14degrees off the beaten track
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May 22nd, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,China

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Today’s distance / ???????: 15 miles / 24.6km
Average speed / ????: 7.4mph / 12.0km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 2h 03m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 4736mi plus 280mi (?) / 7623km plus 450km (?)
Ascent / ??: 175m
Descent / ??: 60m
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N42° 53′ 33.40″, E090° 13′ 28.00″

Jolly knackered. Even if I had the motivation, my legs will not carry me any further.

The morning was calm, and once again I got away before the sun rose above the Gobi desert in order to make it to the shelter of the city of Shanshan before the heat of the day once again enveloped everything that dared stay outside during the heat of the day.

Calm morning near Shanshan, Xinjiang Province, China

Thankfully, there was a satisfyingly stiff uphill as I approached Shanshan. Pushing uphill, my mind is clear. I feel the resistance in my legs, I feel the breath in my lungs, my pushing has a clear rhythym. On the flat, each push seems to be swallowed up by the massiveness of the desert. Endless forward motion with little visible result.

Entering the city of Shanshan, Xinjiang Province, China

I arrived in Shanshan an emotional, mental, and physical wreck. A knot in my stomach, anxiety…the not-so-early signs of burn-out. I need to re-focus, re-organise my priorities if I’m going to complete this mission I am on.

I have decided on a full week of forced rest. I can live with the visa situation. I’m going to have to go to Hong Kong at some stage to get a new one anyway, so no point in pushing because of the visa.

What will I do for a week? I don’t know. I don’t care. Something will sort itself out. Perhaps take a bus ride to Hami and check out some sights there…be like a real tourist or something…

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    Permanent Link     Comments (3)

Comment by Andrew C — May 24, 2008 @ 9:51 pm | post a comment

Will you get to see the Great Wall of China anywhere in your travels?

Comment by Rob Thomson — May 24, 2008 @ 10:05 pm | post a comment

Andrew, I think I may just roll by the southern most extremity of the wall near Lanzhou. I'm not entirely sure…

Comment by Dave — May 25, 2008 @ 8:43 am | post a comment

You've had a rough week! I hope things brighten up with some time off.

I only have a month until I leave. Yikes. I learned a lot about traveling by bike and such from the blog. Thanks!

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