'I was standing in the cathedral staring at chickens when I heard the music . . .'
Inspired by the murder of the girl he loved while working for charity in Belize, Ben Nimmo set out to play tribute to her memory and raise money for her memorial fund by walking from Canterbury to Santiago de Compostela in Spain - with a trombone.
So began a nine-month, 2,000 mile odyssey across Europe. Weighed down by a mammoth rucksack (the pack from Hell) and his trusty trombone, Ben battled with injuries, storms and a phantom bear but was helped on his way by gentlemen-smugglers, alcoholic farmers, jazz-loving monks and a neo-nazi anti-bloodsports activist (who made him sandwiches).
Sleeping in the open, in caves and ruined castles, jamming in smokey French bars and rain-swept Spanish streets, watching chicken worship in a Spanish cathedral and playing boules with square balls, Ben struggled on, supported by old memories, new friends, improbable encounters, an indomitable sense of humour and of course, the League of Pilgrim Snails . . .