After a leisurely morning observing the peaceful shore, contemplating ways to cross the ocean to the other islands, we settled on exploring the nearby private Vilu WW2 museum, hidden away in the middle of the forest. As we approached the single stone building containing war photographs marking the entrance, we were greeted by three little kids, excited to follow us around. Unexpectedly, a Japanese tourist arrived alongside the owner and our group entered the graveyard of rusty machines of war – mainly airplanes, vehicles, and artillery – collected to reflect the intensity of the Guadalcanal campaign which turned the tide of WW2 in the pacific. Although there have been attempts to purchase and repatriate some items, I was surprised to see so many abandoned relics of history, left to collect rain, rust and become mosquito breeding grounds.
Mosquitoes are the biggest threat when traveling in undeveloped areas. The risk from one mosquito may be small, but the exposure over time adds up, so the longer the trip, the more risk. Unlike Deet, which requires frequent reapplication and is toxic to skin, Permethrin is a non-toxic (to humans) and cost-effective chemical that can be applied to clothes for long lasting passive protection. Combined with pants and long sleeves, it is an incredibly effective shield against all sorts of insects, including bed bugs.