Wednesday, April 25, 2007

No Respect

While many of my peers have been out and about today doing their patriotic duty at ANZAC Day commemorations I, as usual, have ignored it completely.

For those readers not of Antipodean origin ANZAC Day is a public holiday in NZ and Australia to remember those that have died fighting for their country. Originally it was more centred around World War One and the Gallipoli Campaign.

The official line is that Gallipoli was where New Zealand started to develop a sense of nationhood. Unfortunately in reality it was thousands of young men's lives being profligately thrown away by incompetent British Generals in a war that had little relevance to New Zealand. The bonds of mother England have a lot to answer for really.

Anyway instead of honouring the dead I wen mountainbiking in a new area I've just discovered - Belmont Forest Park.

I knew I was onto a good thing when I found this gem of a single trail winding its way out of a narrow wee valley.

While it's not exactly an easy incline to ride up it turned out to be pretty manageable. Getting to the top the track branched out onto a farm 4wd track and was pretty cruisy.

The view wasn't bad either.

You can't really see it too clearly in this picture, but that's actually Wellington off in the distance at the top centre. Lower Hutt would be off to the left out of sight (and bloody good riddance too!) over a ridgeline.

The farm roads go for absolutely miles. I spent a couple of hours trundling along ridgelines and dipping into hidden valleys and I've barely scratched the surface off the place.

Oh and in keeping with the whole ANZAC Day motif I took this shot especially for the occasion.

Those indistinct gray blodges to the upper right are actually old ammunition bunkers left over from World War Two. The place is riddled with them.

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