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Indonesian man walking 500 miles across the country backward

By Ben Hooper

July 24 (UPI) -- An Indonesia man is on a quest to walk 500 miles across the country while facing backward to raise awareness of forest preservation.

Medi Bastoni, 43, set out from his home village of Dono, East Java, and is hiking backward 500 miles to the State Palace in Jakarta, where he hopes to arrive in time for independence day celebrations Aug. 17.

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Bastoni is walking with the use of a rear-view mirror allowing him to keep an eye on his path without turning his head.

The walker said he is hoping to meet in Jakarta with President Joko Widodo, who he plans to ask for a symbolic seed to be planted on the slopes of Mount Wilis.

Bastoni said environmental activists are making progress with preserving the forests around Mount Wilis, but a symbolic seed from the president would go a long way toward raising awareness of the efforts.

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