Western Australia

Mon 4th April

In Search of Quokkas. Todays the day. A trip to "Rotto" in search of the elusive Quokkas. Rottnest is Dutch for Rat's Nest as that is what they thought the Quokkas were at first. Apparently this is the only place they exist. They are more like mini kangaroos than rats so I was told and they abound on the island. No problem there for us finding them, so we thought. There is local folklore that before the Quokkas were made a protected species, the locals used to play something called Quokka Soccer where.......... well I will let you interpret what went on. You can take a man out of the jungle but you can't take the jungle out of a man!

I met Dave at the ferry terminal at 8am and we were aboard the ferry ready for take off (or whatever the phrase is for a ferry leaving dock). Plenty of photo opportunities en route to Rotto as you can see here. I was surprised to see we got a "Lifejacket" routine as you do on aeroplanes. Just one problem. The life jackets are bright red. The colour of blood. Do they expect me to jump into the ocean looking like a huge piece of raw meat? The sharks would think its their birthday. Anyway its late morning. Surely the sharks have had their breakfast by now.

So it's disembarkation time.Having been told Rotto was over run with Quokkas I expected to be standing on them as soon as I hit dry land but nothing of the sort. We wandered about for an hour then decided it was time for lunch, at the appropriately named Quokka Arms and then wandered about some more. Still no sign of one of the damn things. Mind you it was red hot and "Mad dogs and Englishmen" time (about 30 degrees C) so perhaps they were sleeping. Then Dave had a brain wave (okay an idea!). Let's ask at the Visitors Centre and sure enough they drew us a map where to find the reluctant little Quokkas. Down a road we had already explored but then off into the light bush (I wonder if that is known as a Brazilian bush). Fearlessly we trod along the path, not caring about snakes or spiders in our search for the elusive ones. Eventually we did come across a small group which were shading themselves from the sun, as anyone in their right mind should have also been doing. At last we could relax. Our Holy Grail found. I could at least go home on the ferry a happy and satisfied man (doesn't take much does it). Dave had to endure another hour or so as I was taking a shorter trip to Freo (Fremantle) whereas he was going all the way up to Pertho!

Brad duly obliged with his chauffeuring duties and it was to the Foundry to replenish my water level (having already consumed a much needed McFlurry from the local MacDonalds).

Then it was back to Brad's for a lengthy update on my pc which included lots of photos, more of which are here. Then an "earlyish" night ready for an early start in Perth tomorrow.