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Rafting duo now canoeing pair

River rafting duo Reuben Hartley and Peter Widberg are one quarter of the way on their journey to Adelaide, after making an unplanned detour.

TONI BRIENT February 6, 2014 9:54am

River rafting duo Reuben Hartley and Peter Widberg are one quarter of the way on their journey to Adelaide.


River rafting duo Reuben Hartley and Peter Widberg are one quarter of the way on their journey to Adelaide, after detouring from Tocumwal to Shepparton to buy a new vessel.

The pair set off from Albury on January 4 and stopped in Cobram on January 16, after battling heatstroke, almost capsizing in ‘rapids’ and raising $700 for mental health charity beyondblue.

Mr Hartley phoned the Courier on Monday for an update from a rest stop in Barham, between Echuca and Swan Hill.

He said sponsors had pledged about $850, and the trip ‘‘took an interesting turn’’ near Tocumwal, when their home-built raft succumbed to pests.

‘‘We were thinking of getting canoes because we were getting infested with flies, because the raft was made of treated pine.

‘‘We thought maybe it was time to move on, so we bid for a canoe on eBay.

‘‘When we were in Tocumwal we found out we won it, so we hitchhiked with some dude to Shepp to pick it up.’’

The new vessel is a 4m, two-seater canoe with a storage compartment in the middle.

But it will be a short-lived trip in the new vessel for Mr Widberg, who will be flying to Asia in two weeks, before flying home to Sweden.

‘‘I may be recruiting for a new member otherwise the mission may be aborted,’’ Mr Hartley said.

His friend from his home in Perth had expressed interest, but he wasn’t sure she was up to the challenge.

‘‘It’s not a princess game,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s dirty, you’re eating out of a can, drinking river water, nothing’s clean.

‘‘I’m going to have to give her a call today actually and give her the lowdown.

‘‘Because I think she’s thinking it’s such an epic thing, and it is, but I’m not sure she realises how epic it is.’’

But Mr Hartley said he wasn’t concerned about the future of the trip, preferring to enjoy each day as it came.

‘‘It’s got two weeks to figure itself out.

‘‘Who knows where the cold wind blows?’’

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