what a fantastic place!
21.01.2007 - 21.01.2007 35 °C
We all got up bright and early and set off to Freo to meet up with Sarah and Will and Henry and Vicky before catching the 9.30am ferry to Rottnest Island which lies about 16km off the coast.
We arrived on the island after about 25 minutes and headed off to the bike shed to pick up our mode of transport for the day ... (there are no cars on the island).
It was named Rottnest by dutch discovers of the island who mistook the Quokkas (strange little marsupials) that inhabit the island in droves, for rats ... so they named it Rottsnest (Ratsnest).
It is the most beautiful unspoilt island with so many different bays ... fabulous clear turqouise water and white sands. We spent the day cycling between them, stopping off for swimming, snorkelling, ball games and general lazing about doing nothing. It was incredibly hot with the clearest bluest sky ... amazing.
After lunch we cycled a bit farther round the island than most and found a fabulous beach down quite a steep hill and freewheeled to the bottom, locked up the bikes and headed on to the beach. It was completely deserted with fabulous rocks and reefs so we settled in for the afternoon. It was so nice to sit in the shallow water, the place to ourselves, without a care in the world other than getting sunburnt as there was no shade .. (I think we must have got through a very large bottle of factor 30 between us!)
We were due to catch the ferry back to Freo at 6 and the bikes had to be returned by 5. Everyone else headed back except me, Jess, Sarah and Will (cos they were still drying out from the last snorkelling session) and when we came to go at 4.30, we found Jess had a flat back tyre.
I was the only one with my mobile phone and was lucky enough to have just enough battery charge to call the emergency number to get them to come and rescue us. Sarah and Will (who were on a tandem) had to head back in order to get their bike back in time, so they reluctantly left Jess and I in the blazing hot sun, in the middle of nowhere, to wait to be rescued. Fortunately, about 15 minutes later, a very nice man (Bert) rolled up with a replacement bike for Jess, who said "Aaw can't we get a lift with you?". Bert, (bless him) told her that he wasn't supposed to but seeing as it was getting so late he told us to jump in.
After loading our bikes up, we squeezed into his yute (fit for only two passengers) and had a leisurely drive through parts of the island we hadn't seen and beat everyone else back to the bike shed!!!
We just had time to shower and change and grab a long awaited cool drink at the pub before catching the 6pm ferry back to the mainland.
What a fantastic place ... just wish we could have stayed longer. But apparently (according to Bert) it is so popular and the accommodation is so limited that people have to put their names down and there is a ballot system ... if you are lucky enough to have your name pulled out of the hat you get to stay on the island (at great expense)! So unless you are one of the (very rich) people who own one of the many fantastic yachts that were in the harbour, it's day trips only.