Day 789 – CHINA (ANHUI): Feeling A Bit Wonky

Um so I am losing weight. Yesterday I weighed in at 71kg with all my clothes on. I am usually 73kg or thereabouts nekkid. I can hardly face solid food. Grapes and bananas are my friends at the moment. I have my suspicions as to why, but right now I have the following crazy stuff happening:

  • Chronic indegestion
  • No apetite (well, for Chinese food, anyway)
  • Really tired all the time
  • Big knot in my stomach (anxiety)
  • Not sleeping well at night

Possible causes:

  • Stress from knowing life-changing times are ahead after 2.5 years on the road.
  • Stress from all the visa issues….how wonderful it will be to arrive in New Zealand and know that I am allowed to stay there as long as I want!
  • Lack of decent human contact. In an area of China where there are millions of people surrounding me, I feel the lonliest I have ever on this trip.
  • Accumulated fatigue due to the heat and of course skating.
  • Truely depressing and uninspiring surroundings that I know I still have at least a weeks worth of skating through.

Crazy crazy times. I was thinking that I would coast through this last wee bit…nothing of the sort. I find myself quite nicely depressed and not at all my usual self. I am taking 5mg Mosapride Citrate Capsules (a Japanese stomach regulator) for the indegestion, along with some crazy Chinese herbal stuff, and that is helping.

Shade (Hebei City outskirts, Anhui Province, China)

I do have my fourth and final visa extension in hand however. I bussed back to Hefei city yesterday to get it. They graciously gave me until the 8th of October (my flight out is on the 7th). Things to look forward to between now and then are meeting up with fellow traveller Steve Ruelle who now lives about 70km out of Shanghai, and staying with Michele and his girlfiend in Shanghai until my flight leaves. It will be truely theraputic to hang out with people that I can communicate with!

So for Steve, if you’re reading this, I am in Wuhu and heading your way. I have no idea when I’ll arrive. Could be within the working week, could be up to 10 days away or more. It all depends on how my body holds up and how many kilometers a day my legs will carry me. If I have to crawl at 20km a day, I will.

Readers, prayers and/or general good health vibes requested.

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33 thoughts on “Day 789 – CHINA (ANHUI): Feeling A Bit Wonky

  • christine

    rob — hang in there. you're so close to the end. i've found you to be so inspiring, and understandibly you find yourself in a difficult spot. i remember praying hard for you in the southwest of the USA, and i will pray for you again until you're in new zealand.

    peace to you, that passes all understanding. hang in, be strong, and know that there is so much prayer coming your way.

    much love and mojo and good vibes from the North East USA…


  • Allen

    I run a lot of very long races. The one thing that really keeps me going is that I pin a sign on my shirt that reads, 'Run! Allen Run!'. Everyone that I pass shouts that back to me. The minute I start walking the roar gets louder and louder. I am too embarrassed to keep walking so I run some more. It is highly motivating.

    That being said, "Skate! Rob Skate!"

  • Wally Steven

    Hi Rob,

    Each day on the road is one day less to completion.

    I have an image of the NZ para olympian in Bejing he was running and within 20 mts of the finish line when he collapsed. He got on to his hands and knees, crawled and stumbled his way across the finish line. It showed gutsy stuff that Kiwi's are made of. He is remembered for not only finishing well but for the extreme dedication to finishing.I am sure you are made of exactly the same sort of stuff and even though it may not be the exhilarating finish you may have though about. You will find when it is over that no one will look at how you finished but at what you achieved! And I am sure you will as well.

    Another day less to go ae.

  • Scott Wayland

    Tough times, Rob. We're all pulling for you. The rub is, of course, is that YOU have to do the skating. We know you'll finish, and you'll never, ever, ever have to skate across China for the rest of your life. Savor that thought over a couple of pints with your mates back home.

    Be extra careful on these last few weeks. You gotta get out of there in one piece. Anticipate the joy of looking down on the place as the plane climbs away, taking you home. Sounds good to me!

    Cheers–and I mean it.


  • Aunty Les

    Are you sure you haven't picked up some sort of tummy bug? Difficult to tell as stress and anxiety can do the same thing. I'll be praying for you as you complete this last stretch, that you will be aware of God's presence and comfort and that he'll give you the emotional and physical strength to keep going.

    Your bike is at your parent's place, by the way, so I assume your Mum has sent it off. I've not been speaking to her over this past week.

  • andrew

    stay with it brother!

    we all have hard days. don´t let your brain go wild with fantasy. stay present and go slow. if you keep counting down the minutes until NZ, you'll be doin' lots and lots of counting over the next few weeks. set goals or thinking points for yourself every day–find something beautiful in your surroundings everyday and take a picture of it, make a point to learn at least one thing each day from a stranger, etc.

    as you know, it ALWAYS works out. stressing will never affect the final outcome…so don't waste time with it. let things work themselves out.

    stay healthy in mind,


  • Mum

    I'm surprised that you've gone off Chinese food. Maybe it's pollution in the road dried rice and by the road dried noodles! Get into the bananas, they're really good energy boosting food. A good strategy for depression is to focus only on what you want to achieve today and then smile, smile, smile – amazing how smiling can lift your spirits. And I'll be praying for you as well. Remember Num 6: 24-26. I'm actually wearing that pendant today.

  • Shryl

    Hi Rob!

    Hang in there! You've gone through an amazing journey thus far and you will persevere to the end. I met you briefly last summer in Leysin and followed you on your journey ever since, because of your passion and drive. You’re an inspiration to so many people around the world, including complete strangers! Keep your head up!! I hope your stomach feels better soon.

  • Steve Ruelle

    Hey man you're almost there! You can do it! Take your time getting here. We have a blissful 7 day national holiday coming up after Friday, and I'm not planning on going anywhere for it.

    I'm just as stressed as you are with this chaotic operation that they call a "school" here in the horrid suburbs. I agree about how depressing is the area you're traveling in, the good news is the city centers are 10 times better.

    What happens is that all the cities in the Yangzte Delta use the suburbs as a garbage dump, and nobody in their right mind would live there. Well except people like me whose job is there.

  • Joe Solem

    Rob, you've been through tough patches before and I'm sure you'll make it through this one. I've been following your journey from my home in Hawaii since nearly the beginning and I want to see pictures of you back in NZ with your family & friends! Take care, brother.

  • Komila

    Hey Rob,

    hang on, just a little bit left. you've done so much already. you will make it and then look backat these wonky days with a smile!

    just hang on,


  • Jean

    Hi Rob,

    Finding yourself clenching your teeth a lot too? Could be worms… or some other weird Chinese internal parasite… At least you can be fairly sure you aren't pregnant heehee

    Anyway, we'll be praying for you, I'm sure loads of other people are too… As for your Mum's comment about smiling, I just read about a thing called (I think) "facial feedback" where if you smile enough, even if you're feeling the opposite, it somehow persuades your brain that you must be happy and you start to feel happier, worth a try?

    Anyway, not far now,

    See you,


  • ChrisJ

    Hi Rob,

    I will just add my voice to the chorus and send you as many good health and happiness vibes as I can. At this point imagining yourself safely home may be the best motivator. I know it is what is keeping me going at the moment.

  • big bro mark

    Hi Rob – hang in here! We are all looking forward to seeing you home safely. Your nieces are especially keen to meet their mysterious Uncle Travelling Rob.

  • Matthias


    Given the incredible length of your journey, I think that you will make it safely to NZ!

    As for your stomach problems:

    When reading your blog, I started asking myself "What will come after this trip?" and I guess that it is a tough decision to decide what to do in the future when you are used to spending your days on the road. Settling down also does have positive effects, and I am sure that you will be able to keep your spirit alive!


    All the best,


  • kathy o

    You don't know how many people have been reading your journals and following your adventures. We all have you in our thoughts and prayers. Hang on, Buddy. The English-speaking world awaits you!

  • neil


    the cherry blossom is in full bloom here in the Moutere, Tasman Bay. We think of you on your skate towards the departure gate, and are rooting for you mate. Keep well! Recognise when you need to rest, and listen to your body. You know that.

    We have been thinking about your spring time cycle back home, and are hoping it will include a side trip to Nelson, and even over Takaka Hill for a few brews at the Mussel Inn. If not, we will come to Picton to wave you on, but give it some thought as you pound the pavement towards Shanghai.

    We are all wishing you the best of health, speed, and good vibes!

    Fluids! Keep em high!


  • Haidee

    Hey Rob just wanted to encourage you that you are not alone there are many people watching you and praying for you – If God is watching the sparrow He most certainly is keeping an eye on you brother! blessings Haidee

  • mike1727

    Not far to go now, the last bit of a journey always feels worst. Interesting to see you fly out on my birthday, I'll be raising several glasses in your honour mate!

  • wim harwig

    "It is indeed more worthwhile taking the road less traveled. You are sure to suffer, hurt, curse and get frustrated. But in the end you’ll always come out the other end with more than a tale. You’ll have spot in your memory that will always take your breath away every time you revisit it."

    remember ?

    Keep going strong ! You're not alone …..


  • mirjam

    Hey Rob

    Thank you for sharing your trip with all of us. With all its beauties, but also its downs and despairs. The staring and flie-like sticking of people would've made me go berserk long before you. May your health return. Enjoy your days and a sound sleep at night.

    Wishing you a safe & smooth road home.