Homer's Travels: Rules And Regulations

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Rules And Regulations

GeekHiker asked what would happen if I didn't get all the stamps in my pilgrims credential.  That's a good question.  I haven't mentioned anything about the Campostela and the rules for receiving it at the end of the pilgrimage.

The Campostela is a certificate of completion given out by the Cathedral of Saint James.  It certifies that a person has completed the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage to Santiago de Campostela has been around since the 9th or 10th centuries.  Some of the rules associated with the pilgrimage have grown out of religious requirements for receiving indulgences that go back to the 12th century.  To receive the Campostela, one must walk or ride horseback for at least 100 km (~62.14 miles) or bike at least 200 km (~124.27miles).  To prove that you have completed these distances you must get two stamps ("sellos") every day for the last 100 km or 200 km for bikers.  One stamp per day /stage beyond the 100 km is sufficient.

So, what happens if I didn't get the stamps?  I would not get a Campostela.  I am not going to walk 481 miles and not get a Campostela because I didn't get enough stamps.


  1. So, if you have a bad day (say, a twisted ankle) and can only get one stamp instead of the requisite two, are you out all together? Say you get food poisoning and are laid up for a day in bed? Do you have to go back to the beginning and start again?

    I totally understand the goal (I mean, who walks that far and doesn't get the certificate?), just curious how flexible/inflexible the whole thing is. As you know, my hiking philosophy is less about the hike as it is about being out there, so all the additional requirements for stamps and such would probably just stress me out!

  2. GH: You can get stamps at a lot of places and they aren't based on time so you can get a stamp when you get there i.e. you can't miss them by being late. If you are hurt/sick you can take a day off from the Camino and then start back up when you are better. The stamps are just to confirm that you actually did the distance, not the time. I actually have four 'extra' days that I may use if I need a break in the hiking.

    It really is very flexible. There are rules but they are fairly easy to meet and are not very stress inducing.

  3. ooooh And then you get all those stamps! Do you get to keep your stamp book? That sounds like half the fun to me!!!

  4. MMC: You do get to keep the book and each stamp is unique for each albergue. I'll take pictures and post them when I get home later in the summer.