World Travel Watch: Striptease at Uluru, Ongoing Strikes in Greece and More
World Travel Watch: Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news
06.30.10 | 12:11 PM ET
World Travel Watch is a weekly report designed to help you make informed judgments about travel. Conditions can change overnight, so always make your own inquiries before you leave home. The U.S. State Department and embassies or consulates are good places to start.
Australia: Anangu People Get Another Reason to Prohibit Climbing of Uluru
Aboriginal owners of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the land around it have another reason to demand that visitors be prohibited from climbing the famous sandstone formation: A French woman did a striptease down to her boots, bikini bottoms and cowboy hat because she wanted to see the site “in a way I’m going to remember.” Her performance was caught, naturally, on video by a friend for all the world to see. The rock is sacred territory to the Anangu people and for years they have asked tourists to admire and respect it from a distance but to refrain from climbing it. Last year the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board of management recommended climbing be stopped, but tour operators complained and the rock remains open for the foreseeable future.
Ecuador: Tungurahua Volcano near Baños Calms Down
Seismic activity at Tungurahua volcano 80 miles from Quito near Baños has diminished significantly in the past few weeks, prompting Ecuadorian authorities to reduce the warning level from orange to yellow and the U.S. Embassy in Quito to lift its notice to avoid the area around the volcano. Small explosions and emissions continue but without large amounts of ash. Things could change, however, and the volcano heat up again, so caution is advised.
Greece: 24-Hour Strikes Continue to Disrupt Travel and Transport
More strikes against austerity measures paralyzed Greece June 29, raising the question of whether the almost-weekly 24-hour shutdowns will continue throughout the summer and blow a hole in the country’s tourism industry. Tourism brings in 20 percent of Greece’s national income and the strikes have shut down the port at Piraeus, essentially stopping ferry service throughout the islands and stranding hordes of tourists. A debate in parliament over the proposed financial reforms was underway and expected to take more than a week, with the strikers hoping to put enough pressure on legislators that they’ll abandon the bill.
Haiti: Armed Robberies Targeting Passengers from U.S. Prompts Warning
A number of recent robberies of travelers arriving from the U.S. at Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport prompted the U.S. Embassy to warn visitors to be careful when arranging transport from the airport. Four U.S. citizens were killed in separate robberies over the last three months in three different locations when criminals followed them from the airport and attacked when they had left the area. Police believe the criminals may be targeting passengers on flights from the U.S. The Americans who were killed were all arriving to visit relatives. The U.S. State Department also reissued a travel warning strongly advising Americans to avoid travel to Haiti.
Honduras: Spike in Dengue Fever Raises Alert
Health authorities raised a red alert for dengue fever after 10 people died and some 11,000 contracted the mosquito-borne disease. Of the total cases, 461 are the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, and the main victims are under 19 years of age. Classic dengue fever is a serious viral disease that causes high fever, intense headaches and muscle pain, gastro-intestinal problems and rashes. Hemorrhagic dengue can also produce internal bleeding. The only sure way to avoid the disease is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.