September is also the high season on the Camino de Santiago and the routes continue to receive people from all over the world. The more pilgrims there are, the more myriad stories there are: curious, exciting, fun...Thanks to social media and local media, every day we find something that brings a smile to our faces and we want to share this with you.
Here are some of our favourites from recent months. We hope you like them too!
Of all the stories we'll tell you today, this is perhaps the most epic. The BIO Hésperides crew travelled 14,075 kilometres from their operations base in Antarctica to Santiago de Compostela, where they arrived on 7 July. An odyssey that began in February and led the expedition through seas and ports half way across the world.
Together with representatives from the Federation of Societies of Friends of The Way, the Ground Forces, the Xacobeo and other authorities, part of the El Camino Con Correos team shared the last kilometres of their adventure, including the arrival of the 'pingüirinos' to the Obradoiro. A unique moment! For now, the Antarctic Camino has symbolic value...but who knows? All of the Caminos began with a few intrepid pilgrims ;-)
We're sure that many of our readers are hooked on PokemonGo. Why not bring together the Camino de Santiago and this addictive game? This was the case with the first pilgrim who found a Pokemon unexpectedly on his route and let social media know all about it. We don't know who he is, but his idea went viral. We must confess that we have enjoyed following this phenomenon on Twitter, because it involves quite a bit of humour and it almost always makes us smile.
And as a finishing touch, we’ve discovered that we have a Pokemon at the main Postal office in Santiago! And it’s not the only one in the area; if you want to catch them all, this map can help you.
How many bicigrinos witness a stretch of the Vuelta a España by catching it on the Camino at the right place and time? The most emblematic cycling race in all of Spain is largely linked with the Camino, with the first 6 stages entirely in Galicia. Later, they'll also travel other sections of the Camino de Santiago. The only thing missing is the Compostela. We'll keep our fingers crossed for the 2017 Vuelta!
The pingüigrinos were not the only ones who opened new sea routes to Compostela during this summer. The NorthMarinas platform, which includes several ports from the northwest of Spain, launched the ‘Sail The Way’ cruise. After reaching the necessary agreements with the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the first sailboats for this expedition left the port of Hondarribia on 18 July.
It is not easy to communicate with someone in the middle of the sea...but we did it! Through a network search, we managed to contact Héctor, one of the crew of Sail The Way, who kept us afloat of his route.
After sailing 100 nautical miles (about 200 km) and walking the last stage towards Santiago, these saltwater pilgrims trod the Obradoiro on the 27th of July, thus inaugurating a new Camino, which since then has been open to other sailor-pilgrims.
When a pilgrim is also a renowned artist, his travel journal may be a better chronicle than a thousand written pages. This is the case of Miguel Elías, who travelled the Camino Francés this past August...and acknowledged our services by sending us some of his incredible drawings of the Route through Facebook on a daily basis.
While travelling his route, every morning we would be able to follow his journey through one of his drawings. Long live the creativity of the Camino! We want to take this opportunity to thank Miguel for these details. Keep travelling, creating and sharing!
They arrived in Santiago by way of the Primitive Way during the last days of summer. The Human Rights Route, promoted by the International Solidarity for Human Rights (ISHRights) organisation, with headquarters in Florida, chose the Camino de Santiago to put the articles of the Human Rights Charter on the map through the placement of various memorials throughout the Route, each one capturing one of the fundamental Human Rights. And we were there to greet them in Santiago, and witness the live placement of the last memorial plaque:
If there is something special about this pilgrimage, it is that it puts us on equal footing, something that rarely occurs in our daily lives. What better place than the Camino to make visible, before all of the pilgrims throughout the world, this equality that should always be present for all?
The last story that we'd like to share is from just a few days ago, but it remains very, very near and dear to us. In Arzúa, one of the most emblematic places on the Camino Francés, our colleagues from the Post Office began their workday on 23 September in a very different humour: this was, as luck would have it, due to a million Euro prize on the Primitive Way: no more and no less than 14.6 million Euros!!
Surely, the pilgrims to whom they provide their services, carrying their backpacks and suitcases, wondered what exactly was happening...and the town was revolutionised for a brief moment and the postmen and women became real-life celebrities. They also gained the attention of the media, as we can see in this report from TVG. Which of these stories have you like the most? Had you heard about some of them? Are you inspired to tell us your own stories from the Camino? Comment on this article or through our social media.
See you next Thursday, pilgrims! And always remember... ¡ultreia, suseia and Buen Camino!
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¡Buen Camino! This is our wish at Correos! – that pilgrims can fully enjoy their Camino and discover new places, histories, people and experiences through our postcards.
We transfer your rucksack
So that you can travel light along the Camino de Santiago
We transfer your rucksack or suitcase from your accommodation at one stage to the next!! This way, your walk is more comfortable, your bag is lighter and you can enjoy every step of the Camino. We will take your luggage every day to your next hostel or hotel.
Bicycle transportation services
We send your bicycle to your starting or finishing point
Decide where you want to start the Camino and we will send your bicycle there from any branch of Correos. Once you finish the Camino de Santiago you can go to the nearest post office and send it back home again. Your bicycle will be insured and we package your bike without disassembling it.
For everything you want in or out of your rucksack
With our Paq Peregrino you can send suitcases or parcels to any point along the Camino (hostels, hotels, branches of Correos, etc) so that you have your personal belongings when you arrive. You can therefore have extra clothes or other items and not only the ones you carry along the Way. You can also send back whatever you have in your daily rucksack that you no longer need.
So that you have nothing to worry about other than just enjoying the Camino
Correos offers a prepaid card that is not linked to a bank account. In this way, you can defort walk the Camino without taking your credit or debit cards with you. You only have to put the money on the card that you are going to need and then top up again if your balance is low. This is a simple, safe and comfortable way of taking your money along the Camino.
Stamping Your Credential
So that you have the best stamps on your Pilgrim's Passport
Branches of Correos along the Camino de Santiago stamp your Credential or Pilgrim's Passport with our special stamps. Many of these stamps represent important tourist attractions from that particular place to help you remember your jorney.
Sending parcels along the Camino de Santiago
Send your parcels without having to go along to a branch of Correos!
You can send a parcel from any of the over one-hundred branches of CORREOS located along the Camino de Santiago and additionally from some of our “Tiendas Amigas del Camino”, a network of shops and accommodation from where you can send parcels any time of the day. This service will help you to get rid of things from your luggage that you no longer need. You can also buy souvenirs or some typical products without having to worry about carrying them with you.
Lockers in Santiago
So that you can freely visit the Cathedral or enjoy the city
Our Pilgrim's Office at Rúa do Franco, 150 metres from the Plaza del Obradoiro, has lockers. You can leave your rucksack, suitcase, bike or trekking pole before you go into the Cathedral or you can wander around Santiago without having to worry about your luggage.
To help you with anything you may need
We have over 150 branches of Correos along all the Caminos. We will be delighted to welcome you and help you with anything you need.