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Alert to Women Pilgrims about Capilla del Cantu - Asturias, just after Cantabria

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Deborah53

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (2006)
Le Puy-Cahors, (2008)
Camino North Coast May (2019)
Dear Pilgrms,

I have just returned from the Camino del Norte and enjoyed this route very much, hard though it is. I am writing today to alert other pilgrims about my experience at Capilla del Cantu just as one enters Asturias. A Google search brings up good pictures of this very little chapel directly on the Camino path.

I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that it was a place to take a moment and have the little tour by a man cares for the chapel. It said something to the effect that he gives a little tour and to consider giving a tip. I can no longer check as I lost my first guidebook along the way and the second one fell apart. I stopped at this little chapel and placed a tip in his basket full of coins. He reached for a votive candle and handed me a cigarette lighter to light it. I did so. After that, he reached for me, grabbed my body and began groping it and to try and kiss me. This man must be in the neighborhood of 80-90 years of age. I had to forcibly pull myself away, getting caught with my backpack on the doorway while saying "No!" I walked as quickly as I could away from him.

While I don't think this man was a match for me physically, it was disturbing and upsetting. He is perhaps luring women pilgrims walking alone into the little chapel in the hope for something more. I am posting this as an alert.

If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.

May we all have safe and enjoyable journeys on the Camino.
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
I don't understand the immediate response above to question and disbelieve a woman who has had the courage to share her distressing experience with an assault.

@Deborah53 I'm so sorry this has happened to you. As mentioned above by @oursonpolaire it is very important that this assault be reported. Call the police – the best number to use is 112 which covers all of Spain (and much of Europe) and which has operators who speak English. They will respond and hopefully it will stop future incidents such as happened to you.

MODERATOR ADDED: The negative responses referenced above were deleted.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I am virtually certain that others have reported similar experiences at the same spot, but I cannot find anything with the search function. Does anyone else have a memory of this?

Since the OP is already home, no report can be filed. But reporting is absolutely the way to go when this happens. The police take it very seriously, I can assure you.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Some tips from the mods:

There is continuing concern about incidents affecting female pilgrims. We reiterate the advice given by a number of pilgrim associations and the Spanish authorities:

Before you set out, programme the emergency number 112 into your telephone.

Consider downloading this App issued by the Spanish government:

https://alertcops.ses.mir.es/mialertcops/info/info.xhtml

The app allows anyone in Spain to send an alert from a mobile device "smartphone'"straight to the police..

If you feel threatened or uncomfortable or if you are assaulted in any way TRY TO REMOVEyourself to a place of safety immediately

Call the police – the best number to use is 112 which covers all of Spain (and much of Europe) and which has operators who speak English.

And please, please, REPORT all incidents to the police. Too many of these unlawful aggressions are never reported, which means that the full extent of the problem is hidden from the authorities.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
Dear Pilgrms,
I have just returned from the Camino del Norte and enjoyed this route very much, hard though it is. I am writing today to alert other pilgrims about my experience at Capilla del Cantu just as one enters Asturias. A Google search brings up good pictures of this very little chapel directly on the Camino path.
I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that it was a place to take a moment and have the little tour by a man cares for the chapel. It said something to the effect that he gives a little tour and to consider giving a tip. I can no longer check as I lost my first guidebook along the way and the second one fell apart. I stopped at this little chapel and placed a tip in his basket full of coins. He reached for a votive candle and handed me a cigarette lighter to light it. I did so. After that, he reached for me, grabbed my body and began groping it and to try and kiss me. This man must be in the neighborhood of 80-90 years of age. I had to forcibly pull myself away, getting caught with my backpack on the doorway while saying "No!" I walked as quickly as I could away from him.
While I don't think this man was a match for me physically, it was disturbing and upsetting. He is perhaps luring women pilgrims walking alone into the little chapel in the hope for something more. I am posting this as an alert.
If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.
May we all have safe and enjoyable journeys on the Camino.
My dear female fellow pilgrim friends.
You deserve better than this.
Gerard
 
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Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
I REALLY think that you have to inmediatelly inform the police. Be sure that they will take action about this!!

I assume that you already know but, just in case, the number for emergencies is 112.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I REALLY think that you have to inmediatelly inform the police. Be sure that they will take action about this!! I assume that you already know but, just in case, the number for emergencies is 112.
Informing the police would have been the best action but the poster stated that she has returned home and calling 112 does not work in Iowa the way it works in Spain. The tips from the mods, posted in this thread and in earlier threads, have all the necessary information about what to do while in Spain.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Perhaps someone can advise about what to do when you are no longer in Spain? It seems to me that one cannot file charges (make a denuncia) over the internet because the declaration needs to be signed in person with a Spanish police force at a later moment in time. But one can apparently provide information concerning "citizens security", see for example http://www.guardiacivil.es/en/colaboracion/form_contacto/index.html

For those who are knowledgeable about this sort of thing, would this be the best approach from outside Spain? The most obvious, of course, would be to call the local Guardia Civil station (numbers on the net) but there may be a considerable language hurdle when you call a local police station directly. Note: You cannot reach a Spanish police force when you call 112 and you are not in Spain.
 
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Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Informing the police would have been the best action but the poster stated that she has returned home and calling 112 does not work in Iowa the way it works in Spain
You cannot reach a Spanish police force when you call 112 and you are not in Spain.
My fault!. Indeed, 112 will not work if you are outside of Spain (if you are in Europe, this number will put you in touch with the local police of the country in which you are located).

Here is the link to report online:


It seems that reporting online is not valid for the most serious crimes. Anyway, I would send a report, apologizing for sending it online and explaining that I send the report for their information, explaining what has happened. They will probably not be able to take any legal action with that report, but at least they will know that there is a dangerous person in that area. I am sure they will inform the local police in order for them to stay vigilant.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Here is the link to report online:
It seems that reporting online is not valid for the most serious crimes. Anyway, I would send a report, apologizing for sending it online and explaining that I send the report for their information, explaining what has happened.
I had a closer look at the Dirección General de la Policia - Oficina Virtual de Denuncias site before I posted. You can explore several consecutive pages of such an incident report (denuncia). It is not set up in a free form where you can just report any kind of incident. It's mainly clicking pre-set options for a restricted number of pre-set types of incidents - mainly loss of objects, theft or robbery. I can't see how this would work in this case.

The Guardia Civil site allows a report in free form but as I said I don't know whether this would be the best approach to be recommended for incidents like the one reported by the OP. But I'd think it's better than trying to alert the authors of guidebooks. Keeping the person away from this tiny chapel and its surroundings would be a better solution than keeping pilgrims away from it and letting him stay there.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I am virtually certain that others have reported similar experiences at the same spot, but I cannot find anything with the search function. Does anyone else have a memory of this?
I think it's this thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/unquera-to-colombres-grotto-camino-del-norte.49572/#post-538345. Quote: "... at the top of the hill outside of Unquera and I met an old man there who took 2 euros (my donation) from me to light a candle under the statue. I must say however he broke the bounds of acceptable closeness and ruined a very nice moment".

That was July 2017 ... two years ago!
 
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marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
Dear Pilgrms,

I have just returned from the Camino del Norte and enjoyed this route very much, hard though it is. I am writing today to alert other pilgrims about my experience at Capilla del Cantu just as one enters Asturias. A Google search brings up good pictures of this very little chapel directly on the Camino path.

I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that it was a place to take a moment and have the little tour by a man cares for the chapel. It said something to the effect that he gives a little tour and to consider giving a tip. I can no longer check as I lost my first guidebook along the way and the second one fell apart. I stopped at this little chapel and placed a tip in his basket full of coins. He reached for a votive candle and handed me a cigarette lighter to light it. I did so. After that, he reached for me, grabbed my body and began groping it and to try and kiss me. This man must be in the neighborhood of 80-90 years of age. I had to forcibly pull myself away, getting caught with my backpack on the doorway while saying "No!" I walked as quickly as I could away from him.

While I don't think this man was a match for me physically, it was disturbing and upsetting. He is perhaps luring women pilgrims walking alone into the little chapel in the hope for something more. I am posting this as an alert.

If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.

May we all have safe and enjoyable journeys on the Camino.
So sorry that you had to endure this - it certainly is not a good experience and only if you have had this happen to you can you know how shattering it is. Thank you for sharing and alerting others on this path and may you find complete healing from this experience.XXX
 

CAJohn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
If you are back in your home country, you could always contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate. You can also contact your country’s Foreign Ministry or the State Department if American for help reporting this to Spanish authorities.
 

Deborah53

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (2006)
Le Puy-Cahors, (2008)
Camino North Coast May (2019)
Dear Fellow Pilgrims,

Thank you for your responses, concern, and compassion. I want to reassure everyone that I am okay and that my intention in posting here is to protect and alert others who may seek information before going on the Camino del Norte. I read the alerts from others before going and I think it is an important way to remember to engage in awareness.

I would also like to briefly respond to the excellent advice about calling 112 and alerting the police. I could not call 112 or alert the police at the time of the incident, because despite changing my Sim card and getting a Spanish phone number, I had no phone service. This was a problem that plagued me all through the Camino. I could have reported it at the next Albergue with the Hospitilero(a) and certainly regret not doing that. I agree that I should have reported it while on the Camino. I think I was intimidated about not being able to speak Spanish and minimized the event in my own mind because of his advanced age, but then later realized that this was an event that needs to be reported and that by being vigilant and speaking up we protect others.

I am doing my best to protect others by posting it here.

I enjoyed the Camino del Norte very much despite this event and had no other events of this nature.

Thank you to all who responded with kind words and excellent advice to others.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Burgos-SdC (May-June 2016); CF, SJPDP-SdC (April-June 2018); Norte (June-July 2019)
My husband and I stopped here a few weeks ago coming out of Unquera. I didn’t take a photo of the man who was there, but the gate was definitely open so I snapped this photo of the inside of the chapel. You can see the donation box on the alter, and the man’s umbrella on the right side.

I’m so sorry to hear this happened to the OP. Perhaps this situation will be resolved like the similar one in Castrojeriz, where the elderly perpetrator was finally caught.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
For future reference for non-Hispanophones, the Spanish police (at least the Guardia Civil and the Policia Nacional) will set you up with an interpreter by telephone. They have about 40 languages on tap. Remember that Spain depends on tourism and officials want to provide support for the millions of foreigners who live in Spain, and have been dealing with the language situation for eons. When we are in the relative backwoods of Spain, where English-speakers are few and far between, we sometimes forget this and @Deborah53 's response is entirely natural, but the Spanish have figured out how to work with the language situation.

The Spanish have been very attentive to the security of pilgrims in recent years (as compared with the past). Paper correspondence with the police authorities in Spain works, and feel entirely free to write to the Spanish Embassy with the specifics. As well, your local MP/Congress representative or senator may be willing to forward the complaint.
 
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ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
My husband and I stopped here a few weeks ago coming out of Unquera. I didn’t take a photo of the man who was there, but the gate was definitely open so I snapped this photo of the inside of the chapel. You can see the donation box on the alter, and the man’s umbrella on the right side.

I’m so sorry to hear this happened to the OP. Perhaps this situation will be resolved like the similar one in Castrojeriz, where the elderly perpetrator was finally caught.
I was there on June 4. There was a man there, but I have no recollection whatsoever of his appearance or demeanor. I don’t believe anyone else passed by so the person holding that cane must be him. On a side note, I placed three pictures there: a young boy (no sign of that picture in your photo), a young woman (appears to have fallen behind the red candle), and an elderly dog (still right there where I put it). Had anyone else happened along, I am quite sure that I would have asked them to take a picture of the “caretaker” and me in front of the chapel.
 

Attachments

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.
After researching this little chapel on the internet I think it wouldn't hurt to contact the archdiocese of Oviedo and let them know about the incident. It seems that this is an official site that is being promoted by the archdiocese as well as tourism in Asturias. I don't think either institution would want this man to continue there if they were made aware of his antics, especially if the word were to get out. Even if you're already back home, you may well still get a result, at least for the sake of other peregrinas.
 

Mycroft

Member
Dear Pilgrms,

I have just returned from the Camino del Norte and enjoyed this route very much, hard though it is. I am writing today to alert other pilgrims about my experience at Capilla del Cantu just as one enters Asturias. A Google search brings up good pictures of this very little chapel directly on the Camino path.

I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that it was a place to take a moment and have the little tour by a man cares for the chapel. It said something to the effect that he gives a little tour and to consider giving a tip. I can no longer check as I lost my first guidebook along the way and the second one fell apart. I stopped at this little chapel and placed a tip in his basket full of coins. He reached for a votive candle and handed me a cigarette lighter to light it. I did so. After that, he reached for me, grabbed my body and began groping it and to try and kiss me. This man must be in the neighborhood of 80-90 years of age. I had to forcibly pull myself away, getting caught with my backpack on the doorway while saying "No!" I walked as quickly as I could away from him.

While I don't think this man was a match for me physically, it was disturbing and upsetting. He is perhaps luring women pilgrims walking alone into the little chapel in the hope for something more. I am posting this as an alert.

If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.

May we all have safe and enjoyable journeys on the Camino.
Deborah,
I am so sorry to hear you had this experience. I have had similar things happen to me, so I have an idea of the range of emotions you might be feeling. Don't be surprised if you have some ups and downs in how you feel about it, even a year later.
Thank you for alerting us to this danger.
I definitely encourage you to contact authorities in the area--there are options people have written to you in previous replies. I hadn't thought of a letter to the embassy but that wouldn't hurt, if you have the time. As you may know, usually the wheels grind slowly, and starting the report process now in whatever form(s) you choose is wise.
 

Erin Elizabeth

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall, 2016
I have walked two Caminos -- the traditional route from St. Jean Pied-de-Port, and the Voie de Piedmont. Collectively, on these two Caminos I have been:

1) Groped twice, including having my breasts pinched, hard, by a blind man who famously stamps credencials
2) Kissed on the mouth, meaning a stranger's tongue IN MY MOUTH, once
3) Groped AND kissed, when I stopped to admire an elderly man's dog
3) Followed by a guy who was exposing and fondling himself, and following at such close proximity that I was rapidly going through my mental list of things I could do to fight him off.

A reality of walking the Camino as a solo female walker is that stuff like this happens. And for those who would tell me to walk with others . . . NO. The pilgrim experience for me was one of walking in solitude and meeting other pilgrims during the evenings, in restaurants, etc. I SHOULD be able to walk, quietly, without being assaulted.

Incidentally, I had intended to share these other experiences on another post (in which a walker warns about a guy who is trying to kiss and feel the ears of female walkers), for which commenting was shut off. And I have to ask . . . would comments have been turned off if it had been MEN who were reporting being fondled, licked, kissed, and pinched on the breasts? I somehow doubt it. On my second (and last) Camino, I realized that this is simply part of the Pilgrim Experience for solo female walkers: being assaulted in sexual ways and having it brushed off by men when you try to report it.
 

Jacqueline17

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (2016/2017)
Camino Ingles (2017)
Santiago to Muxia (2018)
Dear Pilgrms,

I have just returned from the Camino del Norte and enjoyed this route very much, hard though it is. I am writing today to alert other pilgrims about my experience at Capilla del Cantu just as one enters Asturias. A Google search brings up good pictures of this very little chapel directly on the Camino path.

I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that it was a place to take a moment and have the little tour by a man cares for the chapel. It said something to the effect that he gives a little tour and to consider giving a tip. I can no longer check as I lost my first guidebook along the way and the second one fell apart. I stopped at this little chapel and placed a tip in his basket full of coins. He reached for a votive candle and handed me a cigarette lighter to light it. I did so. After that, he reached for me, grabbed my body and began groping it and to try and kiss me. This man must be in the neighborhood of 80-90 years of age. I had to forcibly pull myself away, getting caught with my backpack on the doorway while saying "No!" I walked as quickly as I could away from him.

While I don't think this man was a match for me physically, it was disturbing and upsetting. He is perhaps luring women pilgrims walking alone into the little chapel in the hope for something more. I am posting this as an alert.

If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.

May we all have safe and enjoyable journeys on the Camino.
 

Erin Elizabeth

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall, 2016
I REALLY think that you have to inmediatelly inform the police. Be sure that they will take action about this!!

I assume that you already know but, just in case, the number for emergencies is 112.
The LAST thing the Spanish police will do is "take action" against gropers. Been there, done that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
The LAST thing the Spanish police will do is "take action" against gropers. Been there, done that.
I have specific knowledge of two cases where they did so, one of which included a charge resulting in a two-month sentence; the other resulted in 72-hour detention, and an order for psychiatric treatment.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The LAST thing the Spanish police will do is "take action" against gropers. Been there, done that
In this case - an elderly man with inappropriate ides of what he can and can't do - not reporting only allws him free reign. The police can't do much. But if there are enough complaints from pilgrims something will happen, eventually. As in Castrojerez.

In the meantime we here know thanks to these posts and can give the guy a wide berth.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
And I have to ask . . . would comments have been turned off if it had been MEN who were reporting being fondled, licked, kissed, and pinched on the breasts? I somehow doubt it. On my second (and last) Camino, I realized that this is simply part of the Pilgrim Experience for solo female walkers: being assaulted in sexual ways and having it brushed off by men when you try to report it.
I was reading your post and nodding my head with agreement until I got to this part. I think you have it wrong. As the moderator explained on that other thread, the comments were turned off because the discussion turned to weapons and the merits of physical retaliation. There is lots of experience on the forum where those discussions become very unpleasant and can never be happily resolved.

Post #9 on this thread shows that the moderators do not tolerate criticism of the women who make these reports.
 

Camino/Forum

New Member
Dear Pilgrms,

I have just returned from the Camino del Norte and enjoyed this route very much, hard though it is. I am writing today to alert other pilgrims about my experience at Capilla del Cantu just as one enters Asturias. A Google search brings up good pictures of this very little chapel directly on the Camino path.

I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that it was a place to take a moment and have the little tour by a man cares for the chapel. It said something to the effect that he gives a little tour and to consider giving a tip. I can no longer check as I lost my first guidebook along the way and the second one fell apart. I stopped at this little chapel and placed a tip in his basket full of coins. He reached for a votive candle and handed me a cigarette lighter to light it. I did so. After that, he reached for me, grabbed my body and began groping it and to try and kiss me. This man must be in the neighborhood of 80-90 years of age. I had to forcibly pull myself away, getting caught with my backpack on the doorway while saying "No!" I walked as quickly as I could away from him.

While I don't think this man was a match for me physically, it was disturbing and upsetting. He is perhaps luring women pilgrims walking alone into the little chapel in the hope for something more. I am posting this as an alert.

If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.

May we all have safe and enjoyable journeys on the Camino.
Hello
Is this the chapel you are referring to? We were in a group.
 
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Camino/Forum

New Member
Dear Pilgrms,

I have just returned from the Camino del Norte and enjoyed this route very much, hard though it is. I am writing today to alert other pilgrims about my experience at Capilla del Cantu just as one enters Asturias. A Google search brings up good pictures of this very little chapel directly on the Camino path.

I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that it was a place to take a moment and have the little tour by a man cares for the chapel. It said something to the effect that he gives a little tour and to consider giving a tip. I can no longer check as I lost my first guidebook along the way and the second one fell apart. I stopped at this little chapel and placed a tip in his basket full of coins. He reached for a votive candle and handed me a cigarette lighter to light it. I did so. After that, he reached for me, grabbed my body and began groping it and to try and kiss me. This man must be in the neighborhood of 80-90 years of age. I had to forcibly pull myself away, getting caught with my backpack on the doorway while saying "No!" I walked as quickly as I could away from him.

While I don't think this man was a match for me physically, it was disturbing and upsetting. He is perhaps luring women pilgrims walking alone into the little chapel in the hope for something more. I am posting this as an alert.

If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.

May we all have safe and enjoyable journeys on the Camino.
Hello Deborah
Dear Pilgrms,

I have just returned from the Camino del Norte and enjoyed this route very much, hard though it is. I am writing today to alert other pilgrims about my experience at Capilla del Cantu just as one enters Asturias. A Google search brings up good pictures of this very little chapel directly on the Camino path.

I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that it was a place to take a moment and have the little tour by a man cares for the chapel. It said something to the effect that he gives a little tour and to consider giving a tip. I can no longer check as I lost my first guidebook along the way and the second one fell apart. I stopped at this little chapel and placed a tip in his basket full of coins. He reached for a votive candle and handed me a cigarette lighter to light it. I did so. After that, he reached for me, grabbed my body and began groping it and to try and kiss me. This man must be in the neighborhood of 80-90 years of age. I had to forcibly pull myself away, getting caught with my backpack on the doorway while saying "No!" I walked as quickly as I could away from him.

While I don't think this man was a match for me physically, it was disturbing and upsetting. He is perhaps luring women pilgrims walking alone into the little chapel in the hope for something more. I am posting this as an alert.

If anyone knows which book this is in, please let me know as I would like to contact the author and ask for the suggestion to be taken out of future publications.

May we all have safe and enjoyable journeys on the Camino.
Hello Deborah
Have posted a photo of the chapel and man for you. I was in a group of walkers on the Del Norte.
Regards
Jan
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
How overblown was my fear of being attacked or robbed on my journey? If there was much less violent crime in Spain than in the United States,
People marinating in a culture of fear bring it to the camino with them. How beautiful, that you were able to step out of it, Terry! No small feat, that. Gracias for sharing that reality check with us all...and buen camino!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I agree in this case that somebody should also contact the local Diocese. I would think they would be pretty appalled and would "fire" this guy from his "tour guide" service, at least.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I do not mention this chapel in my guide, nor any others which could present a similar situation.
Thanks Michael, for the prompt response. It must be in one of those other, less reliable, guides!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
This tiny chapel doesn't look much like a precious jewel of the artistic and historical patrimony of Asturias. If it is mentioned by pilgrims in their blogs and gets photographed it's because it's right on a Camino and it looks picturesque.

Editorial Buen Camino, who also produce Camino apps, has photos of the chapel, its caretaker and his name, as well as a clear reference to the person who is in charge of looking after this tiny chapel, see Capilla Colombres. The photos must be from an earlier time as the caretaker looks younger and there's no junk yet on the statues inside the chapel. A photo of chapel and caretaker, including name, is also in the Buen Camino app.

Since nothing has been reported to the police, making direct local contact (anyone?), for example with the local Camino association or another local person involved in all things Camino, would perhaps bring better and faster results than letters to State Departments and the Vatican.

PS: Bear in mind that more than one person may be in charge of locking and unlocking the gate of this tiny chapel and of selling the candles. For info, the chapel is in the parroquia of Colombres and in the municipality of Ribadedeva.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
My suggestion with respect to having one's representative contact the local Spanish Embassy was in the context of a followup on a complaint to the police which, as explored above, did not take place. I'm not sure who suggested the Vatican! However, Colombres is in the Archdiocese of Oviedo, and one can write to the Archbishop of Oviedo, Fray Jesús Sanz Montes, Arzobispado de Oviedo, Corrada del Obispo, 1 33003 Oviedo or perhaps forward this thread to him at secpersonal@icloud.com
 
D

Deleted member 90080

Guest
Dear Fellow Pilgrims,

I would also like to briefly respond to the excellent advice about calling 112 and alerting the police. I could not call 112 or alert the police at the time of the incident, because despite changing my Sim card and getting a Spanish phone number, I had no phone service.
any mobile phone in Spain (and Europe) can make emergency calls without a SIM card and / or unlock the screen
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The LAST thing the Spanish police will do is "take action" against gropers. Been there, done that.
Just so that other peregrinas don’t think it is hopeless, I think it is important to correct what seems to be a generalization. I do not doubt that @Erin Elizabeth had this experience, but I know that many different police departments along Spain’s many caminos are ready to help and to take action. Here is one example:

 

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