clearlakemike's wunderblog

Bangalore or Bust - Chapter Two - Incredible India

By: clearlakemike, 6:38 PM GMT on February 28, 2006

I got my plane ticket to India (and a big bill)and am now just needing to get a visa from the consulate and I will be all set, except for all the research for touring, going over to Berkeley to REI and getting clothes that are suitable for the Indian climate and protection from the dreaded mosquitos.

A friend of mine told me that REI makes lightweight, long sleeve and long leg clothes with mesh in them for breathing that protect you as well. Easy to wash out in a basin each night and be ready for the next day out seeing all the exotic sights that India has to offer.

I didn't have any adverse reactions to all the shots I took last month so the anti-bodies should be ready for action too.

Haven't had much time recently to look at all the links our traveling companions, who are from southern India, have been sending us but will be hopefully this week. There are five of us going together. Two of the women are Indian nationals, who live and work here in the US, and they have a lot of great "inside info".

We are planning on flying up to Delhi in northern India on one weekend to see the Taj Mahal and then over to the famous coast and Goa Beaches along the Indian Ocean in southern India. I am sure it will all be very fascinating.

Flight times are not too bad. Going eastward rather than out over the Pacific. 10 and half hours to Frankfurt with a two hour layover and then a 9 hour flight to Bangalore. Heck, I sit on a plane for 7-9 hours flying on Southwest just trying to get across the US. Southwest is like a bus, stopping along the way to let people on and off across the country. So it will be like flying to Florida and then waiting two hours and then flying back. At least on this trip I will get more than just peanuts to eat. Have to dig out the little travel scrabble set that helped us keep our sanity on the long flights to and from Australia.

Updated: 9:01 PM GMT on February 28, 2006

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WOW, WOW and WOW

By: clearlakemike, 3:36 AM GMT on February 25, 2006

It has been an exciting past two days in the Tour of California and the weather could not be better.

Unforgetable watching the peleton come zooming over Bixby Bridge over the steep Big Sur canyon with the dramatic backdrop of the Santa Lucia mountains dropping into the Pacific Ocean.

Today the peleton moved down the coast from San Luis Obisbo and up into Santa Barbara counties' Santa Ynez mountains. Up a steep ascent and descent over the San Marcos Pass and into another finish by the ocean and beach in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara.

While I was sitting by the side of the road on the pass today I shot one of the Tour Marshals and then looked up out of the camera and it was Skert!...We just looked at each other and she laughed and I waved back. Hey Skert, nice seeing you again!

Updated: 7:48 AM GMT on February 25, 2006

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The Race is On!!!

By: clearlakemike, 7:33 AM GMT on February 21, 2006

The Amgen Tour of California is off to a thrilling and fast paced exciting start!!!! Yesterday in San Francisco a crowd of more than 200,000 witnessed history as Santa Rosa resident Levi Leipheimer (USA) of team Gerolsteiner led an American sweep of the top five places in the Prologue of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California, an international professional cycling stage race taking place throughout California from February 19-26. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presented Leipheimer with the first Amgen Leader Jersey.

On a personal note, I was just delighted to meet WUGger, Skert, who is a tour marshal for the race as it makes it way up and down the state. Skert is simply an angel in America and does so much to help charitable events such as this one. Skert is one of the most gracious, wonderfully warm and personable persons I have ever met.

After saying hi and meeting Skert, before she had to go off and guard the peleton, I hiked up the 377-steps that scale the sheer eastern face of Telegraph Hill pass the beautiful cottages and exotic private and public gardens. Above in the trees the famous flocks of green and red wild parrots squawked as they flew overhead. At the top of this amazing ascent onto one of San Francisco's beautiful hills, Telegraph Hill, I watched the time trials as the racers climed up the last stretch of the hill to the Finish Line. What an exciting afternoon! Took lots of photos which I am just know starting to look and will posting some soon.

Today I went up north to watch the second day's events in suuny Santa Rosa. A crowd of more than 130,000 from Sausalito to Santa Rosa watched the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California, won by Argentinean sprinter Juan José Haedo of the Toyota-United Pro cycling team. Joining me in Santa Rosa was another most charming and gracious WUGger, AnneAbrams and her wonderful husband, Tom. Ann e and Tom went out of their way to make my visit a memorable and exciting day! We watched the race in the warm sun on the jumbo screen as it made its way up the coast and then witnessed live the exciting finish. After the race Ann e, Tom and I had the pleasure of sitting down with Skert and hearing what it is like to be out there in the caravan and in all the behind the scenes excitement and drama.

And this was all on the first two days!...We still have the awesome ride down Big Sur to come and the warm, beautiful southern coast after that. Tomorrow, the cyclists and their escort of motorcyle tour marshals, TV cameras, professional photographers, race VIPs and California's finest, the California Highway Patrol, will travel through the wide open ranchlands high in the coastal range. The Sierra Road climb east of the city center of San Jose will be the first Category One (highest ranked in order of difficulty) ascent in the King of the Mountains competition.

Updated: 8:29 AM GMT on February 21, 2006

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3 DAYS AND COUNTING...

By: clearlakemike, 2:13 PM GMT on February 16, 2006

The Amgen Tour of California is bringing the drama and excitement of a professional bicycle stage race to the California coast...

February 19 - 26

PROLOGUE WEATHER





http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=94102

STAGE ONE WEATHER





http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=sausalito



http://www.wunderground.com/US/CA/Santa_Rosa.html

The world's top professional teams will compete over an eight-day, 700-mile race on a route that includes the California redwoods, wine country and the Pacific Coast.


BAY AREA WEATHER STATION MAPS

http://www.wunderground.com/stationmaps/gmap.asp?zip=94102&magic=1&wmo=99999


The tour will also raise funds for cancer care and treatment. Amgen, the tour's title sponsor, will work with The Wellness Community®, and Team Discovery member George Hincapie through their new Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative. The initiative will raise awareness and funds for services and programs that help cancer patients and caregivers.


WUG photographer, SKERT, is coming out to California from her home in Georgia and is going to be a tour marshal for the event! SKERT would love to meet us West Coast/CA WUG photogs! SKERT and I are planning some photo shoots along the exciting and dramatic California coast during the tour.

The tour will begin in San Francisco and go north to Santa Rosa and then from San Jose go to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. From Monterey, the cyclists will ride down CA Hwy One along the spectacular Big Sur Coast to San Luis Obisbo in central California. From San Luis they will continue down the coast to the elegant coast city of Santa Barbara. Then up into the rugged canyons of Ventura County and over to the edge of Los Angeles County, in the hills above the San Fernando Valley and Malibu, to Thousand Oaks. The race will end with a 9 lap circuit race in a beautiful southern California beach town, Redondo Beach.

Updated: 2:20 PM GMT on February 16, 2006

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Im Walking on Sunshine

By: clearlakemike, 7:43 PM GMT on February 13, 2006

Im walking on sunshine , wooah
Im walking on sunshine, woooah
Im walking on sunshine, woooah
and dont it feel good!!

no no no
and dont it feel good!!
hey yeah


from Katrina and the Waves - 1985

This one is dedicated to my FVIPVP NDaisy...Happy Valentines Day, Nancy!!!!!

Updated: 7:44 PM GMT on February 13, 2006

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Global Warming and Oceania

By: clearlakemike, 5:30 PM GMT on February 12, 2006

http://www.janeresture.com/oceania_warming/

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Great Earthquake and Firestorm of 1906 and Jack London Exhibit

By: clearlakemike, 2:44 AM GMT on February 11, 2006

An interesting photo exhibition and website about the Great Earthquake of 1906 currently on display at the California Historical Society.

The photos of the aftermath of the earthquake, taken by Jack London, and his dairies are being made available to the public for the first time in a hundred years.

http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/exhibits/index.html

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Bangalore or Bust - Chapter One

By: clearlakemike, 8:35 PM GMT on February 09, 2006

Nah-mah-STAY (pronuciation for Hello in Hindi)

THE SHOTS AND THE PILLS

Two in the left arm, Tetanus and Diptheria vaccines and one in the right, Typhoid. Have already been vaccinated against Hepatitis A1 and A2 already or it would have been two more. Cipro pills in case the Immodium doesn't do the trick and anti-malarial drugs. Will also need to get the DEET mosquito repellant so they don't bite me in the first place. We got West Nile they got malaria.

Still don't have a visa or itinerary yet but vaccinations should be started 4-8 weeks before travel so I want to be ready if it is a "go". Hopefully, I will be spending most of April in India. My base will be Bangalore in southern India.

Not looking forward to the approximate 24 hours of travel through the air but it will definately be worth the effort. This trip will make the 15 hour flight to Sydney seem relatively short in comparison and those transcontinental US trips will now only seem like a little jump.

Have lots of research to do for what I want to see but top on the list is one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal in Delhi in northern India. The Goa Beaches are also up there.

Updated: 8:40 PM GMT on February 09, 2006

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