by Lindsay Quayle
(Isle of Man UK )
I visited Ayers Rock in 1984, before it became a huge visitor centre. There was one hotel, still being finshed off, and contact for bookings was by telegraph.
I was "lucky" enough to climb it, and it is a treasured memory, but in those days I was ignorant of what the Aboriginal people felt about it. Since then I have learned more and would dearly love to visit The Rock again. However, after reading your article and what I know now, I would refrain from climbing it again as I have a lot of respect for the Aboriginal people and their culture.
I walked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu last year. You are only allowed by Permit now as the Peruvians want to preserve the trail for future generations. Perhaps the Aussie government could do the same, no more climbs, but guided tours of the rock from the ground. It is still an amazing experience to see this gigantic Rock and know its history. There is always helicopter and light aircraft flights for those who want to see the top.
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