16 May 2014

Love Rottnest Island

It has been a lengthy break from the good ol' blog as life  decided to serve us up some serious twists and turns in the last few months.

But I feel like sharing some happy snaps again, so here goes...

Spending last weekend at Rottnest with my daughter, grand daughter and three of her delightful 12 year old friends was just the tonic I needed.

This popular holiday island lies 18 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia and is reached by a ferry in a speedy 30 minutes.

I can remember as a child the journey taking almost two hours with many passengers looking green and "chuckling " over the railing. We used to arrive at the old army jetty where WWII military trucks would collect and deliver us to our accommodation.

It was always a magical moment steeping off the ferry and smelling the salty air and hearing the distinctive squawk of 
the Rottnest crows.

As it was back then in the 1950's, our first stop was the bike shop where we hired our "treadlies" with the now obligatory helmets, lock up chains and even, heaven forbid, gears!

In the "good old days" we had rickety 2 wheelers, definitely 
no helmets and we usually did not wear shoes, so stubbed toes treated with Flavine, or Mercurochrome, are other enduring memories of a summer holiday on this happy isle! 

We used to "dink"our friends on the back of the bike - another "no no" in our current nanny state !

This sign made me smile - it's not a word you see written these days, even in Australia. 

 Walking along the water front of Thomson's Bay is always special, taking in the original cottages, many of which I have stayed in over the past 60 plus years.

The Rottnest Island Pines and Moreton Bay Fig trees provide 
some very necessary shade and have their own particular perfume.

 In fact everything about Rottnest is evocative in one way or another, to me and I am sure most others who have holidayed here over the decades.

However, I realise this is not always the case for those not born and raised in Western Australia ...
Such as a woman on the jetty who stated that she did not share the nostalgic passion for the island that we all seemed to have. 

I loved to swim in The Basin as a child and can vividly remember my Mum and I walking from the Settlement to take the plunge every morning after breakfast. 
My mother dressed smartly in a one piece swim suit covered up with a white towelling gown and wearing a bathing cap to protect "the set". Me in pink and white cotton gingham bathers with bare feet and hair in plaits. 
We said Good Morning to every one we passed and until this day I remember how much I liked this friendly greeting with strangers.

 Here I am taking the plunge in The Basin - something I had been dreaming about for quite a while and it was just as fabulous as 
I remembered! Not too cold either considering it is Autumn.

The quokkas are still there and very cute...

And here's a blurry shot of the resident peacock as I was running after him!

The pelicans are so magical - and so is Rottnest ...

I am now off to catch a plane to Rome so do hope you might look in again on The Daily Baguette and follow my next adventure in Italy. 

Ciao for now!

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