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Dylan.S 12-26-2012 08:53 PM

From Madol-Duuwa to around the world

One of the questions I’ve been frequently asked is what made me decide to get on a motorcycle and travel the world. It’s not an easy question to answer because there were so many factors which contributed to it. At this moment of writing, I’ve been travelling around the world for two hand half years, have gone through 54 countries in four continents, and I have managed to make so many wonderful experiences which have enriched my life immensely. In each country I have visited, I’ve been asked the same question over and over again as to what inspired me to undertake such a daunting task and travel the world on a motorcycle all by myself.

In the past, I have given all kinds of answers. “The world is a beautiful place to explore”, “I wanted to find myself by travelling the world” have been two of my favorite replies. However, the reason for my world tour is a very simple one. I am an adventurer! Therefore, what made me into an adventurer is a more important question than why I do what I do.
I was born on a beautiful island called Sri Lanka. As a small boy I developed the taste for reading, especially if the books contained action. When I was thirteen I read Madol-Duuwa, a Sri Lankan classic novel which laid the foundation in a boy dreaming of adventures. It’s about two teenagers who run away from home and travel south to start a new life on the island of Madol-Duuwa.

When I was 6 years old, my father, who was a good and prosperous businessman, was killed by two robbers. That event had a dramatic impact in our lives. A life of abundance gave way to poverty and the whole burden of looking after four boys was put on my poor mother. Growing up in the third world, where a social security system didn’t exist, meant that we had to go through many hardships.

I so wanted to be like the boys of Madol-Duuwa and even dreamed of running away from home to find my own adventure. But by then I had already become a father figure to my little brothers and the love for my mother made me postpone my adventures for a later date. Nevertheless, I remained a dreamer and lived my adventures in my mind through what I read. The adventures of Tin Tin or Rohld Dhal’s Going Solo fuelled my burning desire for the big wide world.

Now I am a big man :D My situation has changed by a considerable amount. I was living in Switzerland running my own small workshop repairing and maintaining automobiles. Over the years I had the chance to explore different parts of the world on motorcycles. But the thirst of seeing the whole world in a one trip never left my mind. The big day crept on me like a thief in the night; it was a spontaneous decision. From the moment I seriously considered it, to the time I left home, was merely two months.

My name is Dylan Samarwickrama. To someone who’s unfamiliar with Sri Lankans, my family name is a tongue twister. For several years I struggled to come to terms with that long name. It was simply because living in Europe with a name such as Samarawickrama made things really difficult. People not only found it hard to pronounce, but also I’ve been laughed at more than just a few times. But then one day someone asked me is there a meaning behind that name. Sure! When you translate it into English, it literally means "celebrator of adventure"
Yes! To be honest, until that day I never really thought about it. It never struck me that I have a unique name which I can identify myself to. I am an adventurer! Not only by deed but also by name!

Now, enough about the past, my trip started in Switzerland in July 2010 heading eastward.

Greetings from Mazatlan, Mexico!
Red line represents the route completed while blue is the planned route.
Indonesia riding towards mount Bromo.
I was looking for a better angle to photograph the volcano Bromo. so I decided to ride up the mountain behind it. The path was too narrow but I still wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately my right pannier hits a tree stump and I was thrown out of balance. The result: I ended up 10 meters below while my bike was held in balance by a small tree.
Ironically, I had to cut the tree to release the bike which saved my trip altogether.
Camping in the wild in Australian outback. 95% of the time I camp in the wild. Travelling for so long and being on the road without sponsors or a not yet having received a dollar discount on a single tire or whatever, leaves me no option but to experience the true adventure.

This is a video of one my most recent rides to Copper Canyon

Dylan.S 12-26-2012 10:05 PM

Bruce (my bike) and I looking fresh as daisies on our first day.

jamesm417 12-27-2012 12:20 AM

sound like fun
I'm in.

littlebike 12-27-2012 02:05 AM

Hi Dylan,

That's a long trip report you have to tell us about here :deal
Seems your destiny was spelled in your name from the start :D
Wish you good riding for all that remains :thumb

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 06:47 AM

Curiosity isn't always a good thing. After seeing the beautiful white crust right in the middle of a salt lake, I decided to head out there. All I wanted was to see the salt in abundance and see and feel what it's like to be on top of it. But about a kilometer later I felt the engine needing more throttle. A couple of seconds later the bike stood still and when I put my feet on the ground I felt my legs had become longer and I was happy. But I was wrong! I broke through the salt crust and was in deep shit this time!

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 07:28 AM

Facing the inevitable. I had been carrying lot of weight around the world and had been riding too many rough roads and off road conditions. In Australia I found my rear sub frame cracked for the third time. Road side repairs in the outback. I removed the frame and brought it to a farm close by and got it welded myself.

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 07:52 AM

After 100000km my bike breaks down in a rural village in India. The nearest big city 10 hours away. Fortunate enough, I take a ride towards an ancient Hindu temple and take a walk through the temple complex. After returning to the bike and just before getting on it, the oil seal pops out of the housing of the final drive and starts draining off oil. Had it happened while riding, I probably would have needed a whole new final drive. However bearing cage was damaged and I'm in a dilemma. It's in the middle of nowhere to get any help. Well, you can do anything if you gotta a clever pair of hands. I take the final drive apart and improvise and ride further 5000km until Sri Lanka where I got the new parts sent to from Germany.

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 08:00 AM

Skip the breakfast and the lunch. Eat mud on the way to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. Dalton highway

GrizzLee 12-27-2012 08:19 AM

U da man

W/o sponsors, how did you fund your trip?

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 08:23 AM

One of the most fascinating countries that I have visited on this tour was Ethiopia. The natural beauty, the culture and the food is interesting enough to entice you. However visiting the Mursi tribe deep in the jungle in south Ethiopia made me have my most exciting five minutes of my entire tour. The otherwise friendly people turned ugly because of a three idiots who tried to hold me against my will. One of the tribesmen was armed with a machine gun. But taking advantage of their moment of inattentiveness I take my pepper spray into my hands and take control of the situation and manage my escape.

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 08:36 AM

When you travel in a group, it's easy to do this kind of adventure. But I'm not a pussy :lol3 I can still smile even though I know it's gonna be hard work pulling that bike out of the deep sand.

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 09:04 AM

After watching the film Into The Wild I decided to visit Chris Maccandle's bus in Denali national park in Alaska. Many have become his harsh critics but a man who gave away all that he possessed can not be a bad man at all. His thought were inspiring and his thirst for adventure was certainly deserve acknowledgment. However, my hike was as epic as my motorcycle tour and it was dangerous. I was told by many not to go or if I did, then to go in a group. The challenge was to walk 40 miles into the real wilderness. There were bears, moose and cougars among the danger list. As far as doing is concern, I had to walk endless kilometers in streams swamps, and swim across a river which was swollen with glacier melt-water. After 18 hours of my start, I was back to where I had parked my motorcycle. Exhausted and hungry. I had walked 79km and swam across icy cold water twice. To do all that with just 5 bars of chocolate in my pockets is something that I am proud of!

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by THX_337 (Post 20337473)

W/o sponsors, how did you fund your trip?

Worked hard and saved money and spending it like an adventurer = wild camping, making my own food without restaurants and doing all the repairs and maintenance of the bike myself. It's hard but I'm doing what many only dream of.

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 04:05 PM

Motorcycle adventure is not all about the sound of the engine. It's about seeing the world in a different way to others. Admiring the beautiful nature. Horseshoe Bend. Arizona. USA

Dylan.S 12-27-2012 04:32 PM

Watch the video HERE to Copper Canyon and you'll see the that the beauty isn't always easy to travel.

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