|Regis, anticipating the climb up Roraima, Venezuela.|
Alas, I cannot escape the hard truth any longer. I've been putting it out of my mind.I am faced with the profound question Nelly Furtado once asked: "Why do all good things come to an end?".
|Triumphant at the Summit|
|Regis at Angel Falls (Venezuela), the highest waterfall in the world!|
|Day 2 of the Inca Trail, hitting the highest altitude of the trek.|
|Going where few monkeys have gone before!|
|Sightseeing in Cusco|
|At the summit of Pacha Mama, Lake Titticaca|
|Marveling over Moray|
|Swooning over Salineras|
I even gave him a traditional Peruvian woolly hat. Because monkeys don't like to be cold.
|Overlooking the lake city of Guatape, Colombia. My last photo of Regis.|
Reaching Tayrona National Park in Colombia was a turning point for us. I didn't realize it at the time. We had been on the road for a while, both tuckered out. I planned to get some serious R&R while chilling at this remote, tropical paradise.
When I think of Tayrona, it is really just the ideal location for a monkey. As a National Park, it is very safe. The white sandy beach and turquoise waters are surrounded by thick jungle, filled with other monkeys. I saw a few of them...maybe it was then, while I was distracted, that he slipped away.
I know he was there when we arrived, and I remember thinking "Tomorrow I will take a photo of Regis on the beach", and brought him along on a hike through the Jungle. Unfortunately, then my camera broke, and I tucked him away in my daypack. Perhaps he saw his rellies frolicking in the treetops, and considered the warm breeze and swinging hammocks that were abundant in that wonderful place. Perhaps then he thought of how we were headed for the snow-capped mountains of Quito, and then, ultimately, the far North: Canada.
Perhaps he weighed his options, and decided he would like to stay.
I never saw him again.
On my last day, as I packed my things, he was nowhere to be found. Nothing else was missing from my pack. I searched frantically through the entire beach site, even enlisting the help of a sympathetic friend. But Regis was gone.
Eventually I had to face the facts, pack my things, and hike back without him. It felt a bit callous that he never even said goodbye, but I understand. After all, I also felt like I could stay in Tayrona forever. Its that kind of place. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and at least I know he is happy, enjoying the sort of lifestyle that suits monkeys best.
It will be a bit lonely not to have him along as I travel SE Asia, but the blog will live on bearing the name of this inspiring free spirit.
Goodbye Regis. Roam free.