Tonight the final episode of 'The Trail Of Genghis Khan' will be aired on ABC2. 'The Final Frontier' reflects on the final chapter of my journey as I travelled over the high summer pastures of the Carpathians, came to know the Hutsul people (I was taken under the wing of Ivan Ribruk the priest who blessed all my animals and I for the high mountain crossings), Tigon came of age, and finally we reached Hungary where memory of the nomadic past was more live than I had ever imagined. After three and a half years on the road, my three horses, Tigon and I made the last few steps to the Danube river as Autumn broke. It was a time of immense feeling - loss, triumph, completeness, sadness.
If you or your friends have not seen any episodes yet, then this is the one to recommend. I still find it incredible that I was able to complete the journey in this way with everything held together by a thread, and the spirit and support of hundreds of people.
After crossing the high ridge, Tim continues across the high plains where he loses his way, but meets a group of toughened, young sheep-milking boys. The friendliness among these mountain people is in contrast to the reception Tim receives in the villages near the border of Hungary. In a land where there is more grass that he has seen on his journey, no one is prepared to give him hay or let his horses graze.
After a bureaucratic battle on the border, Tim is welcomed by some Hungarian horsemen who escort him to the Danube and put him up in a traditional yurt tent.
At the Danube Tim’s journey is finally over – this is the end of the steppe and the end of the nomad world. The first crossing of the steppe on horseback in modern times has caught the attention of the world media, and ambassadors from Australia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia line up to greet Tim for an emotional finale.
Tim has learnt to measure his experience by the hundreds of friends he has made along the way, and is now a different man than he was when he began three and a half years earlier having set off with an impossible dream.
For those who missed out on seeing the whole series, the DVD is available, with all six episodes and extras. After finishing the film, I spent four years writing a book about the experience which was published worldwide by Bloomsbury.
OFFICIAL SUMMARY OF EPISODE
After mourning the loss of his father, Australian adventurer Tim Cope returns to continue his journey and now has to face the greatest physical challenge – crossing the highest peaks of the Carpathian Mountains. Beyond them lies the Danube River, which represents the end of the Eurasian steppe and the very edge of the nomad world.