Sunday, April 18, 2010

drenched by the sun

We are indebted to Southall Travel in the UK for this news: the beautiful island has been judged one of the 30 - or 31 - best secret islands in the world.

Who has made this perceptive decision? None other than Travel + Leisure, a monthly out of New York with nearly five million readers, according to Teh Wiks.

No argument from Rotto Bloggo. The Southall people say T+L lable Rotto as a "sun-drenched reserve", so we clicked over to have a look.

"When Dutch mariners arrived on this antipodean island, they encountered the rare quokka, a marsupial that they mistook for a rodent (hence the name Rat Nest, or Rottnest)," T+L says.

"Since that unfortunate beginning, the sun-drenched reserve and its friendly, kangaroo-like inhabitants have welcomed Western Australians who take day trips via a 90-minute ferry from Perth (or 25 minutes from Fremantle) to surf and lounge on the sand." Or fish off the natural jetty!

"No private cars are allowed, and the residents will happily tell you that plans for a luxury resort are progressing slowly." Hmmm.

"For now, the best place to stay is Hotel Rottnest (doubles from $208), set in the former governor’s mansion overlooking Thomson Bay.

"T+L Tip: Buy your ferry ticket in advance, especially during the Aussie summer months. Once there, the spit is easily navigable on foot."

The spit? Does that mean the ferry jetty? These New Yorkers and their strange argot.

The T+L list is interesting, if tedious (there's no list, and so Rotto Bloggo had to click through until we got to number 23 to find the Rottnest page), and there are some other islands we had never heard of.

Number 15 is Espiritu Santo off Mexico, the Japanese Ogasawara Islands are number 27 (a flamethrower burst from Iwo Jima, and you can feed sea turtles), and number 10 (Seabird Key in Florida, a 10-acre spot that goes for US$5,595 a week for four).

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