In the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago you will be asked to show your pilgrim passport and will be asked a few questions. The most important question will be your reason for undertaking the pilgrimage …
They are polite but are also quite serious
If you answer for 'Religious/Spiritual' reasons then you are issued with your Compostela
They issue a more basic one if you answer otherwise
You may become rather emotional when you receive your own Compostela - this is quite alright (carry a tissue with you).
Of course, whether you do or not will depend upon how you view the world and upon how you view your pilgrimage -
but do be prepared
Just a couple of doors down from the Pilgrim Office there is a souvenir shop where, for a few Euros, they will laminate your Compostela which will keep it safe from harm
This the Compostela that you will receive
And then what? Well, a bath, clean clothes, visit the Cathedral and watch the Botafumeiro sway dizzily - does Finisterre, the end of the world, call? Where you could watch the sun set over the great ocean? Or ... it is a funny feeling, not waking up in the dark before dawn with people shining bright headlamps into your weary eyes and rustling plastic bags (you will know what I mean about three days into your pilgrimage!). Be prepared to be ‘empty’ for a while, it will have been an intense experience, possibly the most prolonged in your life - you will miss it.
You will miss it very much!
What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do - especially in other people's minds. When you're travelling, you are what you are right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you.
No yesterdays on the road.
William Least Heat Moon
“People are in touch with human values on the Camino that they don't experience day to day. That makes it very attractive”