'Spanish Steps' recounts Tim Moore's pilgrimage along the ancient five-hundred-mile route from St Jean Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees to the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in Spain, housing the remains of Spain's patron saint.
His companion on the walk is a donkey called Shinto. Tim Moore derives bounteous amusement from his peculiar fellow travellers, an assortment of devout Christian pilgrims, new-age mystics and people looking for a cheap, boozy outdoor holiday. He also muses on pilgrims past, an illustrious crowd including Charlemagne, St Francis of Assisi and Chaucer's Wife of Bath. Tim Moore himself is untroubled by any religious belief, does not speak a word of Spanish and knows nothing about donkeys. But armed with the Codex Calixtinus, a twelfth-century handbook to the route and expert advice on donkey management from Robert Louis Stevenson, he sets out to master this most intransigent of beasts and to excise the cancer of cynicism from the dark heart of his sceptical soul.
Hilarious and utterly original, 'Spanish Steps' is an ideal balance of travel, anecdote and dry wit.