Thursday, September 11, 2008

DAY 4 off in Rottnest Island

Weds 10th September 2008
Sunny, 21 deg C

I got down to the ferry terminal too early for the 0930 ferry since my watch was 15 minutes fast for some reason - good job it wasn’t the other way around. The boat gets accross to Rotto in 25 minutes and goes very quickly, fairy skimming over some big waves; I think it’s probably a hovercraft.

On arrival at the main (only) settlement on Rotto it was drizzling lightly, and felt very cool - I didn’t fancy riding the 20 or 30km around the island cold and damp - but it cleared a bit so off I went, and in fact although it was overcast for a few hours it didn’t rain much again.There are virtually no vehicles allowed on the island other than for repairs and maintenance, and it was bliss not to see any at all, all day, other than the tour bus once every half hour. Many peope hire or take their own bikes, and it’s very safe cycling. I bought a few snacks at the well-stocked bakery and watched the Quokkas (small rat-like marsupials common to Rottnest) bumming food off the punters. One was feretting around in a mothers bag which was stashed under her toddler’s trolly but she didn’t seem bothered; weird. I didn’t see any out ‘in the wild’ but I’m sure they’re there somewhere.

The ride around was a delight, with a succsession of little white sandy beaches appearing between weirdly-shaped rocky little limestone cliffs, and I think I must have stopped to have a look at all of them. The sea was a beautiful shade of blue, especially once the sun came out at around 1300, and with the deserted white beaches, very photogenic. The road undulates over the sand dune system as usual, but there are no difficult hills. The road is the usual double lane, just for the buses I guess.

I cycled around 35km around the little island. I enjoyed Rottnest very much, and given good weather I wouldn’t have any trouble spending a few days here. I’m sure it’s very much busier in the summer though, which might detract from it’s appeal, for me at least.

It rained some more in the evening and felt very cold to me, so lots of layers on again.

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