14degrees off the beaten track
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September 17th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,China (Anhui)

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In 20 days I will leave this country. 380km to skate. I have the remaining kilometers written on my shoe. Counting down daily…

Alone in a hotel room in a city of millions (Wuhu, Anhui Province, China)

The days are passing too slowly right now. Accumulated stress from fighting bureaucrazies and fatigue from skating and dealing with the constant public attention has taken it’s toll, and I was only able to manage about 40km a day over the last three days. Tomorrow I have to get on a bus back 100km from where I came to pick up my passport with my new visa. The physical act of skating has been the easiest part of this skate across China.

As I approach Shanghai, the population density is mushrooming. Signs of environmental abuse is ever-present. Cement factories and foundries send out plumes of dark fumes, roadsides are dusty and dirty, raw garbage discarded in heaps on the roadside, still, stagnant water. This is the most depressing area I have ever experienced in my travels around the world.
Access to my photo hosting page is restricted here in Wuhu also, so no updates today as I had hoped.

The only thing that keeps me going at the moment is my anticipation for arriving in New Zealand and cycling the last 700km of my journey home from Auckland to Christchurch in New Zealand. I was considering to skate this part, but I refuse to skate on the rough chipseal roads in New Zealand. I had my baptism of fire on the rough roads in Texas, and I’m not going through that again.

So in about a month’s time, I will be back on my trusty recumbent bicycle, rolling home.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (6)

Comment by JHD — September 17, 2008 @ 10:56 pm | post a comment

ROB! Long time no check! I see China is wearing thin. Hang in there! I smell a book deal and royalties in your future.

And if bad roads are not your thing, be sure to give Pennsylvania a pass on your next trek through the US.


Comment by Luka — September 18, 2008 @ 2:46 am | post a comment

Respect, Rob. You really must be fed up with the chinese "friendly toward tourists" policy, bad air pollution, overly interested locals,… New Zealand will be a healing for that :)

Comment by Scott Wayland — September 18, 2008 @ 8:11 am | post a comment

Amazing, Rob. The section you are going through sounds terrible. Although I've never been to your home country, from what I've read and seen on the net, you are in for a very nice change. Go Kiwis!

Ride on, mate.


Comment by Keith Winnersh — September 18, 2008 @ 2:34 pm | post a comment

Hi Rob,

(Blooming fat fingers here – If this comment is repeated, forgive me.)

You know that you inspired me to go unasisted from Reading to Goodwood and back in England this Summer, and I remember that you place great importance in your faith.

We arrived in Goodwood and were immediately offered a place to stay and a meal by a grandmother who I've learnt is a Catholic.

I've not experienced such 'love' for want of a better word outside of my immediate family for a long long time. I've returned the 'love' today (I hope) and a nice suprise is on it's way to my host.

A positive note for you as you sit in the Chinese internet cafe looking forward to seeing your family.


Comment by Aunty Les — September 18, 2008 @ 2:56 pm | post a comment

A very wise move cycling from Auckland to ChCh rather than skateboarding. If you're going to be off the beaten track then you can be sure the roads will have no shoulders and, as you say, will be chip seal.

Pity about being unable to download photos.

Comment by Bart — September 18, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | post a comment

Rob, you're just great. Following you is a a little bit travelling for me :-) . Keep the smile and enjoy !!!

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