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How long is the wait for a compostela document?

Johnnyjenga

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 2024 Portugues
After arriving in SDC, how long should I plan for submitting the credencial until I receive the compostela?
 
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This summer it was also a short wait because the line was short. This winter, I only had to wait for my students to fill out the "group" profile so they could print all ours together. I would say I was only there for about 15 minutes at the most. Depends on the number of pilgrims seeking a compostella that day. The QR code in advance will allow the pilgrim office to give you an idea of when your "number" will be called so you can do something else until your time draws near.
 
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All the statements about rapid Compostela processing are fine - and true. But - and I always say this - do not plan to depart Santiago on the same day you arrive to obtain your Compostela. Here’s why:

1. After putting so much effort and time into doing any Camino, you owe it to yourself to roam Santiago and take in all the history, admire the ancient architecture, and appreciate all the city has to offer. Savor the accomplishment before you hurry to leave.

2. Stuff happens! Automated systems break down. When this happens, staff have to revert to the previous, manual methods for issuing Compostelas. If you allowed yourself the full day, and planned to leave the following day, you have some protection.

Too many arriving pilgrims plan to swing by the office for their Compostela, attend the noon Pilgrim Mass, then catch a bus, train or plane in the afternoon. IMHO, and based on a decade of experience, both as a pilgrim, and Pilgrim Office volunteer, rushing is setting yourself up for frustration and drama.

Instead choose to savor your accomplishment. Stay one night - at least - and leave, relaxed and refreshed, the next day.

Hope this helps,

Tom
 
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The process seems to be very efficient. In late December of 2023, of course with few pilgrims, there was no wait.
Arriving in Santiago in July, a busy time on the Camino, still no wait.
There was no pre-registration in either case.
 
just to say - if you are as curmudgeonly as me, and would rather wait/queue (possibly for ages) than register on your smartphone, you still can. Inside the door of the office is a screen where you enter your details and then it prints you a queue number. And if you go out of season in say February, and turn up in the evening then you might just be seen immediately, as happened to me a week ago.
 
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just to say - if you are as curmudgeonly as me,
I'm even more curmudgeonly than that. My last experience of requesting a Compostela at the pilgrim office was so unpleasant that I have no plans to repeat the process in future. For the past few years I have been amongst the (growing?) invisible group that walks the Caminos but does not appear in the annual statistics.
 
I'm even more curmudgeonly than that. My last experience of requesting a Compostela at the pilgrim office was so unpleasant that I have no plans to repeat the process in future. For the past few years I have been amongst the (growing?) invisible group that walks the Caminos but does not appear in the annual statistics.
The new process seems so impersonal...
 
Planning my camino in 2019, I registered then. Subsequently plans were put on hold due to covid and transport strikes in the UK. Would it be a good idea to register again now that plans are finalised for April 2024?
 
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Planning my camino in 2019, I registered then. Subsequently plans were put on hold due to covid and transport strikes in the UK. Would it be a good idea to register again now that plans are finalised for April 2024?
I would register after I have started walking.
 
After arriving in SDC, how long should I plan for submitting the credencial until I receive the compostela?
My advice is look for a time in the day with no queue outside, and then it will generally go very quickly.

However one might feel about the new IT-defined system, it has had the enormous virtue of ridding us all of the ginormous queues ... 😎
The new process seems so impersonal...
I've never found it so, but then again I am personally somewhat atypical.
 
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My daughter and I arrived at the Pilgrim Office, in late October, 2023, without pre-registering online. It took perhaps five minutes to enter our information in the kiosk in the lobby, then perhaps another five minute wait in the hallway around the corner. Both of us were greeted by the most charming, helpful people at the counter inside. A very pleasant and efficient process. A small word of warning - if you are traveling with Camino friends, do not tell them you are a group. Friends of ours were directed to a different waiting room and it seemed to take much longer.
 
I have friends who volunteered in the Pilgrim's Office this past year. (thanks @tarredon and husband 😊) You can speed things up and make the job of the volunteers easier by ensuring that you have two stamps per day for the last hundred km (the rule applies regardless of where you started). Otherwise they have to consult with a staff member or make a judgement call.
 
My daughter and I arrived at the Pilgrim Office, in late October, 2023, without pre-registering online. It took perhaps five minutes to enter our information in the kiosk in the lobby, then perhaps another five minute wait in the hallway around the corner. Both of us were greeted by the most charming, helpful people at the counter inside. A very pleasant and efficient process.
Even if your Camino is outside the pre-determined parameters that are perfectly fine for 95%+ of pilgrims, or you have a non-compatible smartphone etc, it's still a quite speedy process. The lengthiest stays at the counter seem generally to be from requests for a distance certificate, though I'm sure other difficulties than that can arise.

Except sometimes in high pilgrim season when at some points during the day there can be a queue outside -- but still nowhere even close to being how bad the queues used to be !!

I definitely agree that the Pilgrim Office volunteers are charming and wonderful people, at least all five times so far personally since 1993 !!
 
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You still get your Compostela from a real person. The person who gave me mine was quite personable and gave me individual attention, however automated the data acquisition may have initially been.
There is no standing in line with the walking wounded. Seeing old friends, etc. Very modern day no waiting... we all suffered a little...it seems very sterile and a little too easy now.

A little more suffering needs to be involved by all parties...
 
There is no standing in line with the walking wounded. Seeing old friends, etc. Very modern day no waiting... we all suffered a little...it seems very sterile and a little too easy now.

A little more suffering needs to be involved by all parties...

Well it seems I am one of those who prefer to suffer as little as possible.
And trust me, life in general gave me enough pain ( more than suffering ) already.
Less waiting in line at the Oficina means more time going to the cathedral and meeting people at a bar.
 
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You still get your Compostela from a real person. The person who gave me mine was quite personable and gave me individual attention, however automated the data acquisition may have initially been.
That's the experience for most, thankfully. While many of us lament the handwritten process, less time spent concentrating on writing etc, means less stress and allows more time for a relaxed interaction. A little less frustration and drama is no bad thing!

There is no standing in line with the walking wounded. Seeing old friends, etc. Very modern day no waiting... we all suffered a little...it seems very sterile and a little too easy now.
I don't think that's the case at all, though perhaps it might be the perception if one arrives in the depths of winter, with anticipation and expectations when there are almost zero pilgrims in town.

There is the same comraderie as always, the same joy in bumping into 'old' friends from days or weeks back, the same pleasure expressed by by staff and volunteers when they share in the pilgrim's achievements.

A little more suffering needs to be involved by all parties...
Really? Well, speak for yourself on that one.. isn't there enough suffering in the world?

..suffer on your camino if you really must. Celebrate your arrival.
 
The new process seems so impersonal...
I agree to a degree, but it was absolutely necessary. It is simply not possible to hire enough humans to duplicate the processing and issuance of a FREE certificate - the Compostela. There exists neither the money, nor the physical space to do this.

While sales of optional services (Distance Certificate) and souvenir items do generate some revenue to defer some of the personnel and other overhead costs, it is a mathematical impossibility to provide enough human help to accomplish this, particularly during the 'Season" Easter to November. The cathedral simply does not have the funds to fully fund the pilgrim office operation. This is one reason why volunteers continue to be highly valued.

I worked as a volunteer in 2014-2017, before any automation was attempted, as well as in the years following this. I can tell you that lines of three and four hours were commonplace during the nicer months. When it rained, pilgrims were miserable, as we could not get them all inside.

The present scheme reduces the wait - even during periods of peak arrival over the summer - to less than 30 minutes. It is really remarkable when you stop to consider what is involved, without seeking methods to mitigate the cost. There are ONLY three logical solutions:
(1) Hire more and more people to do the manual work - but you will run out of space to do the work;
(2) Automate at least a portion of the work to mitigate the number of humans needed in the process; OR
(3) Stop issuing Compostelas and all other certificates (never going to happen).

Very early on (2015-2017), I had some basic input to the current process, making written recommendations based on my professional career. While I was not present for the actual 'doing,' many of the features, as I only ever worked as a volunteer, that I suggested are in the final 'as is' process. I do not care who got the credit. I am pleased to have played even a peripheral and small role in advancing the automation concept.

While using the internet to submit the same data, one previously, had to handwrite and someone had to re-input to a computer is efficient and does save a lot of time. Consider that it is a human who still greets and welcomes each pilgrim and delivers the - now legibly written - certificates.

I might argue that the personal touch is actually enhanced by the staff person or volunteer, being better able to turn their fully attention to greeting the pilgrim, instead of stressing to get all the data entered accurately.

I hope this helps the dialog,

Tom
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I agree to a degree, but it was absolutely necessary. It is simply not possible to hire enough humans to duplicate the processing and issuance of a FREE certificate - the Compostela. There exists neither the money, nor the physical space to do this.

While sales of optional services (Distance Certificate) and souvenir items do generate some revenue to defer some of the personnel and other overhead costs, it is a mathematical impossibility to provide enough human help to accomplish this, particularly during the 'Season" Easter to November. The cathedral simply does not have the funds to fully fund the pilgrim office operation. This is one reason why volunteers continue to be highly valued.

I worked as a volunteer in 2014-2017, before any automation was attempted, as well as in the years following this. I can tell you that lines of three and four hours were commonplace during the nicer months. When it rained, pilgrims were miserable, as we could not get them all inside.

The present scheme reduces the wait - even during periods of peak arrival over the summer - to less than 30 minutes. It is really remarkable when you stop to consider what is involved, without seeking methods to mitigate the cost. There are ONLY three logical solutions:
(1) Hire more and more people to do the manual work - but you will run out of space to do the work;
(2) Automate at least a portion of the work to mitigate the number of humans needed in the process; OR
(3) Stop issuing Compostelas and all other certificates (never going to happen).

Very early on (2015-2017), I had some basic input to the current process, making written recommendations based on my professional career. While I was not present for the actual 'doing,' many of the features, as I only ever worked as a volunteer, that I suggested are in the final 'as is' process. I do not care who got the credit. I am pleased to have played even a peripheral and small role in advancing the automation concept.

While using the internet to submit the same data, one previously, had to handwrite and someone had to re-input to a computer is efficient and does save a lot of time. Consider that it is a human who still greets and welcomes each pilgrim and delivers the - now legibly written - certificates.

I might argue that the personal touch is actually enhanced by the staff person or volunteer, being better able to turn their fully attention to greeting the pilgrim, instead of stressing to get all the data entered accurately.

I hope this helps the dialog,

Tom
Yes, thanks @t2andreo and @Flog And all of you who volunteer. I do see it is a real timesaver and a real savings for the pilgrim office. I have waited in the long line in 2016 in July and this last year I've done the new quicker method twice. I just compare that time we waited in line reflecting and talking with others to the pop in and pop out improved method. I treasured the less hurried moments and maybe less efficient moments. I probably won't seek a compostella again although might register my route.
 
While I was not present for the actual 'doing,' many of the features, as I only ever worked as a volunteer, that I suggested are in the final 'as is' process. I do not care who got the credit.
Oh, you really are too modest, Tom.
 
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,-

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