Circumnavigation Altai Golden Mountains for the first time in modern history. On horseback and camel. 4 countries. 1500 km. 100+ days.


Arita Baaijens,  explorer, writer, biologist, fellow RGS, Explorers Club, LRG, WINGS.      Wayne Poulsen, LRG, mountaineer, ski historian, rode a horse before he could walk


Altai Mountain Range in the heart of Central Asia. A maze of mountain forests, canyons, glaciers and lush valleys. Biodiversity hotspot. Unesco World Heritage Site.  Cradle of shamanism. Spreading centre of languages, cultures, human genes. Spiritual homeland of the peoples in the region.


Many legends and stories picture the Altai as a place where heaven & earth meet. Some  whisper that Shambhala can be found there. The rumour triggered Arita’s curiosity. Off she went, in search for Paradise.


Arita did an experiment. She made a map on a big leather skin. It shows the relation between human perception and the natural surroundings. Topography of the mind & topography of the physical world, see map.


We do not always appreciate differences in culture and world views. Strange, we think. But ‘strange’ does not equal ‘nonsense’. This journey is about Wonder, Curiousity, celebrating Diversity and Human Potential.