Travel writer Holden Frith of the Times Online of London has a scratchin’ good time on a five-day hike in Napoleon’s homeland.

The path splits into a few alternative routes on day three, which means that some of the tracks are less well worn. Dropping down from the town of Quenza, my chosen path deposited me in a small stream and then came to an abrupt stop. I tried walking along the stream, hopping from rock to rock in about six inches of water, but soon came up against a mass of thorny vegetation.

I dithered around for half and hour, map in hand, eliminating all other options and deciding that the only way forward was through the thorns. So, crouching down in the water on all fours and using my rucksack as a battering ram, I fought my way under the bushes and emerged on the other side. After a few more minutes of wading I spotted a very welcome signpost and continued with renewed confidence. Then I scratched my arm on a barbed-wire fence while trying to escape a cow that I thought was a bull until I saw its udders.

More on following in Napoleon’s footsteps here. Word to the wise: invasions of Russia are not advised.