A Couple Tells How They Faced “White Blindness” in Patagonia: “The Rules of Nature”

In December 2021, Brazilian couple Rogerio and Camila Silveira (rocanomundo), with their dog named Walia, set out on a road trip to explore the beautiful landscapes of South America.

The trio left São Paulo, crossed the southern states of the Brazilian territory, entered Uruguay and, shortly after, entered Argentina, achieving one of the main objectives of the trip: exploring the natural beauties of Patagonia.

And the travelers came to the wild country of the Hermanno countryside at the beginning of the coldest time of the year, in the second half of April, and stayed there until September, all winter long.

“The landscape in Patagonia was beautiful, but we also had some setbacks due to the cold. This year the region registered one of the coldest winters in recent times, with a lot of snow. It was a crossroads for the region,” says Camila.

The trio’s biggest adventure was the terrifying experience they call “white blindness.”

Confused in a Blizzard

“It was the middle of winter and we were traveling by car between Río Gallegos and El Calafate. On the way we got caught in a blizzard”, recalls Rogerio. “Little by little, we began to encounter this white blindness. Because of the snow, we couldn’t tell what was the road, what was the shoulder, what was the sky, what was the horizon. Everything was white in front of us. The front.”

The scenario completely confused the Brazilians.

“At a certain point, I thought we were on a downhill side of the road,” Camila says. “At the same time, Rogerio felt we were on an uphill slope.” “And we started to lose control of the car. I couldn’t brake properly. When I accelerated the car a little more, I skidded.”

It all started happening 70 kilometers after the trio left Rio Gallegos. Soon, the travelers realized that it would be impossible to continue.

We decided to go back, but it was very difficult to get back by car.

“We turned back, and because of the snow on the road, the car started to go sideways. It was desperate, because the situation was already very dangerous. But we managed to maneuver and we got back to Rio Gallegos”.

Days and Nights in Patagonia

Even with the hardships caused by the cold, Rogerio, Camila and Walia manage to enjoy (and a lot) the beauty of Patagonia and neighboring Argentine regions.

The tour of the area was carried out in a van that acquired a motorhome body, with a tent attached to the roof of the vehicle and kitchen equipment, such as a refrigerator and stove.

This allowed them to arrive and sleep in the most isolated and wild places in and around Patagonia.

“We passed, for example, near Península Valdés, a beautiful coastal destination where we saw penguins and sea lions, we also traveled the wonderful Route 3, with sections that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean [Argentina, which is called the End of the Mundo] where we stayed for a month.”

After Ushuaia, the trio headed up to Argentina via Route 40, which crosses regions crowned by the Andes Mountains. They also visited the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier, starting in El Calafate.

“This was one of the most incredible moments in the script,” says Camila. “We were able to walk on that giant glacier.”

For Rogerio, another unforgettable experience was driving through the area where the city of San Martín de los Andes is located, dotted with beautiful lakes. “And we can still ski four times, in places like the El Bolsón area.”

“Nature rules in Patagonia”

Throughout this tour of Argentina, the Brazilians slept in camping areas and wild places.

“Argentina has excellent municipal camping areas, which offer showers and a safe area to spend the night, all for a very low price,” praises Rogerio. “But, whenever possible, we slept in wild places, to enjoy nature more.”

In these seasons, in order to get a good night’s sleep, travelers had to make an effort to keep warm in the tent on the roof of the car, using sturdy sleeping bags and even hot water bottles.

“It was very windy in the tent,” says Camila, “but it was all part of the adventure.”

The couple says they were able to enjoy Patagonia because they had the chance to travel slowly.

“Nature rules in Patagonia. If you have a car, don’t come quickly to the area”, says Rogerio. “Strong winds or rain can close many tourist attractions in the region in summer. And in winter it is the snow that sometimes becomes an obstacle. That is why it is necessary to have time to find the right time to visit the places. They’re in a hurry, they’re wasting time.”

Right now, Rogerio and Camila Wallia are in a much warmer place: northern Argentina.

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