Sharing a Home with Quokkas
Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
85Trip End Nov 31, 2005
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Rottnest is entirely given over to tourism; the lodges and huts are available to rent through an accomodation lottery, they're so popular
That night I zipped on my bike through the main settlement to have a look at some of the beaches on the north coast of the island as well as the lakes that polka-dot the centre. The beaches were beautiful: gleaming sailboats bobbing on aqua waters, white sands, sheltered in the harbouring arms of grey cliffs and high dunes. The lakes, however, due to some sort of salination process that started when the island was dug up for roadworks, are disgusting: filled with red sludge, heavily salty, smelling of sulphur, and producing a strange thick white foam that blows across the cyclepaths in the wind. Fortunately the lakes are easy to avoid when touring the outskirts of the island, where all the real excitement is.
Rottnest is known for its population of "quokkas," which look something like a cross between a rat and a kangaroo, and sometimes hop on two legs and sometimes drag themselves forward on all fours. They're about the size of a chihuahua. While you do have to look around a bit to see them on the island, regularly, they hang out in droves at the hostel, perhaps because backpackers are always leaving random bits of food lying around that they can scavenge. Everytime I open the door to the room, there's two or three on the porch, staring at me with pleading eyes. Forget it, rataroos: I'm too broke to waste crumbs on you.