We arrived at Gallipoli in the evening of the 24th in time to view a beautiful sunset over the striking hills behind us. We staked our spot early and settled in for the long haul until sunrise on ANZAC day. Foolishly I had decided to leave my sleeping bag in London and instead to wrap myself in thermals and other layers of clothing, but when we reached sub-zero temperatures in the early morning this I started to feel the cold. Fortunately, with the arrival of more people, we all had to huddle closer together and soon we were all lying in the foetal position holding one another in what I referred to as the womb. I was one of the few lucky people in our group that actually managed to sleep but barely an hour at that. At first glimpse of the sun beginning to rise behind us, so did we. First we were dazzled by a spectacular lighting show across the ANZAC cove sky and then treated to various performances including music and poetry; the string quartet accompanied by some of the best didgeridoo playing I've ever heard probably being the highlight. Then the dawn service was held with various international dignitary speakers. It was an understandably sombre service made eerie by the surrounding landscape lighting up slowly to reveal the ominous terrain the soldiers had to ascend in battle 90 years ago. I suddenly felt a sense of Australian patriotism and a bond with our Kiwi brothers in arms. I even sang the national anthem with pride, something I never did when forced to sing at school. Maybe it's because I've been away over a year or maybe it was hearing the heroic tales of our service men, but I was proud to call myself an Australian. When the dawn service was over we headed on the long trek to Lone Pine where they hold the Australian service. I cheekily caught a secret lift on the back of a young Turk's ute, to the laughter and admiration of everyone I passed on the way. As a result I arrived early and had to wait for everyone to arrive. In stark contrast to the combined dawn service, the Australian service was more like a celebration. It was one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had. In a delirious daze, brought on by a lack of sleep, I witnessed what looked more like a cricket match crowd than a memorial service. There were Aussie, Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi chants and the longest Mexican waves I've ever seen. At first I thought this was a bit disrespectful, especially considering where we were, surrounding a field of graves which were also covered with people. Then I realised that the military contingent present were also participating and thought about the ANZAC diggers whom would only have been young larrikins themselves at the time. Hey, they probably would have joined in. Still, part of me was saying this should be a time for reflection as apposed to celebration. Alcohol was banned this year, excellent move, although it couldn't explain the most disturbing event that came next... seeing John Howard walking through the crowd to cheers and jubilation like he was some sort of hero or celebrity. As most of you know, not mine, but it wasn't a time for taunts either so I bit my tongue. I can only hope the general reaction was a result of severe sleep depravation and heat exhaustion but I fear that the majority of people present thought little Johnny was the man of the day. After anybody who was anyone who wanted to lay a wreath, had done just we closed with the national anthem and began our walk back to the busses. On the way we passed the old trenches and took in the full expanse of the once battlefield, now national park, thankful that the Turkish people, particularly the former Turkish leader, Ataturk, had the heart and foresight to keep this a sacred place, making this annual pilgrimage possible for so many.