Tim Cope : Following the Route of Ghengis Khan by Horseback
Tim Cope, 2006 recipient of Australian Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year Award, traveled with Colin Angus in 2001 as part of a team attempting to complete the first full descent of the Yenisey River.
Hailing from Gippsland, Australia Tim is currently undertaking an even more arduous and dangerous journey: an attempt to follow the route of Ghengis Khan from Mongolia to Hungary on horseback. Tim has been trekking solo with his two horses and a dog for three years now, and has covered more than eight thousand km through Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. When he completes his equine adventure, Tim will be the first in modern history to retrace the route of Ghengis Khan’s armies entirely by horseback.
(courtesy of timcopejourneys.com)
The vast steppe of central Asia is a region that has always been on the very fringes of western consciousness. Indefinable, mysterious, a middle earth tucked between the taiga of the north and the world’s greatest mountain chains in the south, it continues to stir imagination. In June 2004, pursuing his passion for adventure Tim Cope will embark on a journey throughout this realm of mountains, steppe, deserts, and nomads. He will travel from Mongolia to Hungary by horse, foot, and camel- a route not successfully completed since Ghengis Khan and his descendants created the largest empire in history more than 700 years ago.
A testing journey of 10,000km and more than three years, it will take him into the lives of the nomads still living today, and in the footsteps of those passed into legend. In particular it will follow the Khan Empire that stretched as far west as Hungary. What better way to understand this region than to experience it from the saddle, among the locals, intoxicated by the borderless steppe and taste of fermented mare’s milk?
From Mongolia’s majestic Altai Mountains Tim will cross into the plains of Kazakhstan, the high alpine pastures of the Tien Shan and Pamirs in Kyrgyzstan, then head westward on the fringes of the Kyzylkum desert to the dying Aral Sea where horses will be traded for camels. From here it will be across the steppe out of the wilderness into Russia where a horse and cart will be used onward into the Ukraine along the fertile coastland of the Black sea.
Finally he will cross the Carpathian Mountains into Hungary. From nomad heartland of Mongolia to civilized Europe where eight lane highways and cities abound it will be a unique look at the surviving legacies of the Mongols, the stories and issues of the current-day descendants, and how it must have felt as a steppe-dweller arriving at the end of his world and observing the oddity of sedentary life. At the heart of this will be Tim’s personal story as he strives to live a dream in the face of an epic adventure…first he has to learn to ride a horse!
Where is Tim Now?
Tim is nearing the end of the expedition. Unfortunately, the tragic and sudden death of his father has resulted in an expedition hiatus, and Tim is currently in Australia spending time with his family. He will be returning to his horses in mid March.
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