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13 November, 2001

It is funny how traveling to the other side of the planet can influence an insomniac. Last night I sleep for fifteen hours! Therefore, I feel much more energetic than I did the previous day. Since it is summer time in New Zealand, I decided to walk to the center of town to catch my bus to the International Antarctic Centre. The walk to the bus station was very scenic becuase the pathway follows the River Avon, which is lined with grand weeping-willow trees. Stopping to read a plaque along the pathway, I learned that the willows were all grown from cuttings taken from the gravesite of Neapolian. The International Antarctic Centre is a hugh complex that houses administration and warehousing of the New Zealand, United States, and Italian Antarctic programs. It is from this location that I will be issued my Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear. All day long people just returning from the ice can be seen roaming around these faciliaties. At the entrance of the complex is a public museum with a Hagglund Antarctic snowmobile vehicle on display. These $500,000 machines are used for safely transporting people in the dangerous and harsh conditions found in Antarctica. Part of the lure of visiting the museum is getting to ride in the Hagglund through a "challanging" course, thereby giving you a taste of the type of terrain these impressive machines are capable of traversing.

Hagglund Vehicle Used in Antarctic Environments

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