettes, ’cause they’re an apartment complex; not strictly a hotel. I found them to be very friendly; only one of my fussy old Canadian clients did not. Internet: I don’t know but we can ask. Its close to playa martianez… but probably playa jardin is a better (bigger) beach. Its the smallest of the 3 you mention, also the most central of the lot. Plenty of places to eat nearby.

I believe Masaru Apartments have everything you request, although the internet access is pricey. I don’t know why, but I prefer the east zone of El Puerto (El Botannico). They’re mentioned on the website, but we don’t have any arrangements with them or anything. Gotta go. Please get back to me if you’d like more info. I can ask around for some rates, see what I dig up. Do let me know what (if any) other hotels you’re interested in though, okay?

Sorry I was out this morning, perhaps try calling again…
Thanks,
Leslie

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