Monday, November 16, 2009

Rottnest Island, WA - The Larsens On Tour with Our Own Local Guide

The main event of my dad's visit to Australia this year was a 5 day trip to the western end of Australia, One reason was to acquaint ourselves with the WA nature particular the area around Perth and the great forests in the south west end and in the case of my dad also to see the end of the world that spawned something as sweet as little G. :-)
We arrived Tuesday evening to a fantastic warm welcome and happily joined in on the festivities taking notes on how the Perth natives celebrate birthdays.
After a healthy sleep we were up at the crack of dawn heading off to Rottnest Island.

Public vehicles are not permitted on Rottnest so the transportation of choice is to bring a bike - or rent one in the largest bike shed of the southern hemisphere! Sometimes all that choice does not necessarily speed up the process of getting your gear and getting going, but after about 30 min of searching we had found the largest helmet of the southern hemisphere for dad and the bike with the fewest gears for Gemma :-D

We had planned to start out with a good push on the bikes out towards the west end of the island, this plan was nearly shipwrecked after only about a kilometer of riding where we reached Herschel lake one of the inland salt lakes that are enormously popular with a number of waders and hence also by BWs. After about 200 photos, 4 new species and only 20 minuets we (reluctantly) jumped on the bikes and once again began our endeavor towards west end ... 1km in 22min! - you could easily see that dad was worried :-)

Great ride! Straight into the wind and a fantastic opportunity to learn how to save energy by holding someones wheel ... However, Gemma decided to do her own regime of interval training instead; she absolutely blitzed it up the hills at maximum heart-rate ripping the peloton apart just to reach a absolute standstill while sounding like a high powered vacuum cleaner choking for air, the peloton would then catch up and overtake only to see her again and again pass at enourmous speed going full power for the next hill! :-D

After a well deserved break at west end, which included a fantastic well-equipped lunch pack and another new bird species (more about all the wildlife of Rottnest in another blog post), we decided to drive for cover! A few nasty rain clouds where coming in and in combo with a strong westerly winds it made the possibility of sitting in a cafe drinking cappuccino very tempting.

Weather changed nearly as quickly as we could finish our hot drinks and we headed out for the area around Parker Point to get onto a beach and take a look at what was going on underwater utilize the snorkels and masks that we had carried around all day.

We found a fantastic spot just north-east of Little Salmon Bay, facing east we were well protected from the wind and as can be seen from the pictures there were absolutely nothing wrong with the sand and water either :-)

Super duper day at Rottnest, great spot and since we did not see the Rock Parrot I am severely afraid that we will have to go again one day ;-)

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