An adventure hungry Joshua West has just completed an expedition along the worlds third longest river.
The Barossa born traveller spent 58 days kayaking along the Murray River to raise money for a cause close to his heart.
Over the last two months, Mr West who described himself as "Not a paddler", kayaked an average of 40kms per day along the mighty Murray.
"I think the longest day I had was 68kms, which was a big day, and the shortest was the end day, going from Goolwa to the Murray Mouth, which was about 12kms," he said.
This was not just to fulfil is need of adventure, but also to raise money for the Black Dog Institute and its work to remove the stigma in seeking mental health support.
As well as fundraising, Mr West started conversations about mental health with people he met along the river.
He also shared stories of his travels on social media to engage followers in the conversation surrounding the work Black Dog does.
"Those daily run ins made the whole trip, they were beautiful," he said.
"The people who live and holiday along the Murray are just such a beautiful group of people, they were always curious and I got a lot of support."
Mr West said locals often gave him tips about the best pubs in town, which parts of the river to look out for and what areas would make a nice resting spot.
When Mr West spoke to The Times he had raised just over $7000, but hoped a few late donations would continue to roll in.
"There's always some money that comes in late, so I am hoping to get to five figures in the next few weeks, but even with the $7000 that's huge and I am very very grateful," he said.
His journey started on March 16 at Bringenbrong Bridge at the foothills of Mount Kosciuszko and finished over 2400kms later on May 15 at the Murray Mouth in Goolwa.
The adventurer explained he felt mostly safe on the river, which had claimed the lives of countless people, but said he was apprehensive about crossing Lake Alexandrina.
"Thankfully, I was pretty well off," he said.
"The only real threat that was playing on my mind the whole trip was the final crossing of Lake Alexandrina, because that's really the only widely publicised section that has any tragedies attributed to it.
"I made sure I timed my run across the lake about a week out.
"I was looking at the weather, looking at the wind, looking at all the things that could potentially go wrong and making sure I had all the equipment."
Surprisingly Mr West's kayak only capsized once on the journey, which travelled through three states.
Mr West said the best part of his once in a lifetime adventure was the final two days of rowing and finishing the journey at the river mouth at sunset.
"It has taken a few days to seem real, it was only after I hit the beach and sat down and looked at the waves from the other side of the beach ...that it really sunk in."
While most people would have taken a few days rest, Mr West hiked 20kms of the Heysen Trial the day after he arrived in Goolwa.
Though he has hung up his paddles for now, Mr West said he was keen to explore the river further, especially around Goolwa, the Coorong National Park and Blanchetown.
To read more about Mr West's adventure, or to stay up to date on his next big thing, check out his blog Trekking West.
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