We’re staying at the historic house of Armand Vigoureux, in the Mayombe rainforest. The manager and his wife are very welcoming and the setting is gorgeous. The house itself has seen better days, but is very sympathetic. There’s no running water, so buckets of rainwater and well water are brought in daily. It’s a little over a kilometer to the well, and uphill all the way back with the full buckets of water so you quickly adapt your habits and make do with just a litre or two for a quick wash.
No need even for that today though, as we’ve just been out for a four-hour hike to a beautiful local waterfall and had a refreshing swim there. Sure, we got a bit hot and sticky again on the way back of course, but never mind, a shower will be for later on as now it’s no point. Because now it’s time to grease up with huile de monoi against the fourous (simulie). I find that huile de monoi is the only effective deterrent, but the drawback is that you’re as slippery as a piece of wet soap once greased up.
It’s interesting, I have very strong reactions to fourous in Brazzaville and itching is both immediate and very intense. But here in Mayombe while I do get covered in bites (unless I oil up) the bites look different and hardly itch at all. Another difference between the fourous in Brazzaville and Mayombe is that in Brazza they don’t respect the time at all, they are after you any time of the day, whereas here in Mayombe they politely go by the clock and bite only in the morning and then again after four o’clock. Like the moutmout in Cameroon and the sandflies in Barbados. They too respect the time, which is helpful 🙂