The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave rise to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Among them were the Mongols of the thirteenth century - a small tribe, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life nomads still lead today, Tim Cope embarked on a journey that hadn't been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary. From horse-riding novice to travelling three years and 10,000 kilometres on horseback, accompanied by his dog Tigon, Tim learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. Along the way, he was taken in by people who taught him the traditional ways and told him their recent history: Stalin's push for industrialisation brought calamity to the steepe and forced collectivism that in Kazakhstan alone led to the loss of several million livestock and the starvation of more than a million nomads. Today Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang precariously in the balance in the post-Soviet world.
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Tim Cope, F.R.G.S., is an adventurer, author, filmmaker and motivational speaker with a special interest in Central Asia and the states of the former Soviet Union. He has studied as a wilderness guide in the Finnish and Russian subarctic, ridden a bicycle across Russia to China, and rowed a boat along the Yenisey River through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean. He is the author of Off the Rails: Moscow to Beijing on Recumbent Bikes. He is the creator of several documentary films, including the award-winning series 'The Trail of Genghis Khan', which covers the journey of this book. He lives in Victoria, Australia. www.timcopejourneys.comReview:
Tim Cope is a wise young man who knows how to travel, and why, and which details to record for the delight and enlightenment of his readers. I suspect that here we have a classic, likely to inspire generations yet unborn Dervla Murphy Tim Cope's exploration across the continents on horseback grew into a quest through history and then an odyssey deep into the human heart. In exploring some of the most remote places on earth, he brings us back to ourselves and to a better understanding of our place in the world today Jack Weatherford, author of Genghis Khan: And the Making of the Modern World Three years, 10,000km and -30 C temperatures: Tim Cope's horseback traverse of the Eurasian Steppe - Mongolia to Hungary - is full of hardship, characters and insights ... It's a big undertaking for readers too, but it opens up a vast, little-trodden world of history, danger and adventure Wanderlust It is the ultimate boy's own adventure. In an epic 6,000 mile journey on horseback, lasting for more than three gruelling years, Tim Cope braved dangers, scorching deserts, subzero mountain temperatures and some of the world's most inhospitable terrain. Most of us would not survive even a day in the windswept wilderness and wolf-infested plateaux of Mongolia and Kazakhstan, but Cope was determined to follow a childhood dream Dalya Alberge, Sunday Times One of the most vibrant and engaging narrators you might find ... It is a vast journey enjoyably meandering in an age of Twitter soundbites ... By turns informative, gripping and very moving: a major endeavour, which flings off the straightjacket of its sub-genre and stands (or rides) alone Joanna Kavenna, Spectator Reading On The Trail, it is impossible to not get swept up in Tim's infectious sense of adventure. His story is an amazing one, but he also approaches it in such a way that you'll think that it might be possible for you to attempt an epic adventure of your own. That's the kind of inspiration that Tim creates through his writing TheAdventureBlog New book inspires Mongolia visits: Intrepid travellers looking for destinations that are genuinely off the beaten track have been inspired by a new book by the Australian adventurer Tim Cope in which he describes a journey by horseback following in the steps of the legendary Genghis Khan Adrian Bridge, Daily Telegraph I can honestly say that I've never read anything quite like it before ... With its interleaving of heart-on-the-sleeve personal narrative, shrewd modern observation and historical background Tim Severin The best way to travel, to see and understand a country, is on a horse of camel. Time Cope carries the art of long-distance riding to a new extreme in a feat comparable to that of the great Tschiffely as he goes On the Trail of Genghis Khan some 6,200 miles from Mongolia to Hungary. This young Australian writes confidently about his epic adventure, which lasted three years and followed the route taken by the Mongol hordes as they reached Europe and almost conquered it. He has barely ridden a horse before he set off and this story is really the tale of the creation of a serious long-distance rider, fluent in Russian and capable of making close friends Country Life
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