Yes. In a massive change of plans, I am going to skateboard across China.
14th of April 2008. I am booked on a flight to Shanghai, China. While I’m at it, I figure I may as well make history. The first person ever to skateboard the breadth of The People’s Republic of China. It should also extend the current world record to about 7,000 miles.
I am booked on a flight that leaves from Los Angeles, California. I am certainly not going to cut my trans-US journey short. I have just over two months to skate to Los Angeles, apply for a Chinese visa at the Chinese Embassy Consulate in Los Angeles, and get on the plane.
Why? To be honest, I was never really all that keen on skateboarding through central America. Or sailing across the Pacific, for that matter. To really do a skateboarding journey justice, a certain level of guaranteed skateable roads is required. China offers this. A 3,000 mile long slither or brand new blacktop that stretches from the northwest Kazakhstan-China border, to Shanghai on the mid-east coast of China. Highway 312. While I’m in skating shape, I may as well go for it.
Also, a long time blog reader, Jean, recently asked whether skateboarding through civilization lessened the sense of adventure. The answer is a definite yes. I yearn for the raw adventure of Asia.
I will fly to China, spend April, May, June and part of July skating across the country, then fly home to New Zealand.
It will be an epic expedition. 3,000m plus high road passes, the remote and hostile Takla Makan and Gobi deserts, communication and language barriers, tough bureaucracies (I was arrested last time I was in China). The expedition will be totally solo and unsupported. No back up vehicles.
Raw and real, this will be an expedition to stay tuned to.