Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rottnest Island.

One of the places I wanted to go while in Perth was Rottnest Island. I had read about it and seen the white beach-ed, bikini-clad pictures that offered adventurous bike rides and days filled with sunshine. It was the reason I met my first friend in Perth. But, even though there were many promises of trips,  summer came and went while I was at the winery, the price for a day trip seemed exuberant, I was waiting for a friend to go with me, and so, it never happened. Until mum came. And mum, of all people, who suffers from terrible bouts of motion sickness was the one to suggest it. Five days was enough to spend in and see all of Perth, so we needed an excursion. The weather had been spring-like and we booked our ticket for Tuesday, which as it turned out was the cheapest day of the week. We included the bikes in the deal and it didn't even cross my mind that the trip across could possibly be bumpy or bad. Mum, on the other hand, was nervous. And as it turned out, rightfully so.
The boat sprang into the air at every oncoming wave as the wind blew towards us. The boat lurched and swayed and rocked back and forth. The white foam of the sea splashed against the windows. If we had been in an airplane and such motions were being caused from turbulence, everyone would have been screaming. But, I suppose in some way, the proximity to the water was somewhat comforting. Except for mum whose white knuckles held onto the seat which barely contained her as she slid further and further down, trying desperately to find a comfortable position. Looking out the window was nauseating, closing your eyes was even worse, and staring straight ahead at the cheerful-welcoming yet vomit-inducing video on the tv showed all sorts of maritime-themed culinary prospects once set foot on the island. I felt horrible, but knew nothing I could say or do would make mum feel better. I thought of possible ways to get a helicopter back to the mainland and forced myself into believing the way back would be better because the wind would be propelling us in the same direction therefore shooing us faster across the way.
Perth in the distance
  We eventually docked on Rottnest Island, obviously, and followed what we thought were the right directions around the island. However, every way we went, the wind seemed to be blowing against us, making the physical exertion quite difficult, especially because the island is in no way flat. It was pretty though, and very quiet as though we had the island to ourselves - maybe because we went the wrong way? - but I would imagine it to be a completely different experience in the summertime.
We were not the fittest of visitors. We stopped every so often to "enjoy" the view, aka catch our breath and sit down. Mum to be fair wasn't feeling well from the trecherous boat trip over here so I took my time to capture some scenic shots. 

We saw a shipwreck. 
Mum was a trooper. But I wouldn't dare suggest anything that involved a boat or a bike again. At least for the rest of this trip! 
 Any beach to yourself. I think there are 160 beaches on the entire island. 
 Pretty blues and greens everywhere.
 Eventually the road came to a four way stop. We could have gone left or straight which was a loop road that brought you closer to the corner of the island's coast. But we went right which brought us inland and back to the dock.
Rottnest, as it is known in Dutch is Rat's Nest. When the explorers first came to the island they found little creatures that looked like rats, hence the name. These little creatures aren't rats, but are quokkas. As I was taking pictures of the wild forrest, mum of course spotted the little furry creatures. I have been known to go to Monkey Mia and see no dolphins, to go to Penguin Island and see no penguins, so I for sure was not looking to have any luck seeing quokkas on Rottnest Island. Hurray for mum! 
 Funny little things. 
Despite the ride over, seeing these guys made the trip worthwhile!
 We stopped along the way to have our picnic lunch on our own private beach. 
The island is 11 kilometres long and 4.5 kilometres at its widest. I think we must've rode a loop of about 8 kilometres, although there was more to the island we didn't see. But, bike riding is exhausting!! 

 The boat, waiting to take us back to the mainland, is a sign of heaven or hell. I'm not sure.
Perth in the distance, with a large rain cloud over it. Apparently, it never rains on Rottnest Island. 
 While we waited for the boat's departure, I ran over to check out the light house.

 And on the way back, I saw this little guy! He was just standing outside one of the guest houses as two men walked outside and right by him and he didn't even flinch.
 And then we spotted the massive tail of a whale coming to shore....
 Back on the ferry, all smiles, the 18 kilometres back wasn't smooth sailing, but wasn't so bad. 
 Even if mum may not come back to Perth again, she most definitely won't be going back to Rotto!
 On our way back from Freo, we stopped by Cottesloe Beach since it was actually a nice day and we could see Rottnest in the distance.
 Happy to be back in Perth....
 ....but it was my last day, and we left the next morning.
This was the sight of my first full day in Western Australia, and my last. 
Bye Bye Perth. 

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