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In a previous post an old style credecial was mentioned. What about today ?
You will need that extra passport. Not to cross the borders, to get accommodation.
That piece of cardboard fullfills the same need as in the old time.
It shows the hosts, monks, farmers, hotel keepers, refuges "hospitaleros", that you are not a tramp nor a thief. You will be asked that document on your arrival everyday. Sometimes, it allows you a discount on museum entrances, for instance.
On your arrival in Paris, if you start your pilgrimage there, getting your credencial at Compostelle 2000* or from any other member of the Fédération Française des Amis des Chemin de Compostelle (F.F.A.C.C.) also enables you to stay in a F.U.A.J. Youth Hostel and you don't need a FUAJ member card.
Very useful if you stay overnight at Beaugency (via Orléans). Same thing in the Youth Hostel at Tours, a building in the Old City, equipped with almost 200 beds.
It is a real pleasure to have one's credencial stamped every day and see on that document that the pilgrimage is in progress...
The same document will be shown to the Pilgrims' Office in Santiago in order to receive another document in latin, with your name in latin ...
a document called the Compostela.
*26, rue de Sévigné, 75004 Paris, France.