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New annual record number of Compostelas issued

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#1
El Correo Gallego has reported that more than 295,000 Compostelas have been issued so far this year and that the annual total at the end of December is likely to be over 300,000. Last year's total of 277,854 was the largest annual number since records began. The article also notes that pilgrims have been recorded from 179 countries.

http://www.elcorreogallego.es/santi...rinos/idEdicion-2017-11-14/idNoticia-1083695/
 
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Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#2
Well, me & The Beloved were two of 'em. And there is a self confessed few others on the forum.

Who the quarter-million others were we may never discover. But I bet they had fun and I'll bet most of 'em cried and I'll bet most of 'em would go back and do it again.

So, watch out for 350,000 sometime soon and hope you'll be one of 'em. :) ;)
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15 & 16 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo (Sept.)
#3
All of our favorite trails, just getting worn down a little deeper each year. Has to be great for their economy, although I imagine for some locals it is a little of a love/hate scenario.
 
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#6
So many people i spoke too in october didnt get there Compostela with 2, 3 hour queues common all day. You used to (or at least i did) jump the queue to get a stamp if you didnt want a Compostela but wanted your journey recorded, but now in the new office i dont think you can do this. So with all this lost pilgrim data and people not ending the Camino in Santiago numbers could be a lot greater than anyone could imagine.
 

Devon Mike

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Finisterre & Muxia (2014, 2015, 2016 & 2018), Primitivo & Ingles (2017)
#7
Having walked the Primitivo and the Ingles this year, I got two Compostelas, so although only one peregrino I will have been counted twice. I have met many who walk more than one Camino on their visit, so although the numbers of Compostelas may be increasing, it does not necessarily mean that the number of people has also increased by the same amount.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#8
I too was one of those 295,000. Reaching the 300 k mark for 2017 only reinforces my position about how bad it will be in 2021 (the next official Holy Year). My guess is that over 500k Compostelas will be issued.
I think I will find something quieter - maybe that Japanese pilgrimage route. If you are thinking about the Camino Frances - organised your motor home or caravan!!;);)
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#9
[QUOTE="I think I will find something quieter - maybe that Japanese pilgrimage route. If you are thinking about the Camino Frances - organised your motor home or caravan!!;);)[/QUOTE]

You don't have to go to Japan to find something quieter. Indeed you don't even have to leave Spain. Try these:-
Camino Invierno - I din't meet one other pilgrim until the last day when I walked it in October / November 2016
Camino Ignaciano - I coped with the crowds, as I walked towards them, between Navarette to Logrono, and saw only one pilgrim walking the same way as I before Navarette, one after Logrono, and met 3 Italians and 2 Germans walking towards me after Logronov- in Oct 2016.
Camino San Salvador - only saw 4 pilgrims overnight in June 2015, otherwise none.
Camino Estelle - Compiegne to Paris - never saw another pilgrim in March 2015
Ökumenische Pilgerweg / Elisabethpfad/Jakobsweg - didn't see one other pilgrim the entire way to Cologne from Leipzig in 2015.
Cammino di Assisi / Cammino di Sant'Antonio - saw perhaps a dozen pilgrims all the way to Rome, and that was at the beginning - after Assisi, didn't see one - August 2014.

Although it was a few years earlier, I walked for 6 weeks on the Vezelay route without seeing another pilgrim, and only one on the Arles route from Toulouse, and I found the Via Francigena very quiet.

I cant comment on other Spanish routes, but from what I can gather the routes such as the Levante, the Mozarabe etc are still pretty quiet.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#11
So many people i spoke too in october didnt get there Compostela with 2, 3 hour queues common all day. You used to (or at least i did) jump the queue to get a stamp if you didnt want a Compostela but wanted your journey recorded, but now in the new office i dont think you can do this. So with all this lost pilgrim data and people not ending the Camino in Santiago numbers could be a lot greater than anyone could imagine.
You can still easily avoid the queue if you only want a stamp signifying you made it to the Cathedral / Pilgrim Office.

When you encounter the security guard or a blue (turquoise) t-shirt wearing voluntario out-front, simply say “solo sello?” You will be directed accordingly.

In my experience, over the past four years as a voluntario, I have people follow me inside the complex to the exit from the Pilgrim Office process. Just inside the door to the right is the cashier for all monetary transactions.

You wait in this MUCH shorter queue if necessary (@5 minutes...maximum) and repeat “solo sello” to the cashier. The final stamp of the Cathedral is FREE.

Note also that once applied, this stamp “closes” or ends that credential. It can no longer be used to seek a Compostela... just saying...

At times, if it is REALLY busy, they will preclude people from entering fully by doing the “solo sello” folks in the group office. This office is near the entrance, and not part of the main processing area.

I hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#12
That is a lot of people! Judging by my experience in August it does seem that accommodation capacity has also increased but probably not quite in line with the number of walkers. I didn't bother with collecting my compostella so yes I think it's fair to assume arrivals are at least 5% higher and that doesn't include those who set out and didn't make the end.

I'm inclined to agree with jl that there may be a move towards the less popular Caminos in the coming years. A friend and I accidentally walked 20kms of the San Salvador out of Leon (don't ask) and it was absolutely beautiful. A lady we spoke to when we realised our mistake said she hadn't seen anyone walking the trail for days.

While I love the social side of the Frances I think my next Camino will definitely be on one of the slightly less busy trails.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#13
It would be interesting to know the starting point of those pilgrims. How many started in Sarria, for example, vs those starting in St Jean Pied de Port or Roncesvalle.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#14
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.
#16
It would be interesting to know the starting point of those pilgrims. How many started in Sarria, for example, vs those starting in St Jean Pied de Port or Roncesvalle.
Well Davebugg,
We ALMOST MADE IT.........NOT!!
So we're on some statistic somewhere!

In June this year,

Started on day one in SJPDP
Finished it in Roncesvelles on day two!!!

My husband developed a deep vein thrombosis..leading to a pulmonary embolism going over the Pyrenees...so that was that!

Now recovered and back walking a lot

Maybe next year thinking of walking the San Salvador .
Best wishes
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
#17
If you are looking for a quieter camino try the Camino de Torres which starts in Salamanca, goes through north Portugal and joins the interior Camino Portugués in Ponte de Lima. There is a thread for this camino in this forum.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#18
Well Davebugg,
We ALMOST MADE IT.........NOT!!
So we're on some statistic somewhere!

In June this year,

Started on day one in SJPDP
Finished it in Roncesvelles on day two!!!

My husband developed a deep vein thrombosis..leading to a pulmonary embolism going over the Pyrenees...so that was that!

Now recovered and back walking a lot

Maybe next year thinking of walking the San Salvador .
Best wishes
Annette
I am so glad and thankful that your husband was OK. My son and I made it to Burgos on day 10, and then we departed back home; he due to work, me due to needed hernia repair surgery. Just about fully recovered now, and Caleb and I will be back next mid-September to continue on from Burgos.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? CF, again :-)
#19
Well,as you can see from my signature (I think) I walked a Camino a few times.. The francés 3 times, the Via de la Plata once. Always in Summer. And never have I found it crowded. :confused: Go figure!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#20
[QUOTE="I think I will find something quieter - maybe that Japanese pilgrimage route. If you are thinking about the Camino Frances - organised your motor home or caravan!!;);)
You don't have to go to Japan to find something quieter. Indeed you don't even have to leave Spain.

I cant comment on other Spanish routes, but from what I can gather the routes such as the Levante, the Mozarabe etc are still pretty quiet.[/QUOTE]

Well after two caminos (and 4 or 5 trips to Spain) I want to experience some of the places I haven't been to - such as Japan. But I might try the Porto in two years, to celebrate my 70th!!
 

simeon

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
#21
Just a thought to put you off your breakfast..... That must be at least nine hundred thousand blisters!
 

hampshire!tim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Ingles (2014), Finisterre (2015)
#22
Just a thought to put you off your breakfast..... That must be at least nine hundred thousand blisters!
Maybe C*mp**d should sponsor an albergue or 2 !

Many walk without a single blister, so I would go for 600,000 !
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
#23
El Correo Gallego has reported that more than 295,000 Compostelas have been issued so far this year and that the annual total at the end of December is likely to be over 300,000. Last year's total of 277,854 was the largest annual number since records began. The article also notes that pilgrims have been recorded from 179 countries.

http://www.elcorreogallego.es/santi...rinos/idEdicion-2017-11-14/idNoticia-1083695/
Yes my friend Mary and myself were two of them and many peregrinos we meet on the Camino.Buen Camino to all the peregrinos
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#24
And I wonder how many of us walked part of the way and/or did not bother to collect (another) compostela. Count me as one of the invisible presences along the way this year. :)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#25
And I wonder how many of us walked part of the way and/or did not bother to collect (another) compostela. Count me as one of the invisible presences along the way this year. :)
Guilty as charged! I have done both so far this year: I registered and collected a Compostela after walking the Sanabres in February and I walked a section of the VDLP last month but stopped a long way short of Santiago. The pilgrim office statistics can only ever be a partial picture but are probably the most reliable guide to trends that is available.
 
Camino(s) past & future
first Camino francais Sept/Oct (2016)
Second Camino Niort Sept/Oct (2018)
#26
The figures are confusing and might even be off putting to some planning to walk any of the regular Camino routes.

It would be useful if figures were available as a breakdown of the various individual Camino routes as in from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago (recognised regular 500 miles) as opposed to from Sarria to Santiago?

Compostela certificates are issued at 100km ( I think)
Maybe it would be an idea to issue breakdown of Compostela certificates issued based on Kilometres walked starting from 100, 200, 300............400, 500 etc. Each pilgrim would know their start and finish points ad would know exactly which category they fit into.

I also think it might be an idea to issue say colour coded Compostela certificates to differentiate, or correspond to distance travelled?

There are so many variations in qualifying for a Compostela Distance covered, did you or did you not carry your backpack, various options on transport between stages, organised tours, types of accommodation from Donativo to Pensions/hotels.

In extreme cases as a for instance........Does the pilgrim travelling from St Pied De Port walking all the way carrying a backpack and staying in basic Albergue style accommodation arriving in Santiago 33 days after starting (as Brierley guide) receive the same Compostela as the person travelling from Sarria to Santiago? One travelling 800k and the other travelling 100k . I take the point that the actual distance covered is recorded on the Compostela certificate and I am merely generalising but the point raised is one I have come across on numerous occasions

Finally, completing a Camino and qualifying for a Compostela certificate is to be acknowledged as worthwhile no matter what the particular circumstances. Each issued Compostela has merit and the certificate has value to all recipients.

Buon Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés August 2014
Camino Via de la Plata (Sevilla-Salamanca) May 2015
Camino Via de la Plata (Sevilla-Zafra) April 2016
Camino Via de la Plata (Zafra-Santiago) september 2016
#27
we walked the camino Mozarabe from Almería to Córdoba, +/- 450 km, at the end of september 2017. Still hot !! 30 degrees. We saw 2 pelgrims one evening in the albergue. For the rest very quiet and beautiful.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#28
It would be useful if figures were available as a breakdown of the various individual Camino routes as in from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago (recognised regular 500 miles) as opposed to from Sarria to Santiago?
These figures are readily available - statistics are regularly published for each of the major routes and separate figures give numbers recorded as starting from each of the major towns along each route. Presented both as an absolute number and as a percentage of the total number of pilgrims recorded for any given month or year. The pilgrim office also publishes a breakdown of pilgrims' nationalities and the stated motivations - religious, spiritual or secular - of pilgrims who have received the Compostela.

In extreme cases as a for instance........Does the pilgrim travelling from St Pied De Port walking all the way carrying a backpack and staying in basic Albergue style accommodation arriving in Santiago 33 days after starting (as Brierley guide) receive the same Compostela as the person travelling from Sarria to Santiago? One travelling 800k and the other travelling 100k . I take the point that the actual distance covered is recorded on the Compostela certificate and I am merely generalising but the point raised is one I have come across on numerous occasions
Unless the Compostela certificate has changed within the past six months then this is simply not correct. The distance covered is not recorded on the Compostela. In fact the Compostela makes no mention of any distance requirement and instead simply certifies that "X has devotedly visited this most sacred temple with Christian sentiment (pietatis causa)." (Pilgrim Office translation). It is not a prize for sporting achievement and personally I would be deeply saddened if it were to become even more of a competitive trophy with different grades awarded. I would far rather see a return to the earlier practice where a Compostela was available to all those who visited the shrine in a devotional spirit irrespective of the distance travelled or the means of transport used. What purpose other than vanity would be served by a system of gold, silver and bronze awards?
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#29
The Certificate of Distance - available for a small fee to those who receive their Compostela - does give the distance walked and which route. We have ours just as a matter of interest to remind us of the distances we walked.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Zip
#30
I walked 729km and was in line for about 10 min on October 22 at 2:30pm to get my Compostela. There where more people in Albergue's then I had expected for October. I walked very slow and many days was hours between seeing anyone on the trail.
Mark- this makes my day! Congrats on your Camino, Texas! Sunny
 

Trini48

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 CF
2015 Irun to Oviedo.
2017 Primitivo, Portuguese
2018 Madrid, Invierno
#32
And I wonder how many of us walked part of the way and/or did not bother to collect (another) compostela. Count me as one of the invisible presences along the way this year. :)
I also walked 2 Caminos this year (Promitivo and Portuguese) and did not bother to collect the compostellas. The people walking with me decided not to get theirs also as we had previously got one for the Frances.
 

Herndon

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April/May 2016
Portuguese September 2017
Ingles September 2017
#33
Last year when I completed the Francis I was willing to wait the two hours in line for my Compostella...this year I got lucky after completing the Portuguese and Inglis and slipped in as they were locking the gate at the end of the day and only had a 15 minute wait...I wouldn't have waited for two hours for my second Compostella....my hiking part didn't even think about getting another this year...after waiting so long last year, his was probably the right attitude...come to think of it I haven't even pulled any of my certificates out of the tube...
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
#34
The Certificate of Distance - available for a small fee to those who receive their Compostela - does give the distance walked and which route. We have ours just as a matter of interest to remind us of the distances we walked.
Yes you are correct. I also got the distance certificate that states, as you said, km traveled, starting point(town), date started and date completed. The cost was 3 euro in October 2017
 

RuijgRock

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
sept/oct 2017
#35
You can still easily avoid the queue if you only want a stamp signifying you made it to the Cathedral / Pilgrim Office.

When you encounter the security guard or a blue (turquoise) t-shirt wearing voluntario out-front, simply say “solo sello?” You will be directed accordingly.

In my experience, over the past four years as a voluntario, I have people follow me inside the complex to the exit from the Pilgrim Office process. Just inside the door to the right is the cashier for all monetary transactions.

You wait in this MUCH shorter queue if necessary (@5 minutes...maximum) and repeat “solo sello” to the cashier. The final stamp of the Cathedral is FREE.

Note also that once applied, this stamp “closes” or ends that credential. It can no longer be used to seek a Compostela... just saying...

At times, if it is REALLY busy, they will preclude people from entering fully by doing the “solo sello” folks in the group office. This office is near the entrance, and not part of the main processing area.

I hope this helps.
Another tip: go in around lunchtime. I was the only one at 12 at noon. Octobre 30 so not as busy as in high season but still 450 arriving pilgrims that day and not another one around at that time
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#36
It is true that there is a brief lull as soon as the Noon Pilgrim Mass starts. However, during the summer months, it is not noticeable. There are usually so many pilgrims who forgo the Mass to wait on line that there is no apparent benefit.

So, the above post is valid from October through maybe June. But after about mid-June, the arriving pilgrim numbers are just BIG.

First thing in the morning when the office opens, or around 5:30 - 6:30 pm (or later) still appear to be best, IMHO from direct experience.

I hope this helps.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF-Fisterra-Muxia (Sept/Oct 2017)
#37
I agree the numbers are higher. I knew a group of 14 people who couldn't sacrifice 4 hours in que to obtain their paperwork. I heard multiple reports from others as well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (May 2014)
CF (Sept 2015)
England C2C (May 2016)
CP (May 2017)
#38
El Correo Gallego has reported that more than 295,000 Compostelas have been issued so far this year and that the annual total at the end of December is likely to be over 300,000. Last year's total of 277,854 was the largest annual number since records began. The article also notes that pilgrims have been recorded from 179 countries.

http://www.elcorreogallego.es/santi...rinos/idEdicion-2017-11-14/idNoticia-1083695/
I find this thread interesting.....amazing, the different experiences!
I have walked the Frances twice.....the first time (2014) in two parts...injured my back crossing the Pyrenees and had to stop, came back two months later, picked up where I left off and finished....1 hour wait for Compostela.
2015...start to finish....2 hour line!
2016...did England Coast to Coast.....nice break....no crowds!
2017...Camino Primitivo....lovely, quiet walk (maybe 15 other peregrinos....no bicycgrinos ?)......went to new location at 7:45 am, was second in line and picked up my Compostela in 5 minutes.

Lesson in there.....Everyone should do the Camino Frances, at least once but then go for one of the others (very different experience). Plan on picking up your Compostela early the morning after!

Having said all that! We should all remember, everyone does their own Camino......and has every right to be proud of their accomplishment, regardless of length!
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francis(2014). Camino portugese (2015).
#39
All of our favorite trails, just getting worn down a little deeper each year. Has to be great for their economy, although I imagine for some locals it is a little of a love/hate scenario.
true the francis is well walked,but lets not forget there are many others that end in the same place.be bold and step somewhere new.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francis(2014). Camino portugese (2015).
#40
That is a lot of people! Judging by my experience in August it does seem that accommodation capacity has also increased but probably not quite in line with the number of walkers. I didn't bother with collecting my compostella so yes I think it's fair to assume arrivals are at least 5% higher and that doesn't include those who set out and didn't make the end.

I'm inclined to agree with jl that there may be a move towards the less popular Caminos in the coming years. A friend and I accidentally walked 20kms of the San Salvador out of Leon (don't ask) and it was absolutely beautiful. A lady we spoke to when we realised our mistake said she hadn't seen anyone walking the trail for days.

While I love the social side of the Frances I think my next Camino will definitely be on one of the slightly less busy trails.
since my first camino which was the frances,i have walked other caminos with my trekking buddy.we pick one and then plan it and off we go.another important factor is the time of year.we always go in late february or march.yes colder,wetter but hardly any pilgrims and we have never had a problem with accommodation.
surely the camino is to take us out of our comfort zones and take us back a little to basics?
oh and one other point,do not let your buddy pick the next one without checking.two years ago we did canterbury to rome.i have been checking ever since.
 

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