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First time / Del Norte August 11 / Simple question

Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Hello all:

I am a solo Canadian embarking on my first Camino - Camino Del Norte. I much appreciate reading all the insights. I am hopeful for August and look forward to walking from Irun to Santiago.

Sorry for what may be an obvious question: I have my credentials passport (thanks Ivar). Do I need to formally “start“ my credential passport before I walk - correct? Seems that my only option in Irun (looking at Gronze) is a visiting The Passionists which opens at 9 a.m. Is that a late start for the hike to San Sebastian? I am thinking this is the right route to go (which I am happy to do). Do I understand this correctly?

Looking forward to whatever the camino may provide in this year. And thanks for any clarity as to how to start. Thanks, Dg
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Where will you be spending the night before you start? You can get a stamp there, or pretty much any cafe, post office, tourist office, etc. that has one. Your first stamp just denotes the place that you start from. I have no idea what The Passionists is.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Pilgrims who are churchgoers will often have the sello of their home parish as their first stamp. One of mine has the seal of our bishop as he retired; it was his last official act.

Anyone in Irun can provide you with a sello--- police, albergue, hotel, a church you pass by, or even the Passionists-- check to see if they have an early morning Mass or morning prayer. If not, the bar where you get your morning coffee will do it--Casa Manolo up to your right after your left just after you cross over the bridge over the canal Amuteko.

I've done this route a few times. The first day out of Irun is a challenge--- take it slow and have snacks and fruit in your backpack-- but the scenery and the trees are wonderful. You will have a great time, and there are some splendid restaurants on the little plaza by the harbour to provide you with a reward.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hello all:

I am a solo Canadian embarking on my first Camino - Camino Del Norte. I much appreciate reading all the insights. I am hopeful for August and look forward to walking from Irun to Santiago.

Sorry for what may be an obvious question: I have my credentials passport (thanks Ivar). Do I need to formally “start“ my credential passport it before I walk - correct? Seems that my only option in Irun (looking at Gronze) is a visiting The Passionists which opens at 9 a.m. Is that a late start for the hike to San Sebastian? I am thinking this is the right route to go (which I am happy to do). Do I understand this correctly?

Looking forward to whatever the camino may provide in this year. And thanks for any clarity as to how to start. Thanks, Dg

You just fill in appropriate data and you can get a stamp/sello almost anywhere.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Do I need to formally “start“ my credential passport it before I walk - correct?
No. There is no need for a formal "start" anywhere. @oursonpolaire pointed out a tradition that many like to follow, but most people just start where they start and get the first stamp from their first accommodation or from a church in that town (although even that is not necessary). The only requirements apply to qualification for a compostela, and they are given here. The credencial serves two purposes:
  1. To "prove" you have walked the last 100 km of a recognized camino route
  2. To "prove" you are a pilgrim, if you want to stay at certain albergues that accommodate only pilgrims with credencials.
 
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APilgrim3393

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(17-18-19) Norte (2018) Aragones (19’) de la Plata to Mérida (18’) Primitivo some (19’)
Many pilgrims want to reference their original credential to remember the distances and places they slept etc, so for many pilgrims, it's meaningful to make sure you get it stamped somewhere from the town in which you depart. Most places that you would stay before embarking on your journey have a stamp. If not, churches, and cafes in your departing city will guide you.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Stampe credenciales are also very useful in establishing alibis when assisting the police with their enquiries. Should you be asked where you were on the night of the 15th, you can reply that you were sleeping with nine German pilgrims in Santillana del Mar and, boy, did they snore.
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).

Xylango

veni vidi ate cheese
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Got our first sello from the police station (in the Ayuntamiento) in Irun on July 3rd. We were able to walk across the bridge to Hendaye, France for a glass of wine, then walk back. The Norte has been beautiful! Be sure to fill up your water supply every chance you get. Buen Camino!
 

keith duke scott

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning on the pilgrimage 2015
Hello all:

I am a solo Canadian embarking on my first Camino - Camino Del Norte. I much appreciate reading all the insights. I am hopeful for August and look forward to walking from Irun to Santiago.

Sorry for what may be an obvious question: I have my credentials passport (thanks Ivar). Do I need to formally “start“ my credential passport before I walk - correct? Seems that my only option in Irun (looking at Gronze) is a visiting The Passionists which opens at 9 a.m. Is that a late start for the hike to San Sebastian? I am thinking this is the right route to go (which I am happy to do). Do I understand this correctly?

Looking forward to whatever the camino may provide in this year. And thanks for any clarity as to how to start. Thanks, Dg
congrats on deciding to do the Norte. the most beautiful route in my opinion. I got my stamp at my Albergue in irun. I don't recall the name. yes, 9 am is a late start in my opinion. the walk to san Sebastian is quite a challenge and an early start will be helpful in many ways.
the view of san Sabastian beach for the 1st time is worth the long hard climb. enjoy and buen Camino
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
If you are walking for religious or spiritual reasons (or any other reason) you can get a sello at the Cathedral office -- to the left of the Cathedral -- between 9 am and 2 pm. (It may be 3 pm.) Best to get it the day before you begin your Camino, because, yes, the first day out of Irun is easily the most challenging of any stage on the del Norte, so start early. The views from the high route are worth the extra effort. Have some one or two euro coins to get a cold drink from the vending machine outside the bar at Santuario de Guadalupe. Unless it is a holiday, the bar is likely closed. The sign at the water fountain at the church there says the water is not tested for potable. I have suffered no ill effects from drinking a lot of it on two occasions. Buen Camino
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
When you take the train from Biarritz to Irun, you change trains at the France/Spain border. In 2017 a friendly Basque man on the French train said, follow me to the Spanish train. He talked briefly at the Spanish ticket office and said let's get on the train. When I inquired about the fare he said "Its taken care of." Buen Camino in the Basque country and Eskerik Asko (gracias) to all the friendly Basques.
 
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Bargepike

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo Aug 2019
Got our first sello from the police station (in the Ayuntamiento) in Irun on July 3rd. We were able to walk across the bridge to Hendaye, France for a glass of wine, then walk back. The Norte has been beautiful! Be sure to fill up your water supply every chance you get.
What documents were required for your Irun-Hendaye-Irun border crossings?
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Year of past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Along with all the other places mentioned, I got mine stamped at a tourist information kiosk when I couldn’t find anyplace else nearby. I also was worried before starting about how I’d find someone, after a couple of days I only worried if there was a particular sello I wanted. I’d always get one where I slept, even if it was a hotel—for remembrance sake. I’d try to get one at any interesting place I visited or a nice place to eat. I tried to get two a day so I was in the habit for the last 100 km.

I remember wanting tortilla patas in a town past Astorga but it was too early (🙁sad pilgrim face) so I settled for coffee and asked politely for a sello. The barista saw David’s stamp in my credential and got a huge smile on her face. She stamped my credential as we talked about his kindness, and she ran in back and came back with a slice of tortilla patas). The Camino provides 🙂
 

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