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Rundown for the Week of January 30, 2004

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This Week: Extreme Travel

This week, we're all about extreme travel: We talk to a woman who has literally swum in the frigid waters of Antarctica, we check in with people in the Mojave Desert who are doing things you shouldn't do at home -- or even on vacation -- and we go hunting in Mongolia with the help of golden eagles.

Photo: Kevin Rolly

Playing with Matches in the Mojave
by Rico Gagliano
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In the heart of the Mojave Desert lies Amboy Crater, the ancient remains of a volcano. Last summer, a group of friends braved a mile-long hike through 100-degree-plus heat to haul flammable liquids and fireworks into the crater -- and for one night, the volcano was active again. Rico Gagliano spends some time with high-energy travelers who get their kicks blowing things up.

Web resources
www.ca.blm.gov: Bureau of Land Management site all about Amboy Crater.
www.informationweek.com: article: "California Town Fails To Sell On eBay." In 2002, the town of Amboy was put up for auction on eBay. It remained there for six months, but failed to draw the minimum reserve bid.
www.localhikes.com: Hiking in Amboy Crater

Extreme Swimmer
an interview with Lynne Cox
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Lynne Cox is a swimmer who has set records in some of the most forbidding waters on the planet. She has held the record for the English Channel, she has swum around the Cape of Good Hope, and she has braved a mile in the 32-degree waters of Antarctica. Host Diana Nyad talks with Lynne, author of the new book "Swimming to Antarctica," about her extreme travels.

Web resources
www.npr.org: article on the NPR site with audio: "Rabid Reader: Lynne Cox, 'Swimming to Antarctica'"
www.ishof.org: Lynne Cox bio, on the International Swimming Hall of Fame site
www.active.com: article with audio on Lynne Cox, on the Active Radio site
Lynne's book Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer is available at Amazon.com. Your purchase helps support The Savvy Traveler.

The Kazakh Eagle Hunters
by Bernice Notenboom
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Let's go extreme hunting. Bernice Notenboom takes us to Mongolia where the hunt is on for small game. But the Kazakh hunters don't use hounds; they ride with the magnificent golden eagle as their hunting partners. Bernice tags along with Nomadic Expeditions as they get their horses and eagles prepped for the competition.

Savvy resource
Listen to the longer, full version of "The Kazakh Eagle Hunters"

Web resources
www.nomadicexpeditions.com: Nomadic Expeditions' "Golden Eagles of the Kazakhs" tour
www.frommers.com: article: "Soar with the Eagles: Mongolian Adventures for the Fit and Brave"
www.users.dircon.co.uk: article: "Mongolian Millennium," about traveling with the Kazakh eagle hunters

Related Savvy Traveler stories
Bird Watching in Tobago
Grouse Hunting in Scotland

Savvy Traveler stories about extreme travel:
Adventure Travel Via the Internet
The Extreme Side of Oregon
Extreme India
The Rush of the Rapids
Extreme Heli-Ski
The Call of the Wild, an interview about adventure travel

photo: S. Carrier
Visiting the Armpit of America
by Larry Massett

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Every year, lists come out of the top places to live in America. San Jose, for example, is on the latest list of safest places; San Diego almost always makes it onto the list of best-weather cities. But what tops the list of the least desirable place to live in the whole country? Contributor Larry Massett's goes to the "Armpit of America": Battle Mountain, Nev. Larry discovers the citizens of this town have a good sense of humor about it.

(Additional support for Larry Massett's story "In the Armpit of America" comes from
the Web site Hearing Voices and from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.)
Web resources:
www.nevadaweb.com: Info. on the town of Battle Mountain, Nev.
www.battlemountain.org: Battle Mountain Chamber of Commerce site
ourworld.compuserve.com: Report on how Battle Mountain got its name

Going Cross Country in 25 Minutes
an interview with Mike Rogers

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Driving across the country takes a long time. But what if you could do it in 25 minutes? Well, thanks to Mike Rogers, you can. Mike is an artist who rigged up a super-8 film camera on his truck's dashboard so it would shoot one frame every tenth of a mile as he traveled the interstates. His film makes you feel like you're rocketing across the landscape at an incredibly high speed. The List Visual Arts Center at MIT will be showing the film, called "Cross Country," starting this coming week. Host Diana Nyad talked with Mike when it was on exhibit in Santa Monica.

Sound Travels
Napoli Football Games

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It's Super Bowl time, so Sound Travels takes us to football games -- in Italy. At one, teenage girls and boys play with parents coaching from the sidelines. This one is European football, or American soccer, and it's the U.S. vs. the UK. At another, a flag-football game, a slice of America, is in progress. But both games are being played at a park inside a crater in an extinct volcano in Carney Park, outside of Naples, Italy. The U.S. government leases this recreational area for the military families stationed at NATO bases and other outposts in Naples.

Savvy resource: More "Sound Travels" segments

Traveler's Aid
Travel Security Update

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Joe Sharkey, the business travel columnist for "The New York Times," talks with host Diana Nyad and gives us his take on the Department of Homeland Security's controversial U.S. Visit program now at about 100 U.S. airports, on whether the TSA's Travel Sentry lock system is actually working, and on the companies that send your bag ahead of your trip.

Web resources
www.travelsentry.org: Info. on the TSA's Travel Sentry locks

Deal of the Week
New Route, Big Savings to New Zealand

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Over the years we've talked about the great airfare deals you can get when an airline inaugurates a new route -- and our dealmeister Rudy Maxa has details on a new bargain trip between San Francisco and Auckland.

Since Air New Zealand is about to begin service between San Francisco and Auckland, a round-trip ticket for travel between the end of June and Nov. 27th is just $747. That's nearly a 60 percent savings over the regular economy class fare, which would normally run about $1,800. Or, you can buy a business-class ticket for $2,747, round trip. And if you want to really stretch out, a first-class fare is $4,747.

Book between now and Feb. 13th by calling your travel agent, Air New Zealand or by visiting the airline online.

Web resources:
For info. on special fares to inaugurate Air New Zealand service between San Francisco and Auckland, call 800-369-6867 or visit www.airnewzealand.com.

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