We made it through Carnival without getting hit by water balloons, flour, eggs or chicken shit, which was quit a feat considering we had no plans whatsoever to be anywhere near Carnival. We did get sprayed however with some sort of foam in a can, but that wasn't too bad. Actually it was all right as it seemed like the opposite sex usually sprayed us which was slightly flattering. We'd planned on trying to avoid Carnival all together as we'd heard that it could get slightly out of control on the beaches. And we're really in the mood to take it slow here - chillo. And we were under the impression that Carnival really only happened on the beaches, so we decided to high tail it to the mountains see some more of the country and avoid Carnival all together. Unknowingly however, we traveled into the heart of Carnival in the Andes in Banos. All I can say is thank God that the Ecuadorian government stepped in a few a years ago and completely banned the spraying of chicken shit by its citizens after a severe outbreak of hideous skin conditions due to exposure to said chicken shit. Because honestly, if I'd have been sprayed with chicken shit after that horrendous bus ride from Pueroviejo I think that I probably would have snapped and killed some pour motherfukin' Ecuadorian. As it was, Carnival wasn't all that bad considering the crowded streets, the incessant car alarms - The Ecuadorian National Anthem, I'm convinced (those fuckin' things are going off while people are going down the road they're so paranoid, it's out of control) - the drunken teenagers, the fireworks throughout the night and the flying projectiles. But we made it. And who would've thought that our doctor ordered two weeks of sexual restraint would have brought us closer together? We had to learn other skills I guess - like not pestering each other, and leaving each other the fuck alone. We've settled into a tranquil existence. We're currently enrolled in Spanish classes. We visit the thermal hot springs a few times a week, watch rerun Lost episodes with the American proprietor of our Bed and Breakfast each night at six, go to the market in the mornings for something called La Pingacho for a buck twenty five which consists of rice, avocado, sausage and eggs, or maybe a fresh juice, or some soup. We wander the streets for food at night, buy bootlegged movies for a buck twenty five, go to the triple decker bar that looks over out over the main street a couple of times a week where a strange crowd of locals and foreigners gather to a strange mix of Reggae and Rock. We read, we write, we play Cribbage with our proprietor, we drink wine and we watch bootlegged movies late into the night. It's not bad here. And I don't really ever want to go home.