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Luggage Transfer Correos

Live From the Pilgrim Office...

Santiago Photo Book

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I started my annual stint at the Pilgrim Office, working as a volunteer for four weeks, on 15 July. A strange thing has happened.

For several says I have observed that, at 9:00 they have about 14 people working to issue Compostelas. This means that the queue does not get a chance to form.

Below is a photo I just took. It shows the actual queue waiting for Compostelas.

Yeah, I know. It shocks me too. Friday is historically the busiest day of the week.

I am certain things will get much busier as next Thursday, 25 July, is the Feast of Santiago.

Fingers crossed that this continues. When I was here working for two weeks in May, I begged them to front-load staffing to prevent a queue from forming. Go figure! They actually heard me...

Bottom line... ARRIVE EARLY IN THE DAY!

Hope this helps.

44769165-F03B-490D-B253-345BCA04CA40.jpeg
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Below is a photo I just took. It shows the actual queue waiting for Compostelas.
No different than what happened to me in mid-June - there was one pilgrim ahead of me in the queue. 'Surprised' is an understatement. But there was certainly a queue later, and a long one. The very nice Taize service in the chapel was competing with the voices of raucous people in the line outside.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
@t2andreo, @jdpiguet
It would be appreciated by many forum members if you could post the application details for volunteering with the pilgrim offices on the new Volunteer sub-forum that Ivar has just put up.

The sub forum was set up at the request of members to have a single place for all volunteering information. There are a lot of individual threads that are not always easy for members to find when looking for an opportunity to volunteer as a hospitalaro or at a pilgrim office....or as a ditch pig.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
LIVE ACTION REPORT FROM THE FRONT...

Saturday 20 July, 2019, 10:30 CET

Below is a photo of the actual queue at 10:15 AM today.

AE46CD1F-9037-4340-8476-FFDE67B66D90.jpeg

There are 16 people working at the counter to issue Compostelas. The morning “flush” coming off the Camino Frances is starting, so a queue is forming. But if you were to walk in now, the wait would be less than 30 minutes.

As I said earlier in this thread;

GET HERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER THE 08:00 OPENING.

Forewarned is forearmed... You have been so warned / notified.

Yesterday, Friday, the queue was nonexistent at 11:50 AM. Immediately after the noon pilgrim Mass got out, several hundred pilgrims from the Mass swelled the queue immediately to 90 minutes or more.

Some folks had the temerity to complain about the wait. I note that there were also the maximum number of volunteers and staff working. We cannot process pilgrims much faster.

Hope this helps.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I started my annual stint at the Pilgrim Office, working as a volunteer for four weeks, on 15 July. A strange thing has happened.

For several says I have observed that, at 9:00 they have about 14 people working to issue Compostelas. This means that the queue does not get a chance to form.

Below is a photo I just took. It shows the actual queue waiting for Compostelas.

Yeah, I know. It shocks me too. Friday is historically the busiest day of the week.

I am certain things will get much busier as next Thursday, 25 July, is the Feast of Santiago.

Fingers crossed that this continues. When I was here working for two weeks in May, I begged them to front-load staffing to prevent a queue from forming. Go figure! They actually heard me...

Bottom line... ARRIVE EARLY IN THE DAY!

Hope this helps.

View attachment 61391
I've seen it that empty - mind you it was 8:30pm and they were locking the doors!

Are you staying at Santa Clara this time Tom? Have the hills gotten any flatter?

Yours (in envy)

Jeff C
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
@t2andreo : just started my 2 weeks duty in the Pilgrim Office in Vézelay: the queue looks much easy here;):

View attachment 61400
Wow, sitting on the job in Vezeley! Easy, peasy, and in such a beautiful village! When I was there six years ago I didn't even know what a camino was..."so close and yet so far".
 

Adelina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - s'2018- Astorga to Santiago
Camino Frances - s' 2019- St Jean to Carrion
I'm wondering why the pilgrim count has been at 0 for the last two weeks? I enjoy checking it to see how many pilgrims are coming in.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Yes, I am at Sta. Clara, and NO, the damn hills are just as steep.

I walk down the hill in the morning to get to the office. However, I ALWAYS return via Rua da Azerbache (sp) and Plaza Cervantes. That is a much more agreeable rate of climb.

QUOTE="Jeff Crawley, post: 766261, member: 41083"]
I've seen it that empty - mind you it was 8:30pm and they were locking the doors!

Are you staying at Santa Clara this time Tom? Have the hills gotten any flatter?

Yours (in envy)

Jeff C
[/QUOTE]
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I'm wondering why the pilgrim count has been at 0 for the last two weeks? I enjoy checking it to see how many pilgrims are coming in.
There is a problem with the web site. I pointed it out to staff when I first blew into town, even before I started working.

They are aware of it and insist it is being corrected. I do not have a timeline or date specific for remediation.

That said, this IS Spain. All things will happen in their appointed time... Just sayin.

Hope this helps.
 

Adelina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - s'2018- Astorga to Santiago
Camino Frances - s' 2019- St Jean to Carrion
Yes, this does help. Thank you for getting back to me!

Enjoy your stay.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I can verify from direct eyes-on today that T2 is not derelict in his duty, and wish to thank him for the volunteer service.

And the queue was wonderfully non-existent at 10:50am.View attachment 61463
Tom is one of "the best". His expertise and love for the Camino and fellow pilgrims has benefited everyone on this forum in one way or another!
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
I can verify from direct eyes-on today that T2 is not derelict in his duty, and wish to thank him for the volunteer service.

And the queue was wonderfully non-existent at 10:50am.View attachment 61463
Love the cap! 😊 I have one just like it. 😉Many thanks, @t2andreo for the recommendation and your service. @JIMMYN congratulations on completing your pilgrimage.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
All things will happen in their appointed time... Just sayin.
But just how long is that ;)? I got tired of pointing out to people what the Latin text on the current Compostela actually says in English or Spanish and sent an email to oficinadelperegrino@catedraldesantiago.es and suggested that they update the translations on their website to include recent changes.

Eleven days later I got an answer that said in Spanish: Hey again Gonzalo, I've received this email to correct the text of the Compostela on the web, which was followed immediately by another email that said in English: Sorry, the last email was a mistake (meaning, I presume, that it was sent by mistake to me instead of to Gonzalo. No other acknowledgement). That was three years ago in 2016. I just checked their website. No update yet. :)

BTW, the daily pilgrim numbers appear on the Spanish version of the webpage. It's only the English version of the webpage that displays the number as a zero every day.
 
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Michael Casey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Camino Portuguse, Camino Primitavo
There is a problem with the web site. I pointed it out to staff when I first blew into town, even before I started working.

They are aware of it and insist it is being corrected. I do not have a timeline or date specific for remediation.

That said, this IS Spain. All things will happen in their appointed time... Just sayin.

Hope this helps.
I also check it regularly to see how many people arrived and its giving a count of 0, however if you select the Spanish tab it was will give you the number that arrived " ayer llegararon"
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
The people count on the web page is corrected. I found out at the Pilgrim Office today that the “trick” is to retype the URL as though you were entering it for the first time.

That correct URL is: https://oficinadelperegrino.com

It worked for me. My layman’s perception is that it has to do with what is stored in your browser’s buffer.

Try it.

Hope this helps.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Update to above...if you proceed under the English language version of the site, the glitch is still apparent. Typing the URL in brings you to the Spanish version of the page.

I use the Chrome browser. It does the translation on my end. So I am getting the information.

Of course I will mention this when I am next in the office.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Hi Andreo,

as you are working right at the source, may I ask you to check, if the pilgrim-Office still recognizes this credencial issued for the Via de la Plata?
orange Credencial Via de la Plata - front
orange Credencial Via de la Plata - back

I saw and got one in Salamanca 2009 but then, when continuing my Via de la Plata in 2010 I read that it was not recognized by the pilgrim-Office anymore.

This year, they were available at the albergue in Salamanca, Casa de Calera, again and were sold for 2 €.
Are they now recognized as an alternative credencial approved by the cathedral of Santiago? I know that local societies are to issue their own credencials with the approval of the cathedral of Santiago. Or shall I rather take an normal one when continuing my VdP next year?

And - as this question arose in a German Forum - what about the free credencials offered by the Tourist-Information in Oviedo? Two years ago I read here, that they are not "official" and thus not recognized. Is this still valid?

BC
Alexandra
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
Hi Andreo,

as you are working right at the source, may I ask you to check, if the pilgrim-Office still recognizes this credencial issued for the Via de la Plata?
orange Credencial Via de la Plata - front
orange Credencial Via de la Plata - back

I saw and got one in Salamanca 2009 but then, when continuing my Via de la Plata in 2010 I read that it was not recognized by the pilgrim-Office anymore.

This year, they were available at the albergue in Salamanca, Casa de Calera, again and were sold for 2 €.
Are they now recognized as an alternative credencial approved by the cathedral of Santiago? I know that local societies are to issue their own credencials with the approval of the cathedral of Santiago. Or shall I rather take an normal one when continuing my VdP next year?

And - as this question arose in a German Forum - what about the free credencials offered by the Tourist-Information in Oviedo? Two years ago I read here, that they are not "official" and thus not recognized. Is this still valid?

BC
Alexandra
I came across this credential this year while volunteering... the pilgrims in question had not actually walked from Orense so were denied a Compostela on those grounds but it was also highlighted to them that the credential was not an official one. Whether that would have resulted in not getting a Compostela if they had had all their stamps I don’t know...
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Hi SioCamino,

that is why I put the question here and hope to recieve an official statement.

These Credencials are sold in the public albergue of Salamanca, Casa de Calera. So one should expect that they are issued with the approval of the cathedral, even though they look different. Especially as the homepage of the albergue lines out that credencials are available there and they only had these.

I would not bother, if it were a private albergue or the Tourist-Office issuing these credencials. But a public albergue at a popular starting-point?

BC
Alexandra
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I happen to have a day off today. I will ask about this when I am next in the office tomorrow.


Hi Andreo,

as you are working right at the source, may I ask you to check, if the pilgrim-Office still recognizes this credencial issued for the Via de la Plata?
orange Credencial Via de la Plata - front
orange Credencial Via de la Plata - back

I saw and got one in Salamanca 2009 but then, when continuing my Via de la Plata in 2010 I read that it was not recognized by the pilgrim-Office anymore.

This year, they were available at the albergue in Salamanca, Casa de Calera, again and were sold for 2 €.
Are they now recognized as an alternative credencial approved by the cathedral of Santiago? I know that local societies are to issue their own credencials with the approval of the cathedral of Santiago. Or shall I rather take an normal one when continuing my VdP next year?

And - as this question arose in a German Forum - what about the free credencials offered by the Tourist-Information in Oviedo? Two years ago I read here, that they are not "official" and thus not recognized. Is this still valid?

BC
Alexandra
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Hi Andreo,

enjoy your day off and thank you for your efforts.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Although it is my day off, I needed to come to the office to help a fellow volunteer with something. Anyway, I showed your photos and asked senior staff if the orange credencial would be acceptable.

The answer I got was yes, but to me it did not sound categorical. So, if someone is starting at Salamanca, here is where you can obtain the “official” credencial printed and distributed by the Cathedral at Santiago:

Obsipado de Salamanca
Calle Rosario, # 18-28
CP 37001 Salamanca

This appears to be the address for the Bishop’s Office, so it is reasonable to presume the “official” credentials are available at the Cathedral in Salamanca.

For that matter, given my understanding of the entire credencial distribution scheme across Spain, my recommendation would to ONLY use credentials obtained from the cathedral or church in any Spanish city.

This said, the credentials issued by the various national Camino fellowship groups ARE legitimate and approved. So if you have a credencial issued by your: American, Belgian, British, Canadian, Dutch, French, German, Irish, Italian, etc. pilgrim organization it is approved.

But I would avoid buying a credencial from ANY commercial entity NOT directly related to the Church or one of the various national, non-profit pilgrim organizations.

Hope this helps.

Hi Andreo,

as you are working right at the source, may I ask you to check, if the pilgrim-Office still recognizes this credencial issued for the Via de la Plata?
orange Credencial Via de la Plata - front
orange Credencial Via de la Plata - back

I saw and got one in Salamanca 2009 but then, when continuing my Via de la Plata in 2010 I read that it was not recognized by the pilgrim-Office anymore.

This year, they were available at the albergue in Salamanca, Casa de Calera, again and were sold for 2 €.
Are they now recognized as an alternative credencial approved by the cathedral of Santiago? I know that local societies are to issue their own credencials with the approval of the cathedral of Santiago. Or shall I rather take an normal one when continuing my VdP next year?

And - as this question arose in a German Forum - what about the free credencials offered by the Tourist-Information in Oviedo? Two years ago I read here, that they are not "official" and thus not recognized. Is this still valid?

BC
Alexandra
 

mariaiceland

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés, (2015)
camino francés, (2016)
camino portugués, (2018)
I started my annual stint at the Pilgrim Office, working as a volunteer for four weeks, on 15 July. A strange thing has happened.

For several says I have observed that, at 9:00 they have about 14 people working to issue Compostelas. This means that the queue does not get a chance to form.

Below is a photo I just took. It shows the actual queue waiting for Compostelas.

Yeah, I know. It shocks me too. Friday is historically the busiest day of the week.

I am certain things will get much busier as next Thursday, 25 July, is the Feast of Santiago.

Fingers crossed that this continues. When I was here working for two weeks in May, I begged them to front-load staffing to prevent a queue from forming. Go figure! They actually heard me...

Bottom line... ARRIVE EARLY IN THE DAY!

Hope this helps.

View attachment 61391
Hi! I am starting my volunteering on the 29th, I am a native Spanish but I live in Iceland. I read before an old post you had about the volunteering, because I have some questions regarding the working hours per day and the facilities at Santa Clara.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I think I answered your PM? Please correct me if I did not. I get a lot of mail, and reply to all, as soon as I can.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
FLASH FROM THE FRONT!

The network server here is OUT. We have no “bong” next person in line goes to counter “x” system, no office internet, etc.

Hence, DO NOT expect any number reports for a few days. Even after it is fixed, my assessment is that there will be some catching up to do. All that manually captured data has to be keyed, to generate counts... of ANYTHING.

The technician is here. The initial assessment is that the UPS -backup battery took a surge hit.

We are back to doing things as was five-years ago. I was here and I remember the way it was, so I was able to direct folks and help staff get things sorted. Others do not. The younger kids with less experience are hysterical...it is both amusing and unsettling...

Only problem is that when you have less assistive technology, you need more volunteers. There ARE NO MORE volunteers lying about... Oh well...

Are we having fun yet? I am about ready to start lighting votive candles in the adjacent chapel. At least fire still works...

Update to follow... when I can. I am using my LTE data to send this much... just to keep you informed... it beats a carrier pigeon...
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Oh, wow. Last count I saw was around 2,000 pilgrims a day. That's a LOT of manuel processing! Followed by a lot of data entry. Good luck to everyone.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
UPDATE TO MY PREVIOUS...

The LAN outage is over for the moment... after some four-hours. The Internet is back, the office LAN is up and running (such as it is) and the all-important “Señor Bong” is back on the job, assigning waiting pilgrims to the next staffer or volunteer on the counter to write Compostelas... WHEW!

It appears they are running everything without the UPS unit, but with redundant surge protection. This being Spain, and with NOTHING being open, it may be tomorrow before the UPS / battery can be replaced or repaired... it may just be the internal dry cells. I have a similar unit at home on my small network, so I understand all of this. They are using the best equipment, apparently properly configured, at least from what I can see.

UPDATE: I just spoke to the tech in my best “Spanglish.” It WAS the UPS unit that failed. It will be replaced tomorrow, as I thought. But until then, they are relying on off-the-shelf surge strips, a wing and a lot of prayers...

Pray for no more surges until they replace the UPS unit...😉

Through all of this, pilgrim processing continued uninterrupted. I am proud of that. These folks just learned really fast and started doing things the old-fashioned way. There where enough long-term staff here to get the changeover done without missing a beat.

That’s enough action for one day...😱
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Wow.
Nothing like a little excitement.
Well done to everyone. I hope the pilgrims in the queue were kind and understanding - and that there are no surges, and no more IT excitement.
Thanks for letting us know what's up over there, Tom!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
T2, when your life in the pilgrims office has calmed down, can you remind us how the staff tallies which camino you have walked?

I meant to ask when I was there, because I noticed that the sheet that I manually fill out to give to the person behind the desk only indicates my starting point, purpose, means of travel, name and address, profession, etc. It does not ask me which camino(s) I have walked. I do remember having a conversation with the guy writing the compostelas about my “interesting” (his word) combination of Vasco/Olvidado/Invierno, but I cannot remember if he asked me to specify precisely which camino I wanted to be recorded. Do the staff people record the camino walked on another sheet of paper or on the computer?


I’m trying to figure out how they get the total of Invierno pilgrims. If you put Ponferrada as your starting point, there’s nothing on the sheet to indicate whether you went on the Francés or Invierno, so I’m curious.

Thanks for keeping us updated. Has Santiago avoided most of the heat waves?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
My experience is that it's one Camino per one Compostela. And you can get just one with one credencial ;)

In 2014 when I was obtaining pro vicario Compostela I was asked which Camino I walked if I started in Madrid. And CdM went into stats not the Invierno which followed. So I guess in question of starting point in Ponferrada if volunteer is familiar with Invierno s/he would ask whether it was Frances or Invierno.

One more thing. In 2015 I went to the PO with intention to add one more to the Levante stats but that wasn't possible at all without Compostela being issued... So this statistics are quite narrowed in options.

But @t2andreo will surely know more.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
T2, when your life in the pilgrims office has calmed down, can you remind us how the staff tallies which camino you have walked?

I meant to ask when I was there, because I noticed that the sheet that I manually fill out to give to the person behind the desk only indicates my starting point, purpose, means of travel, name and address, profession, etc. It does not ask me which camino(s) I have walked. I do remember having a conversation with the guy writing the compostelas about my “interesting” (his word) combination of Vasco/Olvidado/Invierno, but I cannot remember if he asked me to specify precisely which camino I wanted to be recorded. Do the staff people record the camino walked on another sheet of paper or on the computer?


I’m trying to figure out how they get the total of Invierno pilgrims. If you put Ponferrada as your starting point, there’s nothing on the sheet to indicate whether you went on the Francés or Invierno, so I’m curious.

Thanks for keeping us updated. Has Santiago avoided most of the heat waves?
Yes as regards the heat. We have been having rain, morning fog, and mixed sun & clouds most days. Daytime temperatures are on the 24 - 25 degree range. At night it goes down to 12 - 14. But the sun is still very hot when it is out.

As I am avoiding the Singapore-like conditions at my South Florida home by being here, I find it refreshing. By comparison, the weather at SCQ is like winter in Florida. So, it works for me.

I will make inquiries about how they count routes.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Okay, just spoke to a senior staff person about how your Camino route is counted in the database. Here goes:

1. The starting point for the determination is the starting place you indicated on the ‘estadillo’ form (last column).

2. Next, the staffer reviews the sellos in your credencial:

2.1 if your sellos are all on one recognized Camino route e.g. the Camino Frances, then they select that Camino route from a pull-down menu. It follows logically that if you listed your starting point as Ponferrada, and followed the recognized Invierno routing, they select the Camino de Invierno from the pull-down table.

2.2 if you started on a “tributary” route that flows into a major Camino route, this is toted as the major Camino route. For example, and this is what I was told based on my proposed hypothetical route, you start at Somport on the Camino Aragones, then joined the Frances at Puente la Reina, this is counted as the Frances, as that is how you entered Santiago.

2.3 conversely, and this was the example I proposed; I started at Somport, joined the Frances at Puente la Reina, then hopped on the Invierno at Ponferrada, you are counted as having arrived from the Camino de Invierno.

The bottom line is that, for counting statistics to support the Compostela process, it is the route that you arrived in Santiago on is counted.

This is for the Compostela process. To issue an optional distance certificate, staff will consider the actual route segments walked, and the corresponding distances in totaling your distance.

So, if you did the 2.3 example above, you would be credited with having walked the Invierno to arrive at Santiago, BUT staff would calculate the distance subtotals from Somport to Puente la Reina, from Puente la Reina to Ponferrada, and then from Ponferrada to Santiago to arrive at the total kilometers walked / biked.

I truly have no idea what they would write for the route followed. However, something like “Caminos de Aragones - Frances - Invierno” seems likely.

Hope this helps.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The bottom line is that, for counting statistics to support the Compostela process, it is the route that you arrived in Santiago on is counted.
Hope this helps.
Very helpful, complete, and detailed, thanks t2.

So, that sounds like people walking the Norte/primitivo route starting in Irún will count as Primitivo pilgrims. That suggests then that the numbers of pilgrims you actually see on the Norte from Irún are greater than the numbers you might expect if you just went by the statistics, because so many of those turn off onto the Primitivo. Because, if I am understanding you correctly, if you walk the Norte from Irún and move over to the Primitivo, you will be counted as a Primitivo pilgrim (assuming that the couple of days on the Francés don’t push you over to the Francés).

That’s helpful, and I had always thought it was the other way around — that is, I assumed that the numbers on the Primitivo were systematically underreported because those pilgrims starting in Irún went into the computer as Norte pilgrims. But it turns out that the reverse is true! I know this is not a rigorous data collection on their part, so the numbers are always just a guide, but it does give some ballpark idea of crowds.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Slightly off topic, but re the numbers...

I recall when I was on the Le Puy back in 2012, there was a hospitelero who said that there was a plan afoot, that on a specific date, all pilgrim accommodations were to take note of the numbers for that night and feed it into one organizing group. They were trying to capture the number of pilgrims on the trail on that date.

Ot would be subject to all sorts of statistical issues, but an interesting idea non-the-less. No idea how it turned out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
T2, when your life in the pilgrims office has calmed down, can you remind us how the staff tallies which camino you have walked?

I meant to ask when I was there, because I noticed that the sheet that I manually fill out to give to the person behind the desk only indicates my starting point, purpose, means of travel, name and address, profession, etc. It does not ask me which camino(s) I have walked. I do remember having a conversation with the guy writing the compostelas about my “interesting” (his word) combination of Vasco/Olvidado/Invierno, but I cannot remember if he asked me to specify precisely which camino I wanted to be recorded. Do the staff people record the camino walked on another sheet of paper or on the computer?


I’m trying to figure out how they get the total of Invierno pilgrims. If you put Ponferrada as your starting point, there’s nothing on the sheet to indicate whether you went on the Francés or Invierno, so I’m curious.

Thanks for keeping us updated. Has Santiago avoided most of the heat waves?
Hi Perigrina 2000,
That was my question as well when we got back from the Invierno and I sent a PM to t2andreo
It would be a shame if the numbers walking the Invierno weren't fully documented
Annette
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
you start at Somport on the Camino Aragones, then joined the Frances at Puente la Reina, this is counted as the Frances
Thank you very much for this explanation, @t2andreo - wow, light bulb moment! This certainly shows the route statistics in a different light. No wonder routes like the Aragones don't show up at all. And it has been mentioned before on the Forum that numbers on eg the VdlP "on the ground" seem higher than the reported stats. Apart from the fact that many people on second and subsequent Caminos may not then seek a Compostela, if you follow the VdlP to its end at Astorga and then join the Frances, presumably that would be counted as the Frances. The VdlP numbers reported are presumably those who head off onto the Sanabres (which is not mentioned in the stats as a separate Camino).

This information tends to indicate two interesting things: 1) that pilgrim traffic on the "less travelled" Caminos may be much higher than suggested by the stats, and not in fact part of the tiny "otros Caminos" figure; and 2) that traffic on the Camino Frances is probably quite a bit less than it appears to be from the stats, certainly in the sections before other Caminos join it. Although some slight inconsistency there since the Primitivo joins the Frances but is apparently still "counted" as its own Camino, and the Invierno joins the Sanabres, but ditto. Maybe if you join the major route within the last 100km they count the route you came from before that, but not if you join further back.

This is really quite enlightening - going back to play with the statistics again....!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Coming in from the Via de la Plata via Astorga is counted as the Frances. However, as the Sanabres is merely an extension of the Via de la Plata, intended to “express” pilgrims to Santiago, it is counted as the Via de la Plata.

This is a similar construct to how the Aragones is treated, albeit on the other end. Short Camino segments that serve primarily as tributaries to connect major routes are folded into the major routes they serve or connect..

Perhaps this is something that might be addressed in future. But, all things considered, I do not recommend holding one’s breath...

Hope this helps.
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
The fact that many people on second and subsequent Caminos may not then seek a Compostela.
@GettingThere : you're right. I only got Compostela's on my first two Camino's, only getting the second one because I was joining my wife who was getting her first one. After my first Compostela I found out that the Compostela doesn't mean that much to me (it's somewhere upstairs in a closet). But my Credentials are very meaningul to me. I take them out regularly. Just looking at the various stamps brings back memories of the places where I got them.

As a result, I didn't count in the Del Norte and VdlP statistics. And I know for a fact that there are more pilgrims that don't collect Compostelas.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks again, t2

I think the main point here is not that the pilgrim office statistics are precise or give accurate totals. There are many people who simply do not get compostelas, or who walk sections every year and do not appear in the statistics till the year they reach Santiago, etc etc. But there’s nothing to suggest that those numbers fluctuate widely from year to year, so I think that comparing compostelas over the years gives you a very good idea about trends and likely traffic. There will always be a number of “uncounted pilgrims” on the route, but knowing the trends can be very helpful.

And t2, since the vast majority of Vdlp pilgrims go on the Sanabrés rather than through Astorga, I don’t think it’s much of a problem that the Astorga pilgrims are counted as Francés.

T2’s account made me realize that caminos like the Olvidado, Salvador, Vadiniense, Castellano-Aragonés, Ebro, Mozárabe, Lana, etc are essentially beyond the purview of the office. Maybe the local associations will get in the business of trying to summarize totals. I know that albergues on the Olvidado are keeping records and are astonished at the increase (for instance, Fasgar albergue had more pilgrims in May than it did in all of 2018). For peregrinos, especially on caminos with small albergues, this is important info.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I am probably not following the posts correctly...but if a credential lists Seville or somewhere on the VdlP proper as the starting point...why would the compostella writer pick Astorga and the CF as the route walked?

When working in the Pilgrim Office......I know that I would always look at the starting point on the credential and at the sheet the pilgrim filled out as the starting point....and of course the stamps.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I a perfect situation, the staffer would ask what route or routes did you walk to arrive at Santiago, in order? It is an easy enough thing to modify the database to support the starting route, intermediary routes, and final route that brought you into Santiago proper.

I suppose it is a question of will and access. It will not work coming from me.

IMHO and experience l believed it will take international pilgrim fellowship groups like the CSJ, APOC, Canadian Company of Pilgrims, and the parallel societies in the major European countries to ask the Jacobeo to ask the Cathedral to make this change.

Hope this helps.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Maybe even better that Spanish Associations would join in this together to enhance promotion of other Caminos. With the help of Ministry of Tourism and the one for Culture or even Sport and Environment (I don't know the exact names of Spanish Ministries) it might be done in a few years ;)

But then again it's Spain... :D
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
So correct me if I'm wrong. You get tallied based on which camino you take into Santiago, though Primativo and Invierno pilgrims get listed as such, even though the last bits of each of those are on other routes, right?

So here's a hypothetical question, @t2andreo: if you walk a camino mixta, can you request that your stats be entered for one of the caminos in the mix? So for example, If you were to walk the Madrid-Frances-Invierno but wanted the stats to tally you as a (say) Frances pilgrim, would they do that?
(The question equally applies to any other arcane combination - though as Lauries says, many of the feeder routes into the Frances, VdlP, Primativo, and Norte are out of the statistical loop.)
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Not being familiar with Spanish geography I'd give it my best guess: "Camino Norte?" which was either confirmed or corrected and I'd put down what the pilgrim had indicated. I don't recall having any "encamino mixtas" last September ;)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...If you were to walk the Madrid-Frances-Invierno but wanted the stats to tally you as a (say) Frances pilgrim, would they do that?
(The question equally applies to any other arcane combination - though as Lauries says, many of the feeder routes into the Frances, VdlP, Primativo, and Norte are out of the statistical loop.)
They did exactly that for me in 2014. When asked which Camino I walked I said that I've walked two (Madrid & Invierno) in entirety and connecting parts of Frances & Sanabres. They said one credencial - one Compostela and only one Camino can go into stats. I decided for Madrid :)

BTW, it's PrimItivo, not PrimAtivo ;) But I see a lot of this so maybe it's autocorrection?
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
The answer to first question is yes.

The answer to the second is “maybe.” There is no formal policy that I am aware of.

I think the best long-term solution is to have the national associations, and especially the regional groups in Spain, pressure the Jacobeo to pressure the Cathedral to give all routes a fair chance at being counted.

Hope this helps.

So correct me if I'm wrong. You get tallied based on which camino you take into Santiago, though Primativo and Invierno pilgrims get listed as such, even though the last bits of each of those are on other routes, right?

So here's a hypothetical question, @t2andreo: if you walk a camino mixta, can you request that your stats be entered for one of the caminos in the mix? So for example, If you were to walk the Madrid-Frances-Invierno but wanted the stats to tally you as a (say) Frances pilgrim, would they do that?
(The question equally applies to any other arcane combination - though as Lauries says, many of the feeder routes into the Frances, VdlP, Primativo, and Norte are out of the statistical loop.)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
So correct me if I'm wrong. You get tallied based on which camino you take into Santiago, though Primativo and Invierno pilgrims get listed as such, even though the last bits of each of those are on other routes, right?

So here's a hypothetical question, @t2andreo: if you walk a camino mixta, can you request that your stats be entered for one of the caminos in the mix? So for example, If you were to walk the Madrid-Frances-Invierno but wanted the stats to tally you as a (say) Frances pilgrim, would they do that?
(The question equally applies to any other arcane combination - though as Lauries says, many of the feeder routes into the Frances, VdlP, Primativo, and Norte are out of the statistical loop.)
Well, I am assuming that there is no way to record Olvidado, Vasco, etc, because of the options that t2 described in his post. And if you look at the statistics, the only totals are Francés, Porugués, Norte, Primitivo, Inglés, Portugues de la Costa, Vdlp, Muxia/Finisterre, and last but not least, Invierno. Well, not technically last, because there is a catch-all “other caminos” category (326 in 1918).

Camino. No de Peregrinos
Camino Francés. 186199 (56,88%)
Camino Portugués. 67822 (20,72%)
Camino del Norte. 19040 (5,82%)
Camino Primitivo. 15038 (4,59%)
Camino Inglés. 14150 (4,32%)
Camino Portugues de la Costa. 13841 (4,23%)
Via de la Plata. 9127 (2,79%)
Muxia-Finisterre. 1131 (0,35%)
Camino de Invierno. 703 (0,21%)
Otros caminos. 326 (0,10%)

So, Kinky, they were just humoring you when they said they would record the Madrid. 😄
 

longwalker60

Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2018
I started my annual stint at the Pilgrim Office, working as a volunteer for four weeks, on 15 July. A strange thing has happened.

For several says I have observed that, at 9:00 they have about 14 people working to issue Compostelas. This means that the queue does not get a chance to form.

Below is a photo I just took. It shows the actual queue waiting for Compostelas.

Yeah, I know. It shocks me too. Friday is historically the busiest day of the week.

I am certain things will get much busier as next Thursday, 25 July, is the Feast of Santiago.

Fingers crossed that this continues. When I was here working for two weeks in May, I begged them to front-load staffing to prevent a queue from forming. Go figure! They actually heard me...

Bottom line... ARRIVE EARLY IN THE DAY!

Hope this helps.

View attachment 61391
I think a lot of people wait until early fall due to the high summer temperatures. When I walked last September, and finished in October-finishing on a Saturday, there was at least a 2 hour wait. I went the next day, first think in the morning...and no a soul. It gets better., when I left the office and walked towards the plaza, there was a gigantic rainbow. Now that was a way to end my pilgrimage!
 
Well, I am assuming that there is no way to record Olvidado, Vasco, etc, because of the options that t2 described in his post. And if you look at the statistics, the only totals are Francés, Porugués, Norte, Primitivo, Inglés, Portugues de la Costa, Vdlp, Muxia/Finisterre, and last but not least, Invierno. Well, not technically last, because there is a catch-all “other caminos” category (326 in 1918)
To have only nine specified caminos (presumably each one a drop-down option) and catch 99.9% of all pilgrims is pretty much perfectly concentrated - and it's 2018 rather than 1918 hopefully!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Kinky, they were just humoring you when they said they would record the Madrid
And 325 other people.
🙃

Thanks, @t2andreo . It'd be a challenge to find a way to do that, to be sure, so I can see why no-one's tried. The Pilgrim's Office has enough to do, just dealing with the thundering herds at thr front door every day.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...
So, Kinky, they were just humoring you when they said they would record the Madrid. 😄
I couldn't care less.
Anyway in 2014 Invierno wasn't an official Camino recognized by the Cathedral. So it's really a mystery to me where they have put me. Even on the list you posted I can't find Sanabres. Which isn't VdlP as such but the branch of it.

I'm not walking because of the Compostela. And the true stats for other Caminos should be in the interest of local Amigos Associations I believe, not me. I have my own stats ;)
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
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Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
LIVE FROM THE FRONT....

The number of Pilgrim Office volunteers continues to exceed the number of work positions for processing arriving pilgrims, at least first thing in the morning. This means that there is a ZERO queue, at least until about 10:30 - 11:00, when the first pilgrims arrive fresh off the Camino Frances.

A 45-minute to one-hour queue ensues. This subsides a bit until the 12:00 Pilgrims Mass is over at San Francisco. This occurs about 13:00.

Then a couple hundred more pilgrims come from the Mass to the office. As a result, the queue has been growing to 60-90 minutes then.

This queue is all but gone by about 16:30. There is a slow but constant inflow of pilgrims for the rest of the day. Security closes the outer gate about 20:00 so all processing can be completed by the official 21:00 closing time.

One of the complicating factors in managing workload is that, at 10:00, there are typically more volunteers than workplaces. We presently have 16 networked counter positions.

However, as about half of all these volunteers are from various seminaries and religious group summer programs, when those programs compel attendance, these volunteers literally disappear. We can go from 16 working staff at the counter to 8 - 12 August n a minute. THAT really slows processing and allows the queue to grow.

So, all in, my earlier admonition remains true... GET HERE AS CLOSE TO 08:00 AS YOU CAN, even if that means coming the following morning. Arriving after 10:00 increases the risk of having to wait a long time.

It still remains true that coming about 17:30 - 18:30 also results in a much shorter waiting time.

Please plan your time in Santiago accordingly.

Hope this helps.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
LIVE FROM THE FRONT....
So, all in, my earlier admonition remains true... GET HERE AS CLOSE TO 08:00 AS YOU CAN, even if that means coming the following morning. Arriving after 10:00 increases the risk of having to wait a long time.
And arriving early in the morning means you dramatically increase your chances of being one of the lucky pilgrims to get a ticket to see the Pórtico de la Gloria that afternoon. Given to the first 25 in line, Monday through Saturday.

 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
LIVE ACTION REPORT FROM THE FRONT!!!

The photo below shows the result of having 14 of 16 counter positions, or more, worked from about 09:00. This is the queue at 12:55 CET.

The post noon Pilgrim Mass surge is just coming...

E4415717-41A3-4CC2-BA69-BBCE9B25C077.jpeg
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
No, but I think SETRA is a Spanish brand of bus. They would not have been imported to the US. General Motors had the bus market pretty well locked up in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

You may be confusingg SETRA with SEPTA. The latter is the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority.

Hope this helps.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Setra buses are from Germany ...
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
No, but I think SETRA is a Spanish brand of bus. They would not have been imported to the US. General Motors had the bus market pretty well locked up in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

You may be confusingg SETRA with SEPTA. The latter is the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority.

Hope this helps.
Hi:

Here what I found in Wikipedia:

scriptionSetra is a German bus division of EvoBus GmbH, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the Daimler AG. The name "Setra" comes from "selbsttragend". This refers to the integral nature of the construction of the vehicles back in the 1950s when competitor vehicles still featured a separate chassis and body. Wikipedia

Hope it helps to all who liked the old vehicles.....
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
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Oki doki. I stand corrected. This sourcing may explain why this particular bus still looks brand new. The engine also blows NO smoke on acceleration.
 

TatiLie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues Variante Espiritual July 2019
Finisterre next!
I've just noticed that I was in the Pilgrim Office on the 19/07, afternoon. I was so excited that I didn't mind the queue.
 

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