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A busy day in the pilgrim office!

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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I have previously stated that Semana Santa / Holy Week is the 'unofficial' start to the annual pilgrim season. The pilgrim arrival numbers explain why. Every day, I look at the number of folks received at the office.

I have my smartphone browser homepage set to bring up the front page with the daily number. I check it after the 14:15 update is made, and again late in the evening (CET) to see the final daily total.

Over the past two weeks, I watched as the number started to grow from around 200 - 300 pilgrims daily, to 500 - 700 daily. Then last weekend, Palm Sunday, the daily arrivals jumped to 800 - 1000 daily.

Now, on the threshold of Easter and the culmination of Holy Week / Semana Santa, the numbers are well over 1,000 daily. The daily volume will remain over 1,000 - 1,500 daily (with few dips until mid-May). Once mid-May arrives, the daily numbers will exceed 1,500 daily.

From June, the daily numbers will rarely dip below 2,000 daily. In July and August, it is not unusual to receive over 3,000 pilgrims daily,

And these numbers are only the folks who fill out the 'estadillo' form to receive a Compostela or Welcome Certificate. It does not include a few hundred 'solo sello' or self-avoidance pilgrims each day who just want to prove they got there and do not seek the Compostela. If one includes these not formally counted pilgrims, the total is likely 15 percent higher, at least IMHO.

The above is also why I volunteer from mid-July to mid-August. These are the absolute highest volume weeks in the office. The annual feast of Santiago on 25 July is a MAJOR national and regional holiday. It is the busiest day / week of the year. The Pilgrim Office literally needs all hands to the pumps around these dates. Besides, being busy and helpful is fun and satisfying.

This is followed by another annual religious celebration and national holiday, the Feast of the Assumption (of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven) on 15 August. Both events generate thousands of pilgrims who either take time from work around these dates to stretch their holiday time, or who are more devout and want their Compostelas to reflect those special dates.

If you get caught in this surge, plan to come to the office the first thing in the morning (opens at 0800) or at traditional dinner time for most of us, 1800 -1900. Those are the two daily lulls in what can be a two-hour queue in the summer.

Hope this helps.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Ah YUP! I will be there when you arrive. What I do not yet know is if they are going to ask me to do Composelas, or my usual roaming about doing whatever needs doing to keep things humming along.

My nickname is "The Sheriff," El Sherif... Probably because I do like to keep things very orderly and smooth... Then again, I also pick up trash, arrange furniture, pick up after pilgrims and many other things... I enjoy my time there immensely.

See you on the 20th... Let me know if you arrive in town a day or two earlier. You know how to contact me.
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Time of past OR future Camino
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
I have previously stated that Semana Santa / Holy Week is the 'unofficial' start to the annual pilgrim season. The pilgrim arrival numbers explain why. Every day, I look at the number of folks received at the office.

I have my smartphone browser homepage set to bring up the front page with the daily number. I check it after the 14:15 update is made, and again late in the evening (CET) to see the final daily total.

Over the past two weeks, I watched as the number started to grow from around 200 - 300 pilgrims daily, to 500 - 700 daily. Then last weekend, Palm Sunday, the daily arrivals jumped to 800 - 1000 daily.

Now, on the threshold of Easter and the culmination of Holy Week / Semana Santa, the numbers are well over 1,000 daily. The daily volume will remain over 1,000 - 1,500 daily (with few dips until mid-May). Once mid-May arrives, the daily numbers will exceed 1,500 daily.

From June, the daily numbers will rarely dip below 2,000 daily. In July and August, it is not unusual to receive over 3,000 pilgrims daily,

And these numbers are only the folks who fill out the 'estadillo' form to receive a Compostela or Welcome Certificate. It does not include a few hundred 'solo sello' or self-avoidance pilgrims each day who just want to prove they got there and do not seek the Compostela. If one includes these not formally counted pilgrims, the total is likely 15 percent higher, at least IMHO.

The above is also why I volunteer from mid-July to mid-August. These are the absolute highest volume weeks in the office. The annual feast of Santiago on 25 July is a MAJOR national and regional holiday. It is the busiest day / week of the year. The Pilgrim Office literally needs all hands to the pumps around these dates. Besides, being busy and helpful is fun and satisfying.

This is followed by another annual religious celebration and national holiday, the Feast of the Assumption (of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven) on 15 August. Both events generate thousands of pilgrims who either take time from work around these dates to stretch their holiday time, or who are more devout and want their Compostelas to reflect those special dates.

If you get caught in this surge, plan to come to the office the first thing in the morning (opens at 0800) or at traditional dinner time for most of us, 1800 -1900. Those are the two daily lulls in what can be a two-hour queue in the summer.

Hope this helps.
See you in July
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
Ah YUP! I will be there when you arrive. What I do not yet know is if they are going to ask me to do Composelas, or my usual roaming about doing whatever needs doing to keep things humming along.

My nickname is "The Sheriff," El Sherif... Probably because I do like to keep things very orderly and smooth... Then again, I also pick up trash, arrange furniture, pick up after pilgrims and many other things... I enjoy my time there immensely.

See you on the 20th... Let me know if you arrive in town a day or two earlier. You know how to contact me.
I start out from Burgos next Thursday. According to my normal speed/daily distances, I will walk happily into SdC ca. 14.30 on May 20th, according to my appointment with ms. Diaz :) But nothing's set in stone, other than that date.
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Have finished the Primitivo and have joined the Francés, tonight in Arzúa. Leaving early tomorrow morning with a few other Primitivo friends to reach Santiago.

We saw many when we joined the Francés in Melide but not so bad and when we arrived in Arzúa at around 13.30 the hospitalera at the municipal said that there were lots of available beds. The most are young Spaniards (but then it's not difficult to be younger than me😂).

It will be interesting seeing how many pilgrims arrive tomorrow with us.
 
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I start out from Burgos next Thursday. According to my normal speed/daily distances, I will walk happily into SdC ca. 14.30 on May 20th, according to my appointment with ms. Diaz :) But nothing's set in stone, other than that date.
Would that be Ms. Kathy Diaz? Everyone seems to know her!
 

Drew1578

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles May 2019
I have previously stated that Semana Santa / Holy Week is the 'unofficial' start to the annual pilgrim season. The pilgrim arrival numbers explain why. Every day, I look at the number of folks received at the office.

I have my smartphone browser homepage set to bring up the front page with the daily number. I check it after the 14:15 update is made, and again late in the evening (CET) to see the final daily total.

Over the past two weeks, I watched as the number started to grow from around 200 - 300 pilgrims daily, to 500 - 700 daily. Then last weekend, Palm Sunday, the daily arrivals jumped to 800 - 1000 daily.

Now, on the threshold of Easter and the culmination of Holy Week / Semana Santa, the numbers are well over 1,000 daily. The daily volume will remain over 1,000 - 1,500 daily (with few dips until mid-May). Once mid-May arrives, the daily numbers will exceed 1,500 daily.

From June, the daily numbers will rarely dip below 2,000 daily. In July and August, it is not unusual to receive over 3,000 pilgrims daily,

And these numbers are only the folks who fill out the 'estadillo' form to receive a Compostela or Welcome Certificate. It does not include a few hundred 'solo sello' or self-avoidance pilgrims each day who just want to prove they got there and do not seek the Compostela. If one includes these not formally counted pilgrims, the total is likely 15 percent higher, at least IMHO.

The above is also why I volunteer from mid-July to mid-August. These are the absolute highest volume weeks in the office. The annual feast of Santiago on 25 July is a MAJOR national and regional holiday. It is the busiest day / week of the year. The Pilgrim Office literally needs all hands to the pumps around these dates. Besides, being busy and helpful is fun and satisfying.

This is followed by another annual religious celebration and national holiday, the Feast of the Assumption (of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven) on 15 August. Both events generate thousands of pilgrims who either take time from work around these dates to stretch their holiday time, or who are more devout and want their Compostelas to reflect those special dates.

If you get caught in this surge, plan to come to the office the first thing in the morning (opens at 0800) or at traditional dinner time for most of us, 1800 -1900. Those are the two daily lulls in what can be a two-hour queue in the summer.

Hope this helps.
I'll be there on May 9th - I assume the office won't be too busy then. I made my plans to begin my Camino after the festivities of Easter and get to SdeC before mid-May hoping to avoid the masses.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Look for me. Sketch a light grey beard, and put me in a turquoise volunteer t-shirt, and you got it. I sort of look like an overgrown Papa Smurf. Just call out hey "T2..."

On a day I am working, I regularly patrol inside and out, stopping to do what needs doing. OTOH, this might be the year I get tapped to actually do Compstelas after five years as Cinderfella.

Don't get me wrong. I love my time there and am happy to do absolutely anything to help. Also, I always get far more out of the experience than I invest.
 
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If you get caught in this surge, plan to come to the office the first thing in the morning (opens at 0800) or at traditional dinner time for most of us, 1800 -1900. Those are the two daily lulls in what can be a two-hour queue in the summer.

Hope this helps.
I love the 8 am stroll through Santiago - the city is quiet and empty, with the first peregrinos of the day arriving, and shopkeepers sweeping their steps. You go to the Pilgrims' office, then to the cathedral to hug the saint without any lines - it's heavenly.
 

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