This post is also available in: Spanish
By Marline Kipper
Upon arriving in Panama, the world traveler Dylan Samarawickrama, originally from Sri Lanka with Switzerland as his home of choice, was facing an issue. Dylan set out in June 2010 from Glarus, Switzerland, to travel the world on a motorbike. To date, he has visited more than 65 countries, including most of Africa, Australia, Asia and North America.
Now, in Panama, Dylan had to come up with a creative solution to continue his travel to Colombia, due to the lack of a highway connecting the two countries.
Considering his limited budget, Dylan began constructing a float made of empty oil drums and bamboo lashed together. For locomotion, the motorbike’s own motor has been adapted to run a small propeller. A sail has also been installed.
The venture is quite the adventure. The small float cannot carry enough fuel to travel the entire distance using the motor. Dylan will therefore be completely exposed to nature’s forces on his 800 kilometers journey to Colombia. Due to strong waves in the Caribbean Sea, Dylan is traveling on the Pacific despite this almost doubling the distance to travel at sea. Despite the risks, Dylan set out on Thursday, March 14 from Diablo, Panama City and motored out under the Bridge of the Americas. On Saturday, March 16 he arrived at Contadora. On Sunday he set out to continue his travel, visiting more islands of the archipelago.
When I interviewed Dylan on Contadora, he told me he has never been on a sailboat before and had to teach himself how to steer the float while already out to sea. Despite tall waves, he felt safe on the small float. When asked for his motivation behind this world trip, Dylan responds “I suppose, I’m just a small boy who never grew up and is fulfilling his childhood dream.”