People walk the Camino for many reasons, some are seeking a spiritual experience and others want to escape their daily lives, meet like-minded pilgrims and make new friends. Whatever your reason for walking the Camino routes, make sure you get your ‘Camino Pilgrim Passport’ stamped along the way, documenting your progress and proof you completed the walk!
Sometimes called the Pilgrim’s Passport, the ‘Credencial’ is a series of the letters of safe passage that were issued to pilgrims in the Middle Ages. These letters were a sort of insurance for pilgrims, telling thieves and other would-be ‘bad guys’ to leave them in peace. The Official Credential for the Camino of Santiago includes, personal information about each pilgrim, a space for the stamp from the entity that provided this “passport” and another one for the Cathedral of Santiago to be stamped upon completion of the itinerary.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this document, without it will not be able to receive the Compostela – the official document that certifies that the walkers have completed all their requirements of The Way.
En route, you must collect the stamps from the places you pass through to certify that you have been there. Stamps can be obtained from churches, hostels, town halls and cafes. You have to stamp the Credencial twice a day at least on the last 100 km.
So you have reached your final destination of Santiago, you now need to get to the Pilgrim’s Office – the place where the Compostela is collected! Now you either sigh with the relief the walk has ended or take a moment to reflect on your life-changing journey!!