PIP Stewart likes a challenge.

She’s cycled 10,000 miles from Kuala Lumpur to London in time to start a new job, pedalled and paddled the distance between Brazil and Peru, and most recently kayaked the entire length of the Essequibo River, the largest in Guyana and third-longest in South America.

But, for Pip, these adventures are not just about pushing physical limits, they are opportunities to raise awareness of environmental and human issues that exist in the area.

And this is her ambition as she speaks as part of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Inspiring People talks programme in Galashiels next Tuesday (September 25).

In her talk, entitled Human Reflections in the Amazon, Pip will share stories and insights from her travels in the region, with a focus on her recent 1,000 km kayak down the Essequibo River in Guyana and the people she met along the way.

Largely unheard of in the UK, the Essequibo is almost entirely untouched by humans.

As such, it has a rich flora and fauna playing home to more than 300 unique species of fish.

And, prior to Pip’s expedition, a significant portion of the upper river had never been paddled before, making it one of the last great exploratory wonders of the world with potential for a genuine world record.

Starting in the interior of the country, at the source of the river, the all-female team consisting of Pip, Laura Bingham and Ness Knight were soon required to traverse the imposing Acari Mountains and navigate through remote Wai Wai Lands, the home of the intriguing Wai Wai People, a Carib-speaking Amerindian population who, in Guyana, number just 1,000.

Following this, Pip and the team moved downstream through some of the most fascinating and untouched rainforests in the world, roaring rapids and contentious gold-mining areas. After two months of challenge, however, the women finally reached their destination on the coast: the mouth of the Essequibo as it spills into the Atlantic Ocean just north of Georgetown. On arrival, their names entered into the record books as they completed a world-first expedition.

But, it wasn’t all plain sailing.

On her return to the UK, Pip’s luck ran out as she was diagnosed with leishmaniasis, a life-threatening vector-borne parasitic disease transmitted by sandflies.

Following a long treatment plan, Pip has returned to good health, though it wasn’t without its struggles as the side-effects – and particularly the skin sores – associated with the illness overwhelmed her.

In spite of the illness, however, the ever-strong Pip is looking forward to coming to Galashiels.

She said: "I am so excited to be coming to Scotland this autumn and it's an absolute honour to be included in RSGS Inspiring People programme.

"For me, part of the fun of speaking is actually listening, as I am always interested in what the audience has to say on a particular topic. I hope people will stick around for a chinwag and debate after."

Pip will be speaking at the Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, on Tuesday, September 25 at 7.30pm.

Tickets will be available on the door or online via Eventbrite until noon the day before.

Tickets are free for RSGS members, U18s and students; £10 for non-members and £8 for Tiso Outdoor Experience Cardholders.

The RSGS Inspiring People talks are produced in partnership with Tiso, the outdoor retailer.