Jon Lewin

ON THE ROAD

Jon Lewin
ON THE ROAD

There's many ways to travel round the island. Buses, trains, tuk-tuks, taxi's, here's a few shots of missions on the road.

I love travelling like this, you get to see and experience the country as the locals do and you meet some amazing people along the way but for me its all about the solo missions on the motorbike.

I’m going to be honest: the main roads in Sri Lanka are not the safest, due to the gung-ho style of some drivers. To navigate the roads successfully, you need a good horn, good brakes and, perhaps most importantly, good luck.

It follows that cruising around Sri Lanka on a motorbike can be dangerous, but I have been doing it for about 15 years now, so I know what to expect. You have to be fully alert at all times, as you will be battling with crowds of pedestrians, extremely erratic bus drivers, and the occasional suicidal dog… 

After the tsunami, a mate of mine, Scotty, and I bought the family I have been staying with for the last 10 years a new Bajaj 125 motorbike from India so they could take my Sri Lankan little brother to school and generally get around. (They did have a bike but it was consumed by silt and seawater.) Every time I visit, the bike is mine for the taking and it has become my main travelling companion. I chuck my camera and a few essentials in my backpack and head off in search of new recipes and adventures. Being on a bike makes me feel totally free. My journeys are never really planned; there are no obligations. 

Some of my best experiences on the island have come from my many bike trips. I might be invited to locals’ houses for cups of sweet Sri Lankan tea, lunch or dinner. Sometimes I might end up staying with these hospitable and welcoming families for a few days or even weeks, cooking, gathering recipes and generally hanging out. When it’s just me, the beloved Bajaj and the open road, then the possibilities are endless.