April 6, 2022: We’re at the BLS Spain Bangalore office presenting our visa applications with all the necessary documentation to prove we’re worthy of being granted a visa!
We understand from our research that the route has various albergues (public and private) to stay in and no advance booking is required to be made – We understand that this is the practice followed by the various pilgrims that undertake this pilgrimage each year. Our stops for each night have been tentatively drawn up as we are not sure what distance our bodies will endure each day. Out of caution we have booked our stay in St Jean Pied de Port for the first day of the pilgrimage. In addition, given that we are flying into Paris from India, where we plan to spend two days before commencing our pilgrimage, we have booked hotel rooms there. We also have a booking for the last 3 days in Milan, Italy, which will be the last stop on our trip to Europe.
Based on our covering letter and our verbal explanation of the nature of the walk, the staff at the BLS Spain office in Bangalore, who indicated that they were not aware of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, requested that we either present hotel bookings for every night of the Camino or alternatively, reach out to the Spanish Consulate in India for permission for an exemption from the need to provide accommodation bookings for every night of the pilgrimage.
So we sent a mail immediately to the Consul General of Spain in India and will now wait patiently for his reply. We have an appointment to go in again on April 20th, and hopefully we’ll have a reply and an exemption before that, else, we will have to make 45 bookings for our stops along the route….how insane is that!