Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Camino Ignaciano.
- What travel documents do I need to join the pilgrimage?
All Filipino citizens travelling outside of the country must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months until arrival back in the Philippines.
For the Camino Ignaciano, you will also need a Schengen visa. The Pilgrims’ Center has a dedicated visa section will process this for you. The full list of requirements will be sent to you after you have reserved your place.
- What kind of visa will I need for the pilgrimage, and what are the requirements I need to submit to apply for a visa?
For the Camino Ignaciano, you will need a Schengen visa. Our partner The Pilgrims’ Center will gladly help you in your visa application process, subject to a visa and processing fee. Some countries differ in their requirements for visa application. The complete list will be given to you after you have reserved your place. But generally, the following are required:
a. Passport with six (6) months validity until arrival in the Philippines.
b. Duly accomplished visa application form
c. Three ID photos
d. Proof of sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your travel
e. Travel insurance is a major requirement for applying a Schengen visa
f. Compliance with any other entry requirement for each country that you will visit
g. Visa and Processing Fee
3. What happens in case my visa application is denied?
Your reservation fee of US $ 500.00 is refundable but you will be charged the US $ 200.00 administrative fee visa processing.
- The quoted currency is in USD. Is it possible to pay in PHP?
Our tour costs are pegged in US dollars (USD). You may opt to pay in USD or Philippine pesos (PHP). However, we encourage that you to pay in USD so that you will not be affected by the exchange rate which changes frequently.
- What are the terms of payment for the pilgrimage?
Full payment of the complete tour cost will be required at least one (1) month before departure date or before issuance of airline ticket. You will be informed of the last date of payment by our Pilgrimage Coordinator.
Acceptable forms of payment are cash or bank transfer. In case of bank transfer or manager’s check, please give us at least three working days to confirm receipt of payment.
We regret to inform you that we do not accept credit cards for payment.
WEATHER, TERRAIN, PHYSICAL FITNESS
- What will the weather be like along the pilgrimage route in September and October?
The average daytime temperature in Spain is around 26°C in September and October, which covers the end of summer and start of spring. Rain showers are a common occurrence during these months, but are often quick to dissipate. While the average minimum temperature may drop down to 17°C, pilgrims are still guaranteed warm sunshine on most days.
- What kind of terrain will we have to negotiate during the pilgrimage?
The Camino Ignaciano is a combination of varied terrain and conditions. From hilly and mountainous regions, to vineyard-dotted plains, to arid plateaus, the Camino is challenging, but never dangerous. There are dirt trails that traverse the Basque country in the first part of the Camino. There are wide dirt farm/agricultural tracks and also paved roads that connect villages and towns. Approximately 70% of the walking will be on dirt/gravel roads.
- How fit do I have to be to join the pilgrimage?
Please be prepared to walk at least two hours every day, and see the answers to the questions on weather and terrain above to see the conditions you’ll be walking in. If you are not a regular walker, it’s best to prepare for the Camino by starting a walking routine before the Camino and include uphill routes as well for added endurance.
- Will medical assistance be available to pilgrims?
Marly Camino has a well-established protocol for pilgrims’ first aid and emergency needs. Guides and the support vehicle are are with the group at all times, ensuring that any medical needs will be addressed as quickly as possible.
EQUIPMENT FOR PILGRIMS
- What do I need to carry with me during the daily walks?
As you tread the Camino at your own pace, there will be meeting points along the way where a support vehicle awaits with fruits, snacks, and water, and first aid supplies, if needed. However, you will still need to carry a small backpack (10- 15L capacity) for essential everyday items that include:
- A wallet with some cash and credit cards
- Photocopies of your passport, insurance and phone contacts in a water-resistant envelope
- A first aid kit containing: band-aids, a small sewing kit with thread and needles to cure blisters as needed, sterile gauze with small bottle of disinfectant and bandage tape, Vicks VapoRub and/or Vaseline petroleum jelly to apply before and after the daily walk, regular medication (as needed by the pilgrim)
- A refillable water bottle
- Sunscreen and a hat to protect from sun and rain
- Rain coat or poncho
- What is the best kind of clothing and footwear for the pilgrimage?
FOOTWEAR: Your selection of footwear will be a very important decision to make since the Camino requires several hours a day of walking. Give around 1-2cm of space at the front of your shoes to allow for foot swelling and downhill movement. At the back of the heel, be sure to have a secure, locked fit to avoid blisters from developing. A good pair of trail runners or trainers provides enough versatility to walk on varying surfaces such as mountain trails, concrete or asphalt. These definitely have to be waterproof as rain may occur for a few hours on some days. Whatever footwear you may choose, have them broken in on a few long walks, to address any issues with the fit before you leave.
CLOTHING: We recommend convertible hiking pants to keep your legs as comfortable as possible during the long walks. Bring multiple short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts, as it is much better to put on extra layers of clothing, rather than being stuck in too warm or cold clothing for an entire day. If you are cold-sensitive, you can also bring long sleeved shirts and polar fleeces. Merino wool is a good fabric not just for shirts but also for socks. The material is lightweight, and does not smell nor irritate the skin. Please see the question on weather above to help you prepare the right clothing for the Camino.
- What other equipment will be useful to bring?
Apart from the recommended equipment above, you can also bring along other items that may come in handy during the Camino, such as:
- A quick-drying towel or cotton bandana can be used to stay dry and cool while walking for long stretches.
- In case foot blisters develop, be ready with an extra pair of socks and roll of micropore athletic tape.
- Using a trekking pole or hiking staff will be helpful when negotiating rough and mountainous terrain.
- Finally, having a camera and a small notebook and pen will help you effectively document your entire journey.
If you have more questions, let us know by writing them down on the comments section below.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Spain.
-Camino Ignaciano Team