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Do some people not get stamps?

pwgavin

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2024
Been binging on Rob's Camino YouTube page in prep for my own trek and he oftentimes says something along the lines of "For those who want to get their passport stamped..." which led me to wonder: Do some folks not get it stamped? I assumed I would but I was curious if some people don't care for it, etc., etc. Thanks!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
There seems to be a number of reasons people get their credencial stamped along The Way. If you are staying in albergues, it is the first document that you’re usually asked for. The stamps are an indication that you are a pilgrim and at the albergues, this is your admission card. Second, for anyone wishing to get a Compostela at the end of their Camino, you need to show two stamps a day for the last 100km. Finally, you me anyway, the stamped credencial has always been my favorite souvenir of a Camino. Looking back at the stamps brings back many fond memories of the journey. Plus, it’s been great fun collecting some really unique stamps along The Way. Buen Camino!
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I never bother with stamps, only getting them when they automatically do so in the Albergues. I carry my credential solely to get me access to the Albergue network.

That said I fully understand why many do, occasionally the stamps are really neat. They can also help people bring back great memories!
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I like them as a reminder of where I while on camino, I take photos too as a reminder
Yes, my credential and the stamps in it are a great souvenir and reminder of the places where I stayed each day. I just don't feel the need to collect stamps from every random place I pass through. I only get extra stamps at places where I have exceptional experiences.
 
You’re really from New York? 😇

Don’t forget once you cross over the river into Spain: two per day.
Collecting 2 stamps per day on the Portuguese officially starts in Vigo when you follow the Coastal ( Vigo is about 60 kms from the Minho river)

Or at the Central route in O Porrińo what is about about 15 kms from the same river)
 
Collecting 2 stamps per day on the Portuguese officially starts in Vigo when you follow the Coastal ( Vigo is about 60 kms from the Minho river)

Or at the Central route in O Porrińo what is about about 15 kms from the same river)
We’re doing the spiritual, is it still 2 from Vigo on or do I have to start tomorrow leaving Baiona?
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
We’re doing the spiritual, is it still 2 from Vigo on or do I have to start tomorrow leaving Baiona?
The Variante Espiritual starts about 5 kms beyond Pontevedra.
If you have one stamp from Vigo and one past Vigo on the same day and you keep on collecting two stamps per day untill Santiago you can apply for a Compostela.
Although the Variante Espiritual is not recognized by the Pilgrims Office you have kms (102) enough for a certificate so also collect 2 stamps per day at te Variante Espiritual
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Been binging on Rob's Camino YouTube page in prep for my own trek and he oftentimes says something along the lines of "For those who want to get their passport stamped..." which led me to wonder: Do some folks not get it stamped? I assumed I would but I was curious if some people don't care for it, etc., etc. Thanks!
yep, my case when not staying at albergues or requesting the Compostela.
 
For my first two Camino’s I collected stamps/sellos for my compostela - now for the previous 5 I didn’t even carry a pilgrim passport as I don’t wish to collect another compostela so I don’t get any stamps. It is a little bit liberating but I also remember the feeling of completion in collecting the stamps so I wonder if I will return
 
For my first two Camino’s I collected stamps/sellos for my compostela - now for the previous 5 I didn’t even carry a pilgrim passport as I don’t wish to collect another compostela so I don’t get any stamps. It is a little bit liberating but I also remember the feeling of completion in collecting the stamps so I wonder if I will return
I can't imagine walking the Camino without a credential. For me it's part of the while Camino experience.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I'm not stamp-crazy.
Even on my CF in 2019 I didn't fill my Credential with stamps. There were few spots left.

On my CP last year my Credential wasn't stamped half. The back is empty.
For me, the interactions with my fellow pilgrims are more worth and most memorable than a few stamps.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
We rarely stay anywhere where it is an absolute requirement to have a credential. I do get one stamped I am walking for someone who might be sick and then, I want the credential for them. But normally, no stamps and no credential anymore.
 
I usually only get stamps where I sleep. Of course, if I want a Compostela I get a second one somewhere each day during the last 100 km, but I don't normally bother with that anymore.
For those who really, really like sellos they can do the same but put extra sellos on additional credentials. Then it's easy to find out where you stayed from the primary credential but you've still got your others. Be sure though that if you want the compostela the primary has two per day for the last 100 km (200 for cyclists). Maybe one for each sleep and another for second breakfast?
 
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The question springs to mind, if people are not interested in collecting stamps or getting a Compostela should they be staying in albergues?
I guess that depends on why you think the albergues are there and what you think the Compostela means.

Whilst for some a Compostela has genuine meaning, for all too many it is simply a pretty certificate, which can only be obtained by completing ( or pretending to complete) the last 100 km and collecting aforesaid stamps. In and of itself it has absolutely no value, other than that with which the person collecting it endows it.

As the majority of Albergues are private, and even the municipals are provided/ supported by the locals, not the Church, why shouldn't anyone walking the Camino be able to use them ? It is, after all, the sole reason for which they are provided.
And even the Donativos do not question the motivation of their guests. Plus, I might add, they are staffed by people like myself. I'm a trained Hospitalero , yet as I posted above the stamps and the Compostela are meaningless to me.
 
Added to what others have said. Rarely did people on their first camino not get stamps or their Compostella. Many of us have walked multiple times and while most of us I guess carry a Credencial, it no longer is as important after a few Caminos
 
The question springs to mind, if people are not interested in collecting stamps or getting a Compostela should they be staying in albergues?
My understanding has always been that albergues and the earlier refugios are there to assist pilgrims on their pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle in Santiago. I do not see any essential link between a journey to the shrine of the Apostle and the collection of stamps and souvenir certificates along the way. My own business in Santiago is with the saint - not the pilgrim office whose understanding of pilgrimage I no longer share or endorse.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
My understanding has always been that albergues and the earlier refugios are there to assist pilgrims on their pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle in Santiago. I do not see any essential link between a journey to the shrine of the Apostle and the collection of stamps and souvenir certificates along the way. My own business in Santiago is with the saint - not the pilgrim office whose understanding of pilgrimage I no longer share or endorse.
Great answer.
 
Been binging on Rob's Camino YouTube page in prep for my own trek and he oftentimes says something along the lines of "For those who want to get their passport stamped..." which led me to wonder: Do some folks not get it stamped? I assumed I would but I was curious if some people don't care for it, etc., etc. Thanks!
I love collecting stamps. I am a collector and have collected various things over the years. Lately, I try to restrict myself to digital collections, because space!
I go so far as to ask for stamps in museums or other places I visit. Last year I visited CERN at the end of via jacobi and they found me a neat little sticker with their logo on it!
I also like the creativity that goes into making a lot of the stamps. What people choose to represent the camino or their home or village or accommodation. On via jacobi almost every church and chapel had a stamp with a little picture of it on it.

I also collect postcards on the caminos, but I apply a two-per-day-max policy because - unlike the stamps - they do start adding weight to my pack! 😊
 
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In my years of experience as a Pilgrim Office volunteer, I have seen the entire range of stamping.

There are pilgrims who combine multiple credencials to hold all their sellos. These folks collect the sellos, pretty much the same way others take photographs with their smartphones.

When they arrive at the counter at the Pilgrim Office, their credencials resemble huge origami paper sculptures. If staff are lucky, the pilgrim has already arranged the credencials in chronological order. If not, staff must do this.

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are folks who cannot seem to understand that you need enough sellos, throughout a Camino, to establish progress along a route - point to point - as well as the chronology involved.

They also did not read the credencial itself, or pay attention here in the forum, to understand that once you hit the 100 km threshold on any route (200 km if on a bicycle), TWO SELLOS are needed per day. It is really a very easy thing. Yes, I know it is in Spanish. But, that is what online translators are for.

When there are excessive sellos, staff and volunteers have to parse them to create a chronological narrative to support a pilgrims claims of having walked "X" route in "Y" days. This, of course, takes time.

Now that the Pilgrim Office arrival process relies almost exclusively on online pre-arrival registration of your personal data, significant time is saved at the counter.

This semi automated process works much in the same way that the new EU ETIAS visa free pre-arrival online process will work, and how the existing US ESTA process works for many non-US nationals traveling to the US. In all three contexts, you submit your personal information online, in advance of your arrival.

For the national border systems, you receive an admission code from the appropriate border authorities. In the pilgrim context, you receive a QR code to announce your arrival at Santiago to Pilgrim Office Security.

When Pilgrim Office security scans this QR code, you receive a queue order number. This also sends your data to the laser printer queue, so your Compostela and Distance Certificates (if requested) can be printed in a beautiful script font. When you arrive at the counter, your certificate(s) can be rapidly printed and delivered.

Then again, if a Compostela is not your goal, then it does not matter what you do. The issue here is that, if you change you mind, from NOT wanting a Compostela to wanting one, but you only have few and infrequent sellos in your credencial, staff have to look elsewhere to try to substantiate your claim to having walked a specific Camino to qualify - if possible. This is yet another, indirect reason, why using a smartphone on your Camino is a good thing.

In this case, the most common thing staff will do is to examine the meta data for your photographs to determine where the photo was taken and on what date. I have seen eligibility for MANY Compostelas "saved" this way. But, it takes an inordinate amount of time and patience.

So, just in case you MIGHT want a Compostela, please just get the sellos - one per day beyond 100 km if walking (200 km if by bicycle) - then TWO per day once you hit the 100 / 200 km threshold: Tui. Ourense, Vigo, Sarria, Ferrol, etc. by foot. Figure out the 200 km threshold if by bike.

Bottom line - if in doubt - just get the extra sellos.

I hope this helps.

Tom
 
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Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I am not a big sello gatherer - one credential took me from Ireland to Santiago- apart from the last 100km it was 1 stamp per day - in Spain generally from the albergue but in Ireland and France I have a much wider range from mairie (townhall), bars, bakeries, libraries, ferry, shops - but still only one a day!

But I see the credential as giving access to albergues, and evidence of pilgrimage to SdeC. And pilgrimage in the Christian tradition (which the camino is) has a destination- some holy place, church, cathedral etc and for the camino it is the cathedral which is said to be the resting place of the apostle James (Santiago). Plus of course the journey back home again is part of pilgrimage.
 
Been binging on Rob's Camino YouTube page in prep for my own trek and he oftentimes says something along the lines of "For those who want to get their passport stamped..." which led me to wonder: Do some folks not get it stamped? I assumed I would but I was curious if some people don't care for it, etc., etc. Thanks!
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Yes, my credential and the stamps in it are a great souvenir and reminder of the places where I stayed each day. I just don't feel the need to collect stamps from every random place I pass through. I only get extra stamps at places where I have exceptional experiences.
I just arrived in Santiago today. Up until Sarria I just got one from were I stayed except the odd church. I’am not much of a stamp hunter
 
Been binging on Rob's Camino YouTube page in prep for my own trek and he oftentimes says something along the lines of "For those who want to get their passport stamped..." which led me to wonder: Do some folks not get it stamped? I assumed I would but I was curious if some people don't care for it, etc., etc. Thanks!
I wasn’t planning to get stamps or a certificate. I was telling my 22-year-old daughter about the passport and the stamps, etc. and how I probably wouldn’t do it and she said “you have to get the stamps and certificate and then give them to me because I might walk the Camino some day and I’ll want to have that with me!” 😭 😭😭 So I will be getting every stamp and the certificate even if I have to wait in a very long line. 🥹
 
Yes, my credential and the stamps in it are a great souvenir and reminder of the places where I stayed each day. I just don't feel the need to collect stamps from every random place I pass through. I only get extra stamps at places where I have exceptional experiences.
I know many of my friends and pilgrims here on the forum who have walked multiple times do not get compostellas anymore. I still get them and give them away. The first one means alot to me. The rest I give to family and close friends. This year I am going to dedicate my camino to my college roommate that passed away earlier this year. I want to put his name on the compostela. I know it is possible but what is the procedure?
In my years of experience as a Pilgrim Office volunteer, I have seen the entire range of stamping.
I brought you @t2andreo as you graciously and have the great fortune of working in the pilgrim office.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
In my years of experience as a Pilgrim Office volunteer, I have seen the entire range of stamping.

There are pilgrims who combine multiple credencials to hold all their sellos. These folks collect the sellos, pretty much the same way others take photographs with their smartphones.

When they arrive at the counter at the Pilgrim Office, their credencials resemble huge origami paper sculptures. If staff are lucky, the pilgrim has already arranged the credencials in chronological order. If not, staff must do this.

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are folks who cannot seem to understand that you need enough sellos, throughout a Camino, to establish progress along a route - point to point - as well as the chronology involved.

They also did not read the credencial itself, or pay attention here in the forum, to understand that once you hit the 100 km threshold on any route (200 km if on a bicycle), TWO SELLOS are needed per day. It is really a very easy thing. Yes, I know it is in Spanish. But, that is what online translators are for.

When there are excessive sellos, staff and volunteers have to parse them to create a chronological narrative to support a pilgrims claims of having walked "X" route in "Y" days. This, of course, takes time.

Now that the Pilgrim Office arrival process relies almost exclusively on online pre-arrival registration of your personal data, significant time is saved at the counter.

This semi automated process works much in the same way that the new EU ETIAS visa free pre-arrival online process will work, and how the existing US ESTA process works for many non-US nationals traveling to the US. In all three contexts, you submit your personal information online, in advance of your arrival.

For the national border systems, you receive an admission code from the appropriate border authorities. In the pilgrim context, you receive a QR code to announce your arrival at Santiago to Pilgrim Office Security.

When Pilgrim Office security scans this QR code, you receive a queue order number. This also sends your data to the laser printer queue, so your Compostela and Distance Certificates (if requested) can be printed in a beautiful script font. When you arrive at the counter, your certificate(s) can be rapidly printed and delivered.

Then again, if a Compostela is not your goal, then it does not matter what you do. The issue here is that, if you change you mind, from NOT wanting a Compostela to wanting one, but you only have few and infrequent sellos in your credencial, staff have to look elsewhere to try to substantiate your claim to having walked a specific Camino to qualify - if possible. This is yet another, indirect reason, why using a smartphone on your Camino is a good thing.

In this case, the most common thing staff will do is to examine the meta data for your photographs to determine where the photo was taken and on what date. I have seen eligibility for MANY Compostelas "saved" this way. But, it takes an inordinate amount of time and patience.

So, just in case you MIGHT want a Compostela, please just get the sellos - one per day beyond 100 km if walking (200 km if by bicycle) - then TWO per day once you hit the 100 / 200 km threshold: Tui. Ourense, Vigo, Sarria, Ferrol, etc. by foot. Figure out the 200 km threshold if by bike.

Bottom line - if in doubt - just get the extra sellos.

I hope this helps.

Tom
Thanks for the information Tom.
Looking forward to all those “ puzzles 😇” when I will be volunteer.
I will miss the handwritten names in Latin, as I did in 2022
 
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I know many of my friends and pilgrims here on the forum who have walked multiple times do not get compostellas anymore. I still get them and give them away. The first one means alot to me. The rest I give to family and close friends. This year I am going to dedicate my camino to my college roommate that passed away earlier this year. I want to put his name on the compostela. I know it is possible but what is the procedure?

I brought you @t2andreo as you graciously and have the great fortune of working in the pilgrim office.
You can( could) ask a Compostela for somebody else , the so called “ vicarie pro “ rule
but with the printed Compostela’s I do not know if this is still possible. Maybe one of the volunteers who recently served at the Pilgrims Office can answer this question
Anyway I found underneath information.
When I served as a volunteer in 2022 I wrote out several Vicarie Pro Compostela’s

 
You can( could) ask a Compostela for somebody else , the so called “ vicarie pro “ rule
but with the printed Compostela’s I do not know if this is still possible. Maybe one of the volunteers who recently served at the Pilgrims Office can answer this question
Anyway I found underneath information.
When I served as a volunteer in 2022 I wrote out several Vicarie Pro Compostela’s

I
Thanks so much. I hope to give this to my friend's wife when I return home.
 
I try for stamps from the churches I enter but otherwise I am not that into the collection of the stamps.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Might as well get in the habit now! I don't think that you are in danger of running out of room in your credential.😉
Thats the way I feel. If you get into the habit of getting 2\day then you rarely if ever will wind up with either 1 or, God forbid, NONE!

All previous posts that stated the "need' of these stamps to ge the Compostela - apply. If you do not care for that document then it matters not; you can skip places and\or days

Good Luck and Buen Camino
 
Been binging on Rob's Camino YouTube page in prep for my own trek and he oftentimes says something along the lines of "For those who want to get their passport stamped..." which led me to wonder: Do some folks not get it stamped? I assumed I would but I was curious if some people don't care for it, etc., etc. Thanks!
I got no stamps on my first camino but I've collected stamps assiduously on all subsequent caminos.
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
Prior our first Camino we were concerned that I might take a bed from a person who really needed it. But when gifted Credentials, we decided to try public and parochial Albergues and donativos, and it made all the difference.

Then on Camino we started hear about the inquisition we'd face at the end, so decided not to bother.

What started as a walk continues to be a pilgrimage – no stamps or certificates required. Just a properly stamped credential to be admitted to all the best Albergues and Donativos. :)
 
Been binging on Rob's Camino YouTube page in prep for my own trek and he oftentimes says something along the lines of "For those who want to get their passport stamped..." which led me to wonder: Do some folks not get it stamped? I assumed I would but I was curious if some people don't care for it, etc., etc. Thanks!
You can be sure to get your credential stamped. If someone doesn't, it's probably their own choice or wrong place. The albergues and churches, most bars and restaurants are happy to give stamps to pilgrims with the official credencial.
Buen Camino
 
This was my first Camino (returned 10 days ago). I filled two and a half credential books. My memory is terrible and I look at the stamps as a way to have more happy memories and a more thorough timeline. I collected usually at a cafe/bar in the morning and also at the albergue. Often I would get a church stamp and give a donation. I intend to frame the credentials along with my Compostela and shell.

It was hardly any extra effort to get the stamps and didn't detract from my experience. Each to their own though. We all have different needs and wants.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
The Variante Espiritual starts about 5 kms beyond Pontevedra.
If you have one stamp from Vigo and one past Vigo on the same day and you keep on collecting two stamps per day untill Santiago you can apply for a Compostela.
Although the Variante Espiritual is not recognized by the Pilgrims Office you have kms (102) enough for a certificate so also collect 2 stamps per day at te Variante Espiritual
The Spiritual Variant IS recognized by the Pilgrim’s Office.
 
Well I don’t know about this double stamp requirement from Sarria.
I get one stamp in my Credencial every day while on pilgrimage (except the odd time when I forget because I stayed in a hotel for example - then I write in the particulars of that O/N stop in my Credencial with a pen).
In this fashion I have 6/7K kms under my belt (or more accurately under my shoes!).
I have asked for and have received 5/6 Compostelas.
And - here’s the punch line: I have never gotten a double stamp on any 24 hours in the last 100 kms of any Camino I walked.
And nobody in the pilgrims office has ever questioned me about it.
Not sure what the moral of that story is!
Joan

PS
Even walking on Camino in Ireland I get stamps on my homemade routes (there I’m en route to get to St James Gate (for the church, for the symbolism and of course for the Guinness! And also to catch a boat to the continent). I get stamps in my Credencials on those treks too. These stamps are mostly from pubs and occasionally hotels or even shops - I even have the VAT ID stamp from the highest pub in Ireland (well they say it’s the highest 😊) which shows I passed through there!
As a further aside - The oldest pub in Ireland is very near St James Gate - and will «stamp » your Credencial! And the Guinness factory itself stamps Credencials too (The free pilgrim pint there I’m afraid has been mythical for me).
Apparently these random stamps and the self -made penned ones are legitimate currency also - I have never been questioned about any of my ´stamps’ .
(Possibly have just set myself up to be pilloried next time I roll up!)
 
Well I don’t know about this double stamp requirement from Sarria.
I get one stamp in my Credencial every day while on pilgrimage (except the odd time when I forget because I stayed in a hotel for example - then I write in the particulars of that O/N stop in my Credencial with a pen).
In this fashion I have 6/7K kms under my belt (or more accurately under my shoes!).
I have asked for and have received 5/6 Compostelas.
And - here’s the punch line: I have never gotten a double stamp on any 24 hours in the last 100 kms of any Camino I walked.
And nobody in the pilgrims office has ever questioned me about it.
Not sure what the moral of that story is!
Joan

PS
Even walking on Camino in Ireland I get stamps on my homemade routes (there I’m en route to get to St James Gate (for the church, for the symbolism and of course for the Guinness! And also to catch a boat to the continent). I get stamps in my Credencials on those treks too. These stamps are mostly from pubs and occasionally hotels or even shops - I even have the VAT ID stamp from the highest pub in Ireland (well they say it’s the highest 😊) which shows I passed through there!
As a further aside - The oldest pub in Ireland is very near St James Gate - and will «stamp » your Credencial! And the Guinness factory itself stamps Credencials too (The free pilgrim pint there I’m afraid has been mythical for me).
Apparently these random stamps and the self -made penned ones are legitimate currency also - I have never been questioned about any of my ´stamps’ .
(Possibly have just set myself up to be pilloried next time I roll up!)
The moral of the story is that not everyone who works at the Pilgrim Office enforces the rules, especially on long distance walkers. There is anecdotal evidence that most do not. Most is not the same as all. Each pilgrim can decide how important a Compostela is to them, how much of a pain it is to get a second stamp, and whether they want to risk getting that person at the Pilgrim Office who enforces the rules on everybody.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery

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