A ramble on Anzac Day
her presence, and I put her back on her leash. The rising sun, glorious in its ANZAC memories invites us down the hill. A distant bugler’s Last Post drifts across Glen Innes below.
We drop down
Apirana Reserve, into
Eastview, then Taniwha, and along Tom Court
Memorial Walkway in
Maybury Reserve, a grand avenue of firey gold and orange trees saluting us. We are then confronted with a construction site: the council is working on drainage and stream rejuvenation. “Find a path” I command Bonnie, who jumps into the creek. Improvising, we push around through tall wet grass, emerging on Elstree Ave, just short of the Glen Innes swimming pool.
Its vacant carpark is a memorial to days of human contact and hurried fitness. We discover a lake behind, teaming with birdlife: mallard ducks just sitting, juvenile gulls learning to fly, kingfisher slyly surveying the scene and two herons standing guard on a log. Indignant plovers screech in protest at Bonnie, while a squadron
times up the same route, past the waka ama jetty, waving to intense rowing crews from local colleges. “You have to touch the motorway bridge with your paddle” I tell my kayaking partners: “for the journey to count”.
Once a pod of dolphins emerged and then they were gone. I survey this sparkling body of water: it is eerily quiet. No movement. Boats sit lifeless in the still morning air, tied up in the channel over at Half Moon Bay.
The sandspit of Tahuna Torea draws me, a band of white sand, layered over with dark green pohutukawa separating ocean and sky. Teaming with birdlife, dogs aren’t allowed, so I turn up the hill amongst the houses. I walk now by intuition, searching for a gap-in-the-fence back down to the coastal track.
I find a path off Vista Crescent, but No Dogs Allowed. “Your registration fees pay for those signs”, I inform Bonnie. We circle down to Roberta Reserve, to discover it is an “off leash” area. “I take it back”, I apologise, and Bonnie races for the water. I look longingly at the closed patisserie on Roberta Avenue: in better days this will be a good breakfast stop.
The tide is lapping the rock wall, and I ask a local if I could have come down the Vista Crescent walkway to the coastal track. “Oh yes, and there’s a nice little beach there for the dog”, he replies. His white Labrador greets my black Labrador. We keep two metres apart.
Bonnie and I stick to the coast and head around past the Glendowie Boat Club: the road becomes a pathway of concrete slabs pushed up at awkward angles by old pohutukawa roots. There are stairs down to secluded scraps of beach on my right.