Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Out of Rottnest

I booked the trip to Rottnest Island and the accommodation with a travel agency, which was a first for me. I paid a few dollars more, but I saved myself a lot of trouble.

Just as usual, when we're talking bureaucracy and myself, by the time I got to Fremantle C-shed, the ferry company had no record of my booking. I actually had a booking for an 8:30 service that didn't exist (their fault: a misprint). Took them half an hour to fix it.

I enjoyed the cruise, and got there without further incident. I knew I wanted to rent a bike, and thought I would just get it on the island. It never occurred to me that I could get a decent mountain bike from the ferry at a decent price.

Instead, I paid a rajah's ransom for a useless metal bulk that looked like the offspring of tractor and a rake and might, just might, have been a bike in one of its previous metallic reincarnations. A one-gear, wobbly, unstable rusty contraption, rented as if it was made of gold and diamonds.

I had to push it more than ride it. Every bump was pain, every hill penitence. After every ride, my legs were shaking and my arse was in agony.

Oh, but I had so much fun.



I flew down the hills, by the splashing sea, over bays of coral. I went up the hills, up the cliffs, down to the beach. I cycled all the island, and walked half of it. I swam and snorkeled among the pink corals, in the company of heaps of very photographic fish of all shapes and sizes, colorful starfish and hermit crabs.

It’s a small island, but it’s still easy to escape civilization. Actually, civilization on Rottnest consists in a few buildings by the main jetty, a couple of residential neighborhoods and the former army barracks, now refurbished as the Youth Hostel. When I got to the Other Side (Cape Vlamingh*), I was alone.

Alone with the Rats, that is. The island is full of them. “Quokkas”, they’re called. They do look like kangaroo rats; hence the name “Rats’ nest”. They’re the friendliest (and smallest) merry hopping marsupials I’ve met yet. They don’t mind you petting them, and will be very happy to eat whatever green thing you care to give them. Actually, they’re pretty stupid too, which may explain why they’re almost extinct on the continent. No competition or predators on the island.

And that’s about it. Rottnest: a great small place to go to get Away.
I sincerely loved every minute.
* named after the first Dutch guy who bothered to step ashore and give the island a name

3 comments:

maw said...

No other rats'nest rott'ner than Rott'nest,eh?

MakurA said...

No me he enterado... Eran ratas de verdadf o eran otro tipo de bicho? Porque a mi no se me ocurrirá acariciar ratas, y menos si se dejan (que eso significa que tienen hambre las cabronas) xDDD

En fins, seguimos leyendo y espameando sobre la marcha =P

Ufff, han vuelto a ponerlo chungo: "eqjtajw" en la letra más enrevesada que he visto en todo el blog. Seguro que fallo!

Anonymous said...

Did you rent from the ferry or on the island?