Category Archives: Discovery

The Great Barrier Reef Review and Introductory Dive!

This post is probably surprisingly coming from someone who actually has a fear of swimming in the ocean. I absolutely love being at the beach but i usually panic when anything touches my foot and come straight back out again. As you will know, Australia is home to some of the most deadly sea creatures that do actually make an appearance from time to time where people swim. A week after I was paddling on a beach in Byron bay a man was killed by a shark . Not exactly the most comforting of news! Before I set off for Oz The Reef was something at the top of my list of things I wanted to do, yet once we had booked it I couldn’t stop having nightmares about it! No jokes, I kept dreaming that Luke lost the camera under water and dived right down to get it and gets taken by a shark, it was really stressing me out lol !

It takes about an hour and a half to get to the outer reef from Cairns on the boat. The day was started by being given tea and bacon sandwiches on board and then followed by me sitting there quietly with Luke asking me if I was ok every five minuets. I wasn’t sure haha!
It was nice to see that Our boat wasn’t packed full, everyone had a seat and enough room to move about. Luke and I sat opposite a lovely German couple who looked so young for their age. Apparently being a gymnast can stop you ageing by about ten years! ha !

reef friends

So let’s get down to the bit you want to really hear about- I was in group 1 for the scuba dive. I got dressed into my wet suit, put my googles on and was told to sit down at the edge of the platform at the back of the boat. One of the crew put a belted weight around my waist and placed the oxygen tank etc on my back. It was so heavy!! I placed the regulator in my mouth and plonked myself in the water. Dylan the instructor took my hand and led me down to a bar to hold onto under the boat.reef bar

I could hear myself breathing , extremely quickly. I looked out in front of me and just saw a vast expanse of blue. My heart was pounding. Dylan looked at me and did the ‘ok’ hand signal, I did it back. You can tell from my eyes I was trying my best to remain calm haha.

reef clo

In front of me was a rather large fish with small teeth, it was getting nearer and nearer and I started to panic. I pushed myself up to the surface and managed to calm myself down. Once I was ready I made my way back down to the bar. After a few minuets of getting used to not breathing through your nose and relaxing into it all, Dylan then led me further down. I could see all the coral infront of me, it was a lightish brown colour with some patches of light pink and a brighter blue. Not like the illumines pictures you see on the internet but still beautiful all the same. The water was such a Lovely clear blue colour. If it had been cloudy I don’t think I could have done it. Being able to see so clearly made me feel safer.

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As we got deeper more and more fish began to swim past us. Up close Parrot fish look so big. They have incredible colours! It’s easy to see how they got their name, they move their fins in a way like a bird up and down and their faces really do resemble beaks.parott fish

Shawls of tiny blue fish whirled past us and I held on to Dylan’s arm for dear life. He signalled to me that I could go off on my own but I wasn’t ready for that! I felt safe knowing he knew what he was doing, concentrating on breathing and looking at the fish was enough multitasking for me right now. We ventured lower together and he pointed to a clown fish doing little circles of his house. It was so amazing. For any first time diver we all want to say ‘I found Nemo’ ย Unfortunately we didn’t get a picture. Big shout out to Luke for taking all of these lovely photos by the way! I was too busy concentrating on breathing and looking at things in-front of me i couldn’t ย multitask taking photos of it too!

busy fish

It was a great way to practice keeping calm in life actually! It sounds so silly but you don’t really have a choice to allow yourself to be overwhelmed down there, otherwise you might swallow water and start to drown! I think so much of the time in life we think we have the option to start ‘swallowing’ water and allow ourselves to ‘drown’ if you will… I think most of us our stronger than we realize. Everyone should go diving to realize that haha!!

For anyone who is considering going I really would recommend the company we went with ( obviously not being paid to say that and don’t have any mates that work there lol !)

REEF EXPERIENCE COMPANY
http://reefexperience.com.au

C

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Blah blah blah show me the photos

Hello everyone,

Whilst travelling it’s often so difficult to get access and time to put all my lovely pictures online. Hence why my blog at the moment is quiet bare.

Follow me on Instagram to see what I get up to! ๐Ÿ™‚ Some people may find looking at my life in pictures a tad more interesting. I know what I’m like I scroll through like ‘ boring boring ooooh a pretty picture!’ Haha!

Here’s a link !

http://instagram.com/clomandry

If that doesn’t work type ‘clomandry’ into the search bar

Thanks cuties

C

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Top five things to do in Cairns on a budget

1- Take a trip to The Great Barrier Reef. I had such an incredible time doing my first dive here! You can do this on a budget too but we chose to splash out a bit. We went with the company ‘Reef experience’
See my review for more details! (This will be up soon but I still need to upload pictures to a PC, #travelling life !sorry guys! )

2- Visit the rainforest and waterfalls. There are numerous companies that offer this but I recommend BareFoot Tours! They are number one on trip advisor and I can see why ๐Ÿ™‚ I got to swim down a natural water slide and visit the iconic herbal essences and Peter Andre water fall. Ha!

3- Take a dip at the Lagoon. Some people may be disappointed with no beaches in the city but this is certainly a close second. Lovely views and water! It was the perfect place to sunbathe.

4- Rusty’s markets. As a traveller this was an affordable place to buy fruit and veg and some amazing dips. I got a mango for 30 cents and some organic hummus.

5-Night time markets.These are a great place to buy souvenirs for a reasonable price. I got some anklets that I adore. Also lots of people were offering thai massages for $15 for 45 mins. Looked well worth it! I had my fix of them in Thailand and was happy at this stage to spend my extra money on other things like jewellery ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope this helps some fellow travellers!

C

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Airlie Beach pit stop

Visiting Airlie Beach has been really lovely today. It’s a small beach town full of backpackers and touristy things to do. We cheekily rang one of the hostels when we got there and asked them to pick us up, they didn’t ask our names or anything, so we got a lift and stored our luggage all day for free. When in need n’that ๐Ÿ™‚ ha! We spent most of the day sunbathing and swimming at the lagoon. I was happy that I had made my ‘Airlie Beach stuff’ easy to access at the top of my bag. We placed our towels down and l lay there like a non moving seal for about 4 hours haha. We also used this opportunity to shower ๐Ÿ™‚ 18 hours on a coach up here did no wonders for us both. The beach here is really nice. We sat on a nice bench on looking the marina. I couldn’t believe how blue the water was! The sand wasn’t that great, It looked like it had been imported there or something, as it was really corse. But that’s me being really picky ๐Ÿ˜‰ oh a little fun fact for you, apparently there had been a recent crocodile sighting there. I spotted a little sign advising us not to go in the water or too near the edge! I know that there was another Beach we didn’t get a chance to go to that was a bit further out. I was told that was nicer. We were so tired and sunburnt by the end of the day and we needed to shower again and have dinner before our coach.
Throughout the day there were numerous singers and bands performing in the local shops and bars. I was told this was a normal sight. So lovely to just drift from one tune to another, there should be more of this in the world!
We grabbed dinner at the bar next to ‘our’ hostel.Steak, medium Rare with chips and mushroom sauce for me:) it was cheap and cheerful. When ordering we bumped into someone Luke used to work with in Sydney at the hostel. I reminisced with him about my funniest memory in Sydney when me and my room mates ( the ones that I laughed with hysterically until 4am with in Sydney) hid a plastic spider in Luke’s bed and convinced him it was real, so much so that he went down to reception to get this guy to kill it. He came up with hair pray and a lighter and was psyching himself to go near it for about, I kid you not, an hour. Their faces when they realised it was fake.Too funny.
We then dragged all our stuff back to the coach terminal. Just as Luke and me were starting to argue with each other about not knowing the way there and not having much time to spare, we luckily bumped into a couple who did ! Another 12 hours or so on the coach and we would be in Cairns. Again the Coach was packed but atleast we got seats next to each other ๐Ÿ™‚ I will admit, every journey I buy a pack of biscuits for a snack. It makes
Me feel sad when I know food isn’t available. Haha !! Come on I can’t be the only one ๐Ÿ˜‰
The day we spent in Airlie was also the day my older sister got married, Why an earth weren’t you at the wedding I hear you cry… Well infact non of my family were! She got married in America after quiet a quick engagement and no one could afford to go. She set the date knowing this would be the case but I completely understand why as her now husband still has visa issues getting to the UK permanatly! I know they are just desperate to be with each other all the time and I am so happy for them. Best couple ever. I spent most of the journey messaging her and my mum and being excited for her. Such a Surreal feeling not being there, I know my mum especially was feeling it. It was lovely speaking to Cariad ( that’s my sister) and seeing how happy she was. That’s what’s important ๐Ÿ™‚ Also I’m hoping this now means a trip to America for me quiet soon… Hehe.

Speak soon you Sassy bunch

C

Xxx

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The travelling girl who once had the brilliant idea of writing a blog but never did – Part 3

Brisbane. Before I’d arrived I had Already decided it was probably a dull place to be,having heard mainly boring or negative things about it from people in passing but actually I have adored my time here. Me and Luke planned to stay for about a week whilst we sorted our next little travel plans out for up the coast. We got to the coach station and ate our first McDonald’s of many. Things to eat – that are cheap or relatively healthy especially,only stay open until about 5pm which is pretty annoying.
During our last week in Sydney and our few weeks in Byron Luke and I had been using the money from my account as he had not yet transferred his money over from his English one. It was about the fourth day in when he did the almighty mis hap of transferring it all into his superannuation account by accident- for all you non Ozzy folk ( his pension scheme) which we were told you could only get back once you had left the country. It was safe to say we were in deep doo doo. Both of us were kicking ourselves when we found out. We knew this meant we now had to stay here and work/ potentially go home! I rang my dad and told him the situ-being the beaut he is, he leant us both some money which covered our hostel rent and food for a few weeks. If he hadn’t of done that we would of been home a long time ago. Thanks papa bear. X you da best.
Luke found work with a hospitality agency fairly quickly which I soon after joined too. He also got a job in a super yummy ice-cream shop called Movenpick. Mint choc chip is so good… I think like most other backpackers I’ve spoken to I also had a fundraising job for all of 3 days. Horrendous- hats off to the sort of person who can do that all day. Eek I can’t. I’ve actually had some really amazing times working here. I loved working at the law firm in the city as the ‘HouseKeeper’ this basically meant I made sure the tea, coffee and biscuit supplies were fine and dandy. I was suprised at how lovely all the people were there, even though they clearly earn’t a lot of money I didn’t see any nasty snooty people! On my last shift there they invited me to the after work drinks! I also consumed a lot of free earl grey and digestives in my time there too lol. I was pretty pleased to be requested back on several occasions ๐Ÿ™‚ OMG – I also worked at a Justin Timberlake show. I worked on a bar for two hours and then was allowed to watch the show for 15 mins- I was actually in there for over an hour :/ oopsie, he was just too good I couldn’t peel myself away. Uh-mayzing. So dreamy.
For my last five weeks in Brisbane I also worked at Burger Edge. Everyone needs to try one of those things, the vegetarian pulse burger and the chicken deluxe are the bomb. I was really sad to leave there actually ๐Ÿ˜ฆ loved the team and the job was so relaxed!
We spent most of our time in Brisbane staying at Base Embassy.I would definitely recommend this ๐Ÿ™‚ staff are really nice and over all it’s a good vibe. My fav group of people in the legendary room
Of 403 were when Me,Luke Julia, Nik and Jack were all in together. Nik was Luke’s pal from Sydney and jack was mine- they joined up with us again a few weeks after we got there .Julia is a lovely German girl we met in Brizzy. To name
But a few memories- playing Rumikub, drawing horrific self portraits of each other and pinning them to our beds, Julia discovering she liked baked beans, ( this was a big deal haha) Luke and Nik talking ‘politics’ and conspiracy theories for hours on end,and me contributing with apparently ingenious child like solutions lol, Jack coming out as Gay and us being like WE FIGURED
haha!!, Honey Whiskey and Coke, Sitting in the corridor to get internet,50 cent hungry jacks Ice cream night time runs, and the wonderfully annoying curtain the lets all day light in. Ofcourse we have met some other nice people in our room at times- but those days were the best.
I literally can’t believe how at ease I became about living in a hostel and having such a tight budget. Don’t get me wrong I still spent my time dreaming about Clinique skin care products, a shower that wouldn’t give me varukas, and a kitchen that contained basic things like an oven, but in terms of my moods and anxiety that I can feel at times, I’m pretty proud of myself with how I remained positive most of the time ๐Ÿ™‚
South bank – the part of town across the river, and the Botanical Gardens make Brisbane for Me! On my days off I would often sit at one of the two either sunbathing, reading and using the free Wifi. So beautiful and relaxing, it’s a nice escape from the city hustle and bustle.
We managed to cram in Australia Zoo in our last week- and a Kangaroo boxed me in the face when I was trying to get a photo with it. I sware this could only happen to me. Haha! Luke was laughing his head off. Koalas are also now my favourite animal. Wow they are the cutest. Over all it was a great day and the best Zoo I’ve ever been too. The Croc show was amazing.
I really wish that I had started my blog before travelling as it gets so hard to remember and write down the whole authentic experience, as I write this post I’m currently sat on a coach on my way to Airlie beach. 18 hours eek . Feels so strange to be moving on after four months and finally having enough money! So happy we managed to save enough though. I’ve got my iPod In- currently listening to Queen B, looking out of the window and blogging my reflections ๐Ÿ™‚ In my next post I can finally write in the present tense!
Here we go…..
C
Xxx

The travelling girl’s make-up bag. Don’t judge me I’m poor :)

Over the last 8 months I’ve been living on a very tight budget which has meant I’ve only purchased a few new beauty bits. My make-up bag has become even more precious to me and when things start to run out I have to just accept it. Eek. Most days I’ve usually got my hair scraped back in a high pony with sun cream dotted on my face. I haven’t brought a hair dryer, or straighteners or anything of that nature with me but luckily with a bit of conditioner my hair is usually ok! oddly when I go to work is probably the time I wear most of my make-up. Somehow applying a little bit of Chanel red lippy makes me feel ready to face the customers. …that makes me sound like I have a promiscuous job … I work for a hospitality agency and in a burger place haha!
I’m actually really enjoying this little time in my life, even if I am looking slightly homeless at times

So let’s take a peep!…

SKIN

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BB cream- Garnier Medium

Foundation- Clinique even better 01

Bronzer- Bourjois delice de poudre..the chocolate looking one!

High lighter- YSL touche eclat 1

Blusher- Bourjois blush creme 02

My magic all rounder- Benefit watts up!.. I use this for my cheek bones and as an base eye shadow.

Brushes- GOSH 404 and topshop foundation that I forgot to include in this pic!

EYES

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Barry M Dazzle dust in shade 25 and 39

Mac gel liner

Bobbi brown long wear cream shadow in velvet plum

Maybelline the falsies mascara

Benefit they’re real mascara

Color trend Kajal stick … very cheap and cheerful

GOSH 348 brush…. and some random eye shadow brush from super drug

PERFUME

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Chloe… its not just one of my favourites because its my name haha

Giorgio Armani Si- Luke got me this! he chose well, its amazing.

LIPS

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Benefit Benetint

Lancome juicy tube- the melon tasting one!

Vaseline original and rose

Burts bee’s lip balm pink grapefruit- literally wear this every day

Channel lip Stick in dark red

MOISTURISERS

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Loccitane hand cream

Clarins Men moisture balm – I got this for Luke and its amazing. I secretly use it every day haha!

St.ives coconut milk and orchid body lotion

and my one and only current Nail Varnish… I love the fact its called the same thing as the ginger cat from the aristocats! too cute

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C

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Bare faced bondi Beach shot
 

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The travelling girl who once had the brilliant idea of writing a blog but never did…Part two

I loved Sydney. I think it’s such a beautiful and iconic city. It’s got such a great mix of smartly dressed people scurrying around to their offices and people with dreadlocks, guitars and surfboards waiting for the bus to head to the nearest beach. It did leave me feeling confused at what to wear though. I could go outside wearing my smartish top, skirt and leopard print shoes and feel like I fitted in to then wonder ten minuets away and deeply regret my outfit choice. I soon decided shorts or a dress and flip flops were the way forward.My first taste of hostel life staying at BASE, next to Sydney’s well known scary canary bar was such a laugh. Everyone in my room had just arrived. We all got on so well, I remember not going to sleep until at least 4 am for the first week simply because we all couldn’t stop chatting and laughing hysterically from jet lag. Of course there was the token ‘I’m better than you and i’m going to try steal your boyfriend girl’ she drove me a bit crazy at times but in the end we just settled it with a mutual not acknowledging each other, and my boyfriend thinking she looked like a rat ๐Ÿ™‚ a lovely girl called Kate who I met in my first week gave me a free surf lesson she didn’t want to use! I headed to Maroubra beach with the very dashing surf instructor for the day while he called me ‘Kate’ the whole time as that’s what the voucher said haha! I thought I better not tell him my name was Chloe In case I wasn’t allowed to then do it! Surprisingly, I loved surfing. Un surprisingly I’m not a pro.

Everything sounded so expensive when we first arrived ! As the figures are nearly double what they are in England. After our buzz of seeing all the main sites and eating ‘$10 steaks’ for the first 2 weeks we soon realised money would soon be gone if we carried on. I applied for so many jobs but the only thing that came back to me was an au pair job near Bondi. I decided to take a risk as it meant free accommodation and food. Looking back this was an incredibly strange decision seeming as this meant I had to live in with the family away from Luke while he stayed at the hostel in party Central. It was tough…

2 months of being an au pair for a family of 3 boys and 1 new born girl gave me an insight into the ozzy way of life if your under ten. The 2 year old Finn was … An absolute nightmare. I’ve never seen a two year old scream as loudly as he can, for as long, as often. My favourite times with him were spent walking to the park in the morning. He was a lot calmer, and the view from the park was incredible. It looked right over the city.
Being an au pair can be really lonely at times and there were many things I struggled with, such as the mother being very ‘hormonal’ from just having a baby and feeling like I was always on call. I now look back on this time with really fond memories though. I was really lucky to be in such a nice house in the beautiful area of Dover heights. I used to take the bus to Bondi all the time. There are some amazing local cafรฉs along the beach front. I have to mention the ice cream shop ‘Messina’ omg you have to go there. It’s soo goooood. My favourite flavour was fig and Marsala wine. There is also a great little up cycle clothes shop down one of the side streets unfortunately I can’t remember the name!

I don’t know if any of you have Heard of the contraceptive implant called implanon? But NEVER get it! It turned me into a complete psycho. Fair enough I was feeling down with the situation I was in, missing home and Luke but my goodness that thing messed up my moods. I blame having that in my arm for my really low moods during the first 3 months of travelling. I finally got it out and Luke and I both noticed a huuugeee difference in my behaviour almost straight away. It was crazy.

I was relieved to leave Sydney to be honest as it had been a really stressful time for me towards the end. Me and Luke had had some horrendous arguments and it was time to chill out and spend some quality time together…. Byron bay was THE perfect remedy.

A German guy wearing harem style hippy trousers drove us from the bus stop to what has become our favourite hostel. If you go to Byron bay be sure to visit backpackers inn! It’s a magical little town full of floaty clothes wearing people, and raw food delights. I remember writing a post card while I was there and describing it as Byron ‘wheat grass’ bay, to sum it up :p Oh to be back in the sunshine, lying down in a hammock in the garden reading Anne frank. One of my best memories from this whole time is the morning we borrowed bikes from the hostel and drove up to the lighthouse. I hadn’t ridden since I was about ten and had to be re taught by Luke, it was so funny. It’s Also the most eastern point of mainland Australia which is pretty cool. I was exhausted by the time we got to the top of the hill and treated myself to some amazing mars bar ice cream from the lighthouse cafe. Everyone told me they had seen dolphins and whales up there and I’m sure I saw big splashes in the distance from one of the two, I still desperately want to see some up close.
Byron bay’s night life isn’t exactly the best thing you’ve ever seen but it was fun. I found it refreshing that you could go into a ‘club’ with flip flops and literally do nothing with your face and hair and no one would bat an eye lid. Oh yeah, I also entered a bikini competition, cringe. I genuinely thought, why an earth can’t I win this $300? I look so hot right now. Aka reaallyyyyyyy drunk. I think the fact the bar man told me he would give me free drinks all night if I entered also helped. I was stood up on a table along side tall, washboard stomached girls while my boyfriend bless him, cheered me on. He may of been the only one cheering. Haha!!! Safe to say I didn’t win! Screw them aaaallll haha!!! I had fun!
After all the relaxing, embarrassing myself, and gorging on $5 dominoes pizzas we set off up the coast to Brisbane…

C

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