By Markian Hawryluk
From 2004 to 2007, Tim Cope traveled the entire length of the Eurasian steppe on horseback, a 6,000 miles journey not undertaken since the days of Genghis Khan. A book detailing the journey, “On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An epic journey through the Lands of the Nomads” will be released in September 2013.
He was accompanied only by his dog, Tigon, on the 6,000 mile journey, enduring temperatures from -52 to 54 degrees Celsius, crossed glacier and deserts, battled wolves and thieves and encountered incredible hospitality along the way.
Cope’s journey required the use of 13 horses - several were stolen along the way. Starting in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, he crossed into the plains of Kazakhstan, the high alpine pastures of the Tien Shan and Pamirs of Kyrgyzstan, then through the Kyzylkum desert to the Aral Sea.
Crossing into Russia, the traversed Ukraine along the coast of the Black Sea to the Danube River and into Hungary.
Cope, 35 of Victoria, Australia, has ridden a bicycle across Russia to China, rowed a boat along the Yenisey River through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean and annually guides treks to remote areas of western Mongolia for World Expeditions.
Cope says on his website that he was inspired by wild horsemen he met while struggling through the sands on the Gobi desert on bicycle on his way to Beijing.
“I was inspired by the free spirit of these nomadic people who live in a world without boundaries,” he said. “I couldn’t (help) wondering: did the nomad spirit still exist among the nations scattered across the steppes? Could I become a nomad and re-ride the same trails that mounted warriors had travelled on their journeys to Europe? When I set out to live this dream there was one small problem: I could not ride a horse.”
#Cope #Mongolia #longriders #Trek
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