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Camino Pass Book (Credential)

Camino(s) past & future
None yet. I hope to leave St. Jean Pied de Port, France on Good Friday (April 18, 2014)
#1
When I get to St. Jean Pied de Port, where do I pick up my (not sure what it is called yet) (Pass Book) that I will have stamped along the way? Also, will be there be any guidebooks available there that I might be able to pick up? As some of you already know, I'm now having to leave much earlier than I had expected. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks :)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#2
It is a credencial, and the Pilgrim Office sells them. Check the bookstores and the newsstand/tobacco stores for the guidebooks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#3
You can also find guidebooks on amazon.com
I like Brierleys.
In the end, you really do not NEED a guidebook, but I find having his handy.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. I hope to leave St. Jean Pied de Port, France on Good Friday (April 18, 2014)
#4
You can also find guidebooks on amazon.com
I like Brierleys.
In the end, you really do not NEED a guidebook, but I find having his handy.
Thank you for your reply. I do know that they are available on amazon, but I don't have time to receive one so I am hoping to buy one along the way. Not so much as to guide me along the Camino, but more to know where to go in each town, etcetera. Peace and blessings to you... :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. I hope to leave St. Jean Pied de Port, France on Good Friday (April 18, 2014)
#5
It is a credencial, and the Pilgrim Office sells them. Check the bookstores and the newsstand/tobacco stores for the guidebooks.
Thank you! So when I get there, I will just inquire where the 'Pilgrim Office' is. And I can also get a guidbook. Most excellent. Thank you again. My questions have now been answered. One more thing please... when I shower and such, shall I assume that my belongings will be safe? I would like to assume such a thing, but is that being naive...
 
Camino(s) past & future
August(2013)
#6
It is always best to take your important belongings with you into the shower...passport, credencial, cash and cards. Phone and tablet, etc. A large ziplock bag will do the trick, I used a small waterproof bag and hung it on a plastic hook I brought with me for that purpose.
People, especially pilgrims, are honest...I dropped my purse in a bar and no fewer than 3 people rushed to bring it to my attention. But why leave it to chance....?
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#7
Always bring your important belongings with you, even in the shower. I have a small waist pack where everything important is. When I walk, it is in my backpack. Other than that; always strapped round my waist. I keep it in the bottom of my sleeping bag at nights.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#8
Thank you! So when I get there, I will just inquire where the 'Pilgrim Office' is....
In Saint-Jean the Pilgrim Office ie Amis du Chemin de Saint Jacques is at 39 rue de La Citadelle which is the 'main street' of the camino. If you arrive by rail just follow the signs up to the top of the hill.

The telephone is 05 59 37 05 09. The office usually stays open for the arrival of the last train from Bayonne; in season the pilgrims office is usually open from 7h30 to 12h30 and then from 13h30 to 22h. They can provide you with a Credential and on site lodging assistance. Their volunteers help run the municipal albergue at 55 rue de la Citadelle. Recently renovated this is a fine place to stay, but they do NOT take reservations. If their albergue is full they will help you find other pilgrim lodgings when you are on site. They keep up to the minute lists of ALL available space throughout the SJPdP area.

Margaret Meredith
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (2013)
Camino Frances, (2014)
Camino Frances, (2015)
#9
So when I get there, I will just inquire where the 'Pilgrim Office'
Rest assured. Literally hundreds of thousands of people who do not speak French have arrived in SJPP without knowing where the Pilgrim's Office is located. The locals have had plenty of practice of pointing it out to people. And if you arrive by train, simply follow the herd.
 
Camino(s) past & future
GR10 HENDAYE - BANYULS SUR MERE 600+ MILES 2002 WITH MY SON.
ABERGAVENNY - BEAUPREAU TWIN TOWN 2009
ENGLISH SOUTH WEST COASTAL PATH 630 MILES 2010.
LE PUY EN VELAY -SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE 2011 1,000+ MILES
ABERGAVENNY WALES - MONT ST MICHEL - ST JEAN PdP - CAMINO FRANCES FRANCE - FINISTERRE 2013 1,400+ MILES.
SEVILLA - SANTIAGO VIA DE LA PLATA 2014
LISBON - PORTO - SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE CAMINO PORTUGUESE. 2016.
CAMINO DE LEVANTE PLANNED 2017.
#10
Thank you! So when I get there, I will just inquire where the 'Pilgrim Office' is. And I can also get a guidbook. Most excellent. Thank you again. My questions have now been answered. One more thing please... when I shower and such, shall I assume that my belongings will be safe? I would like to assume such a thing, but is that being naive...
Hello AnticoHomo,

It is more than likely that most people walking up the main street of St Jean Pied de Port will speak some form of English so fear not. In terms of property and security the best advice is TRUST NO ONE much the same as back home where ever that may be. Yes it is a pilgrimage way but not all are pilgrims some a very very small minority are opportunists. Last year I heard of a lady who put 3,000E down turned her back and yes it was gone. Alexwalkers advice is very sound, passport, credit cards, cash, tickets etc. guard them well.
You may need more than one credencial on your camino, these can be purchased in many places along the way.
Ultreia and Buen Camino Keith.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#11
One more learning I've picked up here - I have always put my valuables in the bottom of my sleeping bag until I read the story of thieves unzipping the bottoms of these sleeping bags while their owners slept, and removing said valuables. Mine are now further up. If your sleeping back doesn't zip around the bottom, no worries!
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. I hope to leave St. Jean Pied de Port, France on Good Friday (April 18, 2014)
#12
In Saint-Jean the Pilgrim Office ie Amis du Chemin de Saint Jacques is at 39 rue de La Citadelle which is the 'main street' of the camino. If you arrive by rail just follow the signs up to the top of the hill.

The telephone is 05 59 37 05 09. The office usually stays open for the arrival of the last train from Bayonne; in season the pilgrims office is usually open from 7h30 to 12h30 and then from 13h30 to 22h. They can provide you with a Credential and on site lodging assistance. Their volunteers help run the municipal albergue at 55 rue de la Citadelle. Recently renovated this is a fine place to stay, but they do NOT take reservations. If their albergue is full they will help you find other pilgrim lodgings when you are on site. They keep up to the minute lists of ALL available space throughout the SJPdP area.

Margaret Meredith
Margeret... Thank you so very much!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. I hope to leave St. Jean Pied de Port, France on Good Friday (April 18, 2014)
#13
Hello AnticoHomo,

It is more than likely that most people walking up the main street of St Jean Pied de Port will speak some form of English so fear not. In terms of property and security the best advice is TRUST NO ONE much the same as back home where ever that may be. Yes it is a pilgrimage way but not all are pilgrims some a very very small minority are opportunists. Last year I heard of a lady who put 3,000E down turned her back and yes it was gone. Alexwalkers advice is very sound, passport, credit cards, cash, tickets etc. guard them well.
You may need more than one credencial on your camino, these can be purchased in many places along the way.
Ultreia and Buen Camino Keith.
Thank you Keith!
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. I hope to leave St. Jean Pied de Port, France on Good Friday (April 18, 2014)
#14
One more learning I've picked up here - I have always put my valuables in the bottom of my sleeping bag until I read the story of thieves unzipping the bottoms of these sleeping bags while their owners slept, and removing said valuables. Mine are now further up. If your sleeping back doesn't zip around the bottom, no worries!
Thank you so much for the tips!
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. I hope to leave St. Jean Pied de Port, France on Good Friday (April 18, 2014)
#15
Rest assured. Literally hundreds of thousands of people who do not speak French have arrived in SJPP without knowing where the Pilgrim's Office is located. The locals have had plenty of practice of pointing it out to people. And if you arrive by train, simply follow the herd.
Thank you :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. I hope to leave St. Jean Pied de Port, France on Good Friday (April 18, 2014)
#16
Always bring your important belongings with you, even in the shower. I have a small waist pack where everything important is. When I walk, it is in my backpack. Other than that; always strapped round my waist. I keep it in the bottom of my sleeping bag at nights.
Thanks for the tips :)
 

Clemynt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting (from the start) 29th April
#17
In Saint-Jean the Pilgrim Office ie Amis du Chemin de Saint Jacques is at 39 rue de La Citadelle which is the 'main street' of the camino. If you arrive by rail just follow the signs up to the top of the hill.

The telephone is 05 59 37 05 09. The office usually stays open for the arrival of the last train from Bayonne; in season the pilgrims office is usually open from 7h30 to 12h30 and then from 13h30 to 22h. They can provide you with a Credential and on site lodging assistance. Their volunteers help run the municipal albergue at 55 rue de la Citadelle. Recently renovated this is a fine place to stay, but they do NOT take reservations. If their albergue is full they will help you find other pilgrim lodgings when you are on site. They keep up to the minute lists of ALL available space throughout the SJPdP area.

Margaret Meredith
Excellent Info Sir, I Thank You.

I wonder, do you need to join the confraternity to be able to obtain the pass or can I just dance in there fresh from the train and lift one for a small sum?

warm wishes
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#18
Clemynt,

You need not join any association so dance away, but please do not 'lift it'! There is a nominal fee charged, I believe, for the pilgrim Credential as well as for a shell.

Buen Camino,

Margaret Meredith
 

Cailin O Eire

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Sarria to Santiago Easter 2014
Hope to walk for 5 days from St Jean Pied De Port to wherever my feet bring me to first week of June 2016
#19
Hi I am travelling to Santiago on the 12th of April, arriving off Aer Linfus flight at 3:35, hoping to catch a bus from airport at 4:15 to Lugo and onto Sarria - I have a pilgrim passport which i obtained from the Irish Society of St. James, is this what ye are referring to when ye speak of a credencial? Or should I be getting something else when I arrive? Also am a little anxious that if I miss the bus at 4;15 I probably will not get to Sarria until 10pm, perhaps at that stage ill end up sleeping under the stars, hope this wont happen, but part of me would like to go with the hope of catching the 4:15 bus and let be what will be, but worse case scenario if such a thing were to happen and I cant get a bed, who do I get to stamp my passport if I have not stayed in a hostel before setting out on foot the following morning- sorry for hi jacking your post.
 
Last edited:

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#20
No problem cailin, all cafes, bars, hotels, hostals and albergues have stamps and will gladly stamp your pilgrim passport from the Irish Society. I would recommend booking ahead because of the time you get in. Google "albergues in Sarria" and you will get a full list plus there are several good value hotels there as well. Remember you need two stamps per day from Sarria to get your certificate in Santiago.
Buen Camino.
 

Alyssa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2014)
Norte, Finisterre, Salvador, Primitivo (2015)
#21
One more learning I've picked up here - I have always put my valuables in the bottom of my sleeping bag until I read the story of thieves unzipping the bottoms of these sleeping bags while their owners slept, and removing said valuables. Mine are now further up. If your sleeping back doesn't zip around the bottom, no worries!
I was thinking about that very thing, Lynne, and that someone could probably easily cut the bottom with a sharp knife. I've been practicing sleeping with my money belt around my waist! ; )
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#22
someone could probably easily cut the bottom with a sharp knife.
If you become a target, there is not a lot you can do to prevent theft, so do two things:
1. Avoid becoming a target by never being ostentatious in the display of money or possessions. Holding up that iPad to take a photo is an open invitation to be stalked. Thieves can be patient, and they may spend quite a while to see if there is an opportunity to steal it.
2. Do not present a moment of opportunity. If you leave your camera on your bunk to go wash your hands, your camera may be gone.

If a thief sees you going into your money belt for money, and decides to try to get it, you may be up against a formidable foe. They do this for a living, so know a lot more about it than you do!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#23
Falcon is SO right!

Discretion is protection; I have traveled the world, often alone, but ALWAYS discreetly. I have medium priced good quality equipment but nothing fancy, no bling, ie nothing that anyone would want to take; no fanny pack nor camera bag. Never flaunt anything or talk about money !!

Read this earlier Forum thread with further useful tips on camino security.
Some albergues do have lockers with keys which are handy for stowing your pack. Remember-- never leave unwatched what you can't afford to lose.

Margaret Meredith
 
Camino(s) past & future
GR10 HENDAYE - BANYULS SUR MERE 600+ MILES 2002 WITH MY SON.
ABERGAVENNY - BEAUPREAU TWIN TOWN 2009
ENGLISH SOUTH WEST COASTAL PATH 630 MILES 2010.
LE PUY EN VELAY -SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE 2011 1,000+ MILES
ABERGAVENNY WALES - MONT ST MICHEL - ST JEAN PdP - CAMINO FRANCES FRANCE - FINISTERRE 2013 1,400+ MILES.
SEVILLA - SANTIAGO VIA DE LA PLATA 2014
LISBON - PORTO - SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE CAMINO PORTUGUESE. 2016.
CAMINO DE LEVANTE PLANNED 2017.
#25
Who in their right mind goes on the Camino carrying €3,000 in cash?

Maybe that is why people are having trouble with their pack weights!
She made the fatal error it was all in notes, should have been all coins.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First camino beginning September 2018
#26
Hello AnticoHomo,

It is more than likely that most people walking up the main street of St Jean Pied de Port will speak some form of English so fear not. In terms of property and security the best advice is TRUST NO ONE much the same as back home where ever that may be. Yes it is a pilgrimage way but not all are pilgrims some a very very small minority are opportunists. Last year I heard of a lady who put 3,000E down turned her back and yes it was gone. Alexwalkers advice is very sound, passport, credit cards, cash, tickets etc. guard them well.
You may need more than one credencial on your camino, these can be purchased in many places along the way.
Ultreia and Buen Camino Keith.
Please, why would one need more than one credencial?l
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#27
Please, why would one need more than one credencial?l
I depends on how zealously you collect your cellos, if you get one from every bar long the way you may fill one up quickly. One did me, but then I only got one or two stamps a day and that filled it completely.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#28
Please, why would one need more than one credencial?l
My son and I walked from Roncesvalles and we each filled up two. Even if one didn't collect stamps so assiduously, I can easily imagine someone walking from, say, Le Puy, needing more than one.
 

drester

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago -finesterre november 2018
#29
Thank you all for a great forum!

About the cellos/stamps:
If you stay to rest for a day at the same village/spot, do you still have to collect 2 cellos to get your credential at the end?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#30
Thank you all for a great forum!

About the cellos/stamps:
If you stay to rest for a day at the same village/spot, do you still have to collect 2 cellos to get your credential at the end?
Most people take their rest days before the final 100 km. We took ours in Burgos and Astorga. Pamplona, Logroño, and Leon are also popular spots to take rest days. In these places, it doesn't matter. I'm not sure what the rules are for rest days in the last 100 km (which is where the "2 sellos per day" rule kicks in).
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#31
If you stay to rest for a day at the same village/spot, do you still have to collect 2 cellos to get your credential at the end?
The Pilgrim Office is more on the alert for fast caminos than slow ones. You probably won't need to do more than explain that you stayed the night. If you want to be completely safe, get stamps at bars, restaurants, and your abode each day. That may result in a question about two different dates for the same location, which you will easily explain!!

Pilgrims who break up their camino are expected to have a stamp when they stop, then a stamp from the same location when they restart, perhaps six months later. I suppose the same principle applies for rest days in the last 100 km. Few places in the last 100 km are worth an extra day, so you may want to consider 10 km days instead of taking a rest day.
 

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