Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Great Barrier Reef

The main reason for going to Cairns was to see the Great Barrier Reef. We got up early and boarded our boat that took us out to the reef. 

We bounced along for about 60km out to sea until we reached the anchor point. We were taken to 2 different reefs and were able to snorkel (or scuba dive if you were brave/had money).

HD underwater digital camera were available to hire, but we went the cheapy route of a disposable. The photos don't do the reef justice. It was so colourful and teeming with life. 

There's a turtle in the middle background! He seemed so much closer!
At first jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean was terrifying. And then I slipped on m snorkel mask and looked below. Absolute magic. 

It was perfect aside from all the seawater that I managed to swallow. I had a hard time remembering not to breathe out of my nose. And as I'm really buoyant I could hardly get my legs underwater to make my flippers work. Clearly I need to go back and practise more!

I'm a mermaid! Finally!
It felt like these animals were right below me. That I could reach out my hand and touch them. Of course, they were quite a ways down and paid little attention to me. 

After all that seawater and the gentle rocking of the boat I discovered that I couldn't be a pirate as I felt rather ill. Too ill for the free buffet lunch that was provided! Boo!

We made our way to the second reef and jumped in the water again. Since we were in the water and we had sunscreened up, it didn't feel that hot. But because we were scooting across the top of the water our backs were exposed to the sun all day. OUCH! Aloe gel became my new best friend. 

On the way back to shore they served fruit, wine and cheese. Luckily I was feeling well enough by this point to participate!

Going to the Great Barrier Reef was always one of the things that I wanted to do in my life. I feel so lucky that I was able to have this experience. It was truly incredible. And exhausting. It took this old bod over a day to recover! Worth it!

Today I am thankful for the natural beauty in the world and that I've been able to see it while it's still here. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

An interlude: Vietnam

Guys, I'm in Vietnam. Holy smokes! Never having been to Asia before I was pretty nervous. Arriving at night and trying to navigate visitors visas, a taxi, crossing the street and finding our hotel was exhausting and overwhelming. All I wanted was a bottle of water and a big sleep and maybe just to hold on to something that I understood.

But today, oh today! The sun was shining, the horns were honking and Ho Chi Minh City was buzzing! Today our hotel, while not at all easy to find, made some sense (It was down a small, dark alleyway that turned onto a smaller, darker alley). Since I am a master jaywalker crossing 15 'lanes' of car, taxi, bus and 1 zillion motorbikes and scooters was only 84% terrifying.

I'm still a bit overwhelmed and wary but I'm also SO EXCITED to be here!

That is all.


Saturday, October 27, 2012


When we left Darwin we were pretty darn excited to be doing so. It meant that our working time was over and our playing time was about to start. It also meant that maybe, just maybe, we would be somewhere that wasn't so uncomfortably hot all the time. 

We had to get up at 3am to catch a bus and then a plain to Cairns, OLD. As we dragged all of our belongings out at 4am the street was still bustling with partying backpackers and shouting homeless people. And it was still really really hot. 

This is my look of relief/excitement at arriving in Cairns for holiday time!!

tank: cotton on
skirt & leggings: Sportsgirl
boots: Target
bags: worldly belongings

In Cairns we just chilled out. By the free lagoon they have at the waterfront, which was a delight!

We thought that we were escaping the heat, and in some ways we were, but it was still seriously UV-ish. You've got to slip, slap, slop here. 

Our hostel had just opened it's garden bar and had promotions on: FNQ beer for only $2.50 a bottle. As we had never heard of this beer and are also quite cheap, this was a treat!

We also walked around the harbour a lot. Yes, maybe it was because we were looking for gelato. What's it to you?

Today I am thankful for discovering new cities without an itinerary. Just a will to be thrilled. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Pav (mini crazy happy fun)

Once upon a time the Gentleman Caller's boos gave him some passionfruit, out of the blue. There is only one thing I know how to make with passionfruit. 

A pavolva. Or, in this case, many small pavs. 

Whipping the cream the old fashioned way gave us the work out and the reasoning to believe that we should eat all of them in one sitting. It was messy and delicious. 

And disappeared just like that. 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crocosaurus Cove

Crocodiles are such a serious thing in the Northern Territory that they are also entertainment. We spent one Saturday going to Crocosaurus Cove! 

This little guy was trying to get out of his cage. He was working so hard to break through the glass. 

Even baby crocs are scary looking. 

Can you imagine if you were snorkeling and looked over to see this!!! YIPES!!! Too many tails connected to too many teeth!

Crocs give the Gentleman Caller a high-five. Give the chance, though, I have no doubt that he would have bitten those fingers right off!

All of the big croc were ones that had been taken out of their natural habitat because they were too deadly. 

Many of the big crocodiles were put into a sanctuary / breeding farm. However, they had to be relocated because instead of breeding nicely they like to take chomps out of their mates. So they were put in isolation at Croc Cove for tourists to gape at.

Today I am thankful for the invention of foot thick aquarium glass. Safety first. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cairns Post

This door was in the front of the Cairns Post newspaper office. The colour was too pretty to pass up. 


We had just been for a drink at what used to be the courthouse. What a cool way to reuse and update an old building. 

dress: Ricki's 
belt: H&M
necklace: gift from mama
flippy floppies: Havianas 

Today I am thankful for the past and people who built beautiful things that last for us all to enjoy. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Darwin Show

One day we went to the Royal Darwin Show. It had enormous pumpkins, squawking chickens of many different breeds, a mice circus and other funny little things. 

However, this carnival game is terrifying. I mean, look at the clowns eyes. Horrifying. No thank you. 

If I was a child I would totally have loved flopping about in these large hamster balls. Heck, I'd still love to do that!

We also watched pigs race. They literally raced around a track and we all cheered. Then the pigs ran up the ramp and dove into a pool. Pigs are remarkably talented. And fast! It was hard to get a motion photo!

I also offer photographic eveidence of the one night that the Gentleman Caller and I went out on the town, dancing with some of his ex-work friends. 

And some clever chap put these posters up around town. Awesome. 

Oh Darwin you are such a weird place. 


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Birthday days

Today is my birthday. My 31st birthday. Whoa, man. It kind of crept up on me. I sort of forgot that it was October and so here it is. I'll be spending the day on a bus from Christchurch to Queenstown, NZ. Hopefully there will be a glass of wine at the end of it. I have my doubts about a candle. Maybe next year. Or maybe I'll just draw myself one, which is nearly as good.
I hope that this year will bring good things. Like adventure, like stability, like maybe a house and a job. I also really hope to get back to outfit blogging on the regular. I spent some time today looking back at some old posts and I really miss being able to express life through clothing. And I really miss interacting with the blogging community. Many of the people who commented on posts over a year ago have disappeared from the internet. Or don't post as regularly. And I miss them and their creativity.

Today I am thankful for moisturiser. I think that keeping my face juicy helps me to look younger. Which I'll be really grateful for when I'm 80. Probably.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On the boardwalk

In Cairns, walking along the boardwalk is a mandatory activity. It's the place to see and be seen. It's where mom's run by with their sport strollers, grannies walk in the afternoon, and backpackers strut their stuff in front of the pool (otherwise known as the lagoon).

cairns sept 2012

 We did the most important boardwalk activity, we walked to the gelato shop. Obviously. 

dress: City Chic
sandals: Havianas
sunnies: Ricki's
necklace: gift from my mom, from Dublin
gift from the Gentleman Caller's mama

Today I am thankful for being in a place that is still very warm but not so very hot that every moment is exhausting. 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Daily Darwin

Everyday in Darwin was much the same. Walk to find free, unreliable internet. Have a scone. Go to the waterfront. Have a glass of wine. Sweat. 

Once we went to The Tap for enormous cocktails. There is a $10 deposit for the glass which makes sense because many many people are drunk idiots. 

We also walked to the Mindil Beach market rather often. The sunsets were pretty. 

Click on through to Mind the Ramp for more photos.
Today I am thankful that we lived in Darwin and were able to find work. I'm also thankful that it was time to move on as well. 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Goodbye Australia

Tomorrow I leave Australia. I've been here for 1 year. Time is a funny old thing, it goes by so fast and so slowly at the same time. This year wasn't what I was expecting, whatever that was. It was more challenging and lonely than I thought that it would be. But at the same time there were some really beautiful and wonderful times too. I met some great people who I hope I'll be able to see somewhere in this wide world again. I got to hang out with the Gentleman Caller everyday and it's still a treat, so that's good.

 I feel weird about the whole thing. A year. A whole year has gone by... There are many things that I learned. It's something that I clearly have to sit down and ponder out with a journal, a glidey pen and some watercolour pencils. I hope I have time to do that soon. But not today. Today I pack up my heavy bags, spend the last of my Australian change, and climb on a plane to New Zealand.

Today I am thankful for adventure and quiet times, parties and reading on the beach, wine and cold, clear tasty Melbourne water. I am thankful for every decision that I have made, every person that I have met that has brought me to this very moment. Because this moment? It's pretty great.

(and yes, I'm still about 3 months behind on posting. Better get used to it.)