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Spiritual variant (get your two stamps per day!!)

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Former member 56625

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Just arrived in Santiago today after walking 660km only to be told I am not elegible to receive a Compostela because part of my last 100k’s were walked on the spiritual variant of the Portugues and that the pilgrim office does not recognise this variant as an official Camino route.

So a word of warning, if you walk the spiritual variant (which is very beautiful and worth walking) don’t mention it at all in the pilgrims office. Others that walked this route received compostelas, but they did not mention the spiritual variant in the pilgrims office.
I wasn’t even permitted a stamp from the pilgrims office in my credencial. A bit sad!
 
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Ivan_Prada

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
Just arrived in Santiago today after walking 660km only to be told I am not elegible to receive a Compostela because part of my last 100k’s were walked on the spiritual variant of the Portugues and that the pilgrim office does not recognise this variant as an official Camino route.

So a word of warning, if you walk the spiritual variant (which is very beautiful and worth walking) don’t mention it at all in the pilgrims office. Others that walked this route received compostelas, but they did not mention the spiritual variant in the pilgrims office.
I wasn’t even permitted a stamp from the pilgrims office in my credencial. A bit sad!
It is hard to believe that, as on the Credential itself shows a map of the Portuguese Camino and it have the Spiritual Variant. It also has a note that reads in Spanish (castellano): “Para obtener la “Compostela”, la variante espiritual debe iniciarse, como mínimo en Porriño o Vigo.”

Translated it reads: To obtain the “Compostela”, the spiritual variant must as a minimum, begin on Porriño or Vigo.

If that action was carried on at Pilgrim’s Office, another rule must not had been followed by the pilgrim. Did the required two (2) stamps per day were stamped on the Credential for the last 100 kms?

Attached find a photo of the Credential with the map and note.

1633473247118.jpeg 1633473247118.jpeg
 
F

Former member 56625

Guest
We did not have two stamps every day of the last 100k’s, something that’s never been an issue before but from now on I will be doing this no matter how far I walk.
At 660km this has been our shortest Camino and the two stamps for the last 100 hasn’t been an issue in the past.
But the worker in the office did tell me that the spiritual variant is not recognised. Maybe she was uninformed but if so that’s a great pity.
Unfortunately it’s too late to go back and ask again.
Next year the plan is to walk the Sanabres from Salamanca, will be getting two stamps the last 100k!
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
This is very odd and, I think, a mistake - or at least a change from the previous policy.

I received a compostela last year after walking the CP from Lisbon including the VE. I don’t remember if the person issuing the compostela went through my stamps closely but a cursory look at the final pages would have revealed that I did the VE.

In general, the impression that we’ve had on the forum is not only that the VE qualifies for a compostela, but that it’s the only instance in which taking transport during the last 100km (the translatio boat) does not disqualify pilgrims from receiving the compostela. So something is up here.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
the two stamps for the last 100 hasn’t been an issue in the past.
From what I've read over the past few years, when you do not have two stamps for every day during the last 100 km before Santiago, no matter how much you may have walked before that last section, it is in issue now. Some of the volunteers and employees of the Pilgrim Office are more rigid in following this rule than others who show a bit of flexibility when appropriate.

But the worker in the office did tell me that the spiritual variant is not recognised
The staff at the Pilgrim Office consists of employees of the Cathedral and of volunteers from Spain and from around the world who are on a two-week stint. They occasionally make mistakes or are ill informed or not up to date. Most likely the case here.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
What a nonsense bureaucracy!!
The reproach that one can make is that the information policy of the Oficina del Peregrino is lacking and that there is scope for improvement. Which is one reason why pilgrims are sometimes not well-informed about all the conditions that they have to fulfil to obtain their Compostela. The other reason is that pilgrims don't bother to inform themselves appropriately and that they assume that requirements are the same as they were last year, five years ago or in 1993 or just what they 'think' they are.

Anyone who has paid attention over the years knows that foot pilgrims who wish to get a Compostela have to walk the last 100 km, have to show two sellos for every day during these last 100 km and have to obtain these sellos on one of the Caminos (only the last 100 km of them) that are officially recognised by the Cathedral as "authentic". It is the Cathedral who makes the Compostela and it is the Cathedral who makes the rules.

They are trying to cope with the ever increasing number of pilgrims as best as they can with the means that are at their disposal.
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I am sorry to hear you didn't get your compostela! I fear that will be happening to a lot of people this year and next, partly due to a very persistent rumour that is currently flying around on the camino, on the Francés at least, that the two stamps a day rule doesn't actually apply if you have walked further than 100 km. I bought the Holy Year official credencial for my recent walk and here is what it says on top of every page, in English and Spanish - in fact the two stamp rule seems to have been extended, not relaxed. Most who claimed I was wrong, turned out to have credencials where it was clearly stated that at least the last 100 kms required two dated stamps a day; they just hadn't read it. No point in arguing, them's the rules. Get your stamps, it makes your credencial a better memento anyway!
 

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Former member 56625

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From talking to people about this it seems the advice in the office that the spiritual is not an official route was wrong. But that the pilgrim office is requiring 2 stamps per day the last 100k no matter where you started. This hasn’t been the case in the past if you started in Irun, Saint Jean, Somport etc.
Make sure you get your two stamps and if told the route is not official, ask to speak to someone else to confirm.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
From what I've read over the past few years, when you do not have two stamps for every day during the last 100 km before Santiago, no matter how much you may have walked before that last section, it is in issue now. Some of the volunteers and employees of the Pilgrim Office are more rigid in following this rule than others who show a bit of flexibility when appropriate.


The staff at the Pilgrim Office consists of employees of the Cathedral and of volunteers from Spain and from around the world who are on a two-week stint. They occasionally make mistakes or are ill informed or not up to date. Most likely the case here.
Both excellent points.

It also amazes me that people challenge what is basically one of the only rules of receiving a Compostela. It could not be clearer. You have to walk 100K on foot. But in todays world where anyone can make up anything and put it out in the universe or the internet will it be taken as gospel within a few weeks. If it is the rule and you say well I never worried about it in the past and still received my Compostela and now I am pissed that I did not receive my Compostela you should not be sad or upset at all. If anyone on the forum asks they will always get the correct answer. If not it is each person's responsibility to know what the requirements are. I am not criticizing or attacking anyone but, honestly in this instance you knew the rules and you chose not to follow them. There is no one to blame or be upset with but yourself. You should consider yourself lucky that you have received Compostelas in the past.
As my father used to tell me when I was a teenager. You knew the rules, or you knew when the homework was due or you knew _____ (fill in the blank) you deserve what you got. You have no one to blame but yourself. As I walked away cursing under my breath he would always add, if you don't like it, stop bitching and do something to change it.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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I was totally ignorant and ill informed on my first Camino in 2015. I'd followed in the footsteps of Martin Sheen in "The Way" and he mever mentioned needing two stamps per day after Sarria.😂
Thankfully, the kind young man issuing my Compostela in the Pilgrim's office apparently had mercy on me, but never mentioned the rules. I've since learned the rules on this forum.
On the Portuguese Camino, the lovely boat ride was added as qualifying only several years ago, so changes are occasionally made.
 

Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
To be clear:
Walking from Vigo (coastal) or Porriño (central) will qualify you for the compostella whether you walk the spiritual variant or not. If you want a distance certificate, the extra few km of the spiritual variant won't be included as it isn't recognised. The official distances from Porto are:

Central: 240km
Coastal:280km
Coastal via Tui: 260km
 
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Mera

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
Just arrived in Santiago today after walking 660km only to be told I am not elegible to receive a Compostela because part of my last 100k’s were walked on the spiritual variant of the Portugues and that the pilgrim office does not recognise this variant as an official Camino route.

So a word of warning, if you walk the spiritual variant (which is very beautiful and worth walking) don’t mention it at all in the pilgrims office. Others that walked this route received compostelas, but they did not mention the spiritual variant in the pilgrims office.
I wasn’t even permitted a stamp from the pilgrims office in my credencial. A bit sad!
That sounds so inflexible, especially when they denied the last stamp! How disappointing it must have been for you. I don't believe that there is a God-designated or approved way of doing the Camino because God is everywhere. No man should deny the spirituality and joy you felt. However, it will always be yours whether you have the certificate or not. Buen trabajo!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
That sounds so inflexible, especially when they denied the last stamp! How disappointing it must have been for you. I don't believe that there is a God-designated or approved way of doing the Camino because God is everywhere. No man should deny the spirituality and joy you felt. However, it will always be yours whether you have the certificate or not. Buen trabajo!
Hi I agree with you that no one can approve or disapprove anything anyone does on their camino. What I respectfully disagree with is the fact (Believe me I am someone who has rarely followed the rules in life and have paid the price for it) that the Office of Perigrinos can set any rules they like. They are the keeper of the Compostela. They have a right to impose any rule to fulfill a Compostela they see fit. If there were no rules anyone could walk in and get a Compostela. I personally (as do some others) believe 100K is way to short a distance to get a Compostela for walking Perigrinos. I know there have been discussions regarding this by the Pilgrim Office. That issue is not that big a deal so I don't worry about it. You obviously think this is a great injustice. As I had said in another post regarding this, as my dad used to say,
As my father used to tell me when I was a teenager. You knew the rules, or you knew when the homework was due or you knew _____ (fill in the blank) you deserve what you got. You have no one to blame but yourself. As I walked away cursing under my breath he would always add, if you don't like it, stop bitching and do something to change it.
I do not know if you would be able to change anything but if you and others feel this strongly about this issue maybe you can change things. You never know unless you try.
For me, as I said before, he knew the rules he chose to ignore them so I have no sympathy at all.
I do have sympathy for Chrissy:
I was totally ignorant and ill informed on my first Camino in 2015. I'd followed in the footsteps of Martin Sheen in "The Way" and he mever mentioned needing two stamps per day after Sarria.😂
Thankfully, the kind young man issuing my Compostela in the Pilgrim's office apparently had mercy on me, but never mentioned the rules. I've since learned the rules on this forum.
On the Portuguese Camino, the lovely boat ride was added as qualifying only several years ago, so changes are occasionally made.
Different opinions and thoughts are what make our Forum go round and round!
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
From talking to people about this it seems the advice in the office that the spiritual is not an official route was wrong. But that the pilgrim office is requiring 2 stamps per day the last 100k no matter where you started. This hasn’t been the case in the past if you started in Irun, Saint Jean, Somport etc.
Make sure you get your two stamps and if told the route is not official, ask to speak to someone else to confirm.
it's been the case at least since 2012
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I was totally ignorant and ill informed on my first Camino in 2015. I'd followed in the footsteps of Martin Sheen in "The Way" and he mever mentioned needing two stamps per day after Sarria.😂
Thankfully, the kind young man issuing my Compostela in the Pilgrim's office apparently had mercy on me, but never mentioned the rules. I've since learned the rules on this forum.
On the Portuguese Camino, the lovely boat ride was added as qualifying only several years ago, so changes are occasionally made.
but of course Martin Sheen also walked the entire Camino and on to Muxia in less than two hours, stayed in albergues that didn't exist, they all wore jeans and Sheen fell into a river no where near the Camino. other than that... totally realistic :)
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
That sounds so inflexible, especially when they denied the last stamp! How disappointing it must have been for you. I don't believe that there is a God-designated or approved way of doing the Camino because God is everywhere. No man should deny the spirituality and joy you felt. However, it will always be yours whether you have the certificate or not. Buen trabajo!
the compostela has nothing to do with granting or denying spiritual joy. it's a piece of paper walkers want. The Grace achieved from the pilgrimage has no relationship to the compostela and has no walking requirement at all. The compostela on the other hand has a few simple rules that have been around for a long, long time

the compostela rules are not difficult, they are clearly listed on the cathedral website,and in credentials in multiple places. It is undoubtedly disappointing to the OP but it's not inflexible on the part of the Pilgrims' Office. there are no extra credit points based on how far one travels. the rules are simple, and easy to meet.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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but of course Martin Sheen also walked the entire Camino and on to Muxia in less than two hours, stayed in albergues that didn't exist, they all wore jeans and Sheen fell into a river no where near the Camino. other than that... totally realistic :)
I was naive early on in my enthusiasm and excitement...what can I say.🤷...🙂
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
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Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
If you want a distance certificate, the extra few km of the spiritual variant won't be included as it isn't recognised.
I've shared this before that my distance cetificate on the Frances said I walked 799 kilometers. Even one extra kilometer walking anywhere else in a village or city you pass through apparently isn't recognized. I found it quite humorous.😅
 

GailGwyn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
part Camino Frances (2013), Part Camino Norte (2014)Camino Frances (2019)Camino Portuguese (2020)
Just arrived in Santiago today after walking 660km only to be told I am not elegible to receive a Compostela because part of my last 100k’s were walked on the spiritual variant of the Portugues and that the pilgrim office does not recognise this variant as an official Camino route.

So a word of warning, if you walk the spiritual variant (which is very beautiful and worth walking) don’t mention it at all in the pilgrims office. Others that walked this route received compostelas, but they did not mention the spiritual variant in the pilgrims office.
I wasn’t even permitted a stamp from the pilgrims office in my credencial. A bit sad!
We walked the Camino Portuguese, from Porto a couple of weeks ago, including the Spiritual Variant and got a Compostella, no problem. I don't remember mentioning it at the desk, but the stamps were clear to see. What a shame you were denied your Compostella 😥
 
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
We did not have two stamps every day of the last 100k’s, something that’s never been an issue before but from now on I will be doing this no matter how far I walk.
At 660km this has been our shortest Camino and the two stamps for the last 100 hasn’t been an issue in the past.
But the worker in the office did tell me that the spiritual variant is not recognised. Maybe she was uninformed but if so that’s a great pity.
Unfortunately it’s too late to go back and ask again.
Next year the plan is to walk the Sanabres from Salamanca, will be getting two stamps the last 100k!
Please submit a formal query to the pilgrims office so it can be rectified.it’s a Holy Year and I’m starting in Lisbon taking the costal at Porto the Spiritual variant and do desire my Holy Year Compostela.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
There has always been an official law on how to obtain a Compostela. You can unicycle the Camino naked and painted blue if you want (not recommended). But if you want a Compostela you have to comply with the rules pertaining to Compostelas
@Tincatinker i think you volunteer in the Pilgrims office? If yes, any advice for me for my 2 sellos/day the last 100 km when I start in Lisbon take the coastal at Porto the VE during which I sleep 3 nights at the Armenteira monastery (I guess I’d need to get 2 stamps each of the 3 days I’m at the monastery then going on to Vila Aousa-Boat-Pontscecres onward to Santiago on foot. I think 2 stamps per day from Vigo to SDC should get me my Compostela no¿. I’m questioning if the 3 days in Armenteira will be an issue.
 
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2012
@Tincatinker i think you volunteer in the Pilgrims office? If yes, any advice for me for my 2 sellos/day the last 100 km when I start in Lisbon take the coastal at Porto the VE during which I sleep 3 nights at the Armenteira monastery (I guess I’d need to get 2 stamps each of the 3 days I’m at the monastery then going on to Vila Aousa-Boat-Pontscecres onward to Santiago on foot. I think 2 stamps per day from Vigo to SDC should get me my Compostela no¿. I’m questioning if the 3 days in Armenteira will be an issue.
Not me, so far as the PO goes. Nonetheless there are quite a few on here as do. Meanwhile my understanding is that if you have obtained a sello on your way to Armenteira and a sello from your accommodations in Armenteira, dated on your arrival, what is required is a futher sello in Armentiera dated on your departure. This shows your contiguous journey to Armenteira, your pause, and the continuation. There is no requirement to acquire two stamps per day while you are "resting".

edited for clarity (I hope)
 
Last edited:

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
@Tincatinker i think you volunteer in the Pilgrims office? If yes, any advice for me for my 2 sellos/day the last 100 km when I start in Lisbon take the coastal at Porto the VE during which I sleep 3 nights at the Armenteira monastery (I guess I’d need to get 2 stamps each of the 3 days I’m at the monastery then going on to Vila Aousa-Boat-Pontscecres onward to Santiago on foot. I think 2 stamps per day from Vigo to SDC should get me my Compostela no¿. I’m questioning if the 3 days in Armenteira will be an issue.
To me it sounds like the actual reason the compostela was denied was lack of two stamps per day in the last 100km and not the route. That said, the best source of info is the pilgrims office. If I were you and if the compostela mattered to me, I’d call or email (better) them to ask about your route and planned stop and what to do about stamps. Then I’d print their email reply (why I prefer email) and have it handy when you arrive at the pilgrims office just in case. If done by phone I’d record the person’s name, date and time you called. This has email and phone contact info.


Buen Camino!
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
As can be seen from the posts above we have lost another new member because, in my opinion, people who say they they are not being critical actually are and are also being rude to a new member. Please have a bit of understanding of someones disappointment and post advice accordingly.
 

Bala

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2018, 2022
As can be seen from the posts above we have lost another new member because, in my opinion, people who say they they are not being critical actually are and are also being rude to a new member. Please have a bit of understanding of someones disappointment and post advice accordingly.
That makes me sad. I was just about to post that I saw nothing critical in the OP's post. He said he had Compostelas from the past and next time he know better.

So I read it as simply a word to the wise that the Pilgrim Office (at least one person, anyway) was getting strict on the 2 stamps a day rule. Too bad others read it differently and critically, even if unintended.

This is boots on the ground information that should be passed along to everyone who asks, and especially to everyone who posts "oh, I walked in .... and it didn't matter" and/or "if you start on SJPP you don't need to do this." It does and you do.

And then there are those who never bother to make any effort to learn what's required in the first place. I got in a bit of a dustup a few years ago on the American Pilgrims on the Camino Facebook page with someone who said he'd never heard of the two-stamp rule until he got to Santiago. He rather hautily sniped that APOC needed to put that on their credentials. I said they did, and posted a picture of my APOC credential with the requirement clearly printed. Well, he said, he'd gotten his credential in France and he wasn't able to read French. 🙄 But I guess he still figured it was APOC's fault.

Go figure. 🤪
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
As Catholic, it’s all about the rules. In fact, there’s a giant book of rules, two stone tablets of rules, and 2,000 years of extra rules issued by a guy in a funny hat. The Compostela is issued by the Catholic Church and as much as many folks walk the Camino of Saint James in a secular way, it’s a holy document of the Church (with a capital C). The OP certainly could have received a mileage certificate, but the official rules need to be followed for the official document.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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As can be seen from the posts above we have lost another new member because, in my opinion, people who say they they are not being critical actually are and are also being rude to a new member. Please have a bit of understanding of someones disappointment and post advice accordingly.
@wayfarer, I appreciate your admonition, so I did go back and re-read the posts again and will say that I have seen far more critical replies than what I am seeing here on other threads over time. Thank you though, for reminding us to be kind. I was disappointed the OP left as I thought he/she was trying to be helpful making future pilgrims to be aware of a potentially disappointing experience like the one he personally had.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
I have seen far more critical replies than what I am seeing here on other threads over time.
I agree with you Chrissy but most of these exchanges are between veteran members, what I'm saying is cut new members here and new pilgrims on Camino a bit of slack, a few of these posts were not very sympathetic or welcoming.
 
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