Rottnest: Island at the End of the World
Australia, 2007

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Rottnest Island is off the coast of Perth - you can take a ferry there, along the river to the ocean.


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 Jellyfish are a presence that most people are used to here - but they still freak me out.

Off the coast of Melbourne there are small ones (dime or smaller) that can kill you.

It would not surprise me if one day, Jellies rule the sea.


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The waterfront was chilly even as the sun shone down so hot when we were still.

The sea air was lovely - it is ages since I went out on open water - a year!!



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 Giant container ships along the port at Freemantle.

So much stuff in this world...



 At port we changed to larger boat, and cruised out to the island.



I daydreamed about the passengers, where they were from, & what they were planning to do when we landed.


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 A boat from Albany Sound. I was born in Albany!



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 The contrast between the water, beach and interior was striking.

I rented a bike and began exploring.


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 Within just half an hour, I was in an arid salt marsh.

It smelled like the sulfur springs in my home town.

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 Throughout the island, the views were spectacular. I made slow progress, stopping to take photos as I pleased.

That is one good thing about exploring on your own - no one to slow down!


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I did have occasional companions - one Japanese guy in particular.

We would ride down different roads - but always end up on the same path.

We would smile, node and sometimes talk about the view.


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 The scale of things can be hard to grasp in photos of a place you have not been.

 You can see how people size up in the photo on the right


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This beach was lovely - I had it all to myself!



It is interesting to imagine being held prisoner here, as some Aborigines were, a time ago.

Like Alcatraz, but with no shore in sight.

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The quality of the light was just unbelievable.

These photos don't really do it justice.



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 I got a sunburn on my nose. And the very bottom of my shoulder blades - where I could not make sunscreen go on my own.

Wished I'd had a companion, when it turned scarlet the next day!!

But this time alone at the end of the world was good for me.


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 Sometimes you see things in strange places - fortunes, in the sand.

I spent most of this day contemplating the next 35 years of my life - if I get even that much.

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 On the way towards the top of the island, my Japanese twin found some Cockers.

Marsupial rats - they were tame, sleepy (nocturnal by nature) and happy to be petted.

They are soft, like a ferret or a Coon cat, and they push their warm noses into your palms, looking for food.

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Past the middle of the island, on to the salt ponds at its far edge... my Japanese friend appeared again.

A recurring theme in the windy, quiet landscape - he seemed almost unreal.. I was bleeding into the pages of a Murakami short story. 


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Life is short, and it's all about your perspective.


This trip made me very happy to be alive.