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.
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:
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).