Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Our Fitness Program

We grab the bikes and once again explore the bike paths Las Palmas. An ambitious goal is on the program today. Not that we see red for some non valid reason, no, the bike paths here are usually painted red. Where they are no longer, we make sure we are recognized as cyclists with our red heads and fast-breathing lungs that have switched to snap breathing. The destination is the Lidl at the top of the hill. Of course, it is also easier, because we could get what we need also in a Super Dino here very close, but somehow we must train us the Bavarian white sausages again. Not to think what I would have had to listen to if the suggestion had come from me. So we drive sweating, but without grumbling, the 12 percent uphill finish, directly into the arms of a lottery ticket seller who wants to sell us a few tickets in front of the Lidl. 

Bicycles important means of transport

Spaniards are gamblers and they like to buy these tickets, so you can find ticket sellers on every corner. I hang my red head in the pizza freezer and search longer than usual for the right one. In the process, I slowly get back to normal temperature. Also the way back is not so easy. Although it is mostly downhill, but the bumps hit with about 20kg of additional luggage up to the rim. The brakes have so their dear trouble, the white sausage on the saddle with the backpack on the back, to slow down. Somehow we manage to get back from this adventure unscathed, but the next one is already coming up. La Atalaya located in the northeast of the island is known for its pottery. We combine this with an extended hike around the place. There are signs that should show us the way, but they are each at the wrong location in the round. Nevertheless, we find the way. 

Nuestra Senora del Carmen

First, we descend steeply into the valley. Leaving the one or other finca on the left, we roam through a landscape of mighty agaves and various succulents. In rock niches and under the agaves rustles the animals, which flee in flight, driven by the unusual ground vibration, which is generated by us lonely hikers. We come to the small catholic church "Nuestra Senora del Carmen" which stands in the middle of nowhere on the valley floor. Following the valley, below La Atalaya we reach the ridge where the inhabitants have built their houses as caves. In 1890, the dwellings consisted only of caves and were almost invisible from afar. Meanwhile, in front of the cave entrances are stately buildings that combine tradition and modernity. 

La Atalaya Gran Canaria

But we don't have a view of that for the time being. We have switched back to snap breathing and slowly work our way up the steep slope. In front of us on the path is a large branch, which suddenly moves as we approach and disappears in a hole in the wall. Lizards in all colors accompany us already since Rome to here on the Canary Islands, only they become ever larger. The specimen today is with its 50cm one of the biggest lizards we have seen so far in Europe, if one can still count the Canary Islands geologically to Europe. With a respectable distance we looked at each other for a while, until I continued to climb. 

Lizard in Gran Canaria

Gaby has already gone a bit ahead, but I quickly catch up with her again. The path gets worse again and you notice that no one has walked along here for a long time. La Atalaya is a beautiful village, but like many things here it is marked by Corona. The pottery museum has not been open for a long time, tourism has come to a standstill. The pottery workshops are all closed. Even the bars have barricaded their doors and so we are lucky to catch the bus that takes us back to Las Palmas. Here we make up for the loss of fluids due to our fitness program. But to stay in training, one of my favorite disciplines, the wet laundry transport, is still on the agenda this week. The wet laundry haul is a sprint discipline. Riding the bike to the SpeedQueen, surfing the internet for half an hour, loading laundry from the washing machine into the backpack, not leaving a sock in the drum if possible, and then riding home as fast as possible to hang the laundry on the railing to dry.

Shopping at the market

I don't have to mention that you have to be trained to achieve good times here. We train regularly with cabbage hauling. We walk to the market for 20 minutes, fill our backpacks with cabbage and other fruits and vegetables, and then walk back for 20 minutes. Fitness level is measured by the difference in time between walking there and back. Make sure you don't start running dehydrated, otherwise you'll have to make up for the fluid loss in a bar on the way back, and the bar stop will completely ruin the time for the run back. You see we keep ourselves fit with various activities. What we plan and implement in the next week you can read as usual on www.glenswelt.com. Subscribe to the blog to never miss a post. As always, we wish you fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.


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