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Credencial vending machine in Pamplona

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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
A friend sent me this photo from Pamplona this week... Handy if you arrive and need to get a credential outside of office hours! Great idea.
An often asked question here is "where can I get a credential," especially from those arriving outside of normal business hours. This will be helpful for many.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Without offence to you @SioCamino as ‘the messenger’ - I almost couldn’t believe this headline! I thought it must have been a joke. Silly me. Seeing that photo - my first reaction, I feel sad. Obtaining my credenciale has always been one of the special rituals of each of my Caminos.

I haven’t walked the Frances since 2013. I’d like to walk that path again one day and I know - from what I read on this forum - that a lot has changed since then. But a vending machine for credenciales!

Maybe it’s a small thing and some will value the convenience. But, for me, even on reflection, it still makes me feel sad. 😞

Walking in 2004 on the CF to Trinidad de Arre the path was a rich mix; medieval bridges criss-crossed the famous Arga River where Hemingway had liked to fish and Coke machines were installed to serve thristy pilgrims! Those machines were a shock!
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Walking in 2004 on the CF to Trinidad de Arre the path was a rich mix; medieval bridges criss-crossed the famous Arga River where Hemingway had liked to fish and Coke machines were installed to serve thristy pilgrims! Those machines were a shock!
Almost every temple on the Shikoku circuit has at least one drinks vending machine. They do seem a little incongruous to my western eyes at first when set against the religious architecture and atmosphere. But they are ubiquitous in Japan and I was grateful for them many times!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Almost every temple on the Shikoku circuit has at least one drinks vending machine. They do seem a little incongruous to my western eyes at first when set against the religious architecture and atmosphere. But they are ubiquitous in Japan and I was grateful for them many times!
Ditto for me. Half a lifetime ago hiking alone in rural Japan and knowing no Japanese I could only order by pointing (!!) and thus ate/drank only what I could see. Sweets were almost impossible to spot but containers of chocolate milk were often sold from small self-service kiosks which resembled mail boxes. Thus I happily 'had a few too many' chocolate milks every day to calm my craving for sugar.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
On my first Camino I was refused a credencial in SJPDP because the woman who issued them reckoned I wasn't proper pilgrim material. The canons in Roncesvalles were less picky. I wonder what questions the machine asks you before it hands one over?
If it could talk, the vending machine would probably ask: "Have you got two €'s in coins?"

Nowadays we can order our credentials online from @ivar's forum store but when I got my first credencial this was not yet possible, I think. As I started from further away than Pamplona and SJPP, I tried to get it from a pilgrim association near me and, at least at the time, credencials were only available for members of an association, and you had to join and pay a membership fee first. Which was a lot more than 2 €. The credencial itself was free.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
Without offence to you @SioCamino as ‘the messenger’ - I almost couldn’t believe this headline! I thought it must have been a joke. Silly me. Seeing that photo - my first reaction, I feel sad. Obtaining my credenciale has always been one of the special rituals of each of my Caminos.

I haven’t walked the Frances since 2013. I’d like to walk that path again one day and I know - from what I read on this forum - that a lot has changed since then. But a vending machine for credenciales! Maybe it’s a small thing and some will value the convenience. But, it still makes me feel sad. 😞
I'll admit to some excitement on our first Camino as we waited in line outside the Pilgrims Office in SJPP for credenciales. A feeling shared by many if the buzz of conversation was any indicator. Not exactly matched by ordering on line or picking up in SdeC but I appreciate the convenience of vending machines.

I sincerely hope that there are no plans for an e-credencial. Download an app and scan QR codes in every bar and albergue. Not for me thank you but I can be quite a luddite at times.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I sincerely hope that there are no plans for an e-credencial. Download an app and scan QR codes in every bar and albergue.
It already exists. But no one is compelled to use it, nor the vending machine credential.

 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
It already exists. But no one is compelled to use it, nor the vending machine credential.
I am one of the "Luddite" faction on this business. Although I am usually a fairly keen user of technical gadgetry I do have trouble squaring my old fashioned notions of pilgrimage with e-credencials & virtual sellos, credencial vending machines, Compostela numbered tickets and pre-registering online with the Pilgrim Office. I can see the convenience benefits there might be but my aesthetic sense revolts at the idea. Pilgrims may not actually be "compelled" to use such things yet but I sense a movement in that direction. A recent angry post from a pilgrim office volunteer was deeply offensive when referring to pilgrims who had not pre-registered online.
 

bullingtonce

New Member
Past OR future Camino
I plan to do the Ruta de la Lana in August/September 2021
A friend sent me this photo from Pamplona this week... Handy if you arrive and need to get a credential outside of office hours! Great idea.
Hooray. We beat the Japanese.
There hold the world record for i
A friend sent me this photo from Pamplona this week... Handy if you arrive and need to get a credential outside of office hours! Great idea.
Oops. Prematurely sent.
Hooray. We beat the Japanese.
They hold the world record for different items in a vending machine, but we have God in a vending machine.
This is supposed to be a joke.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
It is my understanding that until recently (a few years ago), there was no requirement for a standardized credencial at all - you could make your own. So now the Luddites are holding up the mailing-process as the gold standard for getting a credencial, but why not go back further? Maybe we should criticize the standardization of the booklet and the fact that we can conveniently get one by mail. Each of us defines our traditions and they are rather arbitrary.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Today, I filled out the questionnaire for the survey that is done by the University of Santiago in collaboration with the Diocese of Santiago and currently available on the forum. One statement was: "The route [in my case: Camino Francés] had reached its capacity for pilgrims." I ticked: Strongly agree. One may wonder what this has to do with a vending machine in Pamplona. Quite a bit, imho. We have become too many.

The credencial as we know it was invented in 1987 by a conference of international and Spanish Camino associations. No Internet forum existed at the time so we don't know how pilgrims in those days reacted to something so new-fangled.

It was only in 1993 or so that the Cathedral got involved and elevated an appropriately stamped credencial to a condition for getting a Compostela. At least that's my understanding of recent history.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
It already exists. But no one is compelled to use it, nor the vending machine credential.

I'll admit to some excitement on our first Camino as we waited in line outside the Pilgrims Office in SJPP for credenciales. A feeling shared by many if the buzz of conversation was any indicator. Not exactly matched by ordering on line or picking up in SdeC but I appreciate the convenience of vending machines.

I sincerely hope that there are no plans for an e-credencial. Download an app and scan QR codes in every bar and albergue. Not for me thank you but I can be quite a luddite at times.
I bet for lots of young people who are not sure what paper is and if it isn't an app it doesn't exist (for some others too, who have their own reasons, an online credential is the option they would choose. I always get a paper credential. I have kept a few and have given the others to friends and my kids. Look at it like this, especially if you walk when there are lots of pilgrims arriving in Santiago, more e-credentials, less wait time for people like us who want a credential issued the old fashioned way. If you arrive in Santiago in December or January no need to worry , no hurry, no fuss to get a credential!
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
One statement was: "The route [in my case: Camino Francés] had reached its capacity for pilgrims." I ticked: Strongly agree
I remember thinking much the same at the end of my second Camino in 2002. There had been such a massive explosion in numbers since my first Camino that I wondered how much further the trend could go without everything falling apart. There were just under 69,000 Compostelas issued that year. Seems I might have been mistaken.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
On my first Camino I was refused a credencial in SJPDP because the woman who issued them reckoned I wasn't proper pilgrim material. The canons in Roncesvalles were less picky. I wonder what questions the machine asks you before it hands one over?
Mme Debril was wonderful.

She half-grudgingly provided me with one as I had walked from Paris, and had a recommendation letter from the canon of Notre Dame, plus all of the stamps along the way, most from parishes, abbeys, monasteries, etc.

She could obviously tell that I wasn't a Catholic (that happened later), hence some hesitation, but she also clearly saw that something was going on inside, and took precedence, particularly as I had all of the formal boxes ticked.

She was a good Catholic, struggling to provide from a supply of credenciales IIRC about 20-25% of the number that she actually needed to be able to provide for all, hence her pickiness. Which she explained to me, in explanation that to obtain one from her as a non-Catholic was a privilege, and not a right.

She was definitely more kindly towards those who came to see her with respect, humility, and when necessary apology, instead of with expectation of services.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It is my understanding that until recently (a few years ago), there was no requirement for a standardized credencial at all - you could make your own.
No, that's not true - - in that for an "unofficial" credencial to be valid, it needed and needs to follow some basic rules, the most important of which is a recommendation letter from a recognised Catholic (and conditionally other Christian) ecclesial Authority, and preferentially either one's Parish Priest or one's Bishop/Abbot/Superior/etc.

The issue after a certain point in the 2000s was that the number of commercially produced unofficial ones obeying the basic rules not in the slightest, and yet profiting financially from the Camino whilst providing nothing in return, as well as being often quite aggressively outside of the Church had exploded ; at the same time as the issuing of Compostelas by the Cathedral had started to become financially burdensome.

Hence the decision to require only the officially recognised ones, which provide 2€ each towards the upkeep of the pilgrims office.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
The credencial now serves us mainly as a record of where we stayed, visited etc..... This has to be on as paper to be part of the experience. The wine stain, the upside down stamp (me), coffee mug ring mark, etc.... can never be replaced by pixels.
In any case after our first Camino and compostela we never troubled the Pilgrims Office in SdeC again. Just as well as we have been known to skip the final 30 or 40 kms after Sarria if it is crowded.
 

Rmarkob

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 21 Sep/22 Oct 2021
I bought a Credencial from a pilgrim shop just down the street from the Cathedral in Pamplona.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The credencial as we know it was invented in 1987
The first version of it was produced for a Holy Year in the 1950s, but you're perfectly right about when the document started to be generalised in the mass produced version with which we are familiar nowadays.
 
Speaking of machines on the Camino, there's no doubt that the 24-hour vending machines in towns and the coke-dispensers on the trail can be a godsend.

The strangest machine I've seen was in Najera, where just down from the austere Christian albergue and across the street from the church (closed, if course) there was a group of machines selling everything, including an object which I can't specify on this forum, but which might in some circumstances have provided welcome relief to a stressed pilgrim.

With virtual Caminos on the rise, and advancing age, I plan soon to send a robot avatar on the Camino, and would be delighted if he could get his credential from a machine, receive a digital Compostela in Santiago and even collect the plenary indulgence on my behalf in the Cathedral. To simulate as closely as possible the real peregrini, he'll be programmed to say "buen Camino", snore in albergues, talk about feet and complain about bicycles and young people. The future looks bright, we've got to wear shades.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
A few scattered around Santiago to dispense Compostelas would be very useful too.
Well I remember a shop in Sto Domingo that sold doctored versions of the old Credential with the Latin removed and a suitable text in Spanish/French/German or English.
It reminded me of the time I bought my wife a handbag in a Spanish market: "What logo would you like" he asked opening a tray with CC, YSL, La Coste badges!
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
With virtual Caminos on the rise, and advancing age, I plan soon to send a robot avatar on the Camino, and would be delighted if he could get his credential from a machine, receive a digital Compostela in Santiago and even collect the plenary indulgence on my behalf in the Cathedral.

You should talk to these people - you sound just who they need! :)

 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
On my first Camino I was refused a credencial in SJPDP because the woman who issued them reckoned I wasn't proper pilgrim material. The canons in Roncesvalles were less picky. I wonder what questions the machine asks you before it hands one over?
"Will that be cash or card?"
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
"Two nations divided by a common language". I had a puzzled moment wondering who would wear braces on a Camino anyway. Wouldn't they chafe with the rucksack straps? Wouldn't a belt be simpler? Dawned on me eventually :)
I did, one year. The button inside the waistband type and no, they didn't chafe.
 

Mananath

Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
Speaking of machines on the Camino, there's no doubt that the 24-hour vending machines in towns and the coke-dispensers on the trail can be a godsend.

The strangest machine I've seen was in Najera, where just down from the austere Christian albergue and across the street from the church (closed, if course) there was a group of machines selling everything, including an object which I can't specify on this forum, but which might in some circumstances have provided welcome relief to a stressed pilgrim.

With virtual Caminos on the rise, and advancing age, I plan soon to send a robot avatar on the Camino, and would be delighted if he could get his credential from a machine, receive a digital Compostela in Santiago and even collect the plenary indulgence on my behalf in the Cathedral. To simulate as closely as possible the real peregrini, he'll be programmed to say "buen Camino", snore in albergues, talk about feet and complain about bicycles and young people. The future looks bright, we've got to wear shades.
A few years ago, in Cadiz Spain, I came across a vending machine selling sex toys. Right next to a candy and soda vending machine!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
With virtual Caminos on the rise, and advancing age, I plan soon to send a robot avatar on the Camino, and would be delighted if he could get his credential from a machine, receive a digital Compostela in Santiago and even collect the plenary indulgence on my behalf in the Cathedral. To simulate as closely as possible the real peregrini, he'll be programmed to say "buen Camino", snore in albergues, talk about feet and complain about bicycles and young people. The future looks bright, we've got to wear shades.
You should talk to these people - you sound just who they need! :)

@Gerard Griffin so sorry, it appears your idea has already being realized, but as @Bradypus notes, perhaps you should get in touch!
 
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I regret to say that the device in the machine in Najera wasn't the relatively innocuous ones anamcara spotted in Burgos, but the more reprehensible type noticed by mananath in Cadiz.

For a long while I wondered whether the pious and respectable locals could have been so depraved. But then I realised that in their wisdom and compassion they had made provision for poor peregrinos driven to the point of madness by the remorselessly chaste peregrinas they were forced to share dorms with on the Camino.

The Camino provides, as they say.
 
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Former member 99290

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I regret to say that the device in the machine in Najera wasn't the relatively innocuous ones anamcara spotted in Burgos, but the more reprehensible type noticed by mananath in Cadiz.

For a long while I wondered whether the pious and respectable locals could have been so depraved. But then I realised that in their wisdom and compassion they had made provision for poor peregrinos driven to the point of madness by the remorselessly chaste peregrinas they were forced to share dorms with on the Camino.

The Camino provides, as they say.
Was not me who spotted any devices in Burgos.
 

Keikochan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
3 past (2014, 2018, 2019) and 1 planned in August
The most interesting discussion I've ever found on the Forum! Enjoyed it enormously. Vending machines are so ubiquitous in Japan (mostly drink), that we even notice their existence till we need them.
I wish there's one for credential in Oviedo, so that I don't have to hustle round when I arrive there in the afternoon. Do they provide it at Cathedral? Or at the tourist information? I hope I never end up using e-credentials. I would love "wine stains and coffee mug ring mark" on my credential.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
The most interesting discussion I've ever found on the Forum! Enjoyed it enormously. Vending machines are so ubiquitous in Japan (mostly drink), that we even notice their existence till we need them.
I wish there's one for credential in Oviedo, so that I don't have to hustle round when I arrive there in the afternoon. Do they provide it at Cathedral? Or at the tourist information? I hope I never end up using e-credentials. I would love "wine stains and coffee mug ring mark" on my credential.
This albergue says they issue credentials in Oviedo.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Mme Debril was wonderful.

She half-grudgingly provided me with one as I had walked from Paris, and had a recommendation letter from the canon of Notre Dame, plus all of the stamps along the way, most from parishes, abbeys, monasteries, etc.

She could obviously tell that I wasn't a Catholic (that happened later), hence some hesitation, but she also clearly saw that something was going on inside, and took precedence, particularly as I had all of the formal boxes ticked.

She was a good Catholic, struggling to provide from a supply of credenciales IIRC about 20-25% of the number that she actually needed to be able to provide for all, hence her pickiness. Which she explained to me, in explanation that to obtain one from her as a non-Catholic was a privilege, and not a right.

She was definitely more kindly towards those who came to see her with respect, humility, and when necessary apology, instead of with expectation of services.

She’s a legend with whom you interacted.

My, my.
 

Keikochan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
3 past (2014, 2018, 2019) and 1 planned in August
Thank you for the information of credentials in Oviedo. I immediately sent e-mail to the albergue.
Correction: We are even unaware of the existence of vending machines until we need them.
The photos of Guardian are so interesting. We now have ones for masks, mainly located in medical institutions.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
On a hot afternoon we were passing through Santo Domingo and in need of topping up our water bottles.
We either failed to notice suitable places but I think it was just that time of day. No shops and no bars and suddenly we were out of the town and had crossed the Rio Oja which was about as dry as our mouths now felt.
I spotted an industrial building on our left. Blue and red facade and a huge sign for a vehicle testing centre. They must have a tap where I can cadge some water I said to myself. I headed over and there was an open door. In I went, lots of vehicles but no signs of anyone. There was, however, a life saving vending machine full of chilled water and soft drinks.
The Camino does indeed provide although you do have to make an effort sometimes.
...and I make sure we always carry some loose change.
 
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