| Aziz Idris |
NORFOLK lad David Atthowe, founder of Nomadic Lion, along with Yusepe Sukmana and Gilang Yaksapurusa from Bandung, have travelled on foot an unprecedented 2,250km journey through Borneo to raise awareness about positive stories, projects and the natural beauty of the island.
The walk took four and a half months crossing Brunei Darussalam and the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.
The journey is being made into a documentary focusing on positive environmental and humanitarian projects on the island.
In an e-mail interview with the Weekend Bulletin, Atthowe stated that he founded Nomadic Lion “to walk the length of various countries to raise awareness about local positive environmental and humanitarian projects and solutions”.
He is passionate about this part of the world and helping the people and nature that live here.
Their walk began in Tawau on the August 22.
Their voyage has taken them to Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Telupid, Ranau, Mount Kinabalu and Lawas before entering Brunei through Limbang.
They spent three weeks in Brunei before heading to Miri, Bintulu, Sibu, Sri Aman and finally to Kuching on January 4.
The expedition took 137 days all together.
David walked alone for three weeks around Brunei and had very positive things to say about his time here.
“Brunei is a beautiful country with very friendly people. What impressed me the most was how green the country is and how well the rainforest is protected and maintained. Truly the green heart of Borneo.”
Throughout their journey, they visited a number of conservation, education, community empowerment projects, as well as national parks.
They also met many individuals who share the same passion of helping the people and environment of Borneo.
Nomadic Lion raised awareness by documenting the journey via its website and on social media.
They also made a number of presentations at schools and universities.
Among the many obstacles they faced, Atthowe said the biggest was the mental challenge.
“Almost anybody can walk physically but mentally it is a very different story.
“It takes great mental strength and discipline to fight through the toughest moments – being lost in the jungle, living alone on a cold mountain or dealing with injuries.”
This is the second successful project for Nomadic Lion.
Next on the list is “Walking Asia” – a five- year journey that will cover 19 countries.
It will see them travel from India to Indonesia – the biggest participatory walk ever in Asia.
For more information and updates, visit www.facebook.com/nomadiclion.