Man climbs Kilimanjaro from his home

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Thursday 7th May 2020 12:24 pm
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Charity trekker John Hoare ()

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Pensioner John Hoare has raised thousands for a farming charity after a ’virtual’ climb of Kilimanjaro around his home in the South Hams.

The 69-year-old had first planned to scale the imposing African mountain when he retired in 2015 but a broken ankle crushed his dream.

Another chance to reach the summit of the famous peak presented itself last year, John said, adding: "I received an email from Dream challenges inviting me to climb Kilimanjaro, setting off on September 2. That being my 70th birthday, I felt I had to give it a go."

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s unlikely the hike will go ahead as planned, so John, from South Brent, decided to recreate the climb at home instead.

In just eight days, John covered the same daily distance and altitude as the original itinerary – walking 72 miles and climbing 3,700 metres.

He completed his trek by walking the lanes around his home, climbing Brent Hill eight times and climbing lots of stairs.

And each night, John slept in a tent in his garden to fully recreate the experience.

John’s stay-at-home expedition raised money for the Royal Agricultral Benevolent Institution (RABI), a charity which offers financial support, practical care and guidance to farming people of all ages including farmers, farm workers and dependants.

His wife, Liz, is chair of the Devon RABI committee and the couple have supported the charity for many years.

John thanked friends, relations and other South Brent walkers who passed by his gate and generously donated to his challenge.

He said: "I thoroughly enjoyed my trekking and have been amazed at the support and encouragement received. I would like to thank the many anonymous donors.

"Marrying into a farming family who have always supported RABI and Liz having been an RABI welfare officer for many years, I am well aware of the hardship many in the farming industry have to deal with. Therefore, RABI was my first choice for fundraising."

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