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Friday, 27 September 2013

On the Trail of Genghis Khan

Written by Antoinette Marie
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Just as it says on its book cover, On the Trail of Genghis Khan, An Epic Journey through the Land of the Nomads by Tim Cope is indeed precisely that, epic. From the very first sentence one is swept into Tim Cope’s journey to walk 6,000 miles, the same miles Genghis Khan walked many years before. This proves not to be the easiest task yet it becomes a rewarding experience, one he and the reader will not forget. He will take you from Mongolia to Russia all the way to Hungary. Each land and the lands in between bring its own challenge. He did this on the back of a horse and his dog for three years.  And he did this alone. By alone he started this with just his dog, that’s not to say he didn’t meet interesting and unforgettable people along the way. By the end of his trek he became a hero to the people from these lands.

What became a deep appreciation to the way Tim Cope retold his story was how he let me into his world, not just what he experienced but also how it had an effect on his mental and emotional state. There was also the element of small morsels of history mixed throughout to give me a glimpse into the history of the world he was now walking through and of the nomads that lived there. It was done in a way I didn’t get bored with the information; it only highlighted and gave backbone to an already rich story. He tells the reader the reasons why he decided spend three years away from friends and family and what he learns from it. How he worries when he goes home whether the people in his life still accept him or if he changed so much they won’t recognize the “new” him.

Throughout his three year journey on horseback he faced many obstacles such as losing his horses only do get them back, the people he met along the way and how they changed his journey making it an experience he’ll never forget and the small things that make it epic. During his travels he is fortunate to watch a wedding in Kopa.  He must learn how to ward of wolves and stay warm during the winter months, and how he is invited into Khans palace.

I’ve noticed the multitude of books at my bookstore that has someone trekking for many miles and finding wisdom by the end. Some are wonderful books that are a must read like Wild. To say this book is one not to be missed would be an understatement.  It is full of detailed scenery, a beautiful written memoir and pictures to depict the experience. While it’s not about personal change per say, it still breathes of someone who sought out a dream and came back with so much more.

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