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Camino(s) past & future
10 x Frances complete, SJPDP>Santiago>Fisterra>Muxia
1x Via De La PLata y 1x Camino Levante
#4
Is it true that if you get a Compestela that you get a free meal at the Parador in Santiago?
You get a very cheap meal if you go to the Economic Kitchen, and also get to meet the real people of Santiago that live on the streets all year, i go there every time after entering Santiago, they do a breakfast, dinner or lunch for very cheap and there is no camino talk in there(If you need a break from the talk) the place is run by nuns and they are very nice people, one of the rare times you see true Christianity along the camino for the homeless people that have either lost their way in life or been dumped and forgotten by society, a few times in there i have been moved to tears and realize that i have no real problems when back in England. ❤️
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#5
I understand that the first ten pilgrims who line up at the Pilgrims Office in the morning get a free (set) meal from the Parador - and it is no longer in the staff dining room. One of my walking companions a couple of weeks ago just happened to be among the lucky ten. She enjoyed the experience.
 

salmburg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
june 2015
#6
You need to get to the Pilgrims office pretty early to be one of the first 10 in line. I asked at the Parador front desk, and the women confirmed that only the first 10 get the offer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino inglés October 2016
Camino Primitivo May 2017
Camino Portugues Central October 2017
#8
True for the first ten pilgrims every day. We were lucky in October 2017 and enjoyed i fully
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#9
This kind of makes me uncomfortable.
I think if you can not afford a meal, then fair enough.
@Robo
The Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos (the Santiago parador) was founded and funded in the 15th century by Ferdinand and Isabel to be a pilgrim hospice (hostel and infirmary). The vagaries of history, and the Franco government, converted it in the 20th century into one of a chain of luxury hotels. But it was still honouring the original charter in 1974, offering three days free food and lodging to pilgrims to Santiago when Gitlitz and Davidson arrived there with their first group of student pilgrims. [see Gitlitz, David and Davidson, Linda Kay. The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago, 2000, pp. 361-362]. Since then, numbers of pilgrims have increased and the service to pilgrims has changed to giving one meal to a limited number of pilgrims. But the right to be served by the parador is not a charity to the poor, but a service to pilgrims, for whom the building was built. I was given a ticket for a free lunch there in November, 2017, when by chance I arrived at the Pilgrim Office as one of the first ten pilgrims one morning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Cami Sant Jaume (2017)
#11
I'll tell you, I wouldn't walk 500 miles just for a free meal. ;) However, after walking 500 miles, goodness knows I would deserve one! And the city of Santiago deserves my money. If I can afford to cross Spain, I can afford a final lunch, too.

I went to the Hospital of Saint Cross in Winchester, England, which offers "The Travelers Dole" . It used to be a loaf of bread and a mug of ale. Now it's half a slice of bread and a shot glass of ale.

Times are hard all over - even the subways are in the hole.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 2017 or Sept 2017
#12
No. A limited number of pilgrims are provided with a free meal in the staff canteen.
It is not in the staff cantina it is in the restaurant. I got it in 2017. They hand out a voucher to the 1st 10 Pilgrims in the morning getting their compestella.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
April 2017 or Sept 2017
#13
I understand that the first ten pilgrims who line up at the Pilgrims Office in the morning get a free (set) meal from the Parador - and it is no longer in the staff dining room. One of my walking companions a couple of weeks ago just happened to be among the lucky ten. She enjoyed the experience.
You are correct. I got it last year and it was a very nice meal with wine. Why do people post things they really don’t know about or heard from someone or read about 10 years ago.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#14
You are correct. I got it last year and it was a very nice meal with wine. Why do people post things they really don’t know about or heard from someone or read about 10 years ago.
That’s a bit of a harsh comment if I may say so!
Looks like things have changed quite recently because in August 2016, you weren’t handed the tickets when getting your Credential. You had to queue in an entrance of the hotel and only the first 8 (maybe 10, I cannot remember) got in. Two of the young peregrinas we had been walking with stayed for the meal, we queued with them to keep them company but didn’t join in. They reported it WAS indeed in the staff canteen.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 2017 or Sept 2017
#15
That’s a bit of a harsh comment if I may say so!
Looks like things have changed quite recently because in August 2016, you weren’t handed the tickets when getting your Credential. You had to queue in an entrance of the hotel and only the first 8 (maybe 10, I cannot remember) got in. Two of the young peregrinas we had been walking with stayed for the meal, we queued with them to keep them company but didn’t join in. They reported it WAS indeed in the staff canteen.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#16
@Robo
The Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos (the Santiago parador) was founded and funded in the 15th century by Ferdinand and Isabel to be a pilgrim hospice (hostel and infirmary). The vagaries of history, and the Franco government, converted it in the 20th century into one of a chain of luxury hotels. But it was still honouring the original charter in 1974, offering three days free food and lodging to pilgrims to Santiago when Gitlitz and Davidson arrived there with their first group of student pilgrims. [see Gitlitz, David and Davidson, Linda Kay. The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago, 2000, pp. 361-362]. Since then, numbers of pilgrims have increased and the service to pilgrims has changed to giving one meal to a limited number of pilgrims. But the right to be served by the parador is not a charity to the poor, but a service to pilgrims, for whom the building was built. I was given a ticket for a free lunch there in November, 2017, when by chance I arrived at the Pilgrim Office as one of the first ten pilgrims one morning.
Yes I understand the history...
I would still feel very awkward
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#18
Yes I understand the history...
I would still feel very awkward
@Robo
Of course, if your concern is that you are eating one of only ten free pilgrim meals, which many others finishing that day may need more than you do, this concern does you credit. There has been a custom of locals in various places along the camino paying for a pilgrim's meal. You might quietly do this at any point along your route, if you felt so inclined. As a low-income pilgrim, I budget to have enough to pay my modest costs, but it was certainly a treat for me to receive a meal in a restaurant of the parador, which is out of my budget. And, of course, I was happy to celebrate finishing with a table of other pilgrims, whereas I had walked in alone from the VdlP the previous day.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#19
It is not in the staff cantina it is in the restaurant. I got it in 2017. They hand out a voucher to the 1st 10 Pilgrims in the morning getting their compestella.
I preferred the Cantina. But then my experience is from so long ago, like 2015, wow, I mean history. Thank you for your kind up-date. ;)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#20
I preferred the Cantina. But then my experience is from so long ago, like 2015, wow, I mean history. Thank you for your kind up-date. ;)
Must have been brightened up or moved since I ate there in 1990 :) I took up the offer at that time of 3 meals per day for 3 days. The food at my first free meal - lunch - was edible but unimpressive and served with a scowl in a dark dungeon somewhere in the bowels of the parador. I didn't go back again. Too many better alternatives to sample :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#21
@Robo
Of course, if your concern is that you are eating one of only ten free pilgrim meals, which many others finishing that day may need more than you do, this concern does you credit. .
Yes, that is how I felt too, although it was very tempting to partake in the pilgrim’s experience of yore :) I knew at the time there were others who needed it more so we both gave up our places... It didn’t seem right at the time. (August, lots of penniless students....). Also, there was one chap who was homeless, not a ‘pilgrim’. He got in :).
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#23
Last time we were in Santiago we decided to possibly do this (depending on whether others “needed” the food). It was when you had to queue at the green gate with your compostela (not that anyone checked - which meant a fellow pilgrim missed out and a greedy traveller who changed his clothes and hats every day got to join in for the fifth day running - and he left with a bag of food under his coat)
Everyone at the gate that day was wearing clothes that indicated they were not hard up - we were the scruffy ones! No one more scruffy than us came by so we went in. The kids (who incidentally love their food) were uncomfortable walking through the Parador and felt strange taking free food. Mr Greedy put extra food on their trays and then shovelled it into his bag in the wee dining room and kept telling us to hurry - it was all a bit awkward! I’d quite like to take the kids again so they can see it’s not actually a bad tradition and if people don’t abuse it, it can be nice!
I probably didn’t help because we spent an hour or so chatting with Mr Greedy out in the square after the meal - he was a man who needed more than food and I wanted the kids to possibly feel some empathy for him - of course, you can’t force that and they would still rather just pay to eat elsewhere.
So what time do you have to start queuing at the Pilgrim’s Office these days to be at the head of the queue at opening time and get one of the ten tickets? Also, do they still do three meals or just lunch?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#24
Must have been brightened up or moved since I ate there in 1990 :) I took up the offer at that time of 3 meals per day for 3 days.
Clearly a century-old tradition that is dying out, so make the best of it while it lasts, people :cool:. From 3 days of free food and lodging for every pilgrim it has shrivelled to 1 meal for 10 pilgrims per day.

When David Gitlitz and his group of students arrived in Compostela in 1974 at the end of their first pilgrimage, they were duly housed and fed for free for three days at the Parador in accordance with the founders' charter (3 days' free food and lodging for any pilgrim), in a dormitory-like room with bunk beds (and free toothbrushes). Those were the days ...

You don't have to be needy to enjoy your one free meal in the company of other pilgrims and if it makes you feel uneasy why not make a generous donation to the Parador. :cool:
 
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AML

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
#25
When i arrived in Santiago on 1 March 2017 starting from Burgos I asked at pilgrim office if it is possible to get a meal at the Parador as i often heard about it. The kind volunteer told me that it had changed and now and vouchers were issued at Pilgrim office for lunch only. He gave myself and a camino friend a voucher each.
When we went to the Parador after Pilgrim mass, there were only 6 of us for the lunch!
It was a lovely meal and nice to have the experience once. I don't intend to try and get another meal there on future caminos though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#26
At the risk of incurring the wrath of all the members here, I’ll explain why these free meals make me uneasy. (Or at least those who don’t need them, taking them)

Please don’t shoot me. Or maybe you should?

Maybe it’s because I have only walked the CF to date. It’s the busiest and most touristy Camino.

You meet all kinds of people on the Camino, which of course is one of the appealing aspects of it. All kinds of Nationalities, backgrounds and so on.

But more than a few times (many many) I noticed people wearing what was probably $2,000 + worth of gear queuing up at Albergues, or collecting their fancy luggage in the lobby of the Albergue.

It just looked strange to me. Aren’t Albergues really supposed to be for those who need, through a lack of means, cheap/subsidized accomodation? Or is it perhaps, that these Pilgrims ‘of means’ feel more like real Pilgrims by using this type of accomodation?

There as a line in ‘that’ movie that keeps playing in my head.... and Yes I know it was just a movie.

Something like, do we honour the poor by imitating them?

Sorry I have probably not articulated this very well, and maybe my thoughts are a bit screwed up on this.... Feel free to shoot me.... Or tell me what I am missing here...

No intention of causing offense to anyone, so please don’t take any.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#27
You get a very cheap meal if you go to the Economic Kitchen, and also get to meet the real people of Santiago that live on the streets all year, i go there every time after entering Santiago, they do a breakfast, dinner or lunch for very cheap and there is no camino talk in there :)
I know very little about these economic kitchens in Spain in general. For Santiago, is it this one linked below? With a lunch meal for 80 cents?

http://www.cocinaeconomicadesantiago.es/servicios.aspx
 
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m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
#28
I think it would be a logistical (and not just financial) problem to prepare and serve 500-1000 free meals, which is probably Compostela's release in the season in one day. At other times, this had some other purpose (meaning).
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#29
It is not in the staff cantina it is in the restaurant. I got it in 2017. They hand out a voucher to the 1st 10 Pilgrims in the morning getting their compestella.
Cute. Are you allowed to keep the voucher as a souvenir?



I see from this voucher and from their website that the meal is served in their Enxebre restaurant and not in their Especia restaurant. I had a peek at the menus (carta) on their website. The Enxebre restaurant is the more modest one. :cool:

http://www.parador.es/es/gastronomia/menus/carta-enxebre-parador-de-santiago
http://www.parador.es/es/gastronomia/menus/carta-especia-parador-de-santiago
 
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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#30
I think it would be a logistical (and not just financial) problem to prepare and serve 500-1000 free meals, which is probably Compostela's release in the season in one day. At other times, this had some other purpose (meaning).
The Parador, a state-owned hotel chain member, got the building for free with the stipulation that it continue to provide meals to Pilgrims. Long ago that was limited to 10 meals for the first to line up in the garage for each meal, and it was simple fare served just off the garage.

Last year or the year before, the service was closed during renovations. When it reopened, the meal, which appears to be only lunch now, depended on a ticket issued by the Pilgrim Office.

So, yes, this had some other purpose. Now it is just the government whim of the moment.

You can get a very nice, basic menu at lunch at the medical school on the way to the Pilgrim Office. I think the price is 5.90 E. You can enter through the front door if you know how to meander the halls past the anatomy lab to the stairwell to the basement, or you can enter through the car entrance on the north side. You will get to dine with the next generation of Spain's doctors!! Most were women. You buy the ticket from a vending machine, but the cashier will help you with the process. And, you won't risk offending the sense of entitlement of the Parador patrons.
 

AML

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
#31
I think the Parador is giving 10 pilgrims a lunch every day more to keep up long standing tradition rather than actually to feed pilgrims who have no funds!
On the other hand i believe the Cocina Economica is for truly poor people, whether pilgrims or not.
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
#32
The Parador, a state-owned hotel chain member, got the building for free with the stipulation that it continue to provide meals to Pilgrims. Long ago that was limited to 10 meals for the first to line up in the garage for each meal, and it was simple fare served just off the garage.

Last year or the year before, the service was closed during renovations. When it reopened, the meal, which appears to be only lunch now, depended on a ticket issued by the Pilgrim Office.

So, yes, this had some other purpose. Now it is just the government whim of the moment.

You can get a very nice, basic menu at lunch at the medical school on the way to the Pilgrim Office. I think the price is 5.90 E. You can enter through the front door if you know how to meander the halls past the anatomy lab to the stairwell to the basement, or you can enter through the car entrance on the north side. You will get to dine with the next generation of Spain's doctors!! Most were women. You buy the ticket from a vending machine, but the cashier will help you with the process. And, you won't risk offending the sense of entitlement of the Parador patrons.
thanks @falcon269 for this explanation! I thought about it this way: the average pilgrim probably does not need a "reward" to come to the Santiago. The path is a reward. If somebody is ready to finance a free meal, I would very much like to say that the contribution goes to local people who need it ... in this case, I would also be pleased to be in line for Composela. Would not it be a good feeling that you know that at the end of your journey you made a small contribution to someone?
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#33
To echo @AML above: The needy people of Santiago tend to go to the Cocina Económica, which provides meals for local people at a very, very low cost (something like breakfast for 20cents, comida for 80cents, and dinner for 50cents). A few months ago they were getting many more "long-term pilgrims" who had walked into Santiago and then stayed in town for months or even years. I heard that the Catholic sisters who serve in the dining room were feeling overwhelmed by the growing number of pilgrims (who were in essence turning into needy locals) who were coming around to eat. My feeling is that if you can afford to go elsewhere, you can leave the Cocina Económica for the truly needy and don't try to eat there, even if it's cheap.

As for the Parador free meal, in my opinion it's great that the Pilgrim's Office is now giving out the vouchers. It's a nice surprise for the first 10 pilgrims in line every day, and the fact is that the free meal is now definitely going to recently-arrived pilgrims, not just anyone who stands in line outside the Parador garage. I have nothing against "just anyone" of course, but I do think that a free pilgrim's meal should go to a pilgrim who just made it! And that the pilgrims who are one of the lucky ones should enjoy it and not feel guilty at all.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#34
the free meal is now definitely going to recently-arrived pilgrims, not just anyone who stands in line outside the Parador garage. I have nothing against "just anyone" of course, but I do think that a free pilgrim's meal should go to a pilgrim who just made it!
A pilgrim was required to provide a photocopy of his/her compostela dated within three days of the meal in the "good old days." You could get three meals a day for three days if you had nine copies (they kept the copy, and sometimes asked to see the original). I stopped by the garage a number of times to partake of the tradition, but even being an hour early for the mealtime was never enough to be in the first ten. I did observe several of the same pilgrims in the line for successive meals, but I was more interested in Santiago than I was standing in line. So the meals always were provided to pilgrims, not just anyone!

Not being indigent, I had breakfast buffet in the Parador at the slowly increasing price from 18E to 23E (it may be more now; I have not done buffets in general for a couple of years, so I don't know the current price). I now will always be able to say that I had caviar for breakfast...:)
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#35
A pilgrim was required to provide a photocopy of his/her compostela dated within three days of the meal in the "good old days." You could get three meals a day for three days if you had nine copies (they kept the copy, and sometimes asked to see the original). I stopped by the garage a number of times to partake of the tradition, but even being an hour early for the mealtime was never enough to be in the first ten. I did observe several of the same pilgrims in the line for successive meals, but I was more interested in Santiago than I was standing in line. So the meals always were provided to pilgrims, not just anyone!
Ah, I stand corrected! I have a vague recollection of that requirement now that you mention it. Glad you enjoyed both the free meals and the caviar on different occasions :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
10 x Frances complete, SJPDP>Santiago>Fisterra>Muxia
1x Via De La PLata y 1x Camino Levante
#37

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#38
I understand that the first ten pilgrims who line up at the Pilgrims Office in the morning get a free (set) meal from the Parador - and it is no longer in the staff dining room. One of my walking companions a couple of weeks ago just happened to be among the lucky ten. She enjoyed the experience.
I've hardly kept secret how much I dislike this change -- and no, it was never the staff dining room, it was a separate pilgrim's dining room within the staff area.

I've often been utterly penniless upon arrival at Santiago, and that solution has sometimes been a true godsend, especially that one particular year 2005 when, having got in very late indeed after 2000 K and without even my Compostela, just the Credencial, they let me be the 11th pilgrim. Had to sit on the windowsill ... :cool:
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#39
It just looked strange to me. Aren’t Albergues really supposed to be for those who need, through a lack of means, cheap/subsidized accomodation? Or is it perhaps, that these Pilgrims ‘of means’ feel more like real Pilgrims by using this type of accomodation?

There as a line in ‘that’ movie that keeps playing in my head.... and Yes I know it was just a movie.

Something like, do we honour the poor by imitating them?

Sorry I have probably not articulated this very well, and maybe my thoughts are a bit screwed up on this.... Feel free to shoot me.... Or tell me what I am missing here...

No intention of causing offense to anyone, so please don’t take any.
The words playing poor for a while have sometimes crossed my mind in this context and I take up your words by saying that I have no intention of causing offense to anyone and so please don't take any. It's a topic that deserves consideration but I'm not sure that I'm up for it on a public forum.

But related to this ... honour the poor sounds a bit strange to my non-native English ears (actually, the whole honouring business, whether private or public) so I put it into Google and was surprised to see that the phrase is often related to James 2:6 - a passage in the New Testament part of the bible. However, you need to read the whole passage (and in the right translation/language) to understand it and the connection. Depending on the language/translation and the context it's also obvious that the word actually means respect or treat as equal.

I understand from @natefaith's earlier message that it's better not to make use of the Cocina economica with their 80 cents meal if you are not needy. But, in essence, you respect the poor more when you sit down and eat together with them a very cheap meal than when you refrain from taking the voucher offered to you by the Pilgrim's office for a one-time free meal at the Parador. The latter, imo, is just a gimmick, a freebie, a nice gesture, a nod to tradition, to history, it's not meant as charity for the very needy.
 
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Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#40
At the risk of incurring the wrath of all the members here, I’ll explain why these free meals make me uneasy. (Or at least those who don’t need them, taking them)

...

But more than a few times (many many) I noticed people wearing what was probably $2,000 + worth of gear queuing up at Albergues, or collecting their fancy luggage in the lobby of the Albergue.

It just looked strange to me. Aren’t Albergues really supposed to be for those who need, through a lack of means, cheap/subsidized accomodation? Or is it perhaps, that these Pilgrims ‘of means’ feel more like real Pilgrims by using this type of accomodation?

...
Something like, do we honour the poor by imitating them?

Oh.... I totally understand your discomfort. Here are two narratives that I hold in tension and try to keep as a guide:

I teach in a programme outside my home department as a matter of "service" to the university because they tapped me on the shoulder for it. It's a very small "boutique" programme in "community engagement". Our students work 3 hours a week in placements in the community, and read various anti-poverty, liberation pedagogy and service-oriented texts (many that come from the Jesuit tradition in liberation theology). But I am wildly uneasy about them taking volunteer positions in settings where there are people who need those opportunities *more* (i.e., our students are generally very wealthy "do-gooders" and the risk is that they are getting professional credentials on the backs of those in need). I work with them for several months to have them get out of their "noblesse oblige" self congratulatory take on the course and into a perspective that we call "walking with" rather than "doing for". By the end, some "get it" and some are still taking more than they are giving. But I try to prevent them from becoming "voluntourists" who get a thrill out of other people's suffering.

I am also one of those that you will see lined up with a nice pack at the albergue (and checking into a private room about every 10 days for respite from crowds, a real bath etc). But life is complicated. I am both very privileged and very strained. I'll short form to say that reduced social supports in government mean that my spouse and I spend 1/3 of our take-home salaries to support a disabled dependent. We get no tax relief for it, and so it's just a dead loss financially. What that means is that I can afford the plane fare every 4-5 years, and the accommodation of the 6 week-trip... but *only* because of the albergue system. I have the luxury of enough time every few years for the 6 weeks in one go. And I can afford the fancy backpack because I use it every single day at home to go to and from work. I have nice hiking boots too, but I don't drive so they are my vehicle. I have an iPad, but it's also a primary tool at work. All my nice stuff is doing double and triple duty.

I am incredibly lucky that I can keep my beloved person safely financially supported, but it means that I will never have the fancy holiday that one might expect based on my gear etc.

Lives are complicated, and many apparently privileged people out there have challenges and constraints that do not register until we have walked with them for a while.

(Yep... I am headed back to CF this year -- with luck. And I finished a big project this morning... so I'm reading the forum like an obsessed person today!)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#41
Our students work 3 hours a week in placements in the community, and read various anti-poverty, liberation pedagogy and service-oriented texts (many that come from the Jesuit tradition in liberation theology). But I am wildly uneasy about them taking volunteer positions in settings where there are people who need those opportunities *more* (i.e., our students are generally very wealthy "do-gooders" and the risk is that they are getting professional credentials on the backs of those in need). I work with them for several months to have them get out of their "noblesse oblige" self congratulatory take on the course and into a perspective that we call "walking with" rather than "doing for". By the end, some "get it" and some are still taking more than they are giving. But I try to prevent them from becoming "voluntourists" who get a thrill out of other people's suffering.
I find it easier to admit that I am not a "good" person, so I do good works for cosmic balance.:mad:
 
Camino(s) past & future
10 x Frances complete, SJPDP>Santiago>Fisterra>Muxia
1x Via De La PLata y 1x Camino Levante
#43
Is it true that if you get a Compestela that you get a free meal at the Parador in Santiago?
I have walked into Santiago so many times in the last ten years and know that the free meal at this Parador is a crock of shit..i know the same old faces and some of the people that were once pilgrims a few years ago but now just sleep rough in Santiago all year round and walk in for free food because they sleep near the door...surley there is more to walking the camino than a Piece of mass printed A4 paper with some words in latin and some random person writing your name on it to sign...and the desire to eat at the Parador...there must be a deeper meaning than this?..i hope so.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#45
I went to the Hospital of Saint Cross in Winchester, England, which offers "The Travelers Dole" . It used to be a loaf of bread and a mug of ale. Now it's half a slice of bread and a shot glass of ale.
As soon as I read this, I looked up the exact location of Saint Cross and thought of perhaps asking for this one day - we've embarked on a really slow going pilgrimage/walk to Winchester :cool:. My motivation has next to nothing to do with the fact that it will save me money. While I don't know the motivations of those who make use of the Parador voucher, I guess some if not many share the same pov.

 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#46
As soon as I read this, I looked up the exact location of Saint Cross and thought of perhaps asking for this one day - we've embarked on a really slow going pilgrimage/walk to Winchester :cool:.
I walked in the opposite direction - started at St Cross and walked to Canterbury (eventually!). And I made sure to ask for the Wayfarer's Dole before I set off. Just a token gesture these days but a tradition worth preserving :)
 

Shaun-Castaneda-Rio

Shaun@Feebird-Castaneda
Camino(s) past & future
Francais 2014
#48
Let the unfortunate take the free meal if you have found the time and the finances to travel from various parts of the world to walk the caninio, stay in Albergues, Hostels, Pensions or Hotels I am sure a free meal at the end of the journey is not the real goal.

Sorry to be harsh but there a good honnest people really struggling here in Galicia at the moment !
I see this every week.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#49
@Russnikovsky the free meal from the Parador is now only available to the first ten pilgrims each day who line up and receive a Compostela from the Pilgrim Office. Their names are recorded.

@Shaun-Castaneda-Rio I don't think there is any intention that the meal is for the really needly, it is simply kept on as a tradition. It would be nice to think those who receive the free meal, and who could afford it, would make a donation to a local charity.

On my first Camino (2001) I treated myself to breakfast in the Parador. It was fun. One of the people sitting near me started talking to me and when his group found out I had actually walked all the way from SJPDP with a pack, I became an instant celebrity.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
VDLP 2017
Camino de Levante (2018)
#50
You get a very cheap meal if you go to the Economic Kitchen, and also get to meet the real people of Santiago that live on the streets all year, i go there every time after entering Santiago, they do a breakfast, dinner or lunch for very cheap and there is no camino talk in there(If you need a break from the talk) the place is run by nuns and they are very nice people, one of the rare times you see true Christianity along the camino for the homeless people that have either lost their way in life or been dumped and forgotten by society, a few times in there i have been moved to tears and realize that i have no real problems when back in England. ❤️
Thank you for this post, I have walked to Santiago twice, but would love to find this place. Santiago is certainly a culture shock after walking for days!
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
#51
Good morning
The idea of a “free meal” does not appeal to me as much as the bowl of peanuts and small plates continuously placed in front of me at the paradors exceptional bar. Cold draft beer and an excellent selection of wines. No line up, no feeling of guilt for having taken someone elses meal. The only proviso is to pay for your drinks. On occasion I have “eaten” more than I should in celebration of my accomplishments!
 
Camino(s) past & future
4/16/18 start 5/18/18 finish
#52
How about finding someone who needs a free meal? It's mind-blowing that people of means are looking for a free meal. It's kind of like seeing a multi-millionaire (or billionaire) getting busted for trying to manipulate others or the system to get more money. Give...give...give...
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#54
A pilgrim was required to provide a photocopy of his/her compostela dated within three days of the meal in the "good old days." You could get three meals a day for three days if you had nine copies (they kept the copy, and sometimes asked to see the original). I stopped by the garage a number of times to partake of the tradition, but even being an hour early for the mealtime was never enough to be in the first ten. I did observe several of the same pilgrims in the line for successive meals, but I was more interested in Santiago than I was standing in line. So the meals always were provided to pilgrims, not just anyone!

Not being indigent, I had breakfast buffet in the Parador at the slowly increasing price from 18E to 23E (it may be more now; I have not done buffets in general for a couple of years, so I don't know the current price). I now will always be able to say that I had caviar for breakfast...:)
Must have missed the caviar:

20160914_070416.jpg

20160914_070416.jpg

20160914_070518.jpg

We sat, ate and enjoyed - and then felt guilty about how much food might be wasted at lunchtime (unless the staff take it home?)
 

Attachments

Akbunny59

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 / 2018
#55
I, and I’m certain, the others that have been given this free meal didn’t go ‘looking for it’. I didn’t even know about it until collecting my Compostela.
It is a generous token offered by the Spanish. Printed on the voucher that you get given by the Pilgrims Office, it states on there that the meal is offered in the tradition of supporting pilgrims. What’s wrong with that....?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#56
The op asked: Is it true that if you get a Compostela that you get a free meal at the Parador in Santiago? From some replies, the op knows that the first ten who present and receive their Compostela receive a voucher for a meal in the Parador, as a token from times gone by. Isn't that lovely?
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#57
Closing this thread now as the original question has been answered. To be clear: if you are one of the first 10 pilgrims to receive your Compostela at the Pilgrim's Office in the morning, you will receive a voucher for a free lunch at the Parador hotel.

Buen Camino, everyone.
 
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