Earlier this month we came across the adventures of Tim Cope, and thought they would be well worth sharing with you!
By his early-mid 20s, Tim’s passion for our planet had already taken him 4500km in a leaking wooden rowboat through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean a world first expedition down the length of the Yenisey River, and pushed him for 14 Months on a bicycle across Russia, Siberia, Mongolia and China. Not content with that, Tim set off in 2004 on a 10000 mile horseback journey from Mongolia to Hungary, seeking to see the world through the eyes of the nomads who have roamed these remote lands for centuries. Mongolia today is a unique and wild land where the nomadic lifestyle has more or less survived intact. Cycling through Mongolia on his previous expedition, Tim was awe-struck by the passing horsemen who harked back to a forgotten world of mounted warriors, and by the incredible freedom that they travelled with. With their collapsible felt tents, these horsemen once lived a nomadic existence right across the breadth of the Eurasian steppe from Mongolia to Hungary. By traveling on horseback through the very conditions that shaped these once nomadic world leaders, Tims aim was to learn about the nomad way of life and imagine what it might have been like for a Mongol leaving his home on the steppe and arriving in Europe.Over 4 summers and 3 winters, battling temperatures ranging from -50 to +54 celsius, Tim and his horses traversed high ice capped Altai mountains, arctic-like wilderness on the ‘Starving Steppe’ of Kazakhstan, Camel country in the burning heat of Kazakhstan deserts, the spectacular black sea coast of Crimea, the forested craggy peaks of the Carpathians and finally the plains of Hungary where the Eurasian Steppe gives way to the temperate climate of Europe. Not a bad effort for someone who hardly knew how to ride a horse when he set out!Intriguingly it was from this dramatic and largely empty landscape that came one of the greatest world leaders of all time: Genghis Khan. The Mongol Empire at its height stretched from China to Iraq, Poland to Indonesia, and to this day remains as the largest empire in history. It is amazing to think that half the world’s population live in lands conquered by Genghis Khan and the Mongols. The Eurasian steppe and nomadism has always remained alien, a black hole on the very edge of the European consciousness. Perhaps it is due to this that the average European today knows little more about the people of Eurasia and the Mongol Empire than our ancestors did 800 years ago when mounted hordes were threatening to take over the entire known world. If this whets your appetite for spending a bit of time in Mongolia, may we introduce you to one of our latest members, the Ger to Ger Foundation. They are an award winning initiative that will help you arrange trekking and horse riding trips through rural and remote regions of Mongolia accompanied by and staying with local nomad families.2 years ago, Tim completed this epic crossing to great applause, and is currently back in Australia working on a film series of his journey, to be released in Australia on 28th July, but already out in Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria. Check out the preview video below. He is also working on a book about the Eurasian nomads (to be released in 2011), and a children’s story book about his traveling dog companion, Tigon. National Geographic Adventure Honoree 2007 and Australian Adventurer of the year 2006, Tim also speaks fluent Russian, and also guides in Antarctica, Siberia, and Mongolia. In the spirit of a true explorer, Tim has always used his epic experiences to understand better the people that live along his route and to interact directly with the elements and the ground he travels. These experiences have been recorded in film and image on Tims website, where you can also buy his previous books.An inspiring and intruiging set of adventures if ever we saw them. Best of luck Tim.
If you are planning a trekking holiday yourself, then have a look at our trekking holidays page!