Actress and adventurer Manon Ossevoort is back in Cape Town on her way back to Holland. The last time she visited the Mother City she was still headed for the frozen continent. She hadn't yet successfully completed the 5000km trip to the pole and back on a 3.3 litre Massey Ferguson 5610 tractor...
Now she recalls her arrival at Novolazarevskaya Station, Russia’s Antarctic research base - it's inhabitants did not rate her chances of driving the machine to the South Pole and back too highly.
But she has proved her detractors wrong. Rather, she has returned with ample material for the children's book she plans to write about the experience.
When asked by Africa Melane why she would try something like this - the answer was simple...
At the age of 24, being an actress theatre-maker, I created a story about dreams and doing. At 24 I was most surprised about people having such beautful dreams, but so few putting them into action. So I created a story about a seemingly impossible dream - of a girl going all the way to the South Pole on a tractor!— Manon Ossevoort
My biggest lesson learned was here in Africa. Life always throws you challenges and obstacles, always with bad timing, and its unfair - but if you know that that is the reality of life and that it happens to every one of us, and accept that, you can bounce back more quickly and move on.— Manon Ossevoort
While she said the expedition had proved really challenging, for the final leg of the trip - Ossevoort used a more modern Massey Ferguson. The heating system and larger tyres coming in handy in the sub-zero conditions!
She also met a dog along the way... the perfect travel companion!
It took 3 and a half years to traverse the African continent on her tractor. In that time Manon amassed 1000's of pieces of paper containing dreams of people. With those she decorated a snowman at the South Pole and photographed it - a photo she says she will post on her website closer to Christmas.
Listen to Manon Ossevoort's full interview with Africa Melane here -
For more information visit www.thetractorgirl.com or www.antarctica2.com
Or watch Manon's 2012 TEDx Talk here: