Thursday, 24 September 2015

Regis Broke Free

My brother asked me, "Is Regis coming along to Southeast Asia with you?"

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 has broken free once and for all.

Regis at Angel Falls (Venezuela), the highest waterfall in the world!
As I have said before, he has always been a free spirit. He enjoyed life on the road, and he met a lot of people and saw things many monkeys will only dream of seeing.

Day 2 of the Inca Trail, hitting the highest altitude of the trek.
He was with me as I set off on my own last December, trekked the Inca Trail, and witnessed Machu Picchu.

Going where few monkeys have gone before!
 For every journey, he was there.

Sightseeing in Cusco
At the summit of Pacha Mama, Lake Titticaca
We had our differences, I once or twice I feared that something would come between us for good. But we stuck together through the cold and damp of Peru, and the sweltering humidity of Venezeula.

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. 
 I still have the hat. He left it behind. Just like me.

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. 

Perhaps this was why I failed to notice the change in him. I was too busy with my own plans and feelings. But looking back, it makes sense.

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. 


mumsy said...

That is the BEST post ever! Although, my condolences.. so sorry to hear of your parting. But he is probably swinging through the trees with his friends right now, noshing on a banana (organic?!). Perhaps you'd like to take a sweet little Chi along on your trip? He's small enough to fit under your plane seat... and he would love to cozy up in a backpack. Think about it.

Danica said...

I am so sorry for your loss Jill.

I like to imagine Regis swinging in the treetops, enjoying his freedom, lost in his own happy thoughts of you flying in an airplane off to your next adventure.

I was catching up with your mom recently and she told me about your upcoming trip. I am looking forward to reading all about it!

Jill said...

@mumsy: I'll leave the pup, he's a bit of a homebody I think!

@Danica: thanks, Regis is certainly missed! Hope you enjoy reading the future posts! :)