Patagonia – Epilogue #2 (What else I learned)

What I learned on this journey – Pt. 2

In the first epilogue, I talked about a few topics that seemed most relevant, now, I’ve got a few more that fellow travelers may also find useful, or maybe not.  But, in any case, you can’t stop me.


When you’re packing to go on a long trip like this, perhaps 3 or 4 weeks, you really should organize your luggage according to two different principals, according to where you are in the trip.  In my opinion, things are going to change, and it will make the most sense if you’re prepared in advance.

Initial Packing – Airlines and the long haul

Initially, you need to pack your gear so that it is in harmony with how airlines think about luggage.  That is to say that it needs to be of a certain size, not exceeding another size, and it cannot weight more than a certain number of kilos or pounds.  So, you should follow a few rules

The rules to follow for airline travel
  1. Pack your luggage so that none of it exceeds xx lbs
  2. Your luggage must not exceed this size
  3. Don’t care which items are stored in which bags, balance the weight, and try to get as much in as possible.
  4. Pack so that everything is well protected
The rules to follow for Adventure travel (on the move, frequent stops)
  1. If you have two bags, assign one of them for your clothing and frequent gear, the other for less important things.
  2. Within the clothing bag, organize your clothes so that you can predictably know exactly which sacks you need to change cloths, perform hygiene, etc.
  3. if you use a computer, or tablet, make sure that it is easy to get to, in moments if necessary.  We often want to make time by reading emails, etc.
  4. Always put your gear away in exactly the same way.  This will help you be sure not to lose things and will also make it easier to find things.
  5. If you’re going to need a change of cloths, keep a fresh set separate from the sacks, so that you are ready to change quickly.
  6. Make sure your toiletries bag is easy to get to.

Gravel & how off-road training helps (or doesn’t help)

Over the course of this trip, I’ve said much about the difficulties of riding on gravel.  I’ve also mentioned that I had accumulated about 200 miles of training and coaching on off-road sections, so I felt prepared.  in actual point of fact, there is a big difference between riding on dirt roads, and riding in gravel.

All of the training that I did was low-speed, very technical terrain.  This stuff was very difficult, and the chance of falling over was equally as high as it was on gravel, but it was still quite a bit different from gravel.

2014-04-05 Cliff at Rawhyde 01During the training at Rawhyde, we rode through sand and gravel, but even that experience did not prepare me for the need to ride long distances, over gravel, at high speed.  In fact, so little of the training that I did was at high speed, I can safely say that the fastest I have ever gone on dirt happened to me on this trip.  I was able to achieve 120 Kph on dirt, on one of the cleaner dirt roads.

So, if you’re planning a trip like this, don’t be afraid to spend a good deal of time in sand and gravel, preparing for what might come.

Ushuaia sightseeing

Ushuaia is a special place on Earth.  It’s a destination in it’s own right, but it’s also commonly thought of as a place where you can begin or end of a journey.  It can also be a significant midpoint on a ‘Round-the-world journey, or a point from where you can disembark on a journey to Antarctica.  Over the many years that this town has been around, it’s seen many great explorers (men and women) and it’s been a key actor in some of the most significant stories about this world of ours.  So, it seems to me that when you’re in Ushuaia, you need to think of it in those terms.  As such, I have some regrets about the time I spent in Ushuaia.

My plan was to be able to see the prison complex that was originally the center of the Penal colony for the British citizens who were sent here as punishment for crimes against the kingdom or the state.  I’ve heard that this complex is rich in history, and fascinating if you’ve got a love of history.  Because of the way our time in Ushuaia sort of happened, and because of a few minor logistics delays, I did not make my way to the prison complex, nor did I make time to visit with the penguins.

If I could do it again, I would be sure to visit both places, and I would spend a little bit more time making sure that I didn’t miss anything else.

So, that’s a wrap

This is the final installment in the story of my trip to Patagonia.  I may add some more posts, as there are other topics that come up, and which are related, but all things being equal, we’re just about done here.

I hope that you all enjoyed reading the blog.  I certainly enjoyed writing it, and your enthusiastic comments were infectious and I thank each and every one of you for sending them my way.

Bye for now – But we’ll talk again soon

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.