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Worried about getting a Credencial or Pilgrims' Passport?

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
There have been a few posts from worried pilgrims asking where to get credenciales and also some reports that one or two of the usual sources in Spain and Portugal have temporarily run out. This can happen from time to time.

Pilgrims use a credencial to collect stamps (called Sellos in Spain and Carimbos in Portugal - see below) for three main reasons:

As a personal record of the stages of the journey
To get access to albergues
To obtain the Compostela on arrival in Santiago ( having walked at least the last 100 kms or cycled the last 200 kms)

The sellos are rubber stamps which you can get in albergues, churches, hostales, tourist office etc along all of the routes. On the Camino Frances many shops also have them.

There are generally two sources for obtaining credenciales:

In your home country if there is a Society of St James
In France, Spain or Portugal at the start of, or along, the route you are walking

This page has helpful information:

http://www.csj.org.uk/how-to-get-a-credencial.htm

Credenciales are also generally available from albergues along the routes in Spain and in Portugal, some Cathedrals such as in Lisbon or Porto and from some churches.

Also regularly the Pilgrims' Office in Santiago sends out supplies of credenciales to the network of Amigos of the Camino organisations. Simply Google "Amigos Camino de Santiago de XXXXX" i.e. Valencia, Pamplona, Sevilla etc and you will get the contact details.

Many pilgrims become worried that they NEED a credencial before leaving home. This is not the case and most pilgrims simply obtain a credencial when they reach their starting point.

If for some reason you cannot get a credencial at the starting point - because they have run out or the Cathedral is closed, or whatever: Don't panic!
My advice is simply to buy a little note book and collect stamps from your starting point and along the way until you obtain the "official" credencial. Some pilgrims do this and cut out the stamps and stick them onto their credencial when they get it. Others simply keep it as a keepsake.

Another way of doing this is to either make your own in an internet cafe or take it with you "just in case". I've attached an example of one that I have used. However I stress that homemade credenciales and notebooks should only be used UNTIL you get the regular credencial along the way.

When you arrive at an albergue they will ask to see your Credencial to check that you have walked (or cycled) some distance to get there. All albergues have stamps and they will stamp your credencial. Some pilgrims collect lots of sellos as a record of their journey. As you near Santiago and for at least the last 100 kms you are advised to get a minimum of two sellos per day. On most routes this is not difficult - get a sello where you sleep and then where you stop for lunch or coffee or go to church. The Pilgrims' Office understands that on some routes such as the Camino Ingles there are some stages where 2 sellos per day may prove difficult - on that route for example 5 sellos marking each of the stages from Ferrol is perfectly acceptable.

On arrival in Santiago many pilgrims go the Pilgrims Office next to the Cathedral to obtain their Compostela or Certificate. In the Office the staff will only pay close attention to the sellos you have collected for the last 100 kms.
 

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D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
From the Santiago Cathedral website:

This credential is destined for those who aim to walk, go on horseback or cycle to St. James as an act of religious devotion or at least as a spiritual search. It is intended to identify the pilgrim. Therefore, the presenting institution has to be a parish, a confraternity and the like. The credential does not generate any right to the pilgrim. It has two practical goals:

* The admittance to the refuges offered by Christian hospitality along the Way and,
* To obtain the “Compostela” from the Cathedral of St. James, which is the official certificate of the pilgrimage. It is only awarded to those who have come in Christian terms: devotionis affectu, voti vel pietatis causa – “being the motivation devotion, vow or piety”. In order to get the “Compostela”, you also have to walk or go on horseback up to the Apostle’s Tomb for at least the last 100 Km or cycle for at least the last 200 Km.

- Thus, the pilgrim credential can exclusively be drawn up by the Church through its institutions – that is to say, Bishopric, Parish, Confraternity, etc. or institutions authorized by the Church. This is the only way to obtain the “Compostela” in the S.A.M.I. Cathedral of St. James (Jornadas sobre el Año Santo: noviembre 1993).

-Refuges do not receive any subsidy; therefore pilgrims should collaborate on their maintenance, keeping their austerity in mind – cleaning, facility care, economic contributions…

- Organized groups on bicycle or with supporting car please look for alternative lodgings.

- The bearer of this credential abides by these rules.

REMINDER

In order to obtain the Compostela only the following document will be accepted.

Reasons:

* So that the pilgrims have the correct information in the pilgrim’s passport.
* To avoid the dispersion and commercialization of the pilgrim’s passport.
* To give a Christian meaning to the pilgrimage from the beginning.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Falcon - I'm not clear about the point you are making by simply cutting and pasting from the Cathedral website?

This year is extraordinary - there are have several reports already of normal outlets running out of credenciales before the Office sends them the next batch. It is important that people are reassured that they can still go to Spain and start their Camino and pick one up as they go along.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Originally, the Credential was permission from your parish or confraternity to make the pilgrimage for religious reasons (which brings up the interesting point as to why there are three choices when you visit the Pilgrim Office, including "Other"). It was required for admittance to the church/parochial albergues. It has some responsibilities attached to it as explained by the Santiago Cathedral website. It is more than a triviality sold by the first refuge one stops in.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
ah ok...let's chat about the medieval origins of the credencial, the reasons for the third box on the form and pilgrim responsibilties another time. As things hot up on the routes this year let's reassure pilgrims that:

They don't need to get a credencial before leaving home
and
That they are available from many places in Spain (and France and Portugal) - see original post

But

If they can't get one immediately they needn't panic and they can start their Camino. They can simply collect stamps in a notebook or make their own boxes on paper/card and they may chose to place these on the offical credencial when they get one as they go along the route.

Many pilgrims do this and it isn't complicated.
 
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judydaisy

Member
Past OR future Camino
Sarria - Santiago 2004
Roncesvalles - Estella 2009
Camino Ingles - 2012
Tui - Santiago - 2014
Sellos

Hi. I have read on the forum in various places that it is quite tough to get many sellos on the Ingles route. Is there a list of places one can try? I see from the Guide that there are some mentioned but they seem to peter out after Betanzos. Is this cos there aren't any to be had or do people know of additional places where they can be found?
Thanks
Judy
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Re:Worried about getting a Credencial or Pilgrims' Pass

Hola JudyDaisy,
We had no problem getting a sello morning and evening, at least, each day. One where we had coffee and one where we slept. On the 2 occasions when there was no obvious place for getting a sello we were talking to locals and asked them to sign and date our credenciales. They were only to pleased to do so. Staying at Meson do Vento we did not ask them for a stamp until the morning we left, so keeping them in the right order.
Ours came from:-
Day 1
Ferrol - (Tourist Office) and Hostal
Naron - Hotel Kensington
Day 2
Neda - Cafe Hermida
Pontedeume - Cafe Bar Norte
Day 3
Consello de Miño and also the albergue
Day 4
a school, Consello de Betanzos and Tourismo de Betanzos
Day 5
Chocolateria - Betanzos (before we left)
Cos - signed by a local near the church
Day 6
Cafe Bar Vizoño (see CSJ guide) Albergue de Bruma (as we passed through)
Meson Novo at Meson do Vento
Day 7
Bar Porto (Ordes)
Cafe Bar Novo at Buscas
Day 8
Cafe Bar O Cruceiro
Hostal Miras
Day 9
Sigueiro (Sunday - signed by a local outside closed church)
Santiago Cathedral stamp
 

ArkBuilder

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Going on my first pilgrimage 9 SEP 14
There have been a few posts from worried pilgrims asking where to get credenciales and also some reports that one or two of the usual sources in Spain and Portugal have temporarily run out. This can happen from time to time.

Pilgrims use a credencial to collect stamps (called Sellos in Spain and Carimbos in Portugal - see below) for three main reasons:

As a personal record of the stages of the journey
To get access to albergues
To obtain the Compostela on arrival in Santiago ( having walked at least the last 100 kms or cycled the last 200 kms)

The sellos are rubber stamps which you can get in albergues, churches, hostales, tourist office etc along all of the routes. On the Camino Frances many shops also have them.

There are generally two sources for obtaining credenciales:

In your home country if there is a Society of St James
In France, Spain or Portugal at the start of, or along, the route you are walking

This page has helpful information:

http://www.csj.org.uk/how-to-get-a-credencial.htm

Credenciales are also generally available from albergues along the routes in Spain and in Portugal, some Cathedrals such as in Lisbon or Porto and from some churches.

Also regularly the Pilgrims' Office in Santiago sends out supplies of credenciales to the network of Amigos of the Camino organisations. Simply Google "Amigos Camino de Santiago de XXXXX" i.e. Valencia, Pamplona, Sevilla etc and you will get the contact details.

Many pilgrims become worried that they NEED a credencial before leaving home. This is not the case and most pilgrims simply obtain a credencial when they reach their starting point.

If for some reason you cannot get a credencial at the starting point - because they have run out or the Cathedral is closed, or whatever: Don't panic!
My advice is simply to buy a little note book and collect stamps from your starting point and along the way until you obtain the "official" credencial. Some pilgrims do this and cut out the stamps and stick them onto their credencial when they get it. Others simply keep it as a keepsake.

Another way of doing this is to either make your own in an internet cafe or take it with you "just in case". I've attached an example of one that I have used. However I stress that homemade credenciales and notebooks should only be used UNTIL you get the regular credencial along the way.

When you arrive at an albergue they will ask to see your Credencial to check that you have walked (or cycled) some distance to get there. All albergues have stamps and they will stamp your credencial. Some pilgrims collect lots of sellos as a record of their journey. As you near Santiago and for at least the last 100 kms you are advised to get a minimum of two sellos per day. On most routes this is not difficult - get a sello where you sleep and then where you stop for lunch or coffee or go to church. The Pilgrims' Office understands that on some routes such as the Camino Ingles there are some stages where 2 sellos per day may prove difficult - on that route for example 5 sellos marking each of the stages from Ferrol is perfectly acceptable.

On arrival in Santiago many pilgrims go the Pilgrims Office next to the Cathedral to obtain their Compostela or Certificate. In the Office the staff will only pay close attention to the sellos you have collected for the last 100 kms.

Thank you "JohnnyWalker"! This is one of the best explanations I have heard to date.

I hope to get two [2] credencials from Americans on the Camino and tape them together as one long passport.

They seem a bit small [ 3.5" x 6" ] and sellos have to be crammed tightly onto the pages. I saw one photo here on the forum where a pilgrim taped four or five [ 4 0r 5 ] credencials together to make a very long passport. Some sellos are so big they take up the space of two [2] sellos.

I also have two [2] Moleskine Rep0rter's Notebooks. One for my journal of each day's thoughts at the end of the day as well as an UNLINED one for collecting as many sellos as possible as well as recording email addresses of new friends along The Way.

Thanks again for sharing such great information!

Blessings,

Noah from Indianapolis

PS: Do you know, quantatively, [ in inches ] the size of the PP obtained from the Pilgrim's Office in SJPP?
 

waterbaby

New Member
Past OR future Camino
I will take a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compstelo as part of my honeymoon in August. I plan to commence my pilgrimage (25 August 2014). My new husband plans to hike it with me :-)
re: worried about obtaining credentials:
My fiancé ordered our official pilgrim credentials from Ivar's link, which is the official credential location in SJPdP. Thankful to have that task out of the way. We also ordered forum patches for our packs! ~wooo hoo~ We are so excited. I ordered a credential from someone on the forum a couple of years ago, but it only had 30 marked blocks. Because of my illness, we are giving ourselves 6 weeks in which to hike (hopefully, we will not need it). The official credential from the office in SJPdP holds 48 blocks, whilst the one purchased from someone else on the site a couple of years ago (I guess not an "official credential"?) Held only 30, which would not have given us space to get stamps for all the extra nights my husband and I may need in the event I must stop.
 
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ArkBuilder

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Going on my first pilgrimage 9 SEP 14
re: worried about obtaining credentials:
My fiancé ordered our official pilgrim credentials from Ivar's link, which is the official credential location in SJPdP. Thankful to have that task out of the way. We also ordered forum patches for our packs! ~wooo hoo~ We are so excited. I ordered a credential from someone on the forum a couple of years ago, but it only had 30 marked blocks. Because of my illness, we are giving ourselves 6 weeks in which to hike (hopefully, we will not need it). The official credential from the office in SJPdP holds 48 blocks, whilst the one purchased from someone else on the site a couple of years ago (I guess not an "official credential"?) Held only 30, which would not have given us space to get stamps for all the extra nights my husband and I may need in the event I must stop.


Hola Waterbaby.

When are you leaving for SJPP?

I, too, am allowing six [6] weeks to walk from SJPP to Santiago. However, I really am allowing eight [8] weeks and if I complete Camino Frances in six [6] weeks, it will allow two [2] more weeks for Camino Finesterra.

I know my Camino will be different than others, but it will be nice to meet new folks on the journey.

Noah

PS: Does anyone have "Ivar's link" for credentials from SJPP? I have two [2] from him but, they are from Santiago rather than SJPP.

...
 

waterbaby

New Member
Past OR future Camino
I will take a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compstelo as part of my honeymoon in August. I plan to commence my pilgrimage (25 August 2014). My new husband plans to hike it with me :-)
Hola Waterbaby.

When are you leaving for SJPP?

I, too, am allowing six [6] weeks to walk from SJPP to Santiago. However, I really am allowing eight [8] weeks and if I complete Camino Frances in six [6] weeks, it will allow two [2] more weeks for Camino Finesterra.

I know my Camino will be different than others, but it will be nice to meet new folks on the journey.

Noah

PS: Does anyone have "Ivar's link" for credentials from SJPP? I have two [2] from him but, they are from Santiago rather than SJPP.

...
hi Noah! We are planning to leave SJPP on or about 24/25 August. Our wedding is 15 August, and he wants to get me signed up as a military dependent (he is retired) so I have his medical insurance (I have none) before we leave the US on 21 August. Robert ordered our credentials but the links for pilgrim credentials are scattered throughout all of the threads on Camino de Santiago - just look for a photo of St. James and the words "Credencial del Peregrino." (I thought this was put up by Ivar but it is actually linked to the credential office and it is where you may order the credential.) Perhaps the threads about Camino Francis have similar links? I'm certain one of the well-traveled hikers on the forum could provide better and more complete information than can I.

Our credential does not identify our starting point, it only identifies the camino (Camino de Santiago), the rules (# of km a peregrino must walk, bicycle, or ride a horse), and provides spaces for the sellos or stamps of each place at which you stayed.

If my bones are holding out, we also plan to walk the Camino Finesterra! Perhaps we will have the opportunity to meet before you leave SJPP or in Finesterra.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
....
PS: Does anyone have "Ivar's link" for credentials from SJPP? I have two [2] from him but, they are from Santiago rather than SJPP.
...

Noah,

The Credential which you have been sent via Ivar and this Forum is good for use on any camino route. You do NOT need a special Credential for starting from SJPdP. However you can obtain a Credential in SJPdP at 39 rue de la Citadelle, the Pilgrim Office of the welcoming Amis du Chemin de St Jacques.

Buen Camino,

Margaret Meredith
 

ArkBuilder

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Going on my first pilgrimage 9 SEP 14
hi Noah! We are planning to leave SJPP on or about 24/25 August. Our wedding is 15 August, and he wants to get me signed up as a military dependent (he is retired) so I have his medical insurance (I have none) before we leave the US on 21 August. Robert ordered our credentials but the links for pilgrim credentials are scattered throughout all of the threads on Camino de Santiago - just look for a photo of St. James and the words "Credencial del Peregrino." (I thought this was put up by Ivar but it is actually linked to the credential office and it is where you may order the credential.) Perhaps the threads about Camino Francis have similar links? I'm certain one of the well-traveled hikers on the forum could provide better and more complete information than can I.

Our credential does not identify our starting point, it only identifies the camino (Camino de Santiago), the rules (# of km a peregrino must walk, bicycle, or ride a horse), and provides spaces for the sellos or stamps of each place at which you stayed.

If my bones are holding out, we also plan to walk the Camino Finesterra! Perhaps we will have the opportunity to meet before you leave SJPP or in Finesterra.

Hi "waterbaby":

First, congratulations on your up-coming nuptials! Wow. Cool.

Second, it sounds like, from your description, the same credencial as the one I have and it isn't French. It's the Spanish credencial which originates from Santiago where Ivar lives.

If you happen to see a weird guy wearing a neon yellow baseball cap carrying a night blue Osprey Aether 60 backpack, that's me.

Just yell "Indiana" at me because I have blocked out people saying my first name. Too many people in crowds say it [ my name ] without realizing they did so.

I know, it sounds crazy until I explain it and then everyone says: "Oh, I see!!" and they hear my name forever being said in crowds.

If you can figure this one out. You're good!!

Hope to see you both on the trail.

¡Buen Camino!

Noah

...
 

ArkBuilder

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Going on my first pilgrimage 9 SEP 14
Noah,

The Credential which you have been sent via Ivar and this Forum is good for use on any camino route. You do NOT need a special Credential for starting from SJPdP. However you can obtain a Credential in SJPdP at 39 rue de la Citadelle, the Pilgrim Office of the welcoming Amis du Chemin de St Jacques.

Buen Camino,

Margaret Meredith

Thank you Margaret!

I am staying across the street from the Pilgrim's Office on Citadelle…… On purpose! LOL.

I was hoping to get the credencial from SJPP before I left Indiana just so I could take it back when I go there. Just kidding.

I will either get it when I get there [ if they have not run out of them by September ] or I will try to find the website so I can order it in advance.

Hope it will work out. I just want to make sure I have plenty of space for sellos for my 78 days of walking. Yay.

Thank you again!

Noah

….
 
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Charliemag

Member
Past OR future Camino
I am hoping to cycle the route from arún to Santiago with a friend some time this summer. Can anyone advise me as to where we could hire two bicycles for the journey? Thank you.
hello
can i get a passport in the cathedral in san sebastian? also how many km's approx will i have to walk the first day to get to the first albergue. i plan on walking the high north route i think its called?
 

michryan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Del Norte 2011,Portuguese 2014, many different hikes throughout the world,Via Francegena 2015.
hello
can i get a passport in the cathedral in san sebastian? also how many km's approx will i have to walk the first day to get to the first albergue. i plan on walking the high north route i think its called?
Hi Charliemag. I got my passport from the albergue in San Sebastián when I arrived. That was 3 years ago now. I remember the first day walking we kept thinking we will get to the next town and find an albergue but the so called towns were just farms. We walked a good 35 km's before finding one on the top of a hill. Can't remember the name just remember feel relieved. Learnt to pay more attention to where the albergues were located after that.
 

Charliemag

Member
Past OR future Camino
I am hoping to cycle the route from arún to Santiago with a friend some time this summer. Can anyone advise me as to where we could hire two bicycles for the journey? Thank you.
Thanks michryan. Didn't realise the walk would be so long first day. That'd kill me!
 

mjshine

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Francais, Portugues, Primito, Via de la Plata (currently planning Francais again)
I have walked several of the Caminos. Last year I walked the first ten days of the Via de La Plata. This year I am going to walk a stretch of the French route - starting at Burgos - with a friend (I have done the whole of the French route before, but it is her first time). Question: can I simply use a new page on an existing camino passport, i.e. the one I had for the Via de Le Plata last year (it has the stamps from that walk but lots of free space), or do I have to get a completely new camino passport for the French walk? Thanks in advance.
 
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