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Kyaker’s 100 days river odyssey ends

Saturday, 27th July, 2013

He started rowing down the Darling River in February to raise money for childhood cancer research and some 100 days later Alan Hywood has finished his epic journey to the Murray River mouth.  PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt He started rowing down the Darling River in February to raise money for childhood cancer research and some 100 days later Alan Hywood has finished his epic journey to the Murray River mouth. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt

By By Emily Roberts

Alan Hywood’s five-month long kayak journey is finally over.

He started rowing down the Darling River in February to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Alan said that after an operation to remove aneurysms from his head he wanted something to look forward too.

“So I promised myself if I make it through this second operation I would kayak the Darling River as a personal challenge,” he said.

He left at the end of February to undertake the mammoth 2572 kilometre trip and finished on July 9 at the Murray River mouth after 96 days.

“I was expecting it to take about 100 days, so I was close,” he said.

“That didn’t include the few stops I had due to weather.”

During the trip he met up with another long distance kayaker and they swapped stories.

“We shared some stories and came across each other from time to time,” Alan said.

Raising money hadn’t been easy, but he believes the final tally will come in under $5,000.

“The private donations hadn’t taken off and people kept offering me cash donations but I couldn’t take them.

“I did receive quite a lot of publicity which was good. I’m glad I got the message of childhood cancer across for everyone.”

Alan said he didn’t want to finish the trip and wanted to go back up the river but “I just didn’t have the finances to do it.”

He said highlights included the scenery and rowing into Lake Wetherell.

“It was a beautiful lake and the Murray River was magnificent - the bird life, cliffs and sunsets,” Alan said.

The lowlights included the cold, and seeing shooters killing birds.

“It was getting so cold towards the end, I had icicles on my tent,” Alan said.

Local artists Wendy Martin and Howard Steer got behind the effort and painted two river scenes on a set of Mr Hywood’s blue plastic paddles.

He said he still had them and was hoping to get $2,000 for them.

“The artworks are available for viewing at Shutterbug in Argent Street,” he said.

“I would really love it if people could put a bid on it.”

You may still donate to the cause by logging on to www.everydayhero.com.au/riveryak.

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