Me alegra tanto oir tu voz aunque dormido,
por fin viajabas como en tus sueños
buscando un sitio para volver,
y sin poder olvidar lo que dejas, lo que has aprendido,
van a cambiar las caras, los sueños, los dias
y yo lentamente te pierdo.
Ella baila sola, Cuando los sapos…
When this article gets published, I’ll be 10km above ground level flying back to Europe. Already during these last weeks I lived the gentle farewell, the beginning of my slow home coming. I knew that I was going to experience some things for the last time here, the last camp night out there under a starry sky, the last orange full moon (which grows here from the left to the right hand side…), the last time to see the Southern Cross, the last view on the Pacific Ocean, the last time to eat one of these delicious empanadas, the last ripio gravel road. Things get another meaning under this perspective. What will be the last word you speak on this continent? What will be your last perception, the last face you see?
I spent almost one year in South America, and what had started as a mere dream became the project of my life. Inch by inch I made my way through the continent, along coast lines, in jungle and deserts, crossing mountains and planes. In sun and rain, in hail and heat, in wind and dust. Passing lonely countrysides, passing wooden shacks, passing farm buildings, passing mansions, passing modern cities. I have seen desperate poverty, men struggling for a living, I have seen those who made it. I met people who shared their home with me, the stranger, who willingly let me take part in their overwhelming happiness and strong confidence, people who welcomed me with curiosity and open-hearted cordiality, people who live their culture, their beliefs. I’ve experienced a friendliness and helpfulness never expected. I felt closer to life than ever before.
Returning to Europe will be hard, and, as a friend of mine once formulated, I somehow envy this wonderful continent to continue existing while I’ve left it. For some times, I felt inclined to follow the temptation, to cancel the flight and to start directly a living here, like anyone started from scratch who started a living in a foreign country. But I know that, in the given situation, things would not get round. I am coming home now. My last word was: gracias!
I cycled here for 126.825 altitude meters (which is like climbing the Mt.Everest 14 times – with a 40kg backpack) and for 11.038km (which is about 3.2 times the diameter of the moon – or about 29thousandths of its mean distance to the earth…).