August 15, 2007

TWTWT: The Weekends That We Toured

We learn a lot of facts from our text books in school and forget most of them in due time. But there are some tidbits from these books that make a permanent mark in one's memory. I still remember a picture in my primary class text book, of a big tree that is hollow near its root with a car inside it! I had the chance to see these trees in real during this weekend at Sequoia National Forest.]

The trip was a two day weekend outing to Kern river valley starting on Saturday morning 5.30!, first time I was awake this early here in LA after my jet lag days. We first went to River's End Rafting at Bakersfield. They take you to a place some what upside of the stream in a bus, and after rafting will collect you from end point and bring back to the initial place in the same bus. The rafting was my first experience and was a decent one though not very exciting as the water in the river was less. We had a detailed lecture on classification of stream currents called rapids from one of the guys with us who is actually the coordinator for the event. By 12 O clock we started from the rafting place for boating and jet-skiing at Lake Isabella, and then for camping at one of the camp grounds. Most of the camp grounds have the stream near-by, we did enjoy the bath in the stream. For me, it brought back memories of our trekking to Deviyar while studying at school. First event on next day morning was a trekking on a near by trail, and then we went to the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest Area. While returning in the evening we visited the Red Rock Canyon in Mojave desert, and managed to be back home at 10 O clock night as per the plan.

I wanted to visit San Jose and San Francisco but thought it would not be possible for me in this time, but then I got this call from Anoop to visit these cities last weekend. He wanted to visit some of his friends, only two of us were in the final trip though the initial plans were to have more people. Anoop was the only driver for the trip to San Jose, we took only five and a half hours though he was complaining about the pulling of Kia brand rented car. I liked San Jose the moment we reached there, it had the serenity of a small village but actually was the silicon capital of the world with offices of all major and minor companies one has ever heard. Added to that was the taste of food at Spice Hut, one of the many Indian restaurants owned by a partnership of mallu and tamil guys. I am not really sure if this one is the best South Indian restaurant out there, but I would recommend it for every mallu in San Jose.
By evening we left to San Francisco with a friend of Anoop. The road from San Jose to San Francisco goes through some of the places which I have only heard before with respect. Sunnyvale, Mountain View which has Google HQ, Stanford University, Oracle HQ and University of Berkley were some the land marks on the way. We went to the Golden Gate Bridge on the same day and stayed with two other friends of Anoop in their apartment in downtown. I found the San Francisco downtown streets the most scariest of all I have ever seen in my short stay in US. We went to Napa Valley the next day morning, it is a scenic place with full of wine yards and wineries. We visited Artesa Winery which is on top of a hill, the view from their was superb!. The return journey which started in the afternoon from San Francisco ended when we reached LA at mid-night, I was fully exhausted but was happy for not missing these wonderful places before I start to India after two weeks.

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