24 April 2001
Up for 9:30am bkfst got stuff for trip at shops and rang Carly for 30 seconds for 30 million Lira and quick lunch at our fave chicken roll shop before jumping on 1 of 9 ICTURKEY tour buses. Drove for ½ hour to water. All sat on huuuge boat for Bosphorous tour beer in cold sun and bit boring but got back on bus and drove in bus for all afternoon sat next to dance dj dickheads eeing. Stopped for lunch had burger and Kelly thought she'd lost her bag stopped again after an incredible sunset over plains at servo for over an hour finally got going and drove 10 more minutes to Gallipoli's ANZAC Cove. Sooo close to memorial and so exciting.
Sat down and 4 of us cheersed to a VB and being so proud to be there. Met SAM & DAVE (Kelly & Harry) wandered around and saw how many people were there and were still arriving. Chatted to Turkish guys and got Aussie flag tatoo. Walked around with Sam and got interviewed by Damien Ryan channel 9 reporter which was seen by everyone back at home. Kept sipping whisky, downing beers and chatting to everyone until Dawn service finally began. Speeches fantastic except for Downers. Kiwi woman great and music as sun rose behind us and revealed the flat blue cove before us. Huge steep mountains behind us with peoples silhouettes dotted along top. Last post and minutes silence very moving. Service ended and we strolled along beach and found a spot to sleep in the sun. 7am
25 April 2001
Woke from snooze on beach at 10:30 and slowly strolled to Lone Pine. So very hot and arrived up steep track at 12midday. Missed start (old digger walking through standing ovation to front) But saw the rest. Downers speech incredible. He choked up as I did. Poem 'Gone forever, Gone and wasted'. Answer 'No not gone' etc. Very moving. Another guy said he had overheard a man say it was at Gallipolli the closest he'd ever been to his Grandfather another said he'd finally walked the footsteps of his own father. Last post a hand came out of the crowd and held up a small Aussie flag in the wind and I had a quiet tear during the silence. Then we veged on hill, ate some Iced Vo-Vos and drank VB. Walked with Luke Kelly and KT towards Kiwi monument but too far so walked down magnificent track to Shrapnel Valley and looked at graves where 680 troops died.
Inscriptions on graves:
'To love so much and then to part is the hardest thing for a human heart.'
'Their names shall live forever.'
'There is nothing more noble for a man than to die for his mates.'
'A job done well.'
Got back on bus and got dumped at Ecabat on coast and said bye to Luke Kelly and KT before going with Sam & Dave and others to Vegemite Bar. Awesome view over to Canakkale whilst sun set over water and drank beers. Met heaps of great people, everyone so happy yet exhausted no one had slept. Packed and fab ozzie music. 2-up won 5 million lira. Beers with Craig and Sarah on beach