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Australian Geographic Offers Additional Support to see Tim to Hungary ...

When Tim set out in May of 2004 from Australia to ride by horse from Mongolia to Hungary he could never have imagined the trials, tribulations and special experiences that lay ahead. Bureaucracy, extreme landscapes with a climate ranging from –52 to 54 degrees Celsius, and endless mishaps with horses and dog have stretched the journey out to more then two years- and he still has almost 2000km to trek. True, as the nomads have told him again and again ‘why rush?’ ‘If you do rush you are bound for problems and the reason for your trip will be lost.’ Yet financial strains have become a real issue as Tim enters Europe and have potentially threatened the outcome of the journey. Acknowledging this Australian Geographic has come to the aid with additional support that should see Tim through to Budapest. This funding will enable Tim to complete the most important focus of the journey- researching the condition of the Eurasian steppe and its nomad past and present. This has so far encompassed life of the various Mongol groups, Kazakhs, Kalmiks, Cossacks, Karakalpaks, Nogais, and Crimean Tatars. These are people who are all linked by a past of life on the steppe yet are flung right across the Eurasian continent. Hundreds of interviews and days spent with ordinary people have given Tim unique insight and valuable material for a book and documentary film. In the latter part of this year Tim will be the first person in living memory to complete a ride by horse from Mongolia to Hungary, and this in the 800th year celebrations of the Empire of Ghengis Khaan. Iridium, with its satellite solutions has also extended its support of Tim, allowing Tim to stay in contact at all times from the steppe and provide interviews, and constant updates for his website. A general thanks also goes out to all sponsors including Internetrix who have managed and designed Tim’s site, Mountain Designs with outdoor clothing and gear, Saxtons speaking Bureau, and Odyssey travel. Tim is currently in the Crimea making his way through the mountainous region near the coast where nomads used to migrate to from as far as Moldavia in old times. He has spent a lot of time with Crimean Tatars learning about their past and culture, and particularly how they have coped with the effects of the 1944 deportations to Central Asia. They were effectively the only deported nationality who were not allowed to return to their homeland until 1989 and the beginning of Perestroika. Recently Tim held a successful press conference in Semfiropol supported by the Ministry for Culture, namely by Deputy Minister Ismet Zaatov. The support all round has been overwhelming, not to speak of the hospitality that has kept time and alive and bubbling for the entire length of the trip so far!