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On the Trail of Genghis Khan

by Tim Cope

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.

‘One of the greatest journeys of modern times’ Australian Geographic

‘This is a staggering travel adventure, beautifully recounted, by an amazing man.’ Peter FitzSimons

About Tim Cope

Tim Cope is an award-winning adventurer, author, and filmmaker. He has been a wilderness guide in the Finnish and Russian subarctic, ridden a bicycle across Russia to China, and rowed through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean. His book On the Trail of Genghis Khan accompanies the ABC documentary series The Trail of Genghis Khan, which was the Banff Mountain Film Festival People's Choice Award Winner 2011. Tim was the Australian Adventurer of the Year in 2006 and a National Geographic Honoree (USA) in 2008.


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