Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day 102 - Doin' Rotto and Pettin' Quokkas

How wonderful this day was! Although it was exhausting we had so much fun. In the morning we hurried to the ferry port and set over to Rottnest. It took us about thirty minutes by boat until we reached the island and grabbed our bikes and helmet. Not much later we got our first (at least the first for me, my father had been there two times before) impressions of the island. The vegetation seems so different from ours! There were even some hills on the island that we were able to manage with our three-gear bikes.

By the way: today was the "maiden day" of wearing my present to my father and me for our trip, two partner look shirts with an old picture of us and the text "dad and daughter on tour". These shirts triggered at least two conversations (e.g. a family from Quebec with three children that were in pre-school age, so that they could travel for one year), and we earned a lot more comments ;-)
Fortunately (different as we thought) it was
very cloudy, otherwise we would have been
roasted all day under the sun. Many former
visitors complained that there weren't (m)any
places to escape the sun for a moment...
In the end we cycled 22 kilometres around the island. At its West End we even spotted whales (that means, we saw the back fin sometimes and the big water fountain, quite far away, but anyway). Whales to our left, a herd of dolphins to our right, we then even discovered little penguins and later pelicans.
The whale's fountain
The herd of dolphins
I have never seen them in real before

Most of the trees were completely bowed from the strong and salty non-stop wind, some of them were even partially leafless.

I can't tell how cute sweet marvellous these tiny creatures are!
We saw them at three different points all over the island, and its said that there live 4000-8000 of them in total on the island. I believe that, except for these so-called quokkas, several gigantic lizards and venomous snakes (and billions of flies!), there doesn't live much on the island.
By the way, we saw one of these snakes crawling to cross the street when we drove by with our bike. I couldn't even warn my father not to roll over it, because I was so shocked and all these thoughts like "omg it's venomous it could kill me" hushed through my mind...that's why I couldn't take a picture, sorry ;-)
At our last station, near the ferry port we found another place where many quokkas jumped around. A man who was sitting there also pointed me to a mom with child sleeping next to their cottage! When I approached them slowly first the mother glanced what was going on, then the child, and they continued to sleep again, lying on their tail, feet and arms on it, rolled together like a ball.
When we drove through the pampa and played with another three quokkas, one of them bit me quite hard... The island is a big nature reserve, because the quokkas are endangered to extinct. The quokkas used to be nocturnal (and still are, where they live on the mainland), but they learned to be diurnal, because like this they can just beg the tourists for food, which actually is strictly forbidden...

Anyway, these animals are the reason why the island is called Rottnest. The first explorer from the Netherlands thought them to be rats, so he called the island the rat nest. Actually, the "rats" are mini kangaroos ;-)


As a highlight of all the animals seen today,
I discovered a peacock walking through the
Rottnest settlement like Here I Am

What I learned? On Rottnest French, Chinese and German is spoken. English mainly for communication between the French / Chinese / German speaking persons.

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