Manon Ossevoort Will Drive To The South Pole On A Tractor

You have might have heard of Manon “Tractor Girl” Ossevoort before: She once drove a tractor the length of Africa. Today, the Dutch adventurer is setting out to complete her decade-long dream of driving a tractor all the way to the South Pole.

The 38-year-old former theater actress will gear up in Arctic-wear and spend around 12 hours a day in the seat of her huge red Massey Ferguson MF 5610 tractor. She will make a 4,500-kilometer (2,900 miles) round trip across the largest single mass of ice on earth, and what she likes to call the “end of the world.”

The trek will start at Russia’s Novo base on the edge of Antarctica and will reach the South Pole and back. In between, Ossevoort will face hostile and freezing conditions, hypothermia, frostbite, sastrugi ridges, and disorienting whiteouts, as well as deadly crevasses, all the while hoping to reach 10 to 20 kilometers an hour.

This is how she describes her journey:

“As a theatre maker I came up with a plan for a journey. A journey of a little girl on a tractor. A journey to the end of the world, and back. But what is the end of the world? If I was a child, I would say: the South Pole! As an adult I said: the worst war-country I can imagine. Both voices, The one of the child and the one of the adult, said: We want to go! Then I thought: All right, we’ll just do that.”

Manon Ossevoort Will Drive To The South Pole On A Tractor  - ClapwayPhoto Courtesy of facebook.com/TheTractorGirl/

Nine years ago in 2005, Ossevoort drove from her home village in Holland to Cape Town at the southern edge of Africa where she missed the boat that was due to take her to Antarctica to conclude her trip. The next four years were spent in frustration: writing, working, and most importantly, desperately trying to get back on a tractor to accomplish her initial goal.

Today, with sponsorship from Massey-Ferguson and other companies, Ossevoort will finally fulfill her long-held dream. With her, she’ll carry thousands of ‘dreams’ collected from people in Africa and around the world: The ‘dreams’ – scraps of paper and emails – have been converted into digital form and will be placed inside the stomach of a large snowman she plans to build once she reaches the pole. The snowman will serve as a time capsule, to be opened only in 80 years time.

Manon Ossevoort Will Drive To The South Pole On A Tractor - ClapwayPhoto Courtesy of facebook.com/TheTractorGirl/

Previously, Ossevoort had traveled alone through Africa. But this time, French mechanic Nicolas Bachelet will join her, as the tractor will need to push forward day and night in order to make efficient progress. An additional six others will join them, including a crew who will film the entire journey for a documentary.

Together, they hope to accomplish 100 to 200 kilometres (60-120 miles) a day in an ambitious effort to complete the trip in just four to six short weeks.

The expedition – dubbed Antarctica 2 – will officially begin on November 21st.

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