Saturday, 13 January 2018

Day 67 - 73. Fireworks, Noosa Heads & Bribie Island

Day 67 - 6th January
We are still in Hervey Bay for one last night and loving it. Due to the huge thunderstorm on NYE the fireworks were cancelled so we saw the display this evening. It was so magical. 
Today we spent most of the time at the beach soaking up the sun and taking regular dips in the sea because it's been SO hot !

Day 68 - 7th January
We left the camp site at Hervey Bay which was actually quite upsetting! The owner was so friendly and nice to us, he made us feel really welcome. As well as some of the permanent residents at the site. 
The site is called Shelley Beach Caravan Park and j highly recommend staying there if you're in the Hervey Bay Area. 
We made our way back to Tiaro Memorial Park where we will be staying tonight, it's set back from the road and has a free 3 minute shower which is great and very rare to find in a free site. 

^Point Vernon, Hervey Bay

Day 69 - 8th January
We headed for Noosa and arrived a couple of hours later. 
We wanted to stay at the sea scouts site as it was really cheap. However, we arrived there to be met by a big sign saying no camping and closed!
So we headed for the next closest one which is Noosa Caravan Park. We booked in for 2 nights at £74 all together. There's a lovely pool here and sun beds where I spent a fair while today! It's a top holiday park and our campervan keys have a top holiday park key ring on allowing a discount for us which is great. 

Day 70 - 9th January
We went to Noosa and did a similar walk as before around the National Park. It was so hot that half way through we had a swim in the sea, even though we had no towels with us and had to air dry it was so worth it! 
I got an iced coffee from the cafe there before headed back to the camp site. 
We had an afternoon swim and sunbathe. Both of us are so knackered today, I'm not sure whether we had bad nights sleep or whether it's the heat or the walk this morning. But I think an early night is in order!
I filmed a little bit of footage today that I will edit and post on YouTube once I'm home. 
When I was in Sydney at the start of 2017 I filmed clips everyday and posted 3 separate videos of the footage on YouTube then. 

^Noosa Heads walk

Day 71 - 10th January 
We moved camp sites to one near the Sunshine Coast. It's in land slightly so not here a beach, and a lot more expensive than we wanted. But it's hard to know where to go for a good price until you actually get the a caravan park to enquire. 
It's been extremely hot today so a lot of the day has been spent in the pool. 
We did a shop at IGA to get some supplies for the next few days. 

Day 72 - 11th January 
Still in the Sunshine Coast and not much has changed, so here's a list of things I miss from home, things I will miss here and things I won't! 

Things I'm missing from home
•family & dogs 
•hot baths
•comfortable bed
•drinking tap water
•kitchen space to cook 
•variety of home cooked food
•my coffee machine
•clean clothes

Things I'm going to miss here
•hot weather
•every day with Ben
•freedom of going wherever
•living minimalist 
•not waking up at 3am for work
•wearing no makeup 
•sitting outside on camp chairs until late
•wearing a bikini every day
•having no itinerary for the day
•deciding whether to swim in the pool or sea first
•not knowing anyone
•doing food shops with ben

Things I'm not going to miss
•thinking of things to cook
•sleeping in sleeping bags
•sand getting everywhere in the camper
•(sometimes) not knowing where we will be sleeping that night

Day 73 - 12th January
Just a week left in the camper! Can't believe how quickly it has gone, I will definitely miss this but both of us feeling ready to sleep in actual beds and feel a bit normal again!
I've felt quite crappy today, I think I'm getting a cold. I feel so drained and not 100%. 
We've had another day taking it easy and swimming in the pool. Onto the next place tomorrow as we drove closer to Brisbane to return the camper soon. 

^sunset from the camper 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Top 5 Affordable, Essential Beauty Products For Travelling.

Whilst packing my suitcase prior to my travels in Australia, I realised that I was going to have to think about what products I really needed. My 5 step skin care routine was going to have to be cut down. Living in a campervan means there's not much storage space at all, this meant cutting down my beauty products significantly. 
I brought a small makeup bag with me, and honestly, haven't used it once! It's so nice to be able to wake up and get ready in virtually no time at all. 

There are a few steps and products I use that are my top 5 essentials for being in the sun, travelling or for going on holiday. I have a few other bits with me that I haven't included such as a face moisturiser, but that's because I chop and change those all the time (I'm currently using a clean&clear face moisturiser but I've been buying small tubes of different brands). The products I'm mentioning are ones that have become an absolute stable throughout my travels. 

Being out in the sun all day long as taken it's toll on my skin. I've looked after my skin and used a lot of sun cream, but spending a lot of time in direct sun light, sea water, and pool water has dried out my skin a lot. We found this huge value bottle of Cocoa Butter in k-mart - a shop we don't have in the UK. It's a brand I've been familiar with but haven't used religiously in the past. I bought the bottle for $14 which is really good value (that's just over £8). I've used it every evening after a shower and taken the time to massage it into my skin to ensure it soaks in well. My skin is still so soft and hydrated in the morning. I have some stretch marks on my inner thighs, so I've applied more to that area and I can see a slight different in the appearance of them already. They have faded slightly and aren't so obvious which is a great bonus. I will continue to use this cream once back in the UK to try and prevent my tan from fading quickly. 

I brought 3 packets of cotton wool pads with me to use with my Garnier Micellar Water. I wanted a cleanser to use morning and night for a really quick fix of clean and refreshed skin. I use this micellar water at home to take off makeup if I don't have the time to use a hot cloth cleanser and I really love it. 
I've had bioderma in the past, but it's hard to get hold of in the UK (I bought my first and only bottle of it around 5 years ago in France and haven't repurchased since). Garnier Micellar Water is the closest cleanser I've found to bioderma, it's a really good dupe and a lot cheaper aswell. 
The Garnier cleanser is so gentle, I have no irritation using it on both my face and eyes and it removes makeup quick and easily. It takes no time to use, it's really affordable and does a great job. Perfect for on the go or travelling. 

I took a considerable amount of beauty products on my travels but I ran out of hair conditioner fairly rapidly. I didn't purchase it for a while *big mistake*. My hair became SO matted and notty all the time from the sea water and the sun drying out my hair. We were in Aldi one day and in the random section in the middle of the shop I saw Protane Hair Oil for just over $6. This is amazing price for an hair oil, so even if the product wasn't too great it didn't bother me massively for the great price. 
I can safely say it doesn't compare to my beloved Moroccan Oil that I use at home and stupidly didn't bring with me ! But its really good for the price. I apply the oil to the lengths and tips just after washing my hair, it makes it SO much easier to brush through and my hair doesn't even feel like it's been in sea water all day! 

Being in Australia has certainly been a significant climate change for my body to get used to. It's currently summer in Australia so it's the hottest time of year, I'm loving it, but my body has needed some adjustment!! I've been relying on Sure Deodorant throughout my travels. It's affordable and always on offer in Boots in the UK. I've seen the same style bottle of deodorant called a different name, I'm not sure whether it's the same brand with a different name here, or a cheaper version. But it's an absolute staple here in the hot heat, or wherever you are. 

Last but definitely not least is suncream - possibly the most important item on this list. It's so important to protect your skin from the UV rays, but also from burning. The one shown in the photo isn't a brand I'm familar with but it's the one I'm currently using up. We bought this one in Cape Verde whilst on holiday there in October, everything is imported to Cape Verde so I believe this bottle is in German. It's the only one we could get our hands on in the resort but I chose it as I could understand Factor 50 and UVA on the packaging. I have another back up with me thats also factor 50. You can never be prepared enough with sun cream. 

Other items I've been using but not relying heavily on are:
•SPF lip balm,
•Face exfoliator, and
•Red nail polish for my toes

Monday, 8 January 2018

Summer Go-To Shirt Dress

I've been living in this striped beach dress throughout my travels in Australia. In the evenings it's the perfect dress to throw on as it still light and airy but just enough as the sunsets and it gets cooler. 

It's currently summer in Australia so during the day it would be too hot to wear, but it's ideal for an evening stroll on the beach, out to dinner or a late night trip to the ice creamery! 

I bought the dress from New Look last summer. If it's not available I'm sure they do the same dress in a different print, or there will be loads out there from different shops. It was inexpensive (under £20) but really well made and the quality feels amazing. 

I tend to roll the sleeves up a couple of times for a casual look, but they are full length so either would look good. I wear the dress with the top few buttons open. There's a draw string in the middle that looks great done up slightly, or loose. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Day 59 - 66. Hervey Bay & LOTS of frozen yogurt

Day 59 - 29th December
Yesterday the search for another campsite in this area began. We want to stay here for a little while as it's a lovely area and would be nice again to stay somewhere for a few days and feel a little at home somewhere rather than be on the move all the time. I called a free camp sites and enquired online for loads in the area and everywhere was fully booked. I presume people are having a post-Christmas break. We continued the search this morning and we were so lucky to find a place to stay at just the 3rd place we asked. 
We are staying at Shelly Beach Caravan Park. I think it was fate as someone cancelled 5 minutes before we came here to ask apparently! 
We've had a really nice day swimming in the pool, grabbing iced lattes and going to  subway lunch for a salad bowl. 
Although both of our eyes are so sore and dry from the pool even a couple of hours after getting out now. 

^Iced Latte from Cody's Coffee Shack

Day 60 - 30th December
Our gas canister in the campervan ran out last night half way through cooking our curry and rice which wasn't ideal! We ended up having just the curry as that was cooked (luckily) but the rice was still raw. So this morning as soon as we woken up we started mission gas canister! We've pre-paid for a refill at travellers autobarn as you either had to replace the gas you've used, or pay them to refill it. If we knew we would have been replacing it so soon to the end we wouldn't of paid for the re-fill at $35 as we've had to buy a whole new one this morning at just $17. It's really frustrating and I think the company are definitely onto a money making scheme there, but we didn't know that at the time so the idea behind being the pre-paid refill with the company was so we had one less thing to worry about when returning the camper. But these things happen and I'm just glad we have gas again so we can cook and boil the kettle! 
We had a little swim in the sea before treating ourselves to a huge dominoes each! I've been craving pizza so much as it's one of my favourite things to eat and I haven't had it in so long! 
We also had a little dip in the pool, making sure we both kept our eyes shut today so that they didn't irritate like yesterday. It took over 5 hours for my eyes to feel normal again yesterday. I was quite worried that they were damaged in some way as they were so dry and both our visions were foggy & cloudy - I couldn't look at bright lights without it being blurred and having a rainbow around the whole light. Thankfully both our eyes are ok now but I didn't want to take the risk in the pool again. 
We had an evening stroll on the beach just before the sunset which was lovely. 

^HUGE 16" dominoes pizza!

^Shelly Beach

Day 61 -31st December
The start of the day today was very humid, even in the shade we couldn't escape the heat. 
There should be a fireworks display tonight for New Years although a thunderstorm is forcasted and it has rained today.
There's a street market in Hervey Bay today so we've watched that get set up, also aninflatable waterslide park which looked sooo good!
It's a shame to see it deflated as the rain got heavier tonight. I really hope the fireworks go ahead and they aren't called off. 

Day 62 - 1st January
Happy new year! Last night came to an abrupt end as there was a huge thunderstorm so the fireworks were called off. So disappointing as we were looking forward to going out and doing something normal!! But nethertheless it was night to be in the camper playing candy crush and drinking lemonade! (Wild night!!) and it was also nice that it wasn't so hot as the rain took away some of the heat. 
Today has been very relaxed. We got some fish and chips for lunch - definitely not as good as back home and England obviously has the best fish and chips, but it was still yummy and a nice treat. 
It's rained again this evening, but we are cooped up in the camper cooking curry - we even went to an Indian restaurant to get some naans! 

^Cod and chips, I miss English chip shop chips!!

Day 63 - 2nd January
The sun has been in and out today. It's a weird kind of heat and very muggy. The sea was so rough and washing up loads of sand so we didn't swim as sand would of gotten all over us! 
We went to the shopping centre near Hervey Bay and got frozen yogurt. This has become a regular thing and we both love it so much! I will miss it a lot back home!
The rest of the day has been very chilled, we've had a dip in the pool and we are now cooking pasta sauce for our evening meal. 

Day 64 - 3rd January
Another beautiful day in Hervey Bay. 
We spent a while at the beach topping up the tan. We also accidentally made another trip to the frozen yogurt shop. This is becoming too much of a regular thing!! But it's too damn good !
The afternoon was spent (as usual) in the pool which was just what we needed as it's been so hot and humid. 
It's not raining a little - this is becoming too much of a regular thing in the evenings for my liking. 
The rain stopped and we had such a nice evening; we went to the beach for sunset and got ice creams. 

Day 65 - 4th January 
I can't believe we have 2 weeks left in the campervan. I honestly don't know where the time has gone!
Today was really hot and I felt so sluggish and couldn't do much because of this. We drove around a little and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. 
This evening we went from beach to beach to watch the sunset and take some photos, it's nice to do things in the evening when it's not hot and isn't raining! 

Day 66 - 5th January 
Today was very similar to yesterday so here are some photos ! 

Monday, 1 January 2018

2017 Roundup / Reflection

2017 didn't bring much in terms of change, I have the same job, the same friends and the same personal & family life but that doesn't mean it's a negative thing, change isn't always good and it's nice to have a content sense of belonging. 
I'm blessed to have such supportive and loving people around me. It's so comforting to be surrounded by like-minded people. 

The start of the year was spent working hard and planning my first trip to Sydney. March soon came around and the trip was complete in a flash. I saw some amazing land marks and spent quality time with one of my best friends Melissa. 

My boyfriends 21st birthday was in April. I wanted to do something really special for him. I researched SO many different places and finally decided to take him to Boa Vista in Cape Verde. This was booked for September. 

I had a long and hard summer season at work with no leave booked due to my trip to Sydney in Spring and my boyfriends surprise booked for September. It felt like it was never ended and honestly drained me. Work consumed me which I find happens a lot due to the hours and days I work if I have nothing breaking it up. 

Late summer my boyfriend lost his job, and I knew it was possible to get sabbatical leave at work. We planned a 3 month travelling trip to Australia. Although we had his birthday holiday to look forward to, we both needed a change and now felt like a good time to grab it by the balls! 

September eventually came around and our trip to Cape Verde was truly amazing. It felt so special and my boyfriend was so grateful and over the moon. 

Just a couple of weeks back at work and our trip to Australia was here. I said goodbye to my work colleagues which was a little emotional! (Even though I haven't left for good). 

The last few months of 2017 were spent in a Campervan with my love, travelling, siteseeing, exploring, eating copious amounts of frozen yogurt, playing candy crush as we had no wifi for the most part, drinking beer, swimming in the sea, sunbathing and seeing where the wind would take us next. 

2017 has been a balance between hard work and exploring. I definitely have a taste for travelling now, so watch this space for 2018. 
My love for blogging is ever growing. I completely love writing and I created a happy place for myself here when I wrote my first ever post many years ago. I find it so therapeutic and relaxing. I wish I had more time to put 110% effort into my blog as it's something I would truely love to do. I have lots of creative ideas, it's just finding the time to sit down and make it all happen which isn't possible a lot of the time due to my work life. However I will always have a commitment with my blog and and commitment to myself to put effort and love into my blog as it's not just a hobby but something I thoroughly enjoy. 
Good luck and well wishes to everyone for 2018. Lets make it the best year yet. 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Day 51 - 58 Christmas on the Gold Coast

Day 51 - 21st December
We left the camp site and had a day of aimless driving around little towns to find places to stop and chill. After this we headed back to New Italy rest area where we've been a few times before already. This was a couple of hours drive and is near Byron Bay again so we may spend the day there tomorrow. 
The rest area has a small museum which we had a look around, and a cafe where I got a coffee. I really miss my coffee machine back home and the costa I would buy almost every shift at work! 

^Kangaroos at Darlington Beach Holiday Park this morning. 

Day 52 - 22nd December
We spent the day at Byron Bay again. It was raining this morning so we weren't sure where to go. But I'm glad we went here as it was really lovely and sunny as the day went on. The forecast said it was supposed to rain with a thunder storm so I'm relieve that didn't happen!
I think we will spent the next couple of nights at New Italy again as it's just over an hour away from where we need to be fore Christmas at our Airbnb. 
We are planning on doing a food shop Christmas Eve to get all the supplies we need across the Christmas period. I'm planning on cooking a roast to take advantage of actually having an oven to use! 
We will get lots of treats as well to enjoy the festivities and forget the budget for a couple of days!

^Street graffiti in Byron Bay town centre 

Day 53 - 23rd December
We spent another day at Byron Bay. There were barely any waves again as there was no wind at all it was completely still. But the sea was crystal clear which was lovely. 
We are staying at sleepy hollow rest area tonight which I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about as we avoided it on the way down south because there were lots of comments saying watch out for the snakes and spiders! We haven't seen any so far which is good. Im quite comfortably sat outside on the camp chairs now and not too worried about it, which means I've definitely came a long way since the start of this trip as I would never of done this 2 months ago! Just goes to show it's mind over matter (besides the fact that it's too hot to sit in the campervan anyway!)
We did a spring clean of the camper as stones and LOTS of sand seems to get everywhere as the cushions on the bed are in 4 sections (see picture below) 

and underneath these are wooden slates that we slot into place to create the bed. So sand and dirt gets in all the nooks and crannies!! I'm glad we have a semi-clean camper ready for our return into it after Christmas. 
We are both excited to check into our Airbnb tomorrow morning. It will be so nice to sleep in a proper bed, electricity, and have showers and baths until our hearts content !! It's the small things...

^Byron Bay

Day 54 - 24th December.  Christmas Eve!
We got ready for the day slowly to kill some time before headed to the Airbnb. We got the directions from the app and no one appeared to be home. I then noticed that the lady didn't actually give us a house number and just a road name so i presume that google maps was just taking us to the middle of the road! We stopped to ask a man to help us and it appears he was acy the one meeting us there because the lady who owns the house is on holiday for the Christmas period. I'm glad we found the right place eventually but it's also frustrating that we wasted some time no knowing where to go. 
The house is lovely it's one level but detached so there's lots of privacy and a lovely garden at the back with decking. 
We went to Woolworths to do a shop for Christmas supplies then spent the rest of the day inside making the most of air conditioning and showers! 

Mince pie?

Day 55 - 25th December. Merry Christmas! 
What a lovely day. We had a very chilled morning pottering around the house, laying in the hammock, drinking coffee, and cooking fry-ups! Perfect. 
We got ready and headed to the beach for a little while, we wanted to go to the beach on Christmas Day but we didn't want to spend too long there as we have just today as our last full day in the Airbnb before we go back to the campervan. 
After getting back I warmed up some camernbert, French stick and cut up some carrots for lunch. 
We had a couple of beers and watched stranger things 2. 
I'm currently cooking a roast for this evening as it's tradition! So we couldn't not!  
I don't want this time to end in the Airbnb it's been sooo lovely!!

^Tugun Beach on the Gold Coast

^Our breakfast 🍳 

Day 56 - 26th December
We left the lovely home and got back on the road. We weren't sure whether to go back up or down the coast. We need to drop the camper back in Brisbane in a few weeks and we've definitely seen more down the coast so we decided to head up again. 
We are back at Sanford Showgrounds where we have been once before at the start of our travels. It's very peaceful and relaxing here so we should get a good nights sleep. 

Day 57 - 27th December
We are back into the swing of things in the campervan. It was bitter sweet coming back in here after staying in a beautiful home, but it wasn't long before we were used to it again! 
We drove for a couple of hours to Alexandra Headland near Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. The journey was only supposed to take an hour but there were massive traffic jams all along the M1. 
It drizzled with rain on-off throughout the day but once arriving on the Sunshine Cost it was fairly warm and sunny. We had a little chill before heading to Belli Creek rest area. 
Hopefully we will be heading back to Hervey Bay tomorrow as we really liked it there before and are lucky enough to have the time to go back to the places that we enjoyed at the start- that was our plan and it's worked so far :)

^Alexandra Headland

Day 58 - 28th December
We made our way back to Hervey Bay where we stayed for 2 nights previously. 
Where we are staying has a pool and jucuzzi so we have spent loads of time in there today. We've been trying to book into another site around here for the next couple of day to cover new year, but everywhere is so full I'm not sure we will find somewhere. I'd love to be here for New Years because it's such a nice town, it's peaceful and isn't overcrowded and not too big. 
We walked into town from the site which was longer than I thought, I regret being the one saying 'come on, let's walk!'. I got a smoothie which we shared (it was more like a milkshake as it had ice cream in it, so much for a healthy smoothie!!)

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Day 44 - 50. Nimbin, Byron Bay & Sapphire Beach

Day 44 - 14th December
Today we left Crescent Head. This felt bitter sweet as we were excited to go to the next place and continue the adventure but sad to be leaving a beautiful place. 
We headed for Burnett Park which is a free camp site - stopping at Woolworths for our food shop on the way. 
We stayed a couple of hours at the camp site. It was getting so hot and the camper was just boiling. We were yearning for the fan!
We decided to skip this place for the night and instead go back to Nimbin which was the journey for tomorrow. 
At least here we have electricity for the fan and it's not expensive. 
After arriving in Nimbin we had a walk up to the town and went to the bar for a beer. It was nice to sit down in the beer garden and do something that felt a little normal! 

Day 45 - 15th December
We spent another day today in Nimbin. 
The weather has been so hot, it's a shame we aren't near a beach to cool off in the sea. 
We had a really chilled day again and went for another beer at the pub this evening 

Day 46 - 16th December
Another beautiful day. 
However we are waking up around 7am now because the sun is beaming through the camper and it's too hot to sleep. We've seen a lot of people in campers without windows and they sleep with the big back door open and a mosquito net hanging. Not sure I fancy this as I wouldn't feel at ease. Even in a quite camp site I don't think it be able to relax knowing that the door would be open. But this might be something we have to consider as it's only going to get hotter. 

Day 47 - 17th December
We left Nimbin and headed for Byron Bay. We spent a couple of hours here on the beach. Everywhere around Byron Bay is pay & display and I think that's because it's a very touristy area. On the plus side the meter took Apple Pay so it was easy enough as we didn't have enough change. 
The sea was so nice and warm and really clear as well, it was lovely. 
I got a coffee from a cafe on the beach and also bought a fruit salad with yogurt, delicious!
We are now back at New Italy rest area for the night, let's hope it isn't as loud as last time as there are barely any free rest areas around and paid camp sites are so expensive in Byron Bay. 

^Fruit salad from 'Beach' at Byron Bay

Day 48 - 18th December
Today was pretty much a replica of yesterday!
We went to Byron Bay for a few hours, I got another coffee and fruit bowl from the same cafe, we even parked in the same (expensive) car park! And just to top it off we are staying in the same rest area again tonight - New Italy!
So not much else to report other than it's getting very hot! I'm slightly sunburnt and we are both struggling to sleep at night with the heat. Even with all windows open we are still so hot. The things I would do for electricity to use the fan right now !!

^The most delicious fruit salad again!

Day 49 - 19th December
Today we decided to head back south a couple of hours just because we have some time to kill before our Airbnb for Christmas. We found a paid camp site close to Coffs Harbour on Sapphire Beach that looked lovely. 
We called for a price and instead the lady just booked us in and didn't tell us the price! We thought it would be expensive as it looked so nice and we were right... $60 p/n for a powered site. 
It's a lovely area with a pool and a 1 minute walk to the beach. But it's definitely out of our budget! 
We went to Woolworths soon after having a swim in the pool to get some supplies. I noticed a frozen yogurt shop and we both gasped with pure joy as we hadn't seen one for ages and had both really fancied one for such a long time! So just to make us over budget a bit more we spent $17 at yogurt land ! Ooops. 
We had paprika chicken, avocado and halloumi in a tiger bread roll with garlic mayo it was delicious! 

^Sapphire Beach 

Day 50 - 20th December
We headed just 20 minutes up the road (with a slight detour because our satnav from travellers autobarn hasn't been updated so it doesn't know any of the new roads!) to another camp site called Darlington Beach Holiday Park where we will be staying tonight. It's a really big area with a pool which we've spent loads of time in today. There are lots of kangaroos jumping around the park, they don't seem bothered by people at all!
It's much cheaper than last night at $46 and we both prefer it. 

^Darlington Beach