Day 427 | Albany again: totally connected

rest day

No shortage of power outlets at the backpackers but despite that they are at a premium.

Take a few travellers and multiply by 5 for the number of electric devices people seem to rely on: netbook, iPhone, battery of various species chargers x 2, video camera, or vibrator, or some other miscellaneous electronic necessity and, well, turn your back and your plugs are out and others are sucking up that juice. It’s a jungle out here.

It’s a commitment to keep a blog up to date but eventually I wrest myself away from the screen with the day mostly gone. (By the way the Kangaroos are winning for the first time in in 3 attempts this year, the Crusaders cruise in as usual. The main question now is can West Ham avoid relegation by just drawing the final games?)

I feel quite connected myself.

I head up the hill, at the start dodging the raindrops but then that just ain’t possible. Another hill, another view veiled by thick cloud.

I manage to see enough of the terrain on my way up to make out that the harbour is more Auckland than Wellington, ie, long fingers of land everywhere with bald bumps rather than hills as dictionary defined.

Damp memories of NZ weather flood back and I realise that it’s likely to be a passing shower and so shelter under a tree for a while.

Mt Clarence is less than 200m but it’s the highest bump around and sunny through the murk over on the horizon. There’s a 360° view seen in fragments.

Near the top is a huge monument with a couple of rearing imperial horses in memorial to the Anzacs, (usually thought of as the First World War Australia and New Zealand Army Corps), once in Egypt but after its destruction in 1956 reassembled in Albany.

Hunh? Albany?

It does make some sense when I find that the great harbour was the last port of call for the First World War troops as the young blokes headed off for glory in Europe, their “last glimpse of Australia” for many.

Now the town is sprinkled with Anzac everything. Anzac Peace Park on the foreshore etc.

The town’s folk are on to something big here. The Anzac legacy and it’s place in the making of the Australian nation has had a much enhanced position in history during the last Prime Minister Howard’s years in power.

But the commemoration of the day of landing of troops from all over the British Empire at Gallipoli in 1915 only to be decimated by the Turks is starting to have its critics, mostly because the jingoism blankets the celebration of other more positive aspects of early nation building: universal voting, (except for the Aboriginals who gained this in 1967), the 8 hour day, etc.

Dunno. I’ll be far from Albany by 25 April and its dawn ceremonies and in any case life has seemed to be one long series of public holidays at the moment.

But Perth and work await. Enjoy it all while I can.