In characterising Tahiti as an earthly paradise, the painter Paul Gauguin got it about right although he was subscribing to an established view that went back to the eighteenth century when Europeans first set foot on the island and were entranced by its natural beauty and the disarming innocence of the people – not to mention the delightfully accommodating behaviour of the women. Although missionaries subsequently put paid to that, Tahiti nevertheless remains relatively unspoilt, particularly away from Pape’ete, the capital, nowadays a busy metropolis.