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Calling in from the highland nomad pastures of the Crimean Mountains ...

A very quick email from the Crimea and apologies to readers for being out of touch for so long. I have been one month without internet access coupled by technical problems with my satellite phone. The last two weeks have been spent finding a path through the forested mountains, and grassy plateaux of the Crimean Mountains. With a local named Sergei we have taken the horses through forest that borders on jungle and at times reminds me strongly of the Australian Alps with never ending ridges and valleys where you just get swallowed by the immensity of the forest. Often hacking away fallen trees from old roman roads and nomad routes Sergei and I finally made our way up onto the Karabi Jalaiu from where mist comes steaming up 1200m from the Black Sea below often blotting out visibility on the highlands. In earlier times nomads from as far away as Moldavia used to migrate to these highlands in the summer to escape the heat and graze their animals in the rich alpine pasture. One day I woke in the forest to discover two horses missing and found them in the valley 500 metres below. Tigon has been loving the new scenery and has been darting round the slopes like a mountain goat. Last night we came down from the mountains and thismorning I had a quick wash in a well before coming to semfiropol for a meeting with the minister for culture. Next Tuesday there will be a press conference about the journey here in the capital of Crimea. I am hoping to continue the journey to Bakchisarai the former capital of the crimean Khaanate, and then finally from there make my way into proper Ukraine across the steppe to the Carpathians. Still a long way to go on this journey that never seems to end. Will I be facing my third winter on horseback or not? Signing off. Will send photos ASAP. Tim.