Sydney: A former Marine Sergeant has reportedly completed a 408 day, 5000 mile (8047 kilometre) walk through nine countries in south-east Asia, using Google Maps.
Winston Fiore, 27 made this journey to raise funds for the International Children's Surgical Foundation, an organisation that provides free plastic surgeries to children in developing countries, mostly who suffer from a cleft palate.
The tale begins in 2007, when Fiore was deployed with the Marine Corps to Senegal for three weeks of training and was struck by how little of the world he had seen, following which he resolved to spend a year travelling on foot through a developing part of the world, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to the paper, he began mapping out his trip in 2010, creating what he describes as a "pretty oval" route that would take him through some of the biggest metropolitan areas in Brunei, China, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, covering about 5000 miles.
The first week of his trek, he made printouts of the walking directions from Google Maps, but he fumbled through the pages each day, trying to figure out where to turn, or if he had gotten off track. He therefore discovered buying a SIM card in whatever country he was in, and was able to get directions directly off his phone, the paper said.
Then there was the time, also in China, where the directions led him to the edge of a river with no bridge in sight, and as he was starting to freak out, he saw a man who ferries people across the river, and he got a ride for free.
"It's not like the directions said, 'There will be an old Chinese man to ferry you across the river, and he likes mangos.' But the walking directions routed me there, and he was able to get me across the river," said Fiore.
Fiore completed his journey on Tuesday, and has raised 65,000 dollars of his 75,000 dollar goal to give to the International Children's Surgical Foundation, and also discovered the unexpected, with the help of a mapping app, the paper added.