To climb, or not to climb Uluru? Wayne wanted to, I didn’t! *insert heated discussed here* As a child, whenever I dreamed about visiting Ayers Rock it always included me climbing to the top. When I grew up, this didn’t change. I figured if I was fit enough, I would give it a go. When I met Wayne, he felt exactly the same and we couldn’t wait to tick the Climb off our bucket lists. But something changed! When we began to research our Red Centre Adventure, I read so many articles and found myself diving into Aboriginal history. Ashlee was learning about our land, the ‘white man’ and dream time and I found myself wanting to know more. The more I read about Uluru and the makings of Yulara, the more I started to sway against doing the climb. A few months before we left I broke the news to Wayne. I will not be climbing the Rock…and…I don’t think you should either! Well, you can imagine how that comment went down. What followed were some heated conversations which struck a chord for both of us. Despite being confronting, I loved that we could communicate how we felt. We listened and we respected each other’s opinion. the idea of doing this with her Dad outweighed any argument I might have. Her young mind was set – I believed it was set on making her Dad proud, she was 8! This had nothing to do with the Aboriginal people, this was a little girl who wanted to do something with her Dad. Geez…this was a tough one. I put forward my case: “She is too young, it is dangerous, I really don’t think she should, when she gets older she can decide”. So did he: “She will be fine, I will be with her, our friends younger than Ash have done it”. This went around and around right up to us arriving in Yulara. I told Wayne that I wanted her to read all the signage at the rock BEFORE she climbed and I voiced very strongly that I was not happy. Wayne wanted her to make the decision, so right up to getting out of the car we were not too sure which way this could go. (I think in the back of my mind I would pull the MUM card if I needed to…lol). I got out of the car and saw all the people clambering up the rock face and my heart sank. My gut feeling was right, I really was dead against climbing. My belief was based around a gut feeling and all the information that Dr Google had given me; the Aboriginal people didn’t want me to climb it and I respected that! It was dangerous, 36 people have died. I got it and my decision was made. Wayne’s belief was very simple: “I have always wanted to climb it so I will. The Rock is Australian and I am Australian so I have a right to climb it.” In the end, he was very firm with his decision and I with mine. All good… until… Ashlee decided that she wanted to climb it with Daddy!! My stomach lurched….crap! He said YES…I said NO! I am not sure why, but this thought made me feel sick to the tummy. After everything Ashlee was learning at school I really thought she would decline. However, page 07 We wandered over to the massive signs at the base of the climb and I made Ashlee read it all. “Mum, can you really die?” “Why don’t they want us to climb”. The more we talked about it all, the more upset I found I was getting.