In the late 1980s, Christina Dodwell moves from a Greek Easter into a chilly Eastern Turkish spring, not improved for the cold and hungry traveller by the fairly strict observance of Ramadan. Retreating east, she visits the buried cities and rock-hewn churches of Cappadocia on the first of a number of hired, borrowed or bought horses, the ideal liberating companions for her unconventional style of travel. While the snow still clothes the eastern mountains, the Long Rider moves further east over the border into Iran, to a ranch breeding miniature Caspian horses near the Russian frontier, to the salt desert villages of the south-east, and on into Pakistan for a visa renewal, the unity of her journey maintained by the fact that she is still within the confines of the Persian empire, as she celebrates the end of Ramadan in a festive village near the Afghan border. Back in Iran, she visits the crumbling grandiloquence of lost empires at Pasargad, Naksh-i-Rustam and Persepolis, as well as the trouble spots of yesterday and today in the valleys of the Assassins and Kurdistan. But her journey reaches its happiest fulfilment back in Eastern Turkey when she buys a fine grey Arab stallion called Keyif - the name aptly means high-spirited. Together they travel among snow caps, salt lakes, nomadic summer camps and lowland rice paddies, across mountain country from Erzurum to Lake Van, up the Russian border to Mount Ararat, and discover the unexpected pleasures and hazards of remote mountain life.