A Brief Update

Just thought I’d post a quick (yet very much belated) update to confirm that I did make it back to Ontario from Las Vegas. I think I may been a bit tired (or delirious) when I booked my flight as I ended up having a seven hour layover in Charlotte. How did I not notice that?! Not surprisingly, that made for a VERY long travel day.

Anyway, I’m feeling better than I was in Las Vegas and significantly better than I was in Utah. Now that I’m back in Ontario, I’m still going through some tests for a full diagnosis so we’ll see what happens.

Thanks for all the kind comments. Greatly appreciated.

For what it’s worth, I’m slowly getting caught up with the much overdue India posts. I’ve posted a couple updates so far. More to come.


Mission: Failed

Emergency room at Central Valley Medical Center

In a break from my usual blog updating protocol, my next few updates won’t be posted chronologically. Well, they’ll APPEAR chronologically when I’m all caught up again but I’ll be posting in the order of relevance. As such, posts covering my trip to India and the days surrounding it will be put on the back burner as I try to update the current situation. As for the current situation, well … it is with great disappointment that I declare my trip to the Grand Canyon to be officially cut short.

I’ll add more details in my next update (which will appear under this one … eventually) but, as those who follow my Instagram account already know, on Sunday I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis and on Monday morning it was recommended that I forego the rest of my journey. From there it was a bit of a whirlwind series of events.

Essentially, it went something like this: Build bike box. Pack up bike. Pack up gear. Book shuttle to Las Vegas. Book accommodation in Las Vegas. Book flight from Las Vegas to Toronto.

At 9:00 AM I was being told my trip was over. At 2:00 PM I was on a shuttle heading to Las Vegas to catch a flight back to Toronto. And that’s where I am now – Las Vegas, not Toronto. Specifically, I’m at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino. I’m here until Thursday night in case anyone wants to visit. Of course, I just heard about Hurricane Dorian (I’ve been out of touch for a bit) and my flight back to Toronto makes a stop in Charlotte, NC. So, who knows what will happen with my flights.

Anyway, I’m sorry to disappoint my eight loyal followers. I apologize for having to abandon the journey – especially when we were so close to the end. Grrrrr.

It’s kind of funny, I remember when I was in my youth and how stiff and sore I would sometimes get after playing a game of football or whatever activity that I might be participating at any given time. My mom used to tease me as I slowly and painfully hobbled my way around the house. At that time I remember saying, “Someday my body is really going to rebel against me”. Well, it looks like that day has come.


Welcome to Bangalore

Gage and I in print

Our travel day to Bangalore started early. VERY early. We spent the previous day touring Varanasi and seeing some great sites. Somehow, Gage and I even ended up in a photo in one of the local newspapers – autographs available upon request. The tour was supposed to end with a visit to a candle ceremony along the river before a torrential downpour washed out that plan. However, our guide offered to take us to a similar ceremony that started early the next morning. Considering we didn’t know when we might be back here again, we thought that was a good plan. As such, our day started around 4:00 AM.

Following the ceremony, we were promptly taken back to the hotel for a quick breakfast before heading back to the airport for our flight back to Delhi and then on to Bangalore.

My first impression of Bangalore was that it reminded me a LOT of Nairobi. That first impression was heavily based on the traffic we experienced on the way to the hotel. And the subsequent traffic experiences did nothing to change that impression. Seriously. The roads DO have lane markings but I’m not entirely sure why. The cars sort of acknowledge them but the motorcycles are constantly lane splitting through what little space the cars may leave between each other. It’s more than a little ridiculous – although, I think Nairobi was still worse. If it was North America, the entire scene would be a continuous road rage incident waiting to happen (except for the “waiting to happen” part). And I’ve never heard such a liberal use of horns as cars and motorcycles weave their way through the most minimal of openings. The crazy thing is, it all kind of actually works. Sort of. I mean, well … ok, I retract that statement. It’s chaos.

Fortunately, among the chaos was a seemingly endless supply of taxis, ubers, and autos (short for auto-rickshaw). Uber proved to be incredibly useful as it (mostly) eliminated the language challenges that could have otherwise hindered our efforts of getting from A to B or क से ख, as the case may be. And no, I don’t really know how accurate that Hindi translation is but I tried.

Roughing it (again).
This time at The Bangalore Club.

We actually wanted to try one of the autos but our lone attempt to arrange such transport was more than a little unsuccessful. The driver (or, more accurately, the pimp-like character through whom we were trying to arrange said auto rickshaw transportation) was clearly trying to take advantage of our tourist status by insisting they take us to a few shops en route back to the hotel (and charging more than Uber in the process). After insisting we weren’t interested in said shops we finally just walked away and booked an Uber.

Once again, there are more than a few photos in the photo gallery. None of which are actually of Bangalore – those will come later. This gallery contains all things Varanasi. Well, maybe not ALL things … but some things.


© 2019: Mark's Midlife Crisis