Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are regions of a desert nature with few inhabitants: two characteristics which reduce the risk of traffic on the roads, but there are other important elements to consider that can constitute challenges and obstacles to be overcome.
But what are the main obstacles that the travelers have to face?
First of all, the wind. We have been taking our clients to Patagonia for many years and can confirm that the wind is the element that impresses them most: the strength of the Patagonian wind is not comparable to that of any other region, with the sole exception of Iceland, subject to winds perhaps even stronger.
The Patagonian wind reaches 130 km/h, but what makes it difficult to ride a motorbike is not its wildness but its irregularity. The wind’s intensity is not constant and it can go from total quiet to sudden and violent gusts. We try to maintain a rhythm and speed that allow us to face even those unexpected gusts, but, especially on the irregular and potholed dirt roads, extreme concentration is needed, so that the wind can make the journey very demanding.
Another difficulty met in Patagonia is the presence of the guanacos, who move in flocks and stop along the sides of the road. We usually signal to the group by flashing all four hazard lights, but it is not always enough, since the animals spread out with their calves on both sides: as the adults run off when the motorbikes arrive, the calves follow them, suddenly rushing across to the surprise of the motorcyclists, who did not expect to see their way barred by an animal the size of a deer. We are aware of their presence and take care to reduce our speed as soon as we catch sight of the flocks, but nevertheless it is as well that our clients take account of this probability.
Another recurrent problem are the holes in the roads, which every so often put the tyres to the ultimate test: it is always necessary to pay the greatest attention, not least because whoever has a puncture in Patagonia then has to buy drinks for the rest of the group! The dirt roads, which are a stimulus to free and sporty riding, hide the trap of sharp stones that can easily puncture the tyres.
Finally we need to mention an inconvenience that is not natural or technical, but bureaucratic: the lengthy waiting time at Customs: we suggest to travellers that they do not lose patience, but take advantage of the pauses to relax and enjoy the coffee that we always carry with us in the support vehicle.