Beginning of November comes with news and changes. I got rid of the flu (I’m getting used again with cold showers), my bed sheets are clean (I got used again with hand washing) and the weather is more and more capricious lately with frequent rains, but we are all happy with a mini-vacation: Day of the deaths + Day of Cuenca’s Independence + weekend + free Friday from the government (which ‘should’ be made up later on) = 5 days holiday. Yupiii! And I really spent it wonderful. Raluca visited me (the other Romanian volunteer), my turn to go to Cotacachi would be instead on Christmas. First day we went not so far to visit some waterfalls and a thermal water pool. We hitch-hiked, walked a lot on dusty outback roads, through the nature, water, quick streams, forests with butterflies … amazing! And of course, my style, independent, adventurous and penniless. As a matter of fact we were lucky with the cars and all the nice places found without any guide … with just some inspiration and accrued experience. There are just a few signs on the main road, but after … nada! The instinct worked perfect at the falls, guided afterwards by the noise, but for the thermal pool we had to try some more trails. A local guy offered to lead us the way, but when he saw there is no moneytalk at all, he wished us farewell. At the waterfalls it was the same – when we asked the people in the village, they all showed us the guide’s house … at least the drivers didn’t refuse us with no dineros 🙂. And as nothing happens by the chance, while Raluca stops for a pee I make some more steps along the river … and guess what – I find the small half-grot with thermal water … damn hidden, isolated and … small, about 3 meters length, ankle-deep and stinking of sulfur. But it was worth the natural and authentic ambient, submerging in the black sand, surrounded just by roots, lianas and by the murmur of the river which we bathed in to get rid of the sand from the underpants; a so-called cleaning ‘cause the water was browny from the rains. And talking about them, it’s just starting to rain when we take our leave back home … it’s not really unpredictable in the rainforest! So here we are, two wet vagabonds in Macas breaking our fast on a bench of the central park with papaya, empanadas, coconut milk and pan de Pascua (panetone) … Christmas, Easter, does it really matter which comes first? We just lack the canned food, but even without it, it’s impossible not to draw attention upon us. To end the day in a memorable manner, we welcome three policemen asking for documents. Our passports are in the capital for the visa and we don’t carry any copy with us, but the luck doesn’t forsake us. The officers are kind and let us go … and why shouldn’t be with two honorable volunteer teachers :p!