Ok, so it was always going to be a somewhat stressful experience, packing everything you might possibly need over 3 months into two panniers and a large waterproof ortlieb. Still, today was, for the most part surprisingly uneventful but also predictably strained; particularly when we exhibited serious sense of humour failures at exactly the same time!
That said, we appear to have done remarkably well in guestimating just how much we can take for food/cooking and motorbike spares and were therefore pleasantly surprised at the speed with which these items were packed as well as the snuggness with which they fitted into just one pannier each. Aha, more space! Alas, no – miscellaneous items have somehow managed to take up another two panniers. Books, travel documents, more food (mostly pasta and a few tins), first aid kit, a few more spares have all managed to eat away at any remaining ‘luxury’ space on the bikes.
Plus, as every seasoned traveller knows, you have got to take into account the ‘explosion effect’ – that peculiar phenomenon which occurs as soon as you start unpacking and repacking items you’ve taken on holiday, which suddenly sees seams streching, poppers unpopping and zips straining to contain all the items which were so neatly and sensibly packed before you embarked on your mission. No such space exists at present. Our ortlieb bags are full to capacity, with just enough space to fold the top over 3 times, and thereby make them waterproof. Hmm, this should be interesting!