“I just saw Martin Sheen!” exclaimed a blogger on a site devoted to the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela. Indeed, the fictional President of the United States has been spotted, like some greying yeti, at locations all along the 500-mile route from Roncesvalles in the Pyrenees to the very threshold of the Galician pilgrim destination.
Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez have been making a film to be called The Way, about an American who carries his son’s ashes on the Camino to the Spanish pilgrimage city. “Great, all we need now is Madonna or Bono,” reacted another pilgrim-blogger, “no doubt with a lackey carrying the bags, and that will be it, the world’s largest theme park.”
There’s something in that worry, for 250,000 pilgrims are expected this year. As July 25, the feast of St James, falls on a Sunday, 2010 is counted as a Holy Year, swelling the numbers. Pilgrims may not believe that the Apostle James arrived in Spain in a boat of stone, but plenty still want to visit his reputed remains in the stunning Romanesque and baroque cathedral in north-west Spain.
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