Graham Horsley from Oswestry, Shropshire

Mine was a walk of three parts: the western, coastal fringes to Fort William; an empty middle; and a bustling Cairngorms. It was my third crossing and the longest of all three, largely because of that westerly start. Ardnamurchan is wild and wonderful, and I half expected to meet Celtic missionaries or Viking invaders. There are very little in the way of hills but some amazing coastal scenery.

It was a shock to the system to catch the ferry across the loch to Fort William. Hordes of people, lots of shops and motorhomes by the million, but the crowds were soon left behind. Now I passed huge gothic castles, memorials to the landed, shooting gentry, sometimes on well-maintained stalkers’ paths, sometimes wondering why the map showed a path at all.

The crux of my crossing was encountered on a broken bridge across the River Tromie, with no handrails and only one of two long beams in reasonable condition. The beginning of the walk promised a couple of wet days followed by roasting hot weather, and I was pleased with my choice of full weight waterproofs and tried and true shelter, both of which coped well with the wind and rain that were a constant for the two weeks.

I descended into Glen Feshie to find dry tracks and company. Braemar was its usual busy, excitable self and I was able to catch up on food and conversation with fellow Challengers. I passed Loch Callater Lodge at mid-morning – they’d obviously had a good night’s feasting.

I forsook Tarfside and went via Glen Clova and Brechin, a harder but enjoyable route notable for the quantity of trees downed by gales. The walk by the sea to Scurdie Ness and the TGOC memorial plaque was enjoyable, but longer than expected.

Another Challenge completed – my toughest so far, and one that will live long in the memory.