Here we are, in French Polynesia. As most travellers, we are equipped with travel guides. We seek a balanced view, so we carry two guides: one is in English, the Lonely Planet guide, and the other one is the famous Petit Futé guide, in French. Now, here´s the problem with these guides. They are too positive. They always give two thumbs up…for everything. An example: We are in Rangiroa, a coral island in the Tuomotu Archipelago. We are staying at the Ki Ora Village and this is what Petit Futé has to say about it: “The location is magnificent…you will be enchanted by its white sands…its luxury is uncomparable to anything you have ever seen.” Lonely Planet does not want to be outstaged. They counter by saying “If you are in search of luxury look no further than the Ki Ora Hotel.” Now this is what I think those guides should say… The Kia Ora is an understaffed, poorly designed, overpriced hotel in a nice location. At 600 euros per night their overwater bungalows are a dissapointment to say the least. Their furniture seems to come straight out of a Miami Beach motel foreclosure. In the United States you would not pay over $100 per night for a similar room.
And this is not just the case with this hotel and the islands in general…
Spending a month in isolated places in the South Pacific, having to carry a limited amount of luggage turned, out to be the perfect experiment as to what are the most useful gadgets to carry. And here they go: