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September 2022 Statistics

Viva Terlingua

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Looking at the official Oficina de Peregrino website it shows only 1774 compostelas issued for September. There were 85,842 issued in August, 67,734 issued in July, and 58,012 issued in June. Can this be right? Is there really that big of drop-off? According to the statistics, 66 of those people started in St. Jean. That means only 2 per day. Seems like the Camino would have been practically empty in September.
 
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trecile

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The Pilgrim's Office probably hasn't published the official September numbers yet.
 

C clearly

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The counter must not be working properly (or they just haven't done the total yet). In September of 2021, 37,463 compostelas were issued, and I expect there were more in 2022.
 
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Viva Terlingua

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The counter must not be working properly (or they just haven't done the total yet). In September of 2021, 37,463 compostelas were issued, and I expect there were more in 2022.
That’s certainly what I would expect as well.
 

Eamonrodden

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Looking at the official Oficina de Peregrino website it shows only 1774 compostelas issued for September. There were 85,842 issued in August, 67,734 issued in July, and 58,012 issued in June. Can this be right? Is there really that big of drop-off? According to the statistics, 66 of those people started in St. Jean. That means only 2 per day. Seems like the Camino would have been practically empty in September.
Just left Santiago, it was busy. As I have mentioned elsewhere not everyone walking is getting a compostela
 

Flavio Edreira

Flavio Edreira
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I am doing the Camino right now, I am in Los Arcos today, and all albergues and Hotels here are full of pilgrims. And the day I was in Roncesvalles more then 150 pilgrims slept at the Colegiata. Still lots of pilgrims on the Camino Frances
 
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Gradiva

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June 2017- July 2019- September2022
Looking at the official Oficina de Peregrino website it shows only 1774 compostelas issued for September. There were 85,842 issued in August, 67,734 issued in July, and 58,012 issued in June. Can this be right? Is there really that big of drop-off? According to the statistics, 66 of those people started in St. Jean. That means only 2 per day. Seems like the Camino would have been practically empty in September.
I was there this last September, and I can confirm that the Camino was emptier than I have ever seen it. I did it twice; first in June 2017 and the second time in July 2019 and both were full of pilgrims. Both times were the happiest, most exhilarating experiences of my entire life. I fell in love at once with everything. This year was completely different. First, I immediately noticed a noticeable change in atmosphere. In Navares and the Rioja in particular, the few pilgrims you'd encounter on the way were often uncommunicative, almost avoidant of each other and the Buen Camino you'd normally hear from any stranger on your path was actually quite rare. There was a dullness in the air, something less joyful. People were happy to talk to each other if someone started a conversation, but it wasn't as effortless, spontaneous as before. Some hospitaleros were rude, abrupt or not particularly friendly. We did a few Albergues that felt business-like. Rooms were more expensive and when in new hotels or renovated places, they all had the charm of hospital rooms: walls painted intense white or grey, nothing decorative or pleasant to look at. Same thing in some caf's whose redecoration is the opposite of what pilgrims are looking for on the Camino; I am thinking for example of the little cafe next to Sarria's train station, all wooden panels and full of local history 5 years ago; now, everything has been stripped down to the usual white walls and it looks as drab as a cantina, with a fairly bored looking owner stuck behind the bar on his mobile.
Many lovely places, from local cafes to hotels, had closed down. And that is not to forget the hundreds of wind turbines disfiguring a landscape that will never look the same. You can hear them, and they sound ominous. I had conversations with farmers who all blame them for the absolute lack of rain everywhere they have been built. People talk politics, poverty, fear of the future. It is just not the same at the moment and I wonder if the huge reduction of Compostelas this year are a reflection of that. I do not pretend to offer the above as an explanation, but I just stumbled on your post and I thought I would share my experience this year, so much in contrast with he previous times. I left earlier than planned, more tired, more dispirited, not really willing to find more closed businesses, to hear more depressing conversations, to see more wind turbines. I wonder if others who would have been there at the time felt the same thing.
 
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C clearly

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I was there this last September, and I can confirm that the Camino was emptier than I have ever seen it. I did it twice; first in June 2017 and the second time in July 2019 and both were full of pilgrims.
Are you talking about September 2022?
I wonder if others who would have been there at the time felt the same thing.
It would be interesting to know which part of the month, and what part of the Camino you walked, to better compare the experiences.

I walked in May-June 2022 on the Invierno, and found that after 2 years of no travel and some remaining Covid concerns, it did take me a bit more time to get into the pilgrim mindset and figure out how things might be different for that particular Camino. But I am confident that the differences were more in my own mind than in the people or activities around me. After a week or so, I got used to things, and my post-pandemic freedom, and I was able to relax and appreciate/enjoy the journey as much as before. But, as @wayfarer says, every journey is different.
 

trecile

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PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I wonder if the huge reduction of Compostelas this year are a reflection of that. I
You apparently didn't read all the replies on this thread. The numbers cited in the first post have been updated, and the Pilgrims Office statistics say that 66,196 pilgrims arrived in September 2022.

You must have also missed this thread. In fact 2022 has broken all records in the number of Compostelas given to pilgrims.

I'm sorry that you were disappointed in your Camino this year.

October - December 2019 was ≈ 47,000
Januar 2022 - today is ≈ 382,000

So the final sum for 2022 is likely to be more than 430,000 Compostelas! Only a small minority, however, will have walked SJPP to Santiago ...

Previous annual record was ≈ 347,000 Compostelas.

(Figures taken from solviturambulando.es)
 

Gradiva

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June 2017- July 2019- September2022
Are you talking about September 2022?

It would be interesting to know which part of the month, and what part of the Camino you walked, to better compare the experiences.

I walked in May-June 2022 on the Invierno, and found that after 2 years of no travel and some remaining Covid concerns, it did take me a bit more time to get into the pilgrim mindset and figure out how things might be different for that particular Camino. But I am confident that the differences were more in my own mind than in the people or activities around me. After a week or so, I got used to things, and my post-pandemic freedom, and I was able to relax and appreciate/enjoy the journey as much as before. But, as @wayfarer says, every journey is different.
Hi!

We started on the 24th August from Roncevalles and walked up to Sarria where we arrived on the 17th September. We skipped by bus from Estella to Torres del Rio and from Sahagun to Leon for lack of time and because having poor lung capacity, (which is not new and was already the case in my 2 previous caminos) I needed to spare my energy. Even after Leon, we didn't see a massive difference regarding the number of pilgrims on the way.
O'ceibreiro was full, yes, but that's the only place where it was. Even Santiago was so incredibly quiet and empty compared to my 2 previous Camino. Both times, youn struggled to make your waythrough it's streets. This last September, we ate in empty restaurants, quasi empty caf's etc....
That said, nothing makes me happier than reading that in the end, the Camino was successful and still a source of joy for most.
Anyway, I didn't intend to depress
 

C clearly

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We started on the 24th August from Roncevalles and walked up to Sarria where we arrived on the 17th September.
I think that explains the solitude you found. You got a time interval that is, indeed, normally slow on those sections. You missed the September crowds in SJPP and the summer crowds starting in Sarria. It is important for people to understand the finer points of the reputed "crowding."
 
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peregrina2000

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Even Santiago was so incredibly quiet and empty compared to my 2 previous Camino. Both times, youn struggled to make your waythrough it's streets. This last September, we ate in empty restaurants, quasi empty caf's
I just left Santiago today, and it was mobbed. I walked in a day earlier than I had planned and had real trouble finding a hotel. I walked to Finisterre and Muxia and heard various times that October has been busier than September.

Leaving Finisterre to get back to Santiago on Sunday, there were two busses full of pilgrims for the earliest bus. The guy in charge said this was unusual.

Seems that predicting pilgrim numbers has become as impossible as predicting the weather.
 

Bradypus

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Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I just left Santiago today, and it was mobbed. I
There were 2,156 Compostelas issued yesterday. I found that an extraordinary number for a Sunday in October. The third day in a row where numbers were well over 2,000. A friend living in Santiago has also told me that the city has been exceptionally busy recently.
 
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FWIW, a few days ago, Friday or Saturday, I happened to have the live broadcast from the Cathedral in one of my browser tabs in the background, and when I noticed unusual sounds coming from my computer I decided to have a look.

It turned out that they closed the Cathedral for the general public in the late afternoon and arranged for an additional pilgrim mass at 17:00, in addition to the usual four pilgrim masses at 7:30, 9:30, 12:00 and 19:30. There was a big group of co-celebrants, perhaps as many as 20-25 priests and bishops. The pilgrims (yes, they were dressed as peregrinos ☺️) were made to enter through the north portal, which is unusual, and it took ages for them to file in and fill the whole cathedral. They brought in their banners and flags, too, and positioned them near the altar space. The mass was in Spanish only, no foreign words now and then as can so often be heard from a priest or lay person. It looked to me as if they may have been a mixture of foot pilgrims and bus pilgrims. My guess is that, in Galicia, the Jacobean Year campaign is a great success and has brought, and still brings, more people to Santiago and to Galicia than usual.
 
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Bradypus

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Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
The mass was in Spanish only, no foreign words now and then as can so often be heard from a priest or lay person. It looked to me as if they may have been a mixture of foot pilgrims and bus pilgrims.
I think you may have been seeing a special event for this Ourense diocesan pilgrimage. A huge gathering of nearly 2,000 though most arrived by bus then walked from the Seminario Menor to the cathedral en masse.

 
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you may have been seeing a special event for this Ourense diocesan pilgrimage. A huge gathering of nearly 2,000 though most arrived by bus then walked from the Seminario Menor to the cathedral en masse.
Bingo! I could not remember what I had heard when it was announced: Whether they came from Oviedo or Ourense. But yes, now I am certain: it was Ourense. I had noticed that many of them wore these orange scarves that one can also see in the photo of the news article.

Interestingly, the part of the article that is not behind the paywall says this: The (bus) pilgrims were joined by those who for several weekends had been walking the Camino in stages and who this Saturday were walking the Camino between Lestedo and Compostela [14 km].

This is presumably one of the reasons why weekends in Santiago and on Galician Caminos nearby in general are particularly busy: local / regional pilgrims walk in stages, of 1-2 days at a time and often on weekends.
 
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I discovered by accident recently that it is not unusual that the Cathedral of Santiago schedules pilgrim masses at 5 pm that are not announced to the public in general. They are exclusively arranged for pilgrimage groups from parishes in the region.

There was another such pilgrim mass at 5 pm a few days ago and there is currently one ongoing this Sunday afternoon which is for about 25 or so parishes from Arousa and with about 10 co-celebrants. At the end of last year, the Cathedral published guidelines for pilgrim masses for the pilgrimage to Santiago for parishes, delegations and institutions in the diocese(s), see here. This is specifically for this Jacobean Holy Year. Typically, this includes not only a pilgrim reading the first lesson (Liturgia de la Palabra) but also an Invocación al Apóstol Santiago which is basically absent from other pilgrim masses.

For me, it is a further indication how much the significance of the Holy Year has regional implications and not global ones; i.e. the increase in pilgrim numbers is felt in the region and much less along the whole of the Camino Frances or other trails labelled Camino de Santiago. Good to bear in mind when predictions are made for the next Holy Year which is already in view - it is only four years until the 31st of December 2026 when the next Holy Year starts.
 
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