Mongolia has changed remarkably little since the days of its medieval hero, the warlord Genghis Khan. Famed for its cloudless blue skies, it is a country of varied terrain: icy mountains and lakes, windblown steppe, wolf and bear forests and vast desert. This beautiful, in parts almost uninhabitable, landscape becomes home to the author Benedict Allen as he travels by horse and camel from the forests of Siberia, across the open plains of the Mongolian steppe and on alone through the Gobi Desert.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.