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Taking a number in Santiago.

0 Euro Camino Bank Note
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
I read on a Facebook site that you now have to take a number to get your Compostela at the Pilgrims Office. Have I missed something recently ?
 

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. The new system requires you to use a kiosk to take a numbered ticket. The ticket has a QR barcode on it. You can leave the building and go anywhere, to do anything while your number approaches.

You can use your smartphone to check the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number from anywhere you have internet access. Both Apple iPhones and Android phones have the built in capability to scan a barcode and bring up the encrypted website.

In this case, that is the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number. If your number is 50 or less from the currently being served number, finish whatever you are doing and proceed to the pilgrim office, without delay.

If your number is 30 or less from the number being served, RUSH to the office. The number being served can accelerate at times. If you miss your place, when called, you could be compelled to return to the kiosk to take another number.

So, while the new system does allow waiting pilgrims to use that queue time to do other things, outside the office, it also imposes the requirement to be there when your number is called. Please cooperate.

Hope this helps.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
No. The new system requires you to use a kiosk to take a numbered ticket. The ticket has a QR barcode on it. You can leave the building and go anywhere, to do anything while your number approaches.

You can use your smartphone to check the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number from anywhere you have internet access. Both Apple iPhones and Android phones have the built in capability to scan a barcode and bring up the encrypted website.

In this case, that is the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number. If your number is 50 or less from the currently being served number, finish whatever you are doing and proceed to the pilgrim office, without delay.

If your number is 30 or less from the number being served, RUSH to the office. The number being served can accelerate at times. If you miss your place, when called, you could be compelled to return to the kiosk to take another number.

So, while the new system does allow waiting pilgrims to use that queue time to do other things, outside the office, it also imposes the requirement to be there when your number is called. Please cooperate.

Hope this helps.
Wow...high-tech has now come to the Camino as well! There is no escape... 😄
I haven't 'checked in' at SdC since 2015...by the time I do again (probably 2021), I won't know the place!
👣 🌏
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
No. The new system requires you to use a kiosk to take a numbered ticket. The ticket has a QR barcode on it. You can leave the building and go anywhere, to do anything while your number approaches.

So, while the new system does allow waiting pilgrims to use that queue time to do other things, outside the office, it also imposes the requirement to be there when your number is called. Please cooperate.

Hope this helps.
Sounds like an awesome setup!
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
No. The new system requires you to use a kiosk to take a numbered ticket. The ticket has a QR barcode on it. You can leave the building and go anywhere, to do anything while your number approaches.

You can use your smartphone to check the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number from anywhere you have internet access. Both Apple iPhones and Android phones have the built in capability to scan a barcode and bring up the encrypted website.

In this case, that is the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number. If your number is 50 or less from the currently being served number, finish whatever you are doing and proceed to the pilgrim office, without delay.

If your number is 30 or less from the number being served, RUSH to the office. The number being served can accelerate at times. If you miss your place, when called, you could be compelled to return to the kiosk to take another number.

So, while the new system does allow waiting pilgrims to use that queue time to do other things, outside the office, it also imposes the requirement to be there when your number is called. Please cooperate.

Hope this helps.
Great system! Thanks for the details.
 

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 BIG takeaway is DO NOT DAWDLE OR DELAY in going to the pilgrims office and obtaining your queue number from the kiosk!

When you first see the difference between your number and the number now being seen, you can make an informed decision about leaving the Pilgrim Office to check in at your accommodations, get cleaned up, have lunch, etc.

Use the QR scanning capability built-in to your smartphone to check the status of the queue over the internet. You can do this literally from anywhere.

If your queue number is 50 or less from the number being processed, wrap up what you are doing quickly and return to the office.

By the time the difference between your number and the number being processed is 30 or less, YOU MUST BE WAITING in the hallway, where you can see “Señor Bong.” This is the HDTV hanging over the entry to the processing area that announces the next number to be seen, as well as what desk / counter position to go to.

If you miss your counter call, you are screwed. Because so many pilgrims failed to pay attention then showed up well out of sequence, management adopted a policy of canceling your place in the queue.

This compels you to obtain a new, higher number, and restart the process. DON’T BE A NO SHOW!

Finally, security have been told to turn off the number issuing kiosks when they have issued enough tickets, such that there are enough pilgrims pending / waiting somewhere to keep the available staff busy through office closing. Given arrival patterns and staff availability, this cutoff could occur at any time in late afternoon or early evening. This all depends on supply and demand.

The purpose of this is to ensure that, if you have a number from the kiosk, you will be processed... unless you were a “no show” earlier, when your number was called to the jointer, but you did not reply immediately.

If you do get caught out on arrival, your ONLY option is to return in time for the office opening the next morning. Tickets for the next day are NEVER issued in advance.

Please bear in mind that this new process is among many to come to get ready for the 2021 Holy Year. Be flexible and patient.

Hope this helps.
 
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IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
No. The new system requires you to use a kiosk to take a numbered ticket. The ticket has a QR barcode on it. You can leave the building and go anywhere, to do anything while your number approaches.

You can use your smartphone to check the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number from anywhere you have internet access. Both Apple iPhones and Android phones have the built in capability to scan a barcode and bring up the encrypted website.

In this case, that is the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number. If your number is 50 or less from the currently being served number, finish whatever you are doing and proceed to the pilgrim office, without delay.

If your number is 30 or less from the number being served, RUSH to the office. The number being served can accelerate at times. If you miss your place, when called, you could be compelled to return to the kiosk to take another number.

So, while the new system does allow waiting pilgrims to use that queue time to do other things, outside the office, it also imposes the requirement to be there when your number is called. Please cooperate.

Hope this helps.
Hmm so what IF you walk without a phone or old smartphone that is not so smart cause it doesn't read a QR bar code.
No. The new system requires you to use a kiosk to take a numbered ticket. The ticket has a QR barcode on it. You can leave the building and go anywhere, to do anything while your number approaches.

You can use your smartphone to check the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number from anywhere you have internet access. Both Apple iPhones and Android phones have the built in capability to scan a barcode and bring up the encrypted website.

In this case, that is the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number. If your number is 50 or less from the currently being served number, finish whatever you are doing and proceed to the pilgrim office, without delay.

If your number is 30 or less from the number being served, RUSH to the office. The number being served can accelerate at times. If you miss your place, when called, you could be compelled to return to the kiosk to take another number.

So, while the new system does allow waiting pilgrims to use that queue time to do other things, outside the office, it also imposes the requirement to be there when your number is called. Please cooperate.

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
If you are not able to check your QR code remotely, your choice is to remain in the new waiting room, until your number is within 30 of the number being served. This room is located on the ground floor (Piso -1) of the big rectangular building down the terrace stairs, and to the left.

There are signs to direct you. This is also where the main queue, ticket kiosks are located.

This very large room is air conditioned, has chairs, beverage and snack vending machines, and large screen monitors displaying the current queue status. There are ample bathrooms. There are also multiple charging points for your phones. There was even a rumor of coming free Wi-Fi... Personally, I think offering free Wi-Fi is a colossally bad idea... but I am a volunteer...

Hope this helps.
 
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Ninalin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis
The queue moves about 100 numbers per hour. We checked in our hotel next to cathedral and relaxed for a couple hrs. When we walked over, we waited in line for 10min, about 15 numbers ahead of ours. There were about 16 servicing counters. Just watch for your number and which counter to go.
 

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CyndyC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2019
I read on a Facebook site that you now have to take a number to get your Compostela at the Pilgrims Office. Have I missed something recently ?
Hi.. We finished the Camino September 9 th. Went to get our certificates before Mass. We were number 550. At the time they are on number like 244, we were told to come back in 3 hours and they told us about the qr codes and the site so that we could see their progress. It worked great. When we came back 3 hours later, they were issuing numbers in the 1100s. So suggestion, go to get your number before mass. I must say that we were rather disappointed in that when the mass was over, there was no celebration. Or people saying Buen Camino or something! I guess I expected a celebratory acknowledgement of what every one there had just accomplished. Here we were all together after doing what may have been one of the most challenging events of our lives.. Together.. And it was a coming together of the participants, and well in my opinion, it was a missed opportunity to celebrate together. Nothing was said. Everyone just out of church and that was it. I recognize that it's a personal accomplishment. Any how, I didn't need the joint celebration to make my Camino. It's mine and it's in my heart (and feet and knees). But it would have added something lovely and cummunal in my opinion
I read on a Facebook site that you now have to take a number to get your Compostela at the Pilgrims Office. Have I missed something recently ?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I must say that we were rather disappointed in that when the mass was over, there was no celebration. Or people saying Buen Camino or something! I guess I expected a celebratory acknowledgement of what every one there had just accomplished. Here we were all together after doing what may have been one of the most challenging events of our lives.. Together.. And it was a coming together of the participants, and well in my opinion, it was a missed opportunity to celebrate together. Nothing was said. Everyone just out of church and that was it.
I have not been to a pilgrim mass this year while they are being held in another church during the repair work in the cathedral itself. Is it no longer the custom for the officiating priest to acknowledge and welcome the newly arrived pilgrims and for them to share a sign of peace together during the mass with the rest of the congregation? It has always been my understanding that participation in the pilgrim mass in the city of the Apostle is the traditional "celebration" of the end of a Camino. Anything else you choose to add is up to you.
 

Annet2020

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues 2020
I must say that we were rather disappointed in that when the mass was over, there was no celebration. Or people saying Buen Camino or something! I guess I expected a celebratory acknowledgement of what every one there had just accomplished. Here we were all together after doing what may have been one of the most challenging events of our lives.. Together.. And it was a coming together of the participants, and well in my opinion, it was a missed opportunity to celebrate together.
I have not walked the camino yet, but I think attending the mass in itself and getting the compostela are the main acknowledgement of what you've just accomplished, apart from your personal accomplishment of course.

Buen Camino is something you can compare with Bon Appetite. You say it before dinner or when a new course is served, not when you have finished eating. Buen Camino literally translated means (have a) good way/path/walk, so I would not expect to hear it when I completed it already.
 

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 kiosk and adjacent big screen HDTVs use the same 8 languages as "Señor Bong" (the sign over the entry door to the counter area). Those languages include, perhaps in a different order:

Gallego
Catalan
Euskerra (Basque)
Castellano
English
Portuguese
Italian
German

Before I left in mid-August, I Googled, and developed the instructions for setting up your Android or Apple smartphone to scan a QR code and bring up the queue status using the internet from anywhere. Staff had developed the capability on the system and showed it proudly to me. But, they had not developed the instructions to pilgrims on how to set their smartphones up. I did that necessary, last part.

Briefly, Android phones running the Android OS, version 9.x or higher, and iOS phones using version 12.x or higher have the built-in capability to scan a QR code and bring up the corresponding web page. In Android, the needed settings to change are in your camera settings.

On iOS phones it is in /Settings/Camera and in /Settings/Control Center/Customize Controls. You must change setting in these two places on an iPhone. Then, turn your iPhone off completely then turn it back on. When it restarts, you will have the capability on your shortcuts screen... where the flashlight app is.

Of course, you must have a data plan active on your phone, or be someplace with free Wi-Fi for this to work.

Lastly, having given them the specific instructions for smartphone set-up in English, I invited staff and management them to have them translated into the 8 languages above, and to post signage near the ticket issuing kiosks. I hope this has been done.

Finally, I also asked staff and management to seek out South Korean students who might be at the University of Santiago de Compostela to attempt to get signage and other material throughout the Pilgrim Office translated into Korean. I even contacted a priest involved in the Cathedral administration to seek their intervention to find such people perhaps in one of the seminaries.

When I made these contacts, I noted that the Galicia Tourist Office, located across the courtyard at the Pilgrim Office Campus, had two Korean college students working there. So, logically, there are at least two Korean students in town. We shall see what evolves...

Hope this all helps.
 

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)
Hmm so what IF you walk without a phone or old smartphone that is not so smart cause it doesn't read a QR bar code.
Android phones running the Android OS, version 9.x or higher, and iOS phones using version 12.x or higher have the built-in capability to scan a QR code and bring up the corresponding web page.
It sounds like those of us with older phones or old phones are out of the loop. A pity the PO doesn't have an automated phone line with a running message announcing the current number. There must be some way to link that to Señor Bong? (Though I can't imagine how...maybe the PO should enlist the help of some of those Korean techies - the ones I've met on the camio have been very tech-savvy and smart as whips...)

Is it no longer the custom for the officiating priest to acknowledge and welcome the newly arrived pilgrims and for them to share a sign of peace together during the mass with the rest of the congregation?
Of couse it is. Not to mention many other possibilities for connecting and celebrating at the Welcome office, the English mass, Pilgrim House and Egeria House...

Edit...Haha, but @Alan Pearce , it's a TV.
That's better than calling it Shirley, right? ;)
 

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
Sounds like an excellent innovation. I hate queues so it suits me perfectly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
Hi.. We finished the Camino September 9 th. Went to get our certificates before Mass. We were number 550. At the time they are on number like 244, we were told to come back in 3 hours and they told us about the qr codes and the site so that we could see their progress. It worked great. When we came back 3 hours later, they were issuing numbers in the 1100s. So suggestion, go to get your number before mass. I must say that we were rather disappointed in that when the mass was over, there was no celebration. Or people saying Buen Camino or something! I guess I expected a celebratory acknowledgement of what every one there had just accomplished. Here we were all together after doing what may have been one of the most challenging events of our lives.. Together.. And it was a coming together of the participants, and well in my opinion, it was a missed opportunity to celebrate together. Nothing was said. Everyone just out of church and that was it. I recognize that it's a personal accomplishment. Any how, I didn't need the joint celebration to make my Camino. It's mine and it's in my heart (and feet and knees). But it would have added something lovely and cummunal in my opinion
Cindy, I think one of the hardest things for many of us to let go of when we are walking on the Camino is our expectations: what we think should happen, or how an albergue or meal should be or what the landscape should look like and on and on. It is often a challenge to just marvel and accept what is, even rain, mud and rocks. As you said, your celebration is in your heart, feet and knees, exactly where it should be!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Who on Earth named it "Senor Bong"? Cringe-worthy!

Be Brave. Life is joyous.

Alan
That was my idea totally. I coined the name after the sound the display device over the door makes to signal the next pilgrim to enter. The sound is most nearly "BONG." Hence the name...
 
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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
It sounds like those of us with older phones or old phones are out of the loop. A pity the PO doesn't have an automated phone line with a running message announcing the current number. There must be some way to link that to Señor Bong? (Though I can't imagine how...maybe the PO should enlist the help of some of those Korean techies - the ones I've met on the camio have been very tech-savvy and smart as whips...)

Of couse it is. Not to mention many other possibilities for connecting and celebrating at the Welcome office, the English mass, Pilgrim House and Egeria House...

Edit...Haha, but @Alan Pearce , it's a TV.
That's better than calling it Shirley, right? ;)
Come ON folks, this is Spain, not Germany, the UK, or the US. Things happen at a glacial pace. Plus, too much complexity causes more errors. We need a system that is rock solid reliable. As it is, this new system is VERY buggy. It is a step in the right direction, but a baby step.

That said, I can recommend they add a voice tree to a phone number that tells you to press your language choice, then simply reads the current number being served. That is all you need.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
That said, I can recommend they add a voice tree to a phone number that tells you to press your language choice, then simply reads the current number being served. That is all you need
Can't help thinking that the solution you proposed a few days ago of replacing the Compostela with a simple completion stamp in the credencial would be much simpler, cheaper and far more effective in reducing waiting times.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
It would. But the current crop of clerics in charge would NEVER countenance it. They favor tradition over almost all else.

My basic process change would be to have the Pilgrim Office merely provide evidence of completion on your credencial using two different stamps / sellos as they do now.

One sello is on the last page of your sellos, to signify you arrived at the Cathedral. The second stamp is on the inside cover of your credencial to close out that credencial and make it unusable for future use, to obtain a Compostela.

I would include a passport-sized preprinted, mini version of the Compostela or Welcome Certificate, sands personalization, inserting it to each credencial after affixing the two sellos. A single staple is optional at the pilgrim's choice.

To obtain anything more beyond this, you would have to present the stamped credencial and the card insert to a commercial vendor, licensed by the Cathedral.

The total counter time for this should be about 1-2 minutes including greetings and pleasantries. This is DOWN from the current 6 - 10 minutes per pilgrim.

I would then outsource production of all Compostelas and other Certificates to a commercial vendor in town, taking a percentage of the cost charged for the license arrangement. Let the market determine the appropriate fee.

The vendor could only obtain the source documents form the Pilgrim Office in bulk. A clever businessperson could establish a couple of service points around town to produce and sell these authorized documents. Pilgrims win, the local economy wins, and the Church wins...

But, as I said at the outset, this will not happen for years to come. Maybe for the NEXT Holy Year, after they see the disaster to come in 2021. I continue to have a bad feeling about this.

Yup, like herding cats...
 

frjuliangreen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés 2018
Camino Portugués 2019
Camino Sanabrés 2020
I read on a Facebook site that you now have to take a number to get your Compostela at the Pilgrims Office. Have I missed something recently ?
That is the case. If, however, you arrive in a group, you can get a sheet from the security guy on the door, and fill it in with all the details of your group, and hand in your sheet with completed credenciales. They give you a time to come back. On return just go directly to the office on the right just inside the door and you can pick up all your compostelas already completed and the credenciales stamped. Simple. Saved a lot of time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
It sounds like those of us with older phones or old phones are out of the loop. A pity the PO doesn't have an automated phone line with a running message announcing the current number. There must be some way to link that to Señor Bong?
Only partly kidding here. Senor Bong could be put on a public access TV channel and broadcast thoughout the town. Watch in store fronts everywhere.
The vendor could only obtain the source documents form the Pilgrim Office in bulk. A clever businessperson could establish a couple of service points around town to produce and sell these authorized documents. Pilgrims win, the local economy wins, and the Church wins...
And the vendor makes plenty selling decorated mailing tubes to protect the compostela.

Thanks for spending so much time straightening us out on this @t2andreo and trying to do the same with the higher ups.
Generalizations are usually unfair.
o_O Now I'm confused. Is this one that is fair or not? ;)
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
I would have thought that having a credential, or several, chock full of stamps and dates, is proof enough of having completed the pilgrim journey.
The certificate is like an add-on really. Yes, I have one, but it stays rolled up in its tube. The queue to get one was a great opportunity to meet and talk to other pilgrims, only that it was a bit tiring and uncomfortable for many, especially if you still had your rucksack to carry and/or was one of the walking wounded on arrival. So anything that makes the process more convenient and comfortable will be appreciated by many of us.
It's interesting that having forsaken many comforts and conveniences while walking the Camino, suddenly on completion there can be a desire to quickly get back to 'service as usual' - almost to the point of demanding these type of improvements.
 
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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)
That said, I can recommend they add a voice tree to a phone number that tells you to press your language choice, then simply reads the current number being served. That is all you need.
Exactly. That would be perfect.
Not everyone has or is comfortable with technology.

Can't help thinking that the solution you proposed a few days ago of replacing the Compostela with a simple completion stamp in the credencial would be much simpler, cheaper and far more effective in reducing waiting times.
Of course it would be. And lots of us would be satisfied with that. But many people want that piece of paper.
 

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)
A clever businessperson could establish a couple of service points around town to produce and sell these authorized documents.
I have to say (sorry, @t2andreo) that this whole idea makes my skin crawl. I'm with the conservative clergy on this one, and would hate to see the issuing of compostelas turned into an efficient process-oriented commercial venture.
Just...please, NO.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
o_O Now I'm confused. Is this one that is fair or not? ;)
I know this is a hypothetical fun question but since no one ever reacts to the comment in question, I am with @Pelegrin on this one: once is enough. In fact, the opinion expressed reminded me of typical expat opinions I've heard way too many times in different contexts: if it doesn't work like at home and the way I'm used to or the way I'd like it to be then it's inferior. It isn't.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I know this is a hypothetical fun question but since no one ever reacts to the comment in question, I am with @Pelegrin on this one: once is enough. In fact, the opinion expressed reminded me of typical expat opinions I've heard way too many times in different contexts: if it doesn't work like at home and the way I'm used to or the way I'd like it to be then it's inferior. It isn't.
Thank you very much @Kathar1na (again).
I didn' t react because the generalization "This is because is Spain" is obviously unfair for the Basque country or the Canary islands that have nothing to do with an issue Church/Xunta de Galicia.
In relation to the US, I wonder if the Camino finished in Helena (Montana) this state would manage better issuing such a volumen of documents for free to people from everywhere. Same in case of Shwerin (Meklenburg, Germany) or in Cardiff (Wales, UK).
As a good Galician, I never like being so direct on my posts, but I had already sent two posts in previous threads where I mentioned, in an indirect way, that I disagreed with the sentence "This is because is Spain".
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Thank you very much @Kathar1na (again).
I didn' t react because the generalization "This is because is Spain" is obviously unfair for the Basque country or the Canary islands that have nothing to do with an issue Church/Xunta de Galicia.
In relation to the US, I wonder if the Camino finished in Helena (Montana) this state would manage better issuing such a volumen of documents for free to people from everywhere. Same in case of Shwerin (Meklenburg, Germany) or in Cardiff (Wales, UK).
As a good Galician, I never like being so direct on my posts, but I had already sent two posts in previous threads where I mentioned, in an indirect way, that I disagreed with the sentence "This is because is Spain".
As a good manners practice it's perfectly acceptable for Spanish to criticize eachother and their country, but if foreigners do this they can expect all Spanish to unite against them. However, this is of course a generalization, in certain circumstances the opposite might be true......
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
You don't need to repeat this. Generalizations are usually unfair.
It was NOT meant in a pejorative sense, or as a generalization. I love Spain and all the quirks of this society. Truth be, I would rather be living there than here. But I have responsibilities...

One of these unique and actually laudable attitudes is a near universal avoidance of stress producing artificial deadlines and worry in general. The Spanish people usually take a more relaxed attitude to things that would irk, annoy and cause anxiety or stress among other national groups. The problem, as such, is US not THEM.

All, I was trying to instill was patience and an understanding that bureaucratic things generally move slower in Spain than in some other countries. That's it. No slight or insult was intended... I frequently wish that I could adjust my basic nature (OCD-influenced) to be more like my friends at the Pilgrim Office.

At the end of the day, I may accomplish more, but whatever they accomplish, they usually accomplish better. I am the proverbial hare. They are the tortoise. But we all finish...

Hope this helps clarify.
 
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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 have to say (sorry, @t2andreo) that this whole idea makes my skin crawl. I'm with the conservative clergy on this one, and would hate to see the issuing of compostelas turned into an efficient process-oriented commercial venture.
Just...please, NO.
I was thinking out loud. I suspect many others out there feel similar. But, we should all just take a deep breath and realize it is never going to happen...at least anytime soon.

About the best I can do is try to help to nudge them towards process changes that make the current process more efficient. THEY came up with the take a number at the kiosk thing. In May 2019, when I worked for two weeks (in lieu of my Spring Camino) I begged for the remote status check capability. Together, they seemed to have cobbled something effective together.

I do not deserve or want any credit. They did it all. At best, I merely pointed out some 'low hanging fruit,' things that would create a big improvement at minimal investment. THIS TIME, we all got lucky. The synergy worked...

I continued to leave notes with additional suggestions... We shall see what next summer brings.
 

Mycroft

Member
No. The new system requires you to use a kiosk to take a numbered ticket. The ticket has a QR barcode on it. You can leave the building and go anywhere, to do anything while your number approaches.

You can use your smartphone to check the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number from anywhere you have internet access. Both Apple iPhones and Android phones have the built in capability to scan a barcode and bring up the encrypted website.

In this case, that is the current status of the queue, via-a-vis your number. If your number is 50 or less from the currently being served number, finish whatever you are doing and proceed to the pilgrim office, without delay.

If your number is 30 or less from the number being served, RUSH to the office. The number being served can accelerate at times. If you miss your place, when called, you could be compelled to return to the kiosk to take another number.

So, while the new system does allow waiting pilgrims to use that queue time to do other things, outside the office, it also imposes the requirement to be there when your number is called. Please cooperate.

Hope this helps.
Some of us don’t have smartphone—I don’t have any phone at all. I suppose I simply hang out there with my book.
 

Annet2020

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues 2020
But even without a phone and the possibility to check numbers remotely, you still have some idea of how long things are gonna take. If the estimated waiting time is 4 or 5 hours, at least you know you can go and grab a coffee or lunch somewhere. Come back, check the number and decide to stay or leave again and do some shopping or whatever you want. It's still much better than a line you have to stand in for hours.
And if you don't want to loose sight of the numbers, just stay around and wait at the office. Then for you things will just be like before: you go to the office and wait for your turn.
 

Jentho30

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
"August/September 2015
I read on a Facebook site that you now have to take a number to get your Compostela at the Pilgrims Office. Have I missed something recently ?
We arrived too late for a ticket - does anyone know what time people start queuing in the morning? Thanks in advance
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Any certificate issued by a commercial vender just contributes to the commercialisation of the camino. I'd vote in favour of outsourcing the distance certificate, and re-instituting the interview with a priest for the Compostela instead.

We arrived too late for a ticket - does anyone know what time people start queuing in the morning? Thanks in advance
I would get there at least an hour before the office opens.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
We arrived too late for a ticket - does anyone know what time people start queuing in the morning? Thanks in advance
A girl I know went to the office at 7:00 am this morning. There were already 50 ahead of her in line - the office opens at 8am. She had her Compostela by about 8:30
 

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 take many “after” photos each day when I am there. I even supply guaranteed laughs by using one of my Red Nose Day clown noses.

I do not care if people are laughing at me. My goal is to have them obtain a happy photo to commemorate a happy day.

The four most used backgrounds, in my experience, are:

1. In the upper courtyard, with the water fountain as a backdrop,
2. On the upper terrace, to the Southwest, with the palm trees framing the shot,
3. Just outside the exit from the office process, slightly to the left of the door. The sun is usually good there, and
4. Outside the office, on Rua das Carretas, in front of the wall shrine to Nuestros Señora de los Remedios, (Our Lady of the Cures). This is where the official office sign is too. Together, they make a good photo backdrop.

Hope this helps
 

Islandgal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2019)
Hi.. We finished the Camino September 9 th. Went to get our certificates before Mass. We were number 550. At the time they are on number like 244, we were told to come back in 3 hours and they told us about the qr codes and the site so that we could see their progress. It worked great. When we came back 3 hours later, they were issuing numbers in the 1100s. So suggestion, go to get your number before mass. I must say that we were rather disappointed in that when the mass was over, there was no celebration. Or people saying Buen Camino or something! I guess I expected a celebratory acknowledgement of what every one there had just accomplished. Here we were all together after doing what may have been one of the most challenging events of our lives.. Together.. And it was a coming together of the participants, and well in my opinion, it was a missed opportunity to celebrate together. Nothing was said. Everyone just out of church and that was it. I recognize that it's a personal accomplishment. Any how, I didn't need the joint celebration to make my Camino. It's mine and it's in my heart (and feet and knees). But it would have added something lovely and cummunal in my opinion
Daily at 1:30, upstairs in the Pilgrim building, there is a gathering for people to talk about their Walk.
 

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)
Daily at 1:30, upstairs in the Pilgrim building, there is a gathering for people to talk about their Walk.
And near San Martin Pinario there is the Anglican outreach.
And Pilgrim House.
And several other places.
There's no shortage of opportunities in Santiago to reflect and share and celebrate. And since no pilgrim is a really stranger, that can happen over a cafe table, too, if you're open to it.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Any certificate issued by a commercial vender just contributes to the commercialisation of the camino. I'd vote in favour of outsourcing the distance certificate, and re-instituting the interview with a priest for the Compostela instead.
I also share your aversion to the commercialisation element. My own first Camino both started and finished with a personal interview concerning my motivations as a pilgrim and my experience. In SJPDP I was refused a credencial by the woman who issued them because I did not meet her standards of what a worthy pilgrim should be (and also because I had annoyed her by disturbing her at lunchtime :cool:). I received one in Roncesvalles instead. In Santiago I spent about 20 minutes in quite deep theological conversation with a priest in the cathedral itself - much of it concerning the points of difference and common ground between Catholicism and my own Protestant tradition on the significance of pilgrimage, the veneration of relics, the cult of saints, my personal prayer discipline and so on. While some sort of individual conversation was the norm at the time I think mine was exceptional in its length and range of subject matter because I was a relative novelty then: a Protestant fresh from a degree in theology and about to enter the final stages of study for ordination.

I found my own conversation with the priest extremely helpful as a debriefing exercise to begin to see my pilgrimage in some coherent shape. Not in any sense confrontational or a pass/fail examination. I would also like to see a return to a situation where people are expected to give some sort of personal account of their journey before receiving a Compostela which does after all testify to their religious or spiritual motivations for the pilgrimage. But I can see two major problems in doing so. Firstly there has been a huge change in understanding of what the Camino is: from being primarily a religious or spiritual exercise but one open to all who are sympathetic to that concept it has evolved into a much more vaguely defined spiritual/cultural activity in which even to ask the question about an individual's spiritual motivations is often seen as intrusive or unacceptably judgmental. And the second issue is more prosaic and practical: where would you find enough priests with time on their hands and the sympathy and interest to attempt the task when we are faced with the vast numbers arriving in Santiago these days? By the time of my second Camino in 2002 the conversation took place with lay volunteers in the pilgrim office and was far less searching or indeed time-consuming. Given the huge increase in numbers it is hard to see how it could be otherwise. As @t2andreo put it very pithily in another thread recently “you can have it good, fast, or cheap...pick two....
 

Jentho30

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
"August/September 2015
A girl I know went to the office at 7:00 am this morning. There were already 50 ahead of her in line - the office opens at 8am. She had her Compostela by about 8:30
Thanks - I got there at 7.30 and was number 89 ... had my Compostela by 9.30 :)
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
@Bradypus -Before my first arrival into Santiago, I'd heard from former pilgrims (who were re-walking the Le Puy for fun) about this interview. I'd given some thought to what my various answers would be to various invented questions and what question I might have for him. Sadly, on that arrival in 2013, the personal interviews were over and the lovely volunteer at the PO counter just dealt with the mundane details of paperwork. The poor dear volunteer shepherding the line, at the top of the stairs (in a previous PO building), got to deal with my unexpected blubbering tears.

Come to think of it, perhaps the priests were on to something, offloading the tears.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Before my first arrival into Santiago, I'd heard from former pilgrims (who were re-walking the Le Puy for fun) about this interview. I'd given some thought to what my various answers would be to various invented questions and what question I might have for him.
Sounds as if just the prospect of having to account for yourself did the job pretty well anyway. I don't think that anyone was ever looking for a particular set of "correct" answers. More a way of establishing that you had been asking the right sort of questions yourself on your journey.
 

Mycroft

Member
But even without a phone and the possibility to check numbers remotely, you still have some idea of how long things are gonna take. If the estimated waiting time is 4 or 5 hours, at least you know you can go and grab a coffee or lunch somewhere. Come back, check the number and decide to stay or leave again and do some shopping or whatever you want. It's still much better than a line you have to stand in for hours.
And if you don't want to loose sight of the numbers, just stay around and wait at the office. Then for you things will just be like before: you go to the office and wait for your turn.
Yes I understand. Was simply pointing out some folks don’t have access the way others do.
 

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