A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

300 km to get the compostela

Camino Badges
Status
Not open for further replies.

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Some time ago, it was a strong move to modify the requirements for the Compostela from 100 km to 300 km. It seemed that most organizations related to the Camino agreed with that modification.

Does anyone know if this idea is still alive?

I really love the idea. It seems to me that this will solve (or at least reduce) the problem of overcrowding in the Sarria - Santiago sector.

300 km looks like a reasonable distance:
  • Not too much distance.
  • The same distance as the Primitive Way, which gives a certain historical support.
  • An important and well-communicated starting city on each Camino (Aviles for the Camino del Norte, Oviedo for the Primitivo, León for the Camino Frances, ... may be a bit problematic for the Camino Portuguese ... Porto is a bit too near and Coimbra is a bit too far ... but surely that could be solved).
Surely the number of pilgrims (as number of Compostelas given) would decrease a lot (I suppose this would drive more than one in the cathedral crazy), but, in my opinion, it would greatly improve the Camino. I hope the idea is still alive!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Or alternatively abolish the distance requirements altogether and return to the situation before the 1993 Holy Year when the Compostela was given to all those who visited the shrine of the Apostle in "pietatis causa". At the end of my first Camino I was asked about my motivation for walking and the religious and spiritual aspects of my journey. No one counted stamps or consulted lists of approved starting points and routes. Why make it a prize for physical achievement? If that is what it has now become then it would be more honest of the cathedral to change the wording to reflect what the Compostela actually means in practice today.
 

gschmidl

sator arepo tenet opera rotas
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo (11/2018), Camino Sanabres (4/2019)
Agree with @Bradypus here. Even 100km are too much for people with illnesses that prevent them from walking. Why should they be "punished"? Surely, if you believe any of this matters, the intent counts, and not the distance or discomfort you subject yourself to.
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Or alternatively abolish the distance requirements altogether and return to the situation before the 1993 Holy Year when the Compostela was given to all those who visited the shrine of the Apostle in "pietatis causa".
This could also be a great idea! What does not make sense is that so many people walk 100 km to get what, in the end, is just a piece of paper (no offense intended!!). I have no problem with people getting the Compostela without any kind of requirement.

I have the Compostela of each of the Caminos that I have made, just as I keep the credentials with the stamps. But for me the important thing has been the different Caminos and the different experiences in each of them. The For me the Compostelas and the credentials are just a nice reminder of these Caminos.
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Agree with @Bradypus here. Even 100km are too much for people with illnesses that prevent them from walking. Why should they be "punished"? Surely, if you believe any of this matters, the intent counts, and not the distance or discomfort you subject yourself to.
I absolutelly agree!!!
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Most probably, in order of preference I would choose:

  1. No requirement
  2. 300 km
  3. 100 km
I'm not talking about people with some kind of disability. I still remember an English blind woman I met in El Acebo!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Surely the number of pilgrims (as number of Compostelas given) would decrease a lot (I suppose this would drive more than one in the cathedral crazy), but, in my opinion, it would greatly improve the Camino. I hope the idea is still alive!
Erm ... I have not bothered to read the FICS proposal again but I'm trying to look at it from the point of view of the actors involved in Galicia: considerably fewer Compostelas will be given out, hence there will be considerably fewer pilgrim-walkers, considerably fewer bebidas and comidas will be consumed and considerably fewer camas will be filled. Because it is assumed that considerably fewer people will walk 300 km than 100 km. It is assumed that will just not bother to walk to Santiago at all anymore. Because what's the point of walking from Sarria to Santiago, of walking through green and rural Galicia, if you don't get a Compostela in the end???

As I said, I'm trying to look at it from the point of view of the local actors (Cathedral and Xunta) to whom this proposal needs to be sold.

Edited for clarification.
 
Last edited:

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
a lot less Compostelas will be given out, hence there will be a lot less pilgrim-walkers, a lot less bebidas and comidas will be consumed and a lot less camas will be filled
I partially agree with this.

I think the total number of pilgrims will decrease, which means there will be fewer people in Santiago.

On the other hand, probably the number of pilgrims in those cities 300 km away will probably increase a bit, which means more pilgrims in sections of 100 to 300 km. This will partially compensate for the decrease in the last 100 km.

In general, if we count the total number of days, since the increase will not compensate the decrease, it will be a certain decrease.

But (always a BUT !!;)), if the Camino continues to deteriorate, will not this mean a sharp decrease in the number of pilgrims? I know that until now the number of pilgrims increases year after year, regardless of whether the Camino is deteriorating or not.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I have always suspected that the 100 km requirement is just a (very clever and successful) way to promote tourism in Galicia. And even if this not the case, the commerce chambers and municipal councils of some cities (Sarria, notably) will lobby hard against any modification.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
You dont have to do the total distance in one go to get the Compostela, what might happen is people over a period of a year or two or more could do the 300km in installments, if their true motivation is to get the compostella. Many people see it as a mini holiday and the compostella is a big bonus but not the sole main reason, so Sarria might remain the main starting point, it fits nicely into a week's walking and additionally places like Leon, Oviedo, Cudillero might become a little more crowded.
I actually don't begrudge all the new starters at 100km + because most of them are Spanish and when it comes down to it, it's their country's resources, taxes and culture that make the infrastructure around all of the Camino(s) so amazing.
 
Last edited:

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I actually don't begrudge all the new starters at 100km + because most of them are Spanish and when it comes down to it, it's their country resources, taxes and their culture what make the infrastructure around all of the Camino so amazing.
I wonder whether any attempts have been made to evaluate how many of those who start in Sarria etc are Spanish and how many are visitors from abroad and how many would say that they would not go on a 100 km walk/pilgrimage from Sarria if they wouldn't get a Compostela.

I had a look at the older threads on this topic and this quote from the then FICS president stood out (I've underlined some phrases):
"The FICS proposal to amend the Compostela requirements by the Council of the Church of Santiago is not intended to solve at a stroke the problems of the Camino. Requiring a walk of 300 kilometres will not ease the overcrowding on the last sections, or stop the clash between two opposite ways of understanding the pilgrimage. It aims at the symbolic level, and hopes to establish a new understanding of the Way which dovetails with the traditions of the preceding eleven centuries"​
 

peterbells

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September 2018 (Sarria to Santiago)
It would affect their economy and from doing Sarria to SdC last year I felt some that parts are not economically well off. And for some like me who cannot do 300km in one trip, splitting it might not be feasible and overall cost (eg three sets of flights) would increase it a lot.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a Compostela. That doesn't detract from the pilgrimage and in fact adds to it for me. 100km makes it achievable for some of us and knowing that if I walk the route and get my sellos I can get one adds to the experience and what I felt I achieved. Hearing the piper and kneeling before St James will live with me for ever and seeing my Compostela again adds to it.
The joy of the Camino as it is at the moment is that offers different options of which 100km is an important one and long may it be so.
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Looking for old threads about this problem, I found: https://www.ficscaminodesantiago.com/

There you will find in English, French and Spanish a document explaining the proposal and the reasons for this proposal (I enclose the English version).

I have to be totally in agreement with what is indicated in the document.

I would also agree not to condition the Compostela. This would mean a change in the meaning of the Compostela, but I do not have any problem with that either.

In summary or to extend the affected area in order to decrease the degree of affection (100 -> 300 km solution) or to decrease the affected area (100 -> 0 km).
 

Attachments

Last edited:

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
A quote from the FICS document:-
The FICS proposal to amend of the Compostela requirements by the Council of the Church of Santiago is not intended to solve at a stroke the problems of the Camino. Requiring a walk of 300 kilometers will not ease the overcrowding on the last sections, or stop the clash between two opposite ways of understanding the pilgrimage. It aims at the symbolic level, and hopes to establish a new understanding of the Way which dovetails with the traditions of the preceding eleven centuries . 1. We hope first to re-establish to dignity of the Compostela, which has lately become an increasingly devalued certificate granted without requirements or agreements attached. It is handed out as a prize or a souvenir at the end of a Camino de Santiago package tour, without a flicker of its religious or spiritual connotation.

If the establishment of the dignity of the Compostela is the aim, then there must also be the re-establishment of the Camino as a "Pilgrimage". No distance requirement BUT a strict requirement that the Credential must be signed and attested by the priest of the pilgrim's home parish.
For all other walkers there is already a "Certificate of Completion" and a "Certificate of Distance".
My original Credential bears the stamp and signature of the Abbot of Buckfast in Devon where I spent a night on my pilgrimage from my home to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela. Walking all the way except for a ferry crossing to Spain. - I can do many things but not walk on water (yet! :))

May the Lord bless all pilgrims!

Tio Tel
 
Last edited:

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I don’t know if there is any right answer. Maybe it comes down to the question of what the Compostela means to the individual. The “no requirements-option” would mean that if all you want is something to hang on your wall, well, go on a weekend trip to Santiago and pick one up, but all it’s ever going to be is just that, a “conversation piece”. That might help to reduce the crowds on any required distance before Santiago. If you want to go on a pilgrimage you will probably do that no matter whether there is a Compostela waiting at the end or not.

I know that my Compostelas to me have a meaning in their own right, but I also believe that they would not have quite the same meaning, if they were not connected with the experience of walking the Way. On the other hand, it was not the thought of the Compostela as a reward that made me walk the Camino in the first place.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago (Sep/Oct 2018)
I can see how removing the distance requirement might relieve some congestion from the "Tourists", but I would be concerned that people might pick up a credential, bus from town to town, and add more stress to an already limited supply of beds along the way.
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
I think that throwing out the 100KM requirement will make it harder for those walking for religious reasons to gain the compestella! This is a feasible distance for the aged and infirm to accomplish. MANY Americans suffer the culture of not having time off. IF we are lucky, we accrue ten to 14 days of vacation time a year unlike our European brothers and sisters who may get MONTHS off at a time each year, every year. The last company I worked for gave 1.5 HOURS of personal time off each months. God help you if you were sick. Starting in Sarria is the only recourse for many Americans.

It is not an arbitrary number. There are many faithful that can ONLY start in Sarria, if there reason for going is to get to Santiago. The bucket-listers, those who are there to challenge themselves physically, it may not be important to even finish. Or they might want to get the most "bang for their buck" and walk the most scenic parts. Those of us who love the Camino in its entirety, whether we walk the whole route or have yet to walk, will allow love and tolerance to pervade through every twist and turn of the complicated path.

We who start many KMs ahead of Sarria may encounter annoyance or disdain for the crowds who are now interfering with our peace and quiet enjoyed with numerous people converging at Sarria but we have the same choice. We can leave Spain altogether if getting to Santiago is not important. We can take a bus to the city if arriving is important. We can book ahead if we choose. There are already numerous options available but for the faithful for whom gaining the indulgence and compestela are important for our religion, will continue to walk in the last 100KM as required by the Church. For those who this is important, it is the only recourse for sins which otherwise might not have grace applied to. It is a gift from the Church for those who have committed most grievous acts. Please do not forget that while any who have evolved find this notion ludicrous, there are ten times as many who do not share this belief. They give their respect to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, not random souls who are kind but can claim no basis of authority for their views, other than their own experience.

We must grow in love and tolerance as numbers and interest in the Camino swell. In America, our major outdoor outfitters partner with American Pilgrims on the Camino. The spiritual nature, the pilgrimage aspect is downplayed to reach the most wallets. It is a symbiotic relationship (REI gets to sell alot of gear and APOC gets a chance to recruit new members/annual dues) and I believe this is largely the result of pilgrims walking for reasons other than the religious and spiritual nature of the Camino.

I will remind others that when you have limited time off, when you cant just hop a train to take you from Ireland, England, Germany or France, even Spain or Portugal and Italy, for a modest sum, when you have to fly across oceans, take a train, then a bus to whereever you are starting from, you cannot judge. Whatever the reasons for the walking or the over-crowding.
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
The last company I worked for gave 1.5 HOURS of personal time off each months.
😱

Starting in Sarria is the only recourse for many Americans.
I can see your point! Not only the Americans, but also many people for whom the Compostela is important, who are true pilgrims but who lack the time and / or the ability to walk long distances and / or for a long time.

It is a difficult problem: how to avoid overcrowding and tourism along the Camino, but at the same time keeping people who suffer some kind of restriction can make their pilgrimage. Probably there is no solution!😢 But even being like that .... we need to keep looking for some kind of solution! This about the 300km or restrictions in the albergues or ....
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
That is true but I think is you have a bona fide disability that you should be able to qualify upon arrival, however you arrive. Especially if you are arriving injured from walking.
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
we need to keep looking for some kind of solution! This about the 300km or restrictions in the albergues or ....
Or we could lobby the church to walk in place for the faithful that cannot walk due to age/infirmity or disability. Kinda like the old days when the rich could have someone walk in their stead.

And yes, that is the reality of most Americans. People think us rude but truly we are overworked and get no time to take care of ourselves or our spirits. At the time I had just reached year two of service so I started earning 2.0 hours a month for paid time off. This is why many Americans walk in stages. But the Catholic Americans, eventually reaching Santiago IS the goal.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Ruta Asturianos Lebaniego / Apr 2018 Asturias / May 2016 CP: Portuguese
@Dorpie's reply is a very important aspect to consider in this change of km idea (having met Peregrino's from several Countries meeting up in Tui for example, a Last 100). There are many other Last 100 options/starting points that would suffer, as well.
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Not if the compostella is awarded as described by @Bradypus in post #3 on this thread.
I agree with you and Bradypus. But you must learn to see things in terms of dollars/cents. This will not happen because it will affect the euros from tourism. I don't know much about tour companies but if I had one, I would make sure that my price including a private flying of the botafumeiro. And then when the walking restriction is lifted for the able-bodied, the crowds will swell from people flying in just to see it, all fresh with no blisters, cameras in tow. So the Church looked at what was reasonable. After all a 100KM walk for someone advanced in age could make a ten day journey into a 30 day journey. While the city of Santiago might reap all kinds of increased funds, the tiny towns would suffer. I understand capitalism because of growing up in America, while not necessarily approving of it.

Our best bet would be to lobby the Church for the gravely ill, the aged and the infirm to have no walking requirment, ask for the able-bodied requirement to be moved to 300KM, demand that "walking in the stead" of another unable to walk (documented individual too old or sick to travelJ) be reinstated with a 100KM requirement for the substitutes.
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
reaching Santiago IS the goal
I can understand that. You are arriving at the sacred place that contains the remains of Saint James.

I can also understand, I am one of them, to those who think that the Camino is the most important, the effort, the reflections, the other pilgrims and hospitaleros, the local people that we meet along the Camino, the different churches, cathedrals and even bridges and cities that have been built exclusively for the Camino.

I think that these different approaches is one of the problems to find a solution. Both approaches are correct and both should be considered when looking for solutions.

I have been a volunteer hospitalero several times. Many times I have thought that the Compostela should be granted only to pilgrims who use only donation albergues managed by volunteers and with minimal facilities (in order to demoralize tourists a bit) ... What happens then with people who have some kind of disability? The elderly? Will they be forced to sleep on the floor with a mat?

It is a difficult problem! .... If it were easy, it would already be solved !!😂
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Money always complicates things. This I think we could get enough pilgrims behind to sign a petition but we have to threaten the wallets or they will not listen:

Our best bet would be to lobby the Church for the gravely ill, the aged and the infirm to have no walking requirment, ask for the able-bodied requirement to be moved to 300KM, demand that "walking in the stead" of another unable to walk (documented individual too old or sick to travelJ) be reinstated with a 100KM requirement for the substitutes.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Or alternatively abolish the distance requirements altogether and return to the situation before the 1993 Holy Year when the Compostela was given to all those who visited the shrine of the Apostle in "pietatis causa". At the end of my first Camino I was asked about my motivation for walking and the religious and spiritual aspects of my journey. No one counted stamps or consulted lists of approved starting points and routes. Why make it a prize for physical achievement? If that is what it has now become then it would be more honest of the cathedral to change the wording to reflect what the Compostela actually means in practice today.
One could eliminate Pilgrim Office queues using this notion, as only folks who actually visited the crypt where Santiago's relics are would receive a sello on exiting in their credencial... To get the Compostela, you would have to prove that you actually did visit the Cathedral and the relics.

But, this also removes a lot of the motivation for folks to do any walking at all. That sort of defeats the entire purpose of the Camino de Santiago, doesn't it?

No, IMHO, if the intention is to keep pilgrims on pilgrimage, a minimum distance must be enforced.

However, one COULD tighten the eligibility requirements further by requiring the stamp from the crypt FIRST, before you could get in line at the Pilgrim Office to receive a Compostela.

No crypt stamp / sello, all you could obtain was a welcome certificate, not the Latin Compostela....

Hmmm, I might make this suggestion when I return in two weeks for a month's volunteer duty... But, I need to think on it some more...
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
wonder whether any attempts have been made to evaluate how many of those who start in Sarria etc are Spanish and how many are visitors from abroad and how many would say that they would not go on a 100 km walk/pilgrimage from Sarria if they wouldn't get a Compostela.
Point taken, I will change my statement to " It's possible most people who start in Sarria are...."

It will be difficult to add the numbers up due to the large number of possible locations they could spend their 1st night. The pilgrim office in Santiago could do it but it would probably add to and complicate things a little bit for them.
 

Dorpie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
I think @lizlane makes a compelling argument about potentially cutting out a whole group of people who couldn't do 300kms for lack of time or other resources.

I often wonder as someone who'll be embarking on their third CF this autumn if there shouldn't be a limit to the number of Compostelas you can collect on a single route (perhaps not ever but over the course of say 5 years) in order to give first timers a better chance of enjoying the kind of experience many of us had years ago? Maybe the ever informative @t2andreo could give us a clue as to whether the Pilgrim Office has the database facilites to enforce such a rule? I'm sure a determined person could dodge the system but if you knew your details were going to be crosschecked it might be enough to put people off. Haven't given this idea much thought so feel free to pick holes in it.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Point taken, I will change my statement to " It's possible most people who start in Sarria are...."
I'd actually be curious to know and, like you, I, too, think that the majority of the people who start in Sarria are Spanish.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I agree with you and Bradypus. But you must learn to see things in terms of dollars/cents.
I am aware of the economics and the various considerations about compostelas. It is complicated and I haven't formed an opinion on what the requirements should be. (It isn't really my business.)

I was just pointing out that it was not necessarily the case that "throwing out the 100KM requirement will make it harder for those walking for religious reasons to gain the compestella!"
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
I think I was losing a bit of focus when writing some of the previous messages.

The Compostela is a document that certifies that you have made a pilgrimage to Santiago. It has nothing to do with what you can get from the Camino while you walk on it or when you arrive at the cathedral. Nor does it have anything to do with obtaining the indulgence given by the Catholic Church in the holy years.

Being so, no mater if you walk because regious, spiritual, cultural, sport, etc. reasons:

• In the event that no requirement is required: no one should be upset about obtaining the same Compostela after walking 700 km than the one obtained by people who have only walked 300 m in order to enter the cathedral. At the end, this situation is very close to the situation today, the same Compostela after 100 km than after 1000 km. And you alway can request a distance certificate.

• In the event that 300 km are required: nobody, who makes the Camino as a pilgrimage, should get upset about not being entitled for the Compostela. The religious and spiritual benefits, the indulgence, etc. remain the same with or without Compostela.

In the end, always remember that the Compostela is just a certificate. The fundamental thing is the pilgrimage itself, and for the pilgrimage you are the only one who knows what you did, how you did it and why you did it.

After this I return to an earlier statement: for me, both giving the Compostela without any requirement or extending the minimum distance to 300 km would be both acceptable measures in order to improve the Camino.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I think @lizlane makes a compelling argument about potentially cutting out a whole group of people who couldn't do 300kms for lack of time or other resources.

I often wonder as someone who'll be embarking on their third CF this autumn if there shouldn't be a limit to the number of Compostelas you can collect on a single route (perhaps not ever but over the course of say 5 years) in order to give first timers a better chance of enjoying the kind of experience many of us had years ago? Maybe the ever informative @t2andreo could give us a clue as to whether the Pilgrim Office has the database facilites to enforce such a rule? I'm sure a determined person could dodge the system but if you knew your details were going to be crosschecked it might be enough to put people off. Haven't given this idea much thought so feel free to pick holes in it.
There is no limit to how many Composelas one can collect, from any route. The rule is simple, each time you present yourself at the office, with a properly completed credencial, you can request a Compostela.

You can repeat the same route each year, once a month, or whatever. It makes no difference.

I know several members of this forum who make regular, repeat pilgrimages along the same Camino route. This suits them. If they wanted a separate Compostela for each time they walk at least the final 100 km on any route into Santiago, they can get one. There is no limit.

Also, there is no automated database to track individuals...PERIOD. While demographic information is collected and retained, personally identifying information, i.e. one's name, is not retained in an automated database, beyond issuance of the Compostela.

The hard copy data forms with one's name are filed, and eventually archived. But there is no automated way to search them. The reason for saving the hard copy forms is to replace lost or destroyed Compostelas in the future. We do occasionally get requests from pilgrims to replace a lost, stolen or damaged Compostela. The forms are saved in a chronological manner.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
300 km looks like a reasonable distance:
  • The same distance as the Primitive Way, which gives a certain historical support.
This is such a contorted argument - not from you @Lirsy but in the proposal - they just ought to drop it. If they want to promote a foot pilgrimage along the path that king Alfonso II (maybe, perhaps) rode on his horse together with his royal personnel in 800-and-something, then be all means make it the King Alfonso II camino that deserves a Compostela but don't superimpose it on other tracks when they have nothing in common except the distance of 300 km. It just makes no sense. Secondly, in the proposal they defend the idea that the pilgrimage to Saint James was never a local Galician affair because the Galician people had supposedly other saints for their pilgrimages and it was instead an international affair right from the start. And after having presented this argument, they propose a distance that is restricted to Spain - not very international!

Let's face it: if they want to argue along any credible historical lines, then the Compostela is only for those who come on foot or horse from home, if necessary with a boat trip thrown in (details to be determined about what kind of boat travel exactly). No cyclists and, alas, not a lot of pilgrims from the more distant regions of the globe qualify for a Compostela then although they can of course enjoy and benefit from their pilgrimage as before.

🙃

Really, just admit that 100 km is arbitrary and so is 300 km.
 
Last edited:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I'd actually be curious to know and, like you, I, too, think that the majority of the people who start in Sarria are Spanish.
This is a correct statement. On an annual basis the percentage of Spanish pilgrims, overall, ranges from 47 to 51% or about half. However, during the July - August period, this can increase to over 70%. Moreover, Sarria and more recently Tui are favorite starting places.

I suspect that a lot of persons, nationality aside, either cannot or choose not to devote more than a week or so to a Camino. So, they walk from Sarria or Tui.

Given the demographics, it is reasonable to expect that a majority of the Sarria / Tui -starting pilgrims will be Spanish, at least during the summer vacation / holiday period. That has also been my empirical observation and experience when I am volunteering each July & August.

The mix changes dramatically after June.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago (Sep/Oct 2018)
In the end, always remember that the Compostela is just a certificate. The fundamental thing is the pilgrimage itself, and for the pilgrimage you are the only one who knows what you did, how you did it and why you did it.
Exactly! Does it matter how you get to Lourdes or Fatima? Isn't the spiritual benefit the same regardless? The sad truth is that some people are physically unable to complete the journey on foot (or bike/horse.) Is the Compostela recognition of the journey or the arrival? If it's to recognize the journey, then it should be restricted to those who made the journey. Does that mean that someone who walked part of the Camino and made it to Santiago without fulfilling the requirements has any less spiritual benefit? No! It's just a piece of paper. Don't let it define your spirituality
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I have always suspected that the 100 km requirement is just a (very clever and successful) way to promote tourism in Galicia. And even if this not the case, the commerce chambers and municipal councils of some cities (Sarria, notably) will lobby hard against any modification.
I agree, and I didn't mind getting the sellos, not do I have an issue with spending money on coffee to get a sello and use the bathroom, and I enjoy looking at them and bringing back memories.
But as a marketer, it seems like a very ingenious commercial way to ensure pilgrims spend their money in their region.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I’ve followed this thread without much interest, the arguments have been rehearsed here many times.
I’ve seen the queues at the Pilgrims Office, I’ve seen the tour group cheats with their shiny boots and well pressed clothing. I’ve seen the battered, near broken with tears in their eyes as they mince and wince those final yards. I’ve seen the jostling and the camera flashes in the cathedral and the purchasers of privilege sitting beyond the rope. I've seen the heated arguments in the Pilgrims Office over "missing" stamps and I've seen the gentle kindness of volunteers applying "in vicare pro" for a Peregrina almost inarticulate in grief and relief.

And I wonder. All this energy, all this emotion, all this angst: for a pretty piece of paper. Is that why you walked to Santiago? Because, if you made pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago so you could get a "certificate" then under the rules of the Diocese you do not qualify for that certificate.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
*Derry-SANT (09/2019)?
Why not have a number of compostelas representing different kilometre markers in honour of different saints throughout the ages. Specific for each route for example on Francè for those who travel the 800km (799km), 500km, 300km and 100km. The last 100km can be devoted to Santiago and is available to everyone who receives sello at Cathedral. This would satisfy everyone's requirements and spread the Camino love along the way 🤠
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Some time ago, it was a strong move to modify the requirements for the Compostela from 100 km to 300 km. It seemed that most organizations related to the Camino agreed with that modification.

Does anyone know if this idea is still alive?

I really love the idea. It seems to me that this will solve (or at least reduce) the problem of overcrowding in the Sarria - Santiago sector.
It would IMO more likely spread the overcrowding over 300K instead of 100K
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Ruta Asturianos Lebaniego / Apr 2018 Asturias / May 2016 CP: Portuguese
@lizlane There are a few things you mentioned in your post (#18) which I'm thankful to not have experienced in my life (born in USA) or as, a Traditional Roman Catholic. I'll leave it at this... I understand (at least, I believe I understand) @Marc S. reply.
Avoiding generalized comments about any group of people or their actions is something I strive for. Just a suggestion. :)
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
My personal view is that in addition to a walking distance requirement, all pilgrims wishing to receive a Compostela must answer three questions:

1. Who is St. James?
2. Where is his tomb?
3. What is his connection with the Camino?

Of course, that would mean the answers would quickly spread down the line at the Pilgtom Office. But so what? At least then everyone recieving a Compostela would have some idea who St. James was, where his tomb is, and what the connection is between him and the Camino de Santiago.

Sorry to be so cynical. But I doubt the majority of people walking at this very moment could answer correctly.
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
One could eliminate Pilgrim Office queues using this notion, as only folks who actually visited the crypt where Santiago's relics are would receive a sello on exiting in their credencial... To get the Compostela, you would have to prove that you actually did visit the Cathedral and the relics.
...
However, one COULD tighten the eligibility requirements further by requiring the stamp from the crypt FIRST, before you could get in line at the Pilgrim Office to receive a Compostela.

No crypt stamp / sello, all you could obtain was a welcome certificate, not the Latin Compostela....

Hmmm, I might make this suggestion when I return in two weeks for a month's volunteer duty... But, I need to think on it some more...
It takes only a few minutes to visit the crypt, so I'm not sure how this suggested requirement would do anything other than add ink costs for the cathedral.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
It takes only a few minutes to visit the crypt, so I'm not sure how this suggested requirement would do anything other than add ink costs for the cathedral.
LIke I said, it was just a thought. I am still ruminating on it. But clearly, it has both some Pros and some Cons.

You mentioned one con. Another is just annoying already annoyed pilgrims. That is not something we seek to do. Actually, we are SUPPOSED to make the process of obtaining a Compostela as welcoming as possible.

IN THAT context, I do not see this notion of putting another process step in the way of getting on the very long queues to obtain a Compostela going anywhere.

That said, I DO rather like Bala's suggestion above, that arriving pilgrims have to correctly answer three questions before being admitted to obtain their Compostelas. OTOH, the way things are today, it would likely take about 48-hours for someone to print little cards with the questions & answers on them to be sold for €1,00 each.

Bottom line, it is what it is. I leave for Santiago and my month of volunteering in 13 days. In addition to packing, I need to get my mind ready to jump back into this very crazy busy time of the year.

I was there for two weeks in May, and it was "civilized." Heat, crowds, frustration and impatience bring out the worst in many people. I think I need to bring extra 'red noses.' These are my Red Nose Day noses that I regularly bring to amuse the pilgrims waiting, or to take 'happy photos' afterwards.

Thanks for the discussion, on balance, I think I will forget about adding any extra steps in an already touchy process...
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I have so far held off from posting, but finally here are my thoughts:-
As when this was proposed previously - if implemented I would have been excluded as my first pilgrimage was Ferrol to Santiago, my second the Primitivo (in 2 sections) but as specific needs had meant a bus ride in the early sections the second stage was from Tineo to Santiago - as on my Compostela. Final Camino was much of the Mar and then Ferrol to Santiago. This last was 285kms actually walked so still short of the 300 suggested. The Mar is not yet a recognised route so I gave Ferrol as my start to make things easier, rather than Ribadeo.
My motive in walking was spiritual and having some-one else walk on my behalf would not have been right. Also staying just in certain types of accommodation would not have been right - ther are no albergues on the Mar, never mind donativos.
I can walk 10-20kms a day so needed 9 walking days to walk the Inglés, 20 days to walk Tineo to Santiago.

The 300 kms would have meant that I would not have 'qualified' on any of my pilgrimages and yet my Compostelas, while not the motivation, are very meaningful. A longer distance will also just shift the crowding with the fit and able walkers starting further back

It seems to me, sadly I have to say, that it is actually very selfish for those who have already walked to put barriers in the way of future, older/less able pilgrims. Please let us leave things as they are - I think that the Cathedral has this distance right and it is not up to us to try to make them change.

[Sorry I hit the 'post reply' by mistake and then had to edit the final section into the post!]
 
Last edited:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I agree with you Tia.

Personally, I favor making the minimum distance longer for those coming by bicycle, but not by foot.

The increase in distance IMHO, should be based on the mechanical advantage of riding a geared conveyance, versus using only one's feet. So, and as an example, if the generally accepted mechanical advantage of using a bicycle over walking on similar terrain can be calculated to be a 4:1 advantage for the bicycle, the distance should be 4 times as long, or 400 km.

I am certain this standard number exists somewhere. To make it as simple as possible, they could base this on using a 'onesie,' or single-speed bicycle, with a lightweight frame. Otherwise, you would have an eternal debate about the design of the bicycle, number of gears, addition of an electric assist motor, etc. Using a cruiser or beach bicycle as a benchmark for setting a new minimum distance for cyclists would similarly be unfair, as NO ONE ever uses this sort of bike on Camino.

I think it would be equitable to all to revisit the minimum distance for bicycles, based on the mechanical advantage (the ratio) of using a single-speed bike, over walking.ring...

You can even Google the question... I did. Here is the string I used:


And THIS result suggests that the ratio is 3:1...


This is just MY OPINION... Hope it helps...
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Hate to muck up the thread with links but I was told I was being too general
No, I think it was suggested that it is a good idea to avoid generalized comments about any group of people or their actions. You are making statements and posting selective information on topics that are very complex, for which there is no easy single solution. These topics get close to political and socio-economic issues and invite comparisons between countries, social conditions, the ethics of world travel, and the overall "fairness" of life. These discussions on the internet will always degenerate badly, and we prefer not to have that happen on this forum.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.5%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 41 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 155 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 259 25.0%
  • June

    Votes: 80 7.7%
  • July

    Votes: 21 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 20 1.9%
  • September

    Votes: 297 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 124 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 12 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.5%
Top