THE wife of a missing walks guide author accepts he may never be found after returning from a search for him in Spain.

Wendy Simm’s husband of 41 years, Gordon, disappeared in July while hiking in mountains near Nerja, on the Costa del Sol.

The 63-year-old, from Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, is an experienced walker and author of several guide books, including two co-authored earlier this year on Hadrian’s Wall and the Cleveland Way.

Following his disappearance, the Spanish authorities conducted an extensive search using sniffer dogs and helicopters but found nothing. Many routes through the mountainous terrain are sided by deep gorges and ravines covered by dense undergrowth.

Recently, one of Mr Simm’s friends, Dutch guide Michael Tweehuijsen, organised his own search of the area, gathering together a group of experienced walkers who volunteered to help.

Mrs Simm flew out just over a week ago.

“The new search revealed nothing, but it is a very difficult area to conduct a search in,” she said.

“Gordon is out there and I am sure that something befell him that weekend, but without finding him, we may never know.”

The grandfather-of-four had planned his 12-mile route to a ridge overlooking the Rio Chillar gorge in the Sierra Almijara mountains.

He and his wife had booked the holiday to celebrate her 60th birthday.

The night before he set off they had dinner at the hotel and bought provisions for his hike from a nearby supermarket.

The next morning Mr Simm set off in a taxi for the start of his walk and has not been seen since.

Mrs Simm said their son and daughter have been left devastated by the ordeal, as well as the rest of the family.

“They were very close, as we all are as a family, and that will have to sustain us through this ordeal,” she said.

“Our seven-year-old granddaughter says he probably looked in a cave to take a photograph and met the fairies and is living with them. She said to me “Gran, it’s a lovely place to be. I wish I shared that thought.”

“Gordon was an amazing man and is always in my heart.”