An Indonesian man has been making news headlines around the world for embarking on a unique challenge to save the environment. 43-year-old Medi Bastoni is walking backward some 800 kilometers, from his village in East Java all the way to the capital Jakarta, to meet the president.
Bastoni set off from his home village of Dono, in East Java, on Jul. 18 and opes to reach the presidential palace in Jakarta in time to celebrate Indonesia’s 74th Independence Day on August 17, alongside President Joko Widodo. The main goal of his unique endeavor is to ask Indonesia’s president for a symbolic tree seed, to be planted in the forests on Mount Wills, near his village, to raise awareness about preserving the rainforest. He claims activists are already fighting to preserve the environment, but a symbolic gesture by the president would boost their efforts even more. And his willing to walk backwards for 800km just to meet Indonesia’s leader.
43-year-old Medi plans to walk around 30 km per day, and is wearing a contraption made of steal pipes with a rear-view mirror at the end to help him see where he’s going. He is carrying an 8-kilogram backpack full of supplies worth just Rp 300,000 ($21.50), and plans to rely on the kindness of strangers to reach his destination.
“On long journeys I take my rest at mosques, police stations, and neighborhood security posts,” the retro-walker said, adding that he plans to appeal to the kindness of roadside food stalls for sustenance.
Speaking to Indonesian media, Medi Bastoni explained that his 800km retro-trek across across Indonesia is a symbolic way of “looking back” and remembering the service of heroes who have fought for the island nation, as well as a tribute to his motherland.
We’ve written about retro-running before, but Bastoni is most likely the first person to walk backwards such a long distance. Well, on second thought, this Indian man has been walking backwards for 30 years, in the name of world peace.