Monday 25 April 2011 by Stuart Baines. 1 comment
Battlefield Tours, Simpson Prize 2011

The group minus myself, Conner and Gene who were barreling on ahead setting the pace and looking for relics
Today is a quieter day as we all need our rest to head out at midnight ready for the dawn service. We decided that the best plan of attack would be to wear the kids out so we headed out early to walk the length of Rhododendron Ridge. This was an important supply route within the NZ sector and is quite a good hike. We skirt right along the top of the ridge line and get some spectacular views of the rest of the cove and other ridges.

The walk was exhilarating and we kept the pace up to hopefully exhaust everyone so we could have an afternoon kip. We always have our eyes out for battlefield litter and anything that we can find to bring back to the Hotels growing collection. No such luck today but we had a blast in the process. Many times we had to resist the urge to duck of the track to see what interesting things we could find but you didn’t always need to duck off the track. As we walked passed a bush there on the edge of the track was a shaft about 6 feet deep with 2 horizontal tunnels leading out of it. We talked about the lengths that these men had to go to stay safe, tunnelling programs and to see effectively a cross section of the earth with layers of dirt clay and rock, really gave the students a feel for how hard to would have been to dig a trench.

After that it was off to Bigali, a small village where Attaturk stayed for several nights during the campaign. There is a great village tea house where the group had some traditional Turkish coffees and teas. When we returned to the Hotel for lunch there was a crowd of police vehicles and men with business suits and earpieces. They stood around hand clasped behind their backs or carrying submachine guns all anticipating the arrival of a dignitary, a dignitary who’s identity is still a mystery. No matter to us we bowled into the restaurant for lunch polished off our food and trundled past the guards towels in hand and swimmers on ready for the long promised swim in the Aegean Sea. Of we went diving in on mass and as the 7 degree water hit our bodies an audible squeal rang out. I think the girls may have made a noise too.

We are all eagerly awaiting the dawn service and the Lone Pine ceremony and hopefully you will log in and read all about this special very occassion.


Jude Smyth

I'm feeling the need for turkish delight, coffee, baclava but the honey balls sound a bit much. I know you are really enjoying giving the students a well rounded Gallipoli experience. Well done Stuie. Jude