www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Spinning Globe Travel Two
After some great trips to Africa, Antarctica, China, Japan, the UK, Mexico, South America, and all over North America I found that I'm running out of bandwidth and storage space for all these web pages! So, I'll be using this page to kind of summarize subsequent trips and travel...

 

 

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my main travel page...

Any Road
George Harrison

George Harrison - Any Road Oh I've been traveling on a boat and a plane
In a car on a bike with a bus and a train
Traveling there and traveling here
Everywhere in every gear
 
But oh Lord we pay the price with the
Spin of a wheel - with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don't know where you're going
Any road will take you there
And I've been traveling through the dirt and the grime
From the past to the future through the space and the time
Traveling deep beneath the waves - in
watery grottoes and mountainous caves
 

 

The Motorcycle Diaries
Notes on a Latin American Journey
Ernesto "Che" Guevara

"In nine months of a man's life he can think a lot of things, from the loftiest meditations on philosophy to the most desperate longing for a bowl of soup - in total accord with the state of his stomach. And if, at the same time, he's somewhat of an adventurer, he might live through episodes of interest to other people and his haphazard record might read something like these notes." - p. 31
"My most important mission before leaving was to take exams in as many subjects as possible; Alberto's to prepare the bike for the long journey, and to study and plan our route. The enormity of our endeavor escaped us in those moment; all we could see was the dust on the road ahead and ourselves on the bike, devouring kilometers in our flight northward." - p. 33

 

"Even the elephant carries but a small turnk on his journeys.
 The perfection of traveling is to travel without baggage."
           - Henry David Thoreau
 
 
 
"Every journey has a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware."
           - Martin Buber
  "Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has a personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. . And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."
           - John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

 

Steinbeck:

John Steinbeck "When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself....A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip; a trip takes us."

- John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

 

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(Click on any of this page's "thumbnail" images for a larger view!)

 

Foreign Electricity:

Eagle Creek 40405 and my camera battery charger in India - 11-30-2008
Camera battery charger
Plugging my Eagle Creek 40405 in India - 11-30-2008
India plugging-in
Although I don't consider "plugging in" to be a critical concern for any journey there are times when you may need to charge some camera batteries or operate your favorite electric shaver, radio, computer, or some other device. Different countries run all kinds of voltages (ranging between about 100, 110 and 220 volts) and cycles-per-second (50 to 60) so more than likely your north American electrical device won't work without some kind of converter. And, to make it even more confusing, voltages and cycles-per-second can change even within a country's border - like in Japan! Anyway, I'm not endorsing any particular brand or model of converter - you need to find one that fits your needs, including a selection of plug adapters so the thing fits the socket properly. Also, things get a little more complex (and expensive!) if you need to convert a lot of power, or need a "pure" sign wave, to run computers and other sensitive equipment. So, like everything else in life, do your research before buying!

 

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Europa!
 
European Union as of 2007
European Union 1957-2007
For the first two weeks of September, 2007 I had the good fortune to join a half dozen CMC friends (led by Marianne Curtis) for some hiking, climbing, and wandering around the part of our world that U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld referred to as "Old" Europe. Old or new, Europe remains an exciting place that's prospering more and more each year.* At the time of our visit, in '07, the European Union was comprised of 27 member states with three official candidate countries and four officially recognized potential candidates.

Also, at the time of our visit, the European Union had a combined GDP of $15.7 trillion (the world's largest!) with the Euro trading at about 40% higher than the dollar. However, like America, Europe remains grossly overpopulated with a questionable distribution of wealth and unresolved immigration issues. Also, I suspect that the huge amount of socialism throughout Europe won't be sustainable but we'll have to see - only time will tell...

Anyway, the first week of our trip, throughout northern Italy, was lead by Marianne Curtis. Marianne, along with our guide Markus, took the eight of us all over marvelous terrain throughout the Dolomites. We did a great deal of hiking in addition to climbing some really classic "Ferrata" - bolted climbing routes that are now the rage throughout Europe. For the second week the group split up a bit with some of us going to Switzerland (under Dianne Edward's tutelage), some back home, and others visiting different parts of Europe.

- Roger J. Wendell
* "Most who follow the news know that Europe's economy has not been growing well. As a matter of fact, Europe's growth has been so poor that it makes the U.S. economic growth engine look outright stellar. Over the last 12 months the euro zone economy has grown by 0.15%, with the reported 2nd quarter GDP growth rate stagnating at 0.0%. This is not a short-term trend. It's been 15 years since the euro zone last saw GDP growth above 1% on a sustainable basis. Why is Europe stuck in a slow/no growth environment?"

A plethora of reasons surround the economic stagnation in Europe, including:

- Bill Greiner, What's Next? Europe's Weak Economy Makes US Growth Look Strong
Forbes.com, 9/11/2014

 


 

München
(Munich, Germany)

The Munich Metropolitan area is home to over two and half million people.
The city gets its name from the Old German word for "Monk." The "S-Bahn"
is the city's very modern subway and railway system. For ten euros (10 €)
I was able to purchase a one day unlimited pass that allowed me complete
access to their buses, trains and subways - this was a great way for me to
"acclimate" while waiting for the remainder of our group to assemble the
following day!

Europa - September 2007
S-Bahn
Europa - September 2007
S-Bahn
Europa - September 2007
S-Bahn
Europa - September 2007
Small car
Europa - September 2007
Mannequin
Europa - September 2007
Small car
Europa - September 2007
München
Europa - September 2007
München
Europa - September 2007
Kaufingerstr - München
Europa - September 2007
München

 


 

Austria

Driving around Europe is easier than ever - not only have most of the border
stations been eliminated but it's really hard to even see any signs delineating
one country from the next. Austria didn't seem to be much different in that regard,
either. Although we all watched outside the van's windows, carefully, I don't think
we ever saw a sign saying we were in Austria. What we did see, somewhere near where
the border between Austria and Italy should have been, was a radar policeman at our
gasoline stop. As you can see, further below, he allowed us to photograph him...

Europa - September 2007
Dianne and our rental van
Europa - September 2007
Esso and the Water Closet
Europa - September 2007
Mayonnaise in a tube
Europa - September 2007
Roger in Austria
Europa - September 2007
Dianne & Polizei
Europa - September 2007
Me and the police!
Europa - September 2007
Harald the gentleman
Europa - September 2007
Marianne fuels us
Europa - September 2007
Insbruck
Europa - September 2007
Signs, signs

 


 

Dolomites
(Northern Italy)

Europa - September 2007
7 of us (photo by Markus)
Europa - September 2007
Wolkenstein, Italy
Europa - September 2007
Wolkenstein, Italy
Europa - September 2007
Rifugio Passo Sella
Europa - September 2007
A boy and his truck
Europa - September 2007
Lunchtime at the Rifugio
Europa - September 2007
Skiing
Europa - September 2007
Signs
Europa - September 2007
Trail
Europa - September 2007
Jill, Robert, Markus & Dianne
Europa - September 2007
Tracey
As you can see, back in
Wolkenstein we were
always very comfortable
with plenty to eat!

 

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my climbing page and pictures of Italy's vie ferrate...

 

Bolzano, Italy
(Tyrol and the Iceman)

Tyrol is an historical region which includes the Austrian state of Tyrol and the Italian region known as Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. It is here, in the town of Bolzano, that the 5,300 year old mummy of "Ötzi the Iceman" is kept on display. Although we weren't allowed to photograph Ötzi, or any of the artifacts, it was well worth the visit to learn about Europe's oldest natural human mummy. The nickname "Ötzi" comes from the area where the mummy was discovered at an elevation of 10,531 feet (3210 m) in the Ötztal Alps. Ötzi was discovered by two German hikers, in 1991, almost exactly on the Austrian/Italian border - creating a bit of an ownership dispute for the first couple of years.

Europa - September 2007
Iceman entrance
Europa - September 2007
Iceman hologram
Europa - September 2007
Oom-pah band
Europa - September 2007
Dianne and Robert
Europa - September 2007
Spaghetti Western
Europa - September 2007
Alcohol tester...
Europa - September 2007
Royalty on parade
Europa - September 2007
Italian grapes

As you can see, in addition to spending a few hours with Ötzi that day we also enjoyed an Oom-pah band and other attractions in and around Bolzano.

 


 

Dachau

On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a "school of violence" for the SS men under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence over 200,000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the numerous subsidiary camps. More than 43,000 of them died. On April 29 1945 American troops liberated the survivors. [from The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site Guide - 2007]

Europa - September 2007
Me at the entrance
Europa - September 2007
Arbeit Macht Frei
Europa - September 2007
Jourhaus (the only entrance)
Europa - September 2007
Barracks interior
Europa - September 2007
Watch tower
Europa - September 2007
Fence line
Europa - September 2007
Fence line
Europa - September 2007
Fence line
Europa - September 2007
Fence line
Europa - September 2007
Fence line
Europa - September 2007
Bunk beds
Europa - September 2007
Dachau toilets
Europa - September 2007
Poplars planted by prisoners
Europa - September 2007
Sculpture

 


 

Lechtenstein!

Europa - September 2007 The Principality of Lechtenstein, one of the world's tiniest countries, is slightly smaller than Washington, DC but well worth the visit! Lechtenstein is located in central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland, and had a population of about 34,000 (roughly six percent the population of Washington, DC's 582,000!) at the time of our visit. It's a beautiful, scenic place but we were in too much of a hurry for our next climb - Thankfully the group indulged me long enough to stop and take this photo!

 


 

The Eiger Sanction
CH - Confoederatio Helvetica
(Jungfrau Region - Switzerland)

Dianne led what was left of our climbing group to Grinderwald where we took the Jungfraubahnen to Kleine Scheidgg. This is the exact same area where Clint Eastwood filmed his 1975 climbing classic, The Eiger Sanction. In fact, we even stayed at the Bellevue Des Alpes, the same place ol' Clint hung out with his film crew. With the Bellevue Des Alpes as our base, we were able to do a lot of hiking around the Eiger. Dianne and Allison took the train to the "Top of Europe" observatory while Tracey and I did a lot of hiking that took us along the base of the Eiger, to Alpiglen, and then back to Kleine Scheidegg. We also climbed part of the Klettersteig Rotstock up part of the Eiger, itself, but were still a few thousand feet below its 3970 m summit. Either way, it's a fantastic area that's well worth your time (and money!) even if you have no intention of hiking or climbing!

Europa - September 2007
Dianne, Tracey & Allison
Europa - September 2007
Tracey & me
Europa - September 2007
Jungfraubahnen Railway Station
Europa - September 2007
Tracey on the Eiger
Europa - September 2007
Roger climbing the Eiger
Europa - September 2007
Kleine Scheidegg from above
Europa - September 2007
Trail obstacles...
Europa - September 2007
Eiger Rotstock via ferrata
Europa - September 2007
Eiger (3970 m - 13,380 ft)
Europa - September 2007
Eiger out my window
Europa - September 2007
Swiss honey
Like I've said before,
you can never have
enough grocery store
photos when you travel!

 


 

Chamonix, France

Despite all the conservatives complaining about it, I still enjoy visiting France and am glad I got this special look at Chamonix. Filled with skiing, climbing, hiking, and hang-gliding - the place kind of reminds me of Vail or Aspen (even including the same high prices!). I stopped by a real estate shop and noted that many of the houses, immediately in and around the main part of town, were easily selling for 2 to 3 million euros at the time - roughly 3 million USD, just like in Aspen!! Okay, so I won't be buying a vacation home in Aspen or Chamonix, anytime soon, they're still fun places to visit so I'm glad Dianne took us to Chamonix!

Europa - September 2007
Border
Europa - September 2007
Allison & Tracey
Europa - September 2007
Chamonix
Europa - September 2007
World War I
Europa - September 2007
Chamonix

 

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on France...

 


 

Belgium and Luxembourg

At the end of our trip, just like in the beginning, I found myself with an entire day on my own in Munich. So, I decided to fly from Geneva, to Bruxelles (Brussels) and then back to München again before flying home. In Brussels I rented a car for a quick 250 mile roundtrip to Luxembourg. Luxembourg, itself, is almost the size of Rhode Island while Belgium is considerably larger at about the same size as Maryland. So, driving across them in less than a day's time, especially at European road speeds, is very "doable"

Anyway, despite the comparatively smaller land areas throughout Europe the driving seems to be much faster and safer than what we're accustomed to here in the "States." I don't know what it is but Europeans are definitely much more aware of their surroundings when it comes to driving down the road. Almost nobody, except the occasional "novice" truckdriver from the former eastern block, holds up traffic in the left lane. The left lane was always wide open everywhere I went - from the Italian Autostrada and German Autobahn to the very fast E411 that allowed me to average 160 km/h (100 mph) from Buxelles to Luxembourg.

Ahh, but for every grand road adventure there seems to be some trouble or rough spot along the way. In the case of my 120 mile drive from Brussels to Luxembourg I "burned out" the third, fifth, and reverse gears in my rental car! I don't know why such a weird combination of gears would fail, in a manual transmission, but it sure made things nerve-racking trying to keep up with everyone in 4th gear as they all sped by me in excess of 100 mph. Luckily I finally made it back to Brussels without having had to impede too much traffic behind me! However, I did have to push my car, backwards, out of the gas station where there was a bit of a traffic jam - that reverse gear never came back to life...

Europa - September 2007
Luxembourg
Europa - September 2007
Commune D'Eruope
Europa - September 2007
Luxembourg
Europa - September 2007
Belgium
Europa - September 2007
Cambio - Munich Airport

From Bruxelles I flew back to München where I had to spend the night on the airport floor since there was no lodging available for 100 km in any direction - I think everyone was "gearing up" for Oktoberfest or something. Anyway, it was surprising how quiet the Munich airport became between midnight and 4 am - I was actually able to sleep a bit and then "freshen-up" in the men's room. But, as you can see from this final photograph, I had a considerable amount of trouble exchanging my euros for dollars - and it wasn't because the dollar was at an all-time low, either!

 

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Anatomy of a Road trip:

Tami Wendell on the Pacific Coast Highway - 11-14-2007 Although they should probably have been discouraged, Tami and I have always loved a great road trip! Between 1977 and 2007 (when this entry was created), we had completed at least 20 trips in excess of 1,000 miles. For our November '07 trip we thought we'd take some notes, for historical purposes, since the world was approaching peak oil and such excursions in the future would be considered an extravagance!

For this particular trip we departed our Denver foothills home late on a Saturday morning (we like to let the traffic beat us) after having picked the rental car up the before to run a few errands. Since our own cars are so old and unreliable (my Toyota Tercel was 14+ years old at the time of this trip) we try to rent something that's efficient and economical. Unfortunately the demand for large cars is still too strong so all the rental company could offer us was a Subaru Forester with an automatic transmission - rats! Since the total rental expense turned out to be $222.26 it wasn't a bad deal except for the fuel inefficiency (detailed below).

I believe we departed the rental agency at 10,563 miles - conducting nearly 100 miles in local errands before actually departing on our trip Saturday morning. For the record, here's a list of distances, quantities, and expenses for our road trip from the Denver area, to northern California, down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Diego, and then back to Colorado through Las Vegas and Moab, Utah:

  1. 11/10/07 Fruita, Colorado - 12.718 gallons at $3.079/gal for a total of $39.16
    10,892 miles (329 miles from rental agency) - averaging 25.86 miles per gallon
  2. 11/10/07 Delta, Utah - 10.823 gallons at $3.049/gal for a total of $33.00
    11,163 miles - averaging 25.04 miles per gallon (lots of speeding along I-70...)
  3. 11/11/07 Austin, Nevada - 14.089 gallons at $3.639/gal for a total of $51.27
    11,481 miles - averaging 22.57 miles per gallon (even more speeding along Highway 50...)
  4. 11/12/07 Novato, California - 13.079 gallons at $3.339/gal for a total of $43.67
    11,877 miles - averaging 30.28 miles per gallon
  5. 11/13/2007 Carmel, California - 13.060 gallons at $3.599/gal for a total of $47.00
    12,212 miles - averaging 25.65 miles per gallon
  6. 11/14/2007 Hermosa Beach, California - 13.588 gallons at $3.359/gal for a total of $45.64
    12,565 miles - averaging 25.98 miles per gallon
  7. 11/16/07 Calexico, California - 11.715 gallons at $3.299/gal for a total of $38.65
    12,865 miles - averaging 25.61 miles per gallon
  8. 11/17/07 Fontana, California - 14.262 gallons at $3.279/gal for a total of $46.77
    13,198 miles - averaging 23.35 miles per gallon
  9. 11/17/07 Las Vegas, Nevada - 13.079 gallons at $3.059/gal for a total of $40.01
    13,536 miles - averaging 25.84 miles per gallon
  10. 11/18/07 Richfield, Utah - 11.755 gallons at $3.059/gal for a total of $35.96
    13,815 miles - averaging 23.73 miles per gallon
  11. 11/18/07 Moab, Utah - 8.714 gallons at $3.079/gal for a total of $26.83
    14,033 miles - averaging 25.02 miles per gallon
  12. 11/18/07 Lakewood, Colorado - 12.780 gallons at $2.949/gal for a total of $37.69
    14,382 miles - averaging 27.31 miles per gallon
Returned rental car to the agency at 14,403 miles for a total distance of 3,840 miles.
At 149.662 gallons, that's an average of 25.66 miles per gallon for a total cost of $485.65
which averaged $3.24 per gallon...

 

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CCF Settlement 2007 Wasn't this special? In 2007 we learned that the credit card companies had been gouging most of us engaged in foreign travel! Luckily some of our countrymen (Thank you, whoever you are!) took the credit card companies to court and won a class-action settlement for nearly a decade in overcharges. I, myself, took the second option and estimated that I had engaged in a few months of travel over the period in question.

In November, 2011 I received a check from the Foreign Currency Fee Litigation Settlement Fund in the amount of $18.04. Not much considering the amount of foreign charges I made at the time. As is the case in most class-action suits the attorneys ended up with most of the proceeds...

 

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Passport Cover Links:
  1. 12ers
  2. 13ers
  3. 14ers
  4. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  5. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  6. AIARE - The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education
  7. Airlines of the World
  8. Alpine Resuce Team - Evergreen, Colorado
  9. Amazonia
  10. American Avalanche Association
  11. Antarctica
  12. Argentina and Brazil
  13. Australia Main Page and Australia Two Page
  14. Camping
  15. China
  16. CIA World Factbook on the World
  17. Climbing
  18. Climbing Photos
  19. CMC
  20. Colorado Avalanche Information Center
  21. Colorado Fourteener Iniative - A Partnership for Preservation
  22. CORSAR - Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card
  23. COtrip - Colorado Road Conitions
  24. Couch Surfing - connect with new friends all around the world
  25. Currency Converter
  26. Cycling
  27. Eco Volunteer travel with a purpose
  28. Electricy Standards around the world
  29. Ecuador
  30. France
  31. Gear - Stuff for the Backcountry...
  32. Hawai'i
  1. Hiking
  2. India
  3. India Two (overflow)
  4. Infiltration - Going places you're not supposed to!
  5. InsureMyTrip - Travel insurance quotes
  6. Ireland
  7. Japan
  8. Leave No Trace - Center for Outdoor Ethics
  9. ORV - the Off-road Vehicle menace
  10. Pikes Peak
  11. Russia
  12. San Francsico
  13. Skiing - in the backcountry!
  14. Silk Road
  15. Sleeping in Airports - a budget traveller's guide
  16. STA Travel - Student and Youth Travel
  17. Survival in the backcountry
  18. Tami's Broken Leg - in Australia
  19. Ten Essentials - Don't leave home without 'em!
  20. Tibet
  21. ToursByLocals.com
  22. Trail Journals
  23. Transportation
  24. Travel (My main travel page)
  25. Travel Guard - Travel Insurance
  26. United Kingdom - England
  27. United Kingdom - Wales and Scotland
  28. U.S. Department of State - Travel information and consular affairs
  29. VisaHQ - online visa applications
  30. Walking softly in the backcountry
  31. Warm Showers - a community for touring cyclists and hosts
  32. Waypoints

 

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