Australian adventurer Tim Cope continues his amazing journey across the Eurasian steppe from Mongolia to Hungary.
With a perilous winter approaching, Tim must now cross Kazakhstan, the largest nomad nation on Earth stretching thousands of kilometres through rugged mountains, desolate steppe and desert to the Caspian Sea.
Tim is forced to leave his Mongolian horses behind, and after buying three new Kazakh mounts finds himself in the midst of a Zhude, the harsh winters that sweep across Eurasia every few years wiping out entire herds and encasing the land in ice.
A local man named Aset befriends Tim and accompanies him for the first ten days of this part of his journey. Deeply concerned about Tim’s safety, Aset gives his dog, Tigon, a young Kazakh hunting dog, to Tim. Tigon’s job is to protect Tim from wolves and keep him warm at night.
As the coldest winter in 40 years closes in, Tim heads south to escape the deep snow and is forced to travel along a remote railway where one of his horses is stolen by vodka-swilling rail workers. The temperature plummets to minus 40 degrees, his tent is breaking up – it’s a miserable Christmas Eve.
Desperate for shelter, Tim seeks refuge in an isolated mining town. Tigon is stolen and Tim is beginning to understand why the town is known locally as ‘the place that God forgot’.