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April 4th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (California)

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Well I must say I am stoked. Stoked to at last meet Kirk and Donna of www.kirkanddonna.com fame. I am staying with them here at their apartment in Redondo Beach until my flight to Shanghai leaves on the 13th.

Last night Kirk and I were trying to figure out how we first got acquainted. I did a little research, and found that he emailed me on the 4th of April 2006, telling me that my website was not working. From there, Kirk has given me great advice on traveling, drawing on his own experience while traveling around the world with his wife Donna.

Kirk gave me a ride into central Los Angeles this morning to the Chinese Consulate. Time to get a visa sorted out.

With Kirk in Los Angeles, California, USA

I was hoping to be able to apply for a 90 day tourist visa. No such luck. The Consualte’s policies changed on Wednesday last week. Foreign passport holders may only apply for a 30 day visa. Ouch. So I did that. Applied for the 30 day visa.

Afterwards however, I realised that this will not do the trick at all. I will definitely be in China for at least 90 days. I don’t want to chance having to leave the country because I can’t extend the visa enough to finish the trip across China by skateboard.

Therefore, the game plan is to visit the embassy on Monday again, with all my travel documents in order (itinerary, flight details etc) and see if they will allow an exception. Here’s hoping…

LA is a big city. Colossal. And here I was thinking Phoenix was big.

Los Angeles, California, USA

By the way, I am elated to say that I was reunited with my Canon G9 camera today. C.R.I.S. Camera, the legends, were super speedy and got the thing fixed and sent to Kirk and Donna’s place for me to pick up when I arrived yesterday. Fantastic. And even better, they didn’t charge me a thing. What would have been a US$260 repair, they supplied the repair as support for my journey and cause. Talk about awesome. Thank you to C.R.I.S. Camera. I have missed the flexibility of the G9.

Union Station in Los Angeles, California, USA

I made my way back to Redondo Beach using the Metro and bus system. Their 1800-COMMUTE free-dial info service came in very handy.

The Metro in Los Angeles, California, USA

Without it I would have been ruined.

Los Angeles, California, USA

So…I have about 10 days here in LA. I will be working on the Chinese Visa issue, and also, please look forward to the next Video Update! I have been taking lots of footage from the road since way back in Austin, Texas, and I am looking forward to getting it all together!

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    Permanent Link     Comments (6)

Comment by Luka — April 5, 2008 @ 11:47 pm | post a comment

Good luck with a chinese visa! By the way, alternative would probably be to first fly to Hong Kong and try it there. From 2001, I have heard of many people with same problem as you and they were all successful with getting a 90-day business visa there.

Looking forward to chinese part :)

Comment by Chris J — April 6, 2008 @ 6:32 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Congratulations on making it all the way to the Pacific. Just another huge challenge and major goal conquered in style. You will never have to wonder, "Can I do this?" again.

I hope you have a few days to relax and take in the achievement before heading back into the wilds.

The visa will hopefully sort itself out. China could use some good publicity at the moment, maybe they will realize this and assist you on the next leg of your journey. People reading about your adventures there may well try to emulate them and visit the country. That is something they may want to encourage. Definitely looking forward to your video footage and additional updates.

Take care!

Comment by Mum — April 6, 2008 @ 5:19 pm | post a comment

Glad to see you've finally made it and within the 4 months you thought it would take. Enjoy your break but don't let your fitness drop too far! I hope and pray that you can get a longer Chinese VISA

Comment by Aunty Les — April 6, 2008 @ 7:21 pm | post a comment

I hope the Chinese embassy takes into account that you have already been in China and didn't do anything terrible while there. Maybe you have to have a plane ticket on hand to assure them that you do intend leaving again!

Comment by Robin & Jackie — April 6, 2008 @ 9:06 pm | post a comment

Well done Rob, we never doubted you would get there. Good luck with your Chinese visa, sorry not to be able to offer you a ride across the Pacific but we're not ready and anyway we would be too slow!

Comment by maki — April 7, 2008 @ 7:08 am | post a comment

Rob you did it!(Give me a high five!)I'm crossing my fingers about Chinese visa.You should take this opportunity to recharge your battery.G9 is back!So great thing!I can't wait to see your photos in China again.

Have a nice rest and relax!

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