Now that our homecoming from Lanzarote is a little over a week away and I've had a full week of work to create some sort of normality in my life, I think it's time to write a little about the experience, linking to some of the pictures from my Flickr set from the trip in the process.
Flying to and from Lanzarote takes around five hours plus check-in, getting the luggage etc. I had my own bike with me, of course, and upon arrival I stood and waited for a long time along with the two others that also brought their own bikes. Finally we gave up and started walking out to find somewhere to report them missing. A both Danish and Spanish speaking member of the Club La Santa “Green Team” greeted us and helped us out. It turned out there was some place somewhere to pick up our bikes and other large luggage, but of course not a single sign anywhere pointing that out. The airport personnel looked a little annoyed when they dragged our bikes out to us. They should put up some signs instead.
The apartment was fine, with a nice view from the terrace, a small kitchen and a refrigerator. There was several restaurants to go to if you didn't want to bother with cooking yourself, and an on-campus “Supermercado” with a not too impressive assortment of groceries, but a remarkable selection of sports bars, gels and powders. And lots of bottled water, because you can't drink the tap-water on the island, it is just desalinated seawater with a little chlorine for good measure. There's generally no ground-water on volcanic islands.
Cycling on Lanzarote is great. There's not too much traffic on the roads, and with the exception of a single incident with an aggressive idiot in a car (“Probably British…” as one of the Brits I rode with said), all motorists were really nice and patient. The road surfaces are either very good or really bad, mostly good though. The topography is equally binary, it's either up or down all the time. As an example; there's only two roads that lead away from Club La Santa, each start climbing within the first kilometer, and there's no stopping before you've gained at least 200 m altitude. You can easily climb 1000 m in a 60–70 km ride without trying at all. Very good training.
I can recommend the Tabayesco climb, I climbed it twice, and it is just over 550 m in a little over 9.5 km, 5–6% average, a little steeper towards the end, but otherwise a very steady climb. It's a great feeling doing a real climb like that.
I also swam twice in the 50 m pool, and it's great. It's wonderful to swim under an open sky for once, and I really prefer swimming in a 50 m pool, there's fewer breaks in the rhythm from the turns, and long sets feel better, faster and less boring. And everybody in the pool can swim and know how to share a lane with others.
There's of course lots of places for running around Club La Santa, both on- and off-road, and if you're so inclined there's a fine 400 m track for speed work. They basically have facilities for all kinds of sports and also silly games like tennis, football, golf and so on.
While we were there, there was a hugely succesful dance-camp with 150 participants. They did a lot of their training on The Lawn, right in front of our apartment, and listening to the same 30 seconds of the same piece of music at irregular intervals while they were learning the steps was a little annoying. Add to that the occasional aerobics instructor in the background and I choose to sit inside instead of outside in the noise when relaxing. Next time I'll take the cheapest apartment, far away from everything else, that must be more quiet.
I'm definitely going again, probably for both weeks of the Triathlon Training Camp [PDF, 2p., 2.5 MB] they have right now, provided they repeat it next year. And I have to do Ironman Lanzarote some day.
Unfortunately Mette Marie wasn't as impressed with the place as I was, but she's far less of an endorphine junkie than I am, so it's not surprising. So I'll have to leave her and our then 5½ months old baby for 2 weeks if I go to that training camp next year. That'll be the hardest part.