On my last day in South America, I wake up to the calm sound of rain falling atop the metal roof. Two days before I was tanning on a cushioned lounge chair along the water of Mancora Beach, Peru my mind dizzied, almost drunk, on sun and relaxation. But now I am in Quito, Ecuador on a rainy morning and my mind is dizzying from the prospect of leaving this great continent.
As the rain taps, I work to fall back asleep, back into dream, back into South America, but it is a futile attempt. Nothing can stop time, and I a wrap a blanket around me as I run through the journey that is now coming to an end.
Certain memories stick out: finding trinkets in the streets of Buenos Aires to the sound of accordions, tasting wine as the sun shines through the windows of a countryside barn in Mendoza, waving to skiers and young sledders as my bus weaves through the Andes, riding the lifts of Valparaiso, watching the sunset in the desert valleys of Northern Chile, taking a 4wd through the Altiplano of Bolivia, laying out in a stark white salt desert while the horizon plays tricks on my mind, marveling at the cholitas in their bowler hats and braids carrying their rosy cheeked babies on their blanketed backs, watching the magical waters of Lake Titicaca from the hills of La Isla del Sol, becoming dumbstruck by the sun streaking through morning clouds in the peaks of Machu Pichu, daring to take a four person plane over the mysteries of the Nazca Lines, cheering as the dune buggie jumps over the dunes of Huacachina, trying over and over again to get down one slope of sand with my feet connected to a board, enjoying a meal at the cliff-side mall in Lima while I watch the paragliders float along the coast, losing myself in colonial history in Trujillo, finally vacationing on the beach of Mancora, sitting in a park in Quito with a fresh slice of Watermelon as I watched the children around me play a game of soccer.
It all plays out in my mind as I enjoy my last moments in South America. The rain begins to calm but the air is still cool. It feels good. It feels right. Sometimes a rainy day is just the thing I need.