The truth is, we have been busy with Ecuador. Ecuador has been occupying us very well indeed. We've only been here a fortnight but we feel like we have done a lot already.
So, I'll keep it short. Well, shortish.
Our first stop was Otovalo, which has a great market and was supposed to have a great pie shop, but the shop was closed. Here Stacey got chatted up by a man selling leather belts. He tried to sell me a leather belt, but I showed him mine and said I didn't need two leather belts, but he didn't seem to see that as a viable reason for not wanting another leather belt.
Then we stayed in Quito for a few nights. We watched the South American Champions League final in a pub, we went to the equator and we generally just soaked up the Quitolian atmosphere. It's a lovely city, with an attractive old town and quite a cool backpacker's district. We had our cheapest meal so far here - $2 for a three course meal, even if the third course was one marshmallow.
Then we went to the jungle, via a very hot overnight bus. The jungle was fascinating and we crammed so much into five days. Top five animals were (in ascending order);
5) Piranhas: Technically, we didn't see these, but we fed them LOTS of meat during two failed fishing trips. They can strip the meat from the hook in seconds and when you yank the hook up, they're nowhere to be seen.
4) Tree frogs: They just look cool and they do fun things like jump on you and wee on you if you pick them up.
3) Marching wasps: We didn't have pictures of these, but it was more of an audio experience. If you shout loud enough outside their nest, they all click their wings and it sounds like an army of thousands marching on concrete.
2) Headlight beetle: It has fluorescent yellow spots on its back which glow in the dark. Then, when it flies, it has fluorescent orange undercarriage lights. It was like a pimped up Vauxhall Corsa.
1) Grey/pink dolphins: Okay, technically two different species, but when they stick their blowhole out of the water for half a second, that is what they have to expect. Pretty illusive little critters these, but we were lucky enough to see them on quite a few occasions. One even jumped clear out of the water outside our lodge moments after we arrived.
Notable mentions for animals which annoyed us were: bees which bit us, moths which flew into candles so became fire moths, sand flies, the tick which attached itself on to my leg, bluebottles with attitude problems and ants which ate my ear plugs.
We also saw lots of birds and monkeys, some things which could have been birds or monkeys, a cayman, lots of grasshoppers and lots of plants, which are much more exciting than the boring plants you get in England. We have put some of our pics online for you to see.
To summarise, we learned that pretty much everything in the rainforest, if given a chance, would eat you. Or in the very least, do something nasty to you.
Since the jungle, we have been back in Quito for a few days and we're now in the stunning Andean highlands. It's a testiment to just how varied Ecuador is that this time last week we were sweating in the rainforest, today we walked up a snow-covered volcano and in a fornight we'll be sitting on a beach!
We hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year's Eve.