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Lost in the Pacific with a Motorbike :: Video of the Week

When the road ends in Panama, overland travelers typically work around the conundrum of the Darién Gap by shipping trucks and cars or strapping motos to the deck of sailboats bound for Colombia. Dylan Wickrama, however, had another idea: to build a raft out of his motorcycle and sail 700 kilometers across the Pacific.

As a young boy growing up in Sri Lanka, Wickrama dreamt of traveling the world by motorcycle. After a decade of living in Switzerland, Dylan realized it was time to realize his dream, but with the goal of self-discovery. Seeking life’s purpose, he left to explore the world and rediscover himself, riding his GS, “Bruce,” from Switzerland to Australia.

Continuing his trip from Alaska towards Argentina, Wickrama noticed that being outside his comfort zone made him feel more alive than ever. Seeing the Darien Gap as an opportunity to experience something completely new, he decided to bypass the jungle on a self-built raft powered by his motorcycle.

Knowing nothing about sailing, Dylan set off through the Panama Canal to the open sea. Faced with the threat of tumultuous weather and without an exit stamp in his passport, as Panama considered the crossing illegal, he continued the journey. Gigantic swells and mechanical challenges made him question himself: “What on Earth was I thinking, getting on a small raft to challenge the forces of nature?”

Between GPS issues, fighting against currents, and the threat of low fuel, Wickrama drifts towards the Galapagos Islands but finds time and space to enjoy the beauty of his surroundings, watching pelicans, dolphins, and the open ocean.

Part Motorcycle Diaries, part Castaway, this video of the week shows Wickrama at his most vulnerable, but what lies underneath is an ever-present can-do attitude. “The biggest lessons I learned were not to let yourself be dictated by fears,” he says, “and not to shy away from living your passion. I learned how important it is to appreciate the little things in life and how having a positive attitude can change the most hopeless situations.”

Did he make it to Colombia? You’ll have to watch to find out.

To learn more about the film, visit ride2xplore.com.

lost in the pacific motorbikelost in the pacific
lost in the pacific

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Read more: Expedición de las Américas: Crossing the Darién Gap in 1979

Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. As Senior Editor at Overland Journal, you can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or writing about the unsung women of overlanding history. @desktoglory_ash