Quick paddle, it’s a hippo

Quick paddle, it’s a hippo - Zambezi Challenge - hippo sign

Paul Barton has recently completed some remarkable fund raising efforts to support Rowcroft Hospice and raising £5,250 to date in honour of his mother, Mary Barton. This included a 100km paddle down the Zambezi where he across an angry hippo.

“If you’re thinking about taking on an extreme challenge for Rowcroft, my advice would be to do it” said Paul, IT Manager of Sated Design. “I’ve just got back from one of the most amazing experiences of my life; it has changed the way I look at things – I also ache a lot”.

Rowcroft Hospice helps to make every day the best day possible for people with life-limiting illnesses across South Devon, helping families to make the most of every day. Every year it costs almost £9million to fund their services and the majority of their funding comes from the local community.

Paul took on two challenges to raise funds for Rowcroft.  The first challenge, in which Paul aimed to raise £500, was a Superhero Skydiving Challenge. He was a sight to behold, wearing a Spiderman suit, as he jumped from 15,000ft and reached speeds of 120mph. “I exceeded my target by over 400% and raised a fantastic £2,212.02 and all the money raised is going directly to Rowcroft”, said Paul.

The second one, was The Zambezi Challenge, where Paul bravely tackled the white water rapids of the Bakota Gorge, avoiding angry hippos, sleeping crocodiles (or so he thought) and high winds blowing him backwards. “I decided I wanted to take on something more challenging, so I signed up to take a 100km paddle down one of Africa’s most dangerous rivers. To date, I have exceeded my target and raised £3,038”.

Paul continued by saying, “The first day was without question the hardest, we had to cover 27km to reach our camp and be off the river before dusk, but unseasonal weather and high winds were blowing us backwards in the water. With no choice but to continue – seeing an angry hippo at this point was the last thing any of us wanted and that is exactly what happened!

“One of my most memorable moments was meeting an angry, isolated hippo on a narrow section of river. Our guide ordered us to paddle rapidly to the bank and get out; by this time the hippo was mock-charging and making quite a statement!  We saw hundreds of hippos on our journey; thankfully we only had a couple of close encounters like this one”, concluded Paul.

See what Paul endured on his fifth and final day of relentless paddling (115Km in total).  You can see Paul in Svens boat wearing a blue tee shirt. Watch out for 18:15 where the white water rapids throw him out of the boat! Also catch Paul’s appearances at these times: 2:30, 5:05, 7:20, 10:45 and 13:28.

“Please join us in congratulating Paul in his efforts and for this Christmas please make a donation via Justgiving for his tremendous efforts”, said Chris Howsam, Director Sated Design.  Chris continued, “We are extremely impressed by what he has put himself through and what he has achieved and we will continue to support him in future challenges”.

Paul finished off by saying “Rowcroft were truly amazing throughout and I know my family could not have got through that difficult time without their support”.

Quick paddle, it’s a hippo photo selection: