MY REMARKS on Swiss Army penknives and radios (Independent Traveller, 2 April) spark memories of an expedition to Patagonia for M McDonald of London. 'From Bariloche we headed by bus to Comodoro Rivadavia, Rio Gallegos, and eventually into Chile and Puerto Natales. I have to say I found very good uses for the knife - mainly the corkscrew attachment and the bottle opener. But it was the short- wave radio which was a life- saver on long bus rides. As the trip was taken in January 1991, I was able to keep in touch with events in the Gulf war. I found myself the most popular person on the bus because I had access to a reliable news service.'

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