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July 8th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,China,Hong Kong,vids

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What a whirlwind! The 30 hour train ride turned out to be 42 hours, but I made it to Rob Luxton‘s place in Hong Kong unscathed…well, mostly.

On the train to Hong Kong (from Lanzhou to Guangzhou, China)

I got on the 11.22pm train from Lanzhou to Guangzhou with little drama. My skateboard and trailer snugly stowed under the lower bunks, I climbed into my top bunk and dropped dead for about 10 hours.

I slept well on the train, and only got out of my bunk a few times during the 30 hours I thought it would take to get to Lanzhou. In the morning of the second day in the train, I asked a fellow passenger when we would be arriving. 5pm, was the reply. A tad bit longer than I had expected.

So I spent another few hours tossing and turning in my bunk.

Arrival in Guangzhou, I fought for a ticket for a train to Shenzhen, the border city with Hong Kong. Got on the train, arrived Shenzhen 5pm. Stopped in at an internet cafe, had dinner at an Uyghur restaurant. The restaurant people were confused. A guy with long stubble – almost a beard – not Chinese, comes in wanting beef fried rice. They figure I must be Muslim. A Xinjiang local at least. No, I tell them, wrong on both counts. They still look confused. Then I tell them I am skating across China…

I got across to Hong Kong by 8pm. Not before I was held up at the Chinese border. The immigration officer was not happy with the amount of visas in my passport, for some reason. 30 minutes worth of waiting, my passport was registered and I was interviewed, and then I was allowed to exit the country.

At the Hong Kong border, “How long will you be staying in Hong Kong, sir?”

“As short as possible,” I reply. “How long am I allowed to stay?”

“How about 90 days?”

So….I leave China. I am now in….China.

With 90 days stamped in my passport. For free. 90 days…in…China.

Yes…yes, I am confused.

I don’t stop to argue, and I follow my nose and Rob’s directions to his place on one of the outlying islands, a 45 minute ferry ride away, managing to get on the very last ferry for the day.

I am greeted with this on the door of his 1/2 bedroom apartment:

Rob Luxton's place in Chueng Chau, Hong Kong

Well, I guess I am a ‘trans-continental longboarder’.

Rob is not here. But I am. Phew. Made it.

And today I made a video of the last few weeks action. Sorry about the terrible quality. Had to do it on a Mac, and couldn’t figure it out proper. The Youtube version (which is even more terrible quality) is here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=OpJMcWQRLjg).

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    Permanent Link     Comments (13)

Comment by Chris J — July 8, 2008 @ 10:16 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Just enjoyed the latest video. Was the music by Ulrich Schnauss? It sounded familiar…

I was just down in Beppu and Miyazaki for a week. I hadn't been to Beppu for 2 years, but managed to catch up with Emi and Junko anyway. I filled them in on your recent adventures. We all agreed it would be awesome to visit you in NZ if and when you decide to go home for a bit.

I sure would enjoy being able to work in Kyushu again myself.

Hot and humid here in Nagoya. Time to start looking for new work in earnest. Ho hum.

No trouble getting the 90 day visa, huh? The world moves in mysterious ways.

Comment by Keith — July 8, 2008 @ 12:43 pm | post a comment

CHOON! Have you been listening to http://www.helpmechill.com ?

Glad you got your visa ok. I've a big smile across my face. Inspirational.

Comment by Pete — July 8, 2008 @ 12:53 pm | post a comment

Awesome video. You always seem to pick great music to match them.

Comment by Aunty Les — July 8, 2008 @ 4:41 pm | post a comment

Great video. It is amazing how much maneuverability you have with the skateboard and trailer.

Good news about the visa – 90 days visa for Hong Kong is pretty usual. Great that it applies to the rest of China!

Comment by kathy o — July 8, 2008 @ 5:00 pm | post a comment

I'm fascinated by your photographic techniques. Some time when you're "resting" for a bit, perhaps you could (again? if I missed it in an earlier post) explain about the camera work. Do you ask for others to help you, or do you set up the camera, take photos of yourself, and then have to go back for the camera?

…still following you from San Diego…it's a routine for me.

Stay strong!

Comment by Rob THomson — July 8, 2008 @ 10:27 pm | post a comment

Righto people. Let's get this straight. I do not have a visa for China. Only for Hong Kong. Which is China. But not. So I don't have a visa for China. Only Hong Kong. Applied for my Chinese visa today in the Chinese embassy in Hong Kong. You know, the Chinese embassy in Hong Kong, China. China. Hong Kong. Totally the same, except in no way similar. Confused?

Comment by Mum — July 8, 2008 @ 11:06 pm | post a comment

I was just wondering why people were congratulating you on your visa but I see they were all confused!! Hope you can get your extension for mainland china OK. Will 30 days be enough to get to Shanghai? I guess it must be as you're booked to fly back to NZ in August. I'm waiting for the video to download – being on dial-up is a real pain.

Comment by mike c — July 9, 2008 @ 12:48 am | post a comment

Awesome video Rob! Your best yet! You're a legend! I especially appreciate the shot when you are racing down the hill past the camera and past oncoming trucks. Legendary. God bless. You're almost half way across China as the crow flies. Be encouraged my brother.

God bless,


Comment by Steve — July 10, 2008 @ 11:24 pm | post a comment

Awesome video, Rob! I've been following this regularly now.


Comment by Andy Solaini — July 12, 2008 @ 5:57 pm | post a comment

Just been catching up on your blog Rob. Seems like a lot has been happening since I last read. Love the new vid by the way. It looks nothing like the bits of China I have visited.

Like the message on Rob Luxton's door. I have followed his travels too. A pity his trip is on hold though.

All the best.

Andy S

Comment by Ben Flierman — July 13, 2008 @ 5:58 am | post a comment

Rob, just checked out your blog and vids. Speechless. Awesome. Cool. Respect. Lots of respect. Keep it up. No words. Like I said, respect.

All the best dude.

Ben Flierman (exch.student hargest high invercargill – netherlands)

Comment by Lee — July 14, 2008 @ 8:31 pm | post a comment

Ben Flierman! There's a name I haven't seen in a while. (I was at Hargest, same form as you & Rob.) Awesome.

Cool to see how all continues to come together, Rob… I doubt you'll be back before I leave though (13 Aug). 'Tis a shame but such is life.

Comment by Kathryn — July 16, 2008 @ 4:20 pm | post a comment

Wow… Lee and Ben Flierman. Brings back high school memories!

Rob.. just heard your name on Invers radio. So impressed with your love of adventure. Will you make it to Invers when you head back to NZ? Would love to see you!

Lee.. where are you these days? Give me a call (married name Blain.. in phone book)!!

Keep pushing Rob!

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