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Compostelas for Dummies

Past OR future Camino
2019
There are other threads on the new Compostela system. I didn't find one that explained it simply and clearly. (If there is one I apologize. Feel free to delete this thread Ivar.) I will try explain so even dummies like me can understand.

1. There is a placard with a QR code outside the front door of the office. Scan it with your phone. You'll be taken to the registration page.

2. Enter your personal details. There are dropdown boxes to choose which camino you completed and where you started. Once you've filled in all the boxes press the "Create New Group" button. (Strange label.) A QR code will appear telling you that you are registered and you will get a confirmation email.

3. The security guard will now let you into the office. Go straight across the lobby, out the back and down a set of stairs. On your left is a large room where you line up to collect your number. The wait is short, maybe a minute.

4. Your number tells you your place in the queue. It also has yet another QR code. There are displays in the lobby showing what number is being served.

5. Wait. If you are lucky and there are few pilgrims, you can wait in the garden until your number comes close. For us the wait was 4-1/2 hours. Don't despair. If it looks like a long wait you can leave. Go check into our hotel, shower, get lunch, whatever you want. Scan the QR code on your ticket periodically. You'll see what number is being served so you can gauge your timing. Yesterday they processed about 200 per hour.

6. As your number gets close get back to the office and wait just outside the lobby. You want to be there early because if you miss your turn too bad for you. As you get within about 10 of your number you'll be called inside to wait in the socially distanced queue. Watch the screen for your number and wicket number.

7. Hand over your credencial and €3. You're done.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
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1. There is a placard with a QR code outside the front door of the office. Scan it with your phone.
I have a Windows Phone.

No go.

And given the sad death of the Emperion Nebulus project, if this one dies on me, I'm seriously considering replacing it with a Linux phone.

Also no go.

No -- I think I'll stick with my Credencial cheers, and my physical place in the actual queue thanks.

I would take a very dim view indeed of any "pilgrim" jumping the queue in front of me on the basis of his silly QR.

And I'm no Luddite -- I've been an IT professional ; but precisely because of this, I want to keep my digital footprint as small as possible, even though my actual footprint is UK size 14½ French army boots ; US 15½ - 16.
 
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trecile

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No -- I think I'll stick with my Credencial cheers, and my physical place in the actual queue thanks.

I would take a very dim view indeed of any "pilgrim" jumping the queue in front of me on the basis of his silly QR.
But, other than the very short queue to get your ticket with QR code there is no physical queue. Maybe there is a metaphysical one? 🤔
 
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C clearly

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Now watch as folk over-complicate it, over-think it and add confusion to it all again....
I suppose you might consider my post #3 above to fall under that category. But those instructions might just illustrate how important it is to understand where the confusion starts. If we miss that point, none of the remaining instructions are useful and everybody gets frustrated.

Many people have never scanned a QR code, so telling them how to do it is not over-complicating things. I have done it so rarely that I can't remember if I need my camera on, or what. But I have the confidence to figure it out again. The complete instructions for dummies needs to include that bit.
 

alexwalker

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I have a Windows Phone.

No go.

And given the sad death of the Emperion Nebulus project, if this one dies on me, I'm seriously considering replacing it with a Linux phone.

Also no go.

No -- I think I'll stick with my Credencial cheers, and my physical place in the actual queue thanks.

I would take a very dim view indeed of any "pilgrim" jumping the queue in front of me on the basis of his silly QR.

And I'm no Luddite -- I've been an IT professional ; but precisely because of this, I want to keep my digital footprint as small as possible, even though my actual footprint is UK size 14½ French army boots ; US 15½ - 16.
Egualmente, also as a formet IT professional.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I rarely propose that a thread ought to be closed but this one may be a good candidate.

Then there ought to be another thread explaining in an equally simple and clear way what pilgrims do who do not carry a smartphone; whose smartphones cannot scan; or who simply do not want to scan (current 2021 procedure, not procedure with waiting lines in the past).

Plus another thread on how to scan a QR code with a range of current smartphones.
 

MisterH

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
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I rarely propose that a thread ought to be closed but this one may be a good candidate.

Then there ought to be another thread explaining in an equally simple and clear way what pilgrims do who do not carry a smartphone; whose smartphones cannot scan; or who simply do not want to scan (current 2021 procedure, not procedure with waiting lines in the past).

Plus another thread on how to scan a QR code with a range of current smartphones.
My family and I went to a baseball game in San Francisco last week. No whare in the stadium, and this includes getting in, did they accept anything other than QR codes on your phone. "The times are a changing".
 

Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I rarely propose that a thread ought to be closed but this one may be a good candidate.

Then there ought to be another thread explaining in an equally simple and clear way what pilgrims do who do not carry a smartphone; whose smartphones cannot scan; or who simply do not want to scan (current 2021 procedure, not procedure with waiting lines in the past).

Plus another thread on how to scan a QR code with a range of current smartphones.
Yes, I agree. Or perhaps just keep the original, relevant post in this thread and not open it to further replies.
And the same with a subsequent thread about alternatives. It's all the replies that clog such important threads with confusion.
 
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good_old_shoes

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That's a good explanation.

It is probably very easy for everyone who uses a smartphone daily. But not everyone does. Believe it or not!

It is still very confusing for those who never used or don't own such a device, those who do own a smartphone but without mobile data, or a smartphone but an old cheap one without scanner app and no idea how to install/use one, and so on.

There are still many people who struggle to use that kind of technology, can't afford it, maybe just don't want to use it or don't want to bring it to the Camino to get away from it for a while. The new system does make things more complicated for those.


I agree with Kathar1na that it would be good to have a similar thread for those without smartphones. Sadly, most of those who'd really need that help will not be in this forum... And also, not discussing the problem will not make it go away.


I am just imagining an elderly pilgrim from a poor country who never used a smartphone in their life, who only owns a cheap old thing with no internet function and only little prepaid credit, maybe someone without any Spanish or English skills, standing in front of the pilgrim office with no idea what to do now? I can easily see people like that give up and walk away, which would be a shame...
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
I have a Windows Phone.

No go.

And given the sad death of the Emperion Nebulus project, if this one dies on me, I'm seriously considering replacing it with a Linux phone.

Also no go.

No -- I think I'll stick with my Credencial cheers, and my physical place in the actual queue thanks.

I would take a very dim view indeed of any "pilgrim" jumping the queue in front of me on the basis of his silly QR.

And I'm no Luddite -- I've been an IT professional ; but precisely because of this, I want to keep my digital footprint as small as possible, even though my actual footprint is UK size 14½ French army boots ; US 15½ - 16.
Microsoft/Windows make phones now? 🙀

So they've given up on debugging Windows 10 then?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
standing in front of the pilgrim office with no idea what to do now? I can easily see people like that give up and walk away, which would be a shame...
We imagine this but does it actually happen.

I have a good idea of how things work for those who cannot or do not want to make full use of the simple steps described in the first post. It was discussed in another convoluted thread recently, and it also involves simple steps but without any QR scanning. Over 100,000 pilgrims got their Compostela so far this year, under these new procedures, without long waiting lines throughout the day, and with smartphone as well as without smartphone.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Once you've filled in all the boxes press the "Create New Group" button. (Strange label.)
I emailed them in early August of this year, explaining - in what I believe are simple, clear and short sentences and in Spanish - a number of errors, including the one you mentioned.

I suggested that they replace the text of this label by Envíe su formulario / Submit your form / Formular abschicken / Envoyer le formulaire in the Spanish, English, German and French version respectively, assuming that they would figure out the corrections for this label in the Basque, Italian, Catalan and Galician version by themselves.

As far as I can tell: no reaction. :cool:

You are only the second poster who mentions this.
 
Last edited:

Ivan_Prada

Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
That's a good explanation.

It is probably very easy for everyone who uses a smartphone daily. But not everyone does. Believe it or not!

It is still very confusing for those who never used or don't own such a device, those who do own a smartphone but without mobile data, or a smartphone but an old cheap one without scanner app and no idea how to install/use one, and so on.

There are still many people who struggle to use that kind of technology, can't afford it, maybe just don't want to use it or don't want to bring it to the Camino to get away from it for a while. The new system does make things more complicated for those.


I agree with Kathar1na that it would be good to have a similar thread for those without smartphones. Sadly, most of those who'd really need that help will not be in this forum... And also, not discussing the problem will not make it go away.


I am just imagining an elderly pilgrim from a poor country who never used a smartphone in their life, who only owns a cheap old thing with no internet function and only little prepaid credit, maybe someone without any Spanish or English skills, standing in front of the pilgrim office with no idea what to do now? I can easily see people like that give up and walk away, which would be a shame...
I do also agree.

There should be something posted into the resources section of the Forum with the explanations for each of the different scenarios.

At the present moment, we have t2andreo (Tom) doing his volunteer service at PO. Pretty sure he would create a post on the on hand experience with the system. Inputs from those that had used the system can be very useful.

Now, based on Kathar1na’s comments, there should also be receptive ears on the part of PO, so if there are any comments that would/could improve the system, they be accepted and implemented.

Iván
 
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There are other threads on the new Compostela system. I didn't find one that explained it simply and clearly. (If there is one I apologize. Feel free to delete this thread Ivar.) I will try explain so even dummies like me can understand.

1. There is a placard with a QR code outside the front door of the office. Scan it with your phone. You'll be taken to the registration page.

2. Enter your personal details. There are dropdown boxes to choose which camino you completed and where you started. Once you've filled in all the boxes press the "Create New Group" button. (Strange label.) A QR code will appear telling you that you are registered and you will get a confirmation email.

3. The security guard will now let you into the office. Go straight across the lobby, out the back and down a set of stairs. On your left is a large room where you line up to collect your number. The wait is short, maybe a minute.

4. Your number tells you your place in the queue. It also has yet another QR code. There are displays in the lobby showing what number is being served.

5. Wait. If you are lucky and there are few pilgrims, you can wait in the garden until your number comes close. For us the wait was 4-1/2 hours. Don't despair. If it looks like a long wait you can leave. Go check into our hotel, shower, get lunch, whatever you want. Scan the QR code on your ticket periodically. You'll see what number is being served so you can gauge your timing. Yesterday they processed about 200 per hour.

6. As your number gets close get back to the office and wait just outside the lobby. You want to be there early because if you miss your turn too bad for you. As you get within about 10 of your number you'll be called inside to wait in the socially distanced queue. Watch the screen for your number and wicket number.

7. Hand over your credencial and €3. You're done.
That is a terrific explanation. Thank you
 

Jilly123

New Member
There are other threads on the new Compostela system. I didn't find one that explained it simply and clearly. (If there is one I apologize. Feel free to delete this thread Ivar.) I will try explain so even dummies like me can understand.

1. There is a placard with a QR code outside the front door of the office. Scan it with your phone. You'll be taken to the registration page.

2. Enter your personal details. There are dropdown boxes to choose which camino you completed and where you started. Once you've filled in all the boxes press the "Create New Group" button. (Strange label.) A QR code will appear telling you that you are registered and you will get a confirmation email.

3. The security guard will now let you into the office. Go straight across the lobby, out the back and down a set of stairs. On your left is a large room where you line up to collect your number. The wait is short, maybe a minute.

4. Your number tells you your place in the queue. It also has yet another QR code. There are displays in the lobby showing what number is being served.

5. Wait. If you are lucky and there are few pilgrims, you can wait in the garden until your number comes close. For us the wait was 4-1/2 hours. Don't despair. If it looks like a long wait you can leave. Go check into our hotel, shower, get lunch, whatever you want. Scan the QR code on your ticket periodically. You'll see what number is being served so you can gauge your timing. Yesterday they processed about 200 per hour.

6. As your number gets close get back to the office and wait just outside the lobby. You want to be there early because if you miss your turn too bad for you. As you get within about 10 of your number you'll be called inside to wait in the socially distanced queue. Watch the screen for your number and wicket number.

7. Hand over your credencial and €3. You're done.
I would just respectfully point out that it is a piece of paper. I got mine in 2014. Will be doing the Camino again soon and will not bother with this. My piece of paper sits ignored somewhere in my house. The experience is part of me and forever in my memory. The piece of paper adds nothing really. Just my take on this.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks for the clear instructions. Except for one little detail...

Exactly what does this mean? I have fumbled around and done this successfully a few times. But some people will give up right here!
They must immediately get a lesson from a child or grandchild on how to do this. Any kid over 5 will probably do haha
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
That's a good explanation.

It is probably very easy for everyone who uses a smartphone daily. But not everyone does. Believe it or not!

It is still very confusing for those who never used or don't own such a device, those who do own a smartphone but without mobile data, or a smartphone but an old cheap one without scanner app and no idea how to install/use one, and so on.

There are still many people who struggle to use that kind of technology, can't afford it, maybe just don't want to use it or don't want to bring it to the Camino to get away from it for a while. The new system does make things more complicated for those.


I agree with Kathar1na that it would be good to have a similar thread for those without smartphones. Sadly, most of those who'd really need that help will not be in this forum... And also, not discussing the problem will not make it go away.


I am just imagining an elderly pilgrim from a poor country who never used a smartphone in their life, who only owns a cheap old thing with no internet function and only little prepaid credit, maybe someone without any Spanish or English skills, standing in front of the pilgrim office with no idea what to do now? I can easily see people like that give up and walk away, which would be a shame...
All points that are legitimate but hopefully they will ask and hopefully some of that camino magic will appear and save the day.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
There are other threads on the new Compostela system. I didn't find one that explained it simply and clearly. (If there is one I apologize. Feel free to delete this thread Ivar.) I will try explain so even dummies like me can understand.

1. There is a placard with a QR code outside the front door of the office. Scan it with your phone. You'll be taken to the registration page.

2. Enter your personal details. There are dropdown boxes to choose which camino you completed and where you started. Once you've filled in all the boxes press the "Create New Group" button. (Strange label.) A QR code will appear telling you that you are registered and you will get a confirmation email.

3. The security guard will now let you into the office. Go straight across the lobby, out the back and down a set of stairs. On your left is a large room where you line up to collect your number. The wait is short, maybe a minute.

4. Your number tells you your place in the queue. It also has yet another QR code. There are displays in the lobby showing what number is being served.

5. Wait. If you are lucky and there are few pilgrims, you can wait in the garden until your number comes close. For us the wait was 4-1/2 hours. Don't despair. If it looks like a long wait you can leave. Go check into our hotel, shower, get lunch, whatever you want. Scan the QR code on your ticket periodically. You'll see what number is being served so you can gauge your timing. Yesterday they processed about 200 per hour.

6. As your number gets close get back to the office and wait just outside the lobby. You want to be there early because if you miss your turn too bad for you. As you get within about 10 of your number you'll be called inside to wait in the socially distanced queue. Watch the screen for your number and wicket number.

7. Hand over your credencial and €3. You're done.
George Vancouver has it almost totally correct. Rather than write another post, making few comments on his very good post should suffice. These first comments are keyed to his numbered points abo

1. You do NOT need to wait until you arrive to submit your information. I recommend you do it while you are on Camino, have Wi-Fi access and the time. Just go to the Pilgrim Office web page as me select “Register / Individual” from the top menu.

Groups are handled differently. You cannot set a group up like you can an individual recordunless you FIRST write an email to:

grupos@catedraldesantiago.es

In the email, the group leader (only) must explain the particulars concerning the group: how many pilgrims, walking what route and from where to Santiago, and the estimated date of arrival.

After review, the group coordinator in the office will provide the leader with a unique User ID and password to access the server directly. This enables the group leader to enter all the required information in advance, at their leisure.

Similar to the individual process, the group leader will receive an SMS message to acknowledge receipt of the information. This will be followed shortly by the email contains the FIRST QR code.

This QR code allows ONLY the leader to be admitted to the office to recover the pre-prepared certificates. Everything the leader needs to know will be explained in the email exchange.

2. Once you submit your information, the system will return we it’s an SMS text message telling you that your information was received. It is VITAL that you save this text message. A few moments later, you will receive an e-Mail telling you that your information was successfully processed. This email contains a link to the all important FIRST QR code. SAVE THIS MESSAGE AT ALL COSTS. The alphanumeric code at the beginning of both the SMS message and email are how your data is indexed before you arrive.

Steps 3-7 are correct as George recounts them.

My overall caveats are to:

1. Submit data in advance.

2. Get to the Pilgrim Office early. Some days they hit the maximum processing capacity of 1,200 to 1,300 by 13:00. When this happens, they stop issuing numbers, and tell you to come back tomorrow. Having a transportation commitment is NOT their problem.

3. I recommend a MINIMUM 36-hour stay in Santiago. This presumes you arrived early (0900 - 1000) in the morning, secured a queue order number ticket and THEN planned your day. This has you spending one night at Santiago and leaving LATE the second day. This gives done protection against being told to “come back tomorrow

4. Note, there are now FOUR Pilgrim Masses daily at the cathedral to offset the required capacity reduction due to the pandemic. These masses are at 0730, 1230, 1630 and 1930 EVERY DAY.
you can confirm these Mass Times on the Cathedral web site.

Oddly enough, this largely cobbled together after-the-fact process works. My direct observations suggest that the slowest point in the entire process is the contact time it takes to write out the personal information on the Compostela and Distance Certificate.

The overall median contact time in my samples were about 3:00 minutes from the time the staff person presses the icon to “bong” the next person to their desk. It takes about 30 seconds for the pilgrim to meander to the correct workstation.

Once they are in front of the staff person the processing time ranges from a low of one-minute to a high of four minutes. The distribution appears to be pretty much a bell curve.

In my assessment, the mean and average are both hovering around three-minutes, including movement time.

NOW, if we can only get them to take the advance data and pre-print the certificates, using calliagraphic fonts on a laser printer (2 actually), I confidently believe we can get the total “face time” down to a median of ONE MINUTE.

But, change never comes fast or easy in Santiago.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
I would just respectfully point out that it is a piece of paper. I got mine in 2014. Will be doing the Camino again soon and will not bother with this. My piece of paper sits ignored somewhere in my house. The experience is part of me and forever in my memory. The piece of paper adds nothing really. Just my take on this.
That 'piece of paper' is quite meaningful to some of us. From a previous post:

"During the last couple of days of my pilgrimage to Santiago, so many feelings had occurred ranging the gamut of emotions: Joy, anger, despair, happiness, sadness, hopefulness, regret, contentment… it’s as if my mind, heart, and soul were having a go at playing tug-of-war. One example was when it came my turn for the Compostela in the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago de Compostela. When I walked up to the counter window, I was greeted by the smiling face of a young woman in her early 20s. I requested that my pilgrimage be done in the name of my oldest son, Joshua David, who went to be with God shortly after his birth. I had discussed doing this with his mother, Denise, the previous day to make sure it was ok.

The young volunteer seemed a bit puzzled, but a more experienced volunteer knew what my request was about and briefly talked with the young woman, pointing to a space on the yet-to-be filled out Compostela.

As I watched the Pilgrim Office volunteer add Joshua’s name to that document, I suddenly couldn’t hold back the tears. The long miles, the aches and pains, the mental trauma, the hundreds of times I prayed and talked with Jesus, the fatigue, and the meaning that I gave behind the purpose of my walk/pilgrimage seemed to suddenly become narrowly focused into a pinpoint with my dear son’s name.

The poor, sweet volunteer who spoke in halting, but understandable English asked, with a look of concern on her face, if I was alright. All I could do was smile through the tears and tell her, “Yes”, I was better than when I took my first step 30 days before”."
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
@t2andreo, what about pilgrims who cannot or do not want to use their smartphones? Could you perhaps describe the process in a similarly simple and clear way, perhaps in a separate thread? My understanding is that they have to fill in exactly the same online form as the QR scanners but on the screen of a kiosk inside the building instead of on the screen of a phone?
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Can we limit the responses here to the process of receiving a Compostela, and leave out personal feelings as to whether it's something worthwhile to have? I'm sure that there are plenty of other threads for that discussion.
You are quite right :) I won't delete my post because it may cause a bit of confusion, but this thread is focused on a 'how to' instruction set that is very helpful for pilgrims, and my post was a side track away from the original topic.
 
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Can we limit the responses here to the process of receiving a Compostela, and leave out personal feelings as to whether it's something worthwhile to have?
Agree completely. Please keep this thread about the process. In fact, however, I don't really see much value in our further debating the precise wording of appropriate instructions, when we have no control and very limited influence. The procedures may well change at any time and we won't necessarily be informed, so any resource we produce will not stay up-to-date.

@t2andreo has a good understanding of the issues, and I'm sure he'll provide feedback to the Pilgrim Office as appropriate.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
@t2andreo, what about pilgrims who cannot or do not want to use their smartphones? Could you perhaps describe the process in a similarly simple and clear way, perhaps in a separate thread? My understanding is that they have to fill in exactly the same online form as the QR scanners but on the screen of a kiosk inside the building instead of on the screen of a phone?
I am going to try to attrach a copy of the “new” single-use ‘Estadillo’ form. I am working at the Pilgrim Office and restricted to my iPhone until late next week.

It appears to have worked. Will see what happens when I try to upload. Check at the bottom of this post.

When someone presents themselves to the security guard at the front door to the Pilgrim Office, having not pre-registered (no first QR code), or not having a smart phone with a QR code scanning camera, the security guard will revert to Plan B.

Remember, they did away with the clipboard, multiple-person Estadillo form and BIC Crystal pens as a COVID preventative measure. The single-use form is used as Plan B, ONLY when all else fails.

If the security guards determine you DO have a smart phone, you will be directed to scan the QR sign outside the entrance and complete your online registration, as you should have done before arriving. Only when you show the first QR code, sent to you by the Cathedral server, will they let you in to get your place in queue number.

Back on topic. You show up having a credential, but nothing else. The security guard will give you one of the single-use Estadillo forms to use with YOUR pen.

You complete the form fully. Show it to the security fellow. He will admit you to request the second QR numbered ticket, which defines your place in the queue.

Then you are in the main process flow. When your number comes up, you present the completed Estadillo form, plus your credencial, to the person behind the plexiglas / Perspex barrier. Processing follows as normal - like in the good-old pre-COVID days.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Back on topic. You show up having a credential, but nothing else. The security guard will give you one of the single-use Estadillo forms to use with YOUR pen.
What about the kiosks? Because someone recently posted this: "I got to the Pilgrims office late and filled out the digital form there. I honestly don't remember now if I did it at the kiosk in front of the office or on my phone".
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
What about the kiosks? Because someone recently posted this: "I got to the Pilgrims office late and filled out the digital form there. I honestly don't remember now if I did it at the kiosk in front of the office or on my phone".
There IS an office currently used to process groups. It is not generally used for individuals. However, it IS connected directly to the personal data input site.
There are NO dedicated kiosks or tablets, at present, for individual pilgrims to use to input their data.

Normally, the leader of a group, who did not find out about requesting a user ID and password in advance, as I mentioned above, will be sat down at one of two desktop terminals and told to input their data. Afterwards, the keyboard has to be sanitized by a staff person.

It is always possible that a one-off exemption was made for the poster who claims to have been provided a computer to enter their individual data. But I must state categorically, that this was a unique exception.

AS A RULE, THE PILGRIM OFFICE DOES NOT PROVIDE COMPUTER ACCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS TO INPUT THEIR DATA AT THE OFFICE. You are expected to do this in advance, using your own device.

Hope this helps clarify.

Tom
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
You are expected to do this in advance, using your own device.
Thank you for this clarification, @t2andreo. I've corrected two of my earlier comments in order to avoid confusion. So if you are a family or a small group of friends there is not much point in requesting a group ID first. Everyone just has to fill in the online form but it can be done on the same phone of course. ☺️

Surely, they must be aware of the very bad translation online. Having to press "Create a group" instead of "Submit form" or "Send" when you have completed the online form as an individual must have elicited comments from foreign pilgrims. It is as bad in English as it is in German, French and Italian. Are they planning to do something about this?
 
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jazzhorse

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Kudos first for posting a "how-to" for obtaining the Compostela. I only wish it had been posted prior to my arrival in Santiago. As a regular reader of this Forum for two years now, I had no idea I was supposed to register online ahead of time. The security guard told us to come back tomorrow and was actually a bit rude (witnessed by a volunteer who said it'd be reported to the Office). He did not explain the QR code or anything. Fortunately, as the Camino always provides, there were pilgrims nearby who helped us sort things out. Definitely plan 36 hours minimum in Santiago unless your last day walking puts you into town before noon. When we were there 2 weeks ago, numbers "ran out" by 11 or 12.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you for this clarification, @t2andreo. I've corrected two of my earlier comments in order to avoid confusion. So if you are a family or a small group of friends there is not much point in requesting a group ID first. Everyone just has to fill in the online form but it can be done on the same phone of course. ☺️

Surely, they must be aware of the very bad translation online. Having to press "Create a group" instead of "Submit form" or "Send" when you have completed the online form as an individual must have elicited comments from foreign pilgrims. It is as bad in English as it is in German, French and Italian. Are they planning to do something about this?
I do not know if they are aware of the poor translation. From what I can gather, so far, there are no immediate plans to make significant changes.

It frustrates me too. But, to have any chance of being welcomed back, I must tread lightly.

This said, I will do what I can - no promises.

Sorry I cannot be more optimistic.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I have a Windows Phone.

No go.

And given the sad death of the Emperion Nebulus project, if this one dies on me, I'm seriously considering replacing it with a Linux phone.

Also no go.

No -- I think I'll stick with my Credencial cheers, and my physical place in the actual queue thanks.

I would take a very dim view indeed of any "pilgrim" jumping the queue in front of me on the basis of his silly QR.

And I'm no Luddite -- I've been an IT professional ; but precisely because of this, I want to keep my digital footprint as small as possible, even though my actual footprint is UK size 14½ French army boots ; US 15½ - 16.
I am a Luddite and do not have a phone. Not sure what happens if one cannot access this QR at the Pilgrim Office, but I didn't have a phone in October 2019 when I was last in Santiago getting a compostela, so there must be an alternative.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
there must be an alternative.
@t2andreo who currently volunteers at the Pilgrims Office described it in post #32 of this thread. Just scroll back by six posts:
  • the guard gives you a paper form;
  • you fill it out with your own pen;
  • you get a paper ticket with a number on it;
  • you wait until your number is called.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
@t2andreo who currently volunteers at the Pilgrims Office described it in post #32 of this thread:
  • the guard gives you a paper form;
  • you fill it out with your own pen;
  • you get a paper ticket with a number on it;
  • you wait until your number is called.
Thankfully, but this is my only my guess, there are plenty of people who have and use their smartphones and do not wait their turn at the Office but leave and monitor their place in the queue from a distance.

This has the beneficial result that the number of physically present pilgrims in the Pilgrims Office at any given time is significantly reduced.
 
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Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
@t2andreo who currently volunteers at the Pilgrims Office described it in post #32 of this thread. Just scroll back by six posts:
  • the guard gives you a paper form;
  • you fill it out with your own pen;
  • you get a paper ticket with a number on it;
  • you wait until your number is called.
This is exactly the case. It is a simple process. You don't need a smartphone, basic phone or ANY kind of a technology to collect a compostela. You can just arrive at the pilgrims office and follow the instructions given to you at the door. But if you do have one, it will speed up the process for everyone. IT IS THAT SIMPLE (not shouting, just trying to make it clear and unambigious for all).
 

Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thankfully, but this is my only my guess, there are plenty of people who have and use their smartphones and do not wait their turn at the Office but leave and monitor their place in the queue from a distance.

This has the beneficial result that the number of physically present pilgrims in the Pilgrims Office at any given time is significantly reduced.
This is indeed the case too, and it has been the case since they introduced the ticket system in 2019.
 
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Gerard Hazelebach

Gerard Hazelebach
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) September 2014
"The Peace Walk” (Vienna - Venice) August 2015
I have a Windows Phone.

No go.

And given the sad death of the Emperion Nebulus project, if this one dies on me, I'm seriously considering replacing it with a Linux phone.

Also no go.

No -- I think I'll stick with my Credencial cheers, and my physical place in the actual queue thanks.

I would take a very dim view indeed of any "pilgrim" jumping the queue in front of me on the basis of his silly QR.

And I'm no Luddite -- I've been an IT professional ; but precisely because of this, I want to keep my digital footprint as small as possible, even though my actual footprint is UK size 14½ French army boots ; US 15½ - 16.
And you call yourself “A True Pilgrim” when you get annoid when other Pilgrims just follow the system. They don’t jump “in front of you”, they just follow the instructions
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Oh dear, this Dummy needs a few more steps . . .

Step 1: “There is a placard with a QR code outside the front door of the office.
Scan it with your phone” . . .

Hmmm, how do I do that? Ask Mr Google . . . .

He says: Long press the Home Button on your android phone . . .

Hmmm, where is my Home Button? Ask Mr Google . . .

OK, found it . . . .
. . . . now click the Lens icon that appears . . .

Hmmm, no Lens icon appears . . . Ask Mr Google . . .

That confused him!

Ah, stuff it . . . . this is taking forever to work out . . . .
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Oh dear, this Dummy needs a few more steps . . .

Step 1: “There is a placard with a QR code outside the front door of the office.
Scan it with your phone” . . .

Hmmm, how do I do that? Ask Mr Google . . . .

He says: Long press the Home Button on your android phone . . .

Hmmm, where is my Home Button? Ask Mr Google . . .

OK, found it . . . .
. . . . now click the Lens icon that appears . . .

Hmmm, no Lens icon appears . . . Ask Mr Google . . .

That confused him!

Ah, stuff it . . . . this is taking forever to work out . . . .
@jsalt, I think you must be in a similar "league" as me.😅
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Oh dear, this Dummy needs a few more steps . . . . .
I think all you need to do, is open the camera on your phone and aim it at the QR code. If your phone is somewhat modern, it will scan the code all by itself and a window will open on your phone screen, telling you to "click here" for the next step. (I have done it once or twice, and think that's what I did.)
 
Past OR future Camino
About to start the first leg to Pamplona, doing it in instalments over a decade.
George Vancouver has it almost totally correct. Rather than write another post, making few comments on his very good post should suffice. These first comments are keyed to his numbered points abo

1. You do NOT need to wait until you arrive to submit your information. I recommend you do it while you are on Camino, have Wi-Fi access and the time. Just go to the Pilgrim Office web page as me select “Register / Individual” from the top menu.

Groups are handled differently. You cannot set a group up like you can an individual recordunless you FIRST write an email to:

grupos@catedraldesantiago.es

In the email, the group leader (only) must explain the particulars concerning the group: how many pilgrims, walking what route and from where to Santiago, and the estimated date of arrival.

After review, the group coordinator in the office will provide the leader with a unique User ID and password to access the server directly. This enables the group leader to enter all the required information in advance, at their leisure.

Similar to the individual process, the group leader will receive an SMS message to acknowledge receipt of the information. This will be followed shortly by the email contains the FIRST QR code.

This QR code allows ONLY the leader to be admitted to the office to recover the pre-prepared certificates. Everything the leader needs to know will be explained in the email exchange.

2. Once you submit your information, the system will return we it’s an SMS text message telling you that your information was received. It is VITAL that you save this text message. A few moments later, you will receive an e-Mail telling you that your information was successfully processed. This email contains a link to the all important FIRST QR code. SAVE THIS MESSAGE AT ALL COSTS. The alphanumeric code at the beginning of both the SMS message and email are how your data is indexed before you arrive.

Steps 3-7 are correct as George recounts them.

My overall caveats are to:

1. Submit data in advance.

2. Get to the Pilgrim Office early. Some days they hit the maximum processing capacity of 1,200 to 1,300 by 13:00. When this happens, they stop issuing numbers, and tell you to come back tomorrow. Having a transportation commitment is NOT their problem.

3. I recommend a MINIMUM 36-hour stay in Santiago. This presumes you arrived early (0900 - 1000) in the morning, secured a queue order number ticket and THEN planned your day. This has you spending one night at Santiago and leaving LATE the second day. This gives done protection against being told to “come back tomorrow

4. Note, there are now FOUR Pilgrim Masses daily at the cathedral to offset the required capacity reduction due to the pandemic. These masses are at 0730, 1230, 1630 and 1930 EVERY DAY.
you can confirm these Mass Times on the Cathedral web site.

Oddly enough, this largely cobbled together after-the-fact process works. My direct observations suggest that the slowest point in the entire process is the contact time it takes to write out the personal information on the Compostela and Distance Certificate.

The overall median contact time in my samples were about 3:00 minutes from the time the staff person presses the icon to “bong” the next person to their desk. It takes about 30 seconds for the pilgrim to meander to the correct workstation.

Once they are in front of the staff person the processing time ranges from a low of one-minute to a high of four minutes. The distribution appears to be pretty much a bell curve.

In my assessment, the mean and average are both hovering around three-minutes, including movement time.

NOW, if we can only get them to take the advance data and pre-print the certificates, using calliagraphic fonts on a laser printer (2 actually), I confidently believe we can get the total “face time” down to a median of ONE MINUTE.

But, change never comes fast or easy in Santiago.

Hope this helps.

Tom
This is great but I’m still in difficulties. I registered and have both the text and email saying I did it correctly but no email with a QR code. Where have I gone wrong?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
This is great but I’m still in difficulties. I registered and have both the text and email saying I did it correctly but no email with a QR code. Where have I gone wrong?
I hope that @t2andreo will see this and answer it and, if necessary, amend his earlier post. As far as I can tell and can see, you did nothing wrong. The system sends you only an alphanumeric code, there is no QR code involved in this step.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
The email you received SHOULD have contained a link to, or an attached, QR code. Do check again.

You should be able to bring up a QR code with a message at the top of the QR panel that reads: "A76FHY3Z has successfully submitted their information." I am paraphrasing and the code number is an example. But this should give you an idea of what you are looking for.

When you eventually get to the counter, this alphanumeric code number is how staff will pull your data up in the computer.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
The email you received SHOULD have contained a link to, or an attached, QR code. Do check again. You should be able to bring up a QR code with a message at the top of the QR panel that reads: "A76FHY3Z has successfully submitted their information." I am paraphrasing and the code number is an example. But this should give you an idea of what you are looking for. When you eventually get to the counter, this alphanumeric code number is how staff will pull your data up in the computer.
What I've seen so far is that people, after having completed the online form, only get an email with this kind of text:

21072AWU has been registered correctly.​
There is nothing attached to this email, no link, no QR code. The email is sent by grupos@catedraldesantiago.es and it contains no other information or explanation.
 
Past OR future Camino
About to start the first leg to Pamplona, doing it in instalments over a decade.
Tom
The email you received SHOULD have contained a link to, or an attached, QR code. Do check again.

You should be able to bring up a QR code with a message at the top of the QR panel that reads: "A76FHY3Z has successfully submitted their information." I am paraphrasing and the code number is an example. But this should give you an idea of what you are looking for.

When you eventually get to the counter, this alphanumeric code number is how staff will pull your data up in the computer.

Hope this helps.

Tom
What I've seen so far is that people, after having completed the online form, only get an email with this kind of text:

21072AWU has been registered correctly.​
There is nothing attached to this email, no link, no QR code. The email is sent by grupos@catedraldesantiago.es and it contains no other information or explanation.
Yes, that’s what I’ve got.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Yes, that’s what I’ve got.
Hi again, @Sarah Jane! Did you get your Compostela yesterday or today? How did it go? Did they want to see anything else other than the alphanumeric code that was sent by email and as text message after you had completed the online form?
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
At the end of the day, my repeated observation was that the alphanumeric code was the KEY to everything. You must preserve that alphanumeric code.

In fact, none of the counter processing positions generating Compostelas has a QR code scanner. Staff ALWAYS relied on the alphanumeric code to access your previously input data.

One rather suspects that the Cathedral’s IT contractor has gone “QR crazy.”

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Will there be an amendment to the wording of the Compostela? Perhaps after the bit about “piety” and/or a “sense of search” they could add a bit about “exhibited a high level of competence in modern communication technology” and “avoided disgruntling the security guard”?
Tincatinker,
Perhaps "positively perseverant" is the appropriate phrase.
 

Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
The QR code from the online registration is totally irrelevant at this time, there is no means of reading it at the desks. The alpha numerical 8 digit code from the sms OR from the email is all that's required. Make a screenshot of it and have it ready as you enter. A few write their code on the corner of the credencial and point it out at the door and at the desk which is IMO is very efficient. Fumbling around with your phone for 2 or 3 minutes looking for your code after you've been called to the desk wastes everybody's time.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2015)
I suppose you might consider my post #3 above to fall under that category. But those instructions might just illustrate how important it is to understand where the confusion starts. If we miss that point, none of the remaining instructions are useful and everybody gets frustrated.

Many people have never scanned a QR code, so telling them how to do it is not over-complicating things. I have done it so rarely that I can't remember if I need my camera on, or what. But I have the confidence to figure it out again. The complete instructions for dummies needs to include that bit.
I only recently switched from an Android to an IPhone and had no idea how to scan a QR code. (I still don't know what they are.) Many restaurants I have been to in the last few months now use a QR code to read their menus rather than a physical menu. A very kind, young waitress was happy to show me how to use my camera to scan the code. Even though I know how now, if I see that they have physical menus I still ask for one. It is very difficult for two people to look at a menu at the same time, and my husband refuses to carry a phone. As long as I can scan at the Pilgrims' Office for two people I should be able to do it. 😊
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Many restaurants I have been to in the last few months now use a QR code to read their menus rather than a physical menu.
I dislike this as an "only option", and have started seeing it in the area where I live. I prefer eating outdoors and it is no fun trying to get a good look at the menu on my phone in sunshine, not to mention a menu with many options and a small text size. I still prefer "the real thing".
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
a QR code. (I still don't know what they are.)
I used to be mystified by QR codes.

In their most simple form, they are just text that is written in a different way. For example, a QR code can be the letters, numbers and symbols that make up a link that takes you to a webpage where the menu of a restaurant is stored or a form to be filled in. Or it can be just one word. Below is the word Camino written in Morse code and written in QR code; it is in principle the same thing - but you can decipher the QR code with the help of your iPhone camera (other smartphones may apply).Try it - does the square say Camino or something else? ☺️

Camino Morse.jpg
Camino QR.jpg
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
The first QR codes I ever saw were at museums and outdoor paths on posts. At the time I had no idea what they were and just always passed on by.
 

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