To prepare for the harsh conditions ahead, Benedict first makes contact with the Tsaatan or 'reindeer herders' who have lived in the Siberian icelands of the north for centuries. Armed with skills gleaned from these hardy people, a varied group of Mongol camels and horses, and a skilled horseman, he launches out on his five-month trek. But it is not long before the journey begins to take its toll. On reaching Kazakh country, Benedict's trusted animals are fatally attacked by biting flies. Forced to assemble a fresh team, and with no time to train or test it, he presses on to the final and most arduous leg of his journey, a 1000-mile lone crossing of the Gobi Desert. Battling against time, sub-zero temperatures, uncertain water supplies and his mutinous camels, Benedict's resolve is tested to the limit as he struggles on at 30 miles a day to avoid the imminent onset of the notorious Mongolian winter.
Illustrated throughout in color, Edge of Blue Heaven presents a vivid picture of this fascinating country and is as much a tribute to one of the world's few remaining nomadic peoples as it is to the tension and drama of travel at its most demanding.