Archive for January, 2013

Marsupial island

Posted in Journal, Travel at 19:31

Rottnest Island

On the 14th of December, I boarded a flight that went from Nice to Milan and on to Doha, where I changed planes and flew to Perth, Western Australia. I arrived a day and a half after I left, in the evening. The gracious friend who hosted me fed me a lovely dinner of spicy vegetarian stew, and the next morning, we took a ferry from Perth to Rottnest Island, so named by a Dutch captain who mistook the local marsupial population of quokka for rats. The Aboriginal, Noongar name for the island is Wadjemup, meaning “place across the water”.

Quokkas

Villas on Rottnest

There were indeed quite a few of the hoppity, tea-nibbling pouch-holders on the island! We humans stayed in “villas” (cabins). The island is managed by the Australian government. Villas are given on a lottery basis, to ensure as much equality as possible in the distribution. Indeed, one of the nicest things about being on Rottnest is that in spite of its undeniably gorgeous setting, the people who visit it are down-to-earth. Cars are forbidden except for those used by island management, so everyone gets around by foot or bicycle.

Rental bike, Rottnest

Making the most of my jet lag, I borrowed a friend’s bike on my second morning, at around 5am, and rode around a good two-thirds of Rottnest. I didn’t make it to the farthest end, instead cutting across at the narrow western part, since the hills and jet lag had started to fatigue me on the 7-speed rental bike.

Fairbridge Bluff, Rottnest

Peacock

Later that day, my friend and I returned to Little Salmon Bay, where I had the treat of my life, snorkeling amongst tropical fish. I had my waterproof camera with me, so not only was I able to take photographs, I was also able to shoot video! I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite photos, and a video I took with several different types of fish. The crackling you hear in it is from the seabed; I heard it as well.

Synchronized swimming
These large, silver fish were everywhere, and swam in schools of a dozen to several dozens.

Seaweed
There were also seaweed and corals, stunning surroundings. Enjoy the fish as I saw them while swimming!

Bonne anneé 2013 !

Posted in Travel at 17:51

Boat and Museum of Islamic Art

Can you guess where I was for the New Year? I arrived there at 4 in the morning local time and left just after midnight on the 2nd, giving me enough time to snap some photos. I’ll share more about my Christmas and New Year walkabouts in the days to come! In the meanwhile, I hope all of you had happy holidays, and here’s to wishing for a peaceful 2013!