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Can't Stop Worrying! Solo Female!

LucyL

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking in May "2017"
#1
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#2
Last edited:

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#3
What happened to poor Denise was dreadful, but statistically you are safer on the camino than in most cities around the world. I live in London and if I looked up crime statistics I probably would not leave the house.

In practice you're as alone as you want to be. I always go on my own and love it. Sometimes I walk for a few days with someone I have met, often not. Sometimes I walk on my own and say to people - 'see you at such and such an albergue tonight'. If you are really nervous but need your peace and quiet, you can usually walk within sight of other people.

The Spanish people are really caring and they take safety and law and order extremely seriously. You can trust the police, which you can't in many countries.

Don't stress, it's really fine. Feel free to PM me if you want.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés Sept. 2017
Camino Portugués Apr-May 2019
#4
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
I haven't walked the Camino yet so hope you don't mind me putting in my 2 cents. From what I have read the guy placed a yellow arrow to misdirect pilgrims off the Camino and perhaps she just didn't notice she may have been going the wrong way. I am in NO WAY implying that it was her fault; I am simply suggesting that it is always a good idea to pay attention to your surroundings. This is true anywhere in the world, not just on the Camino. If you are by yourself and are unsure of which way to go you could wait for someone to come along? From what I understand that shouldn't be too long. AND...the Spanish are really wonderful people so you have no worries there.
Maybe you could leave a small rock in her memory at the Cruz de Ferro and say a prayer for her when you get to Santiago.
Be happy. You have a long wonderful life ahead of you.
Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#5
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
Hola @LucyL - and welcome to the Forum. Please do not get yourself (or your mum) to overly concerned about your safety. Yes what happened back in April 2015 t0 Denise was a total tragedy (especially for her mum), but since that terrible day I believe the Camino Frances has become one of the safest places on the planet. You will be able to walk with other women - in a loose group - or alone. If you prefer to walk alone you will always be able to keep another female pilgrim (or friendly male) in sight (say 50 metres) all the way to Santiago. If you are starting from St Jean in three weeks I might even see you - I start from St Jean on May 1st. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Sept/Oct 2015
Camino Frances - April/May 2017
Camino Primitivo- Oct 2018
#6
You will be fine, just take ordinary precautions. Most young women I met who were your age generally found a pretty tight group to walk with fairly early on. If you are looking for some solitude on your walk, that's available as well . I am starting out of SJPdP on April 19, maybe I will see you along the way! Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2015 (SJPP to Burgos)
September 2016 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
May 2017 (Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago de Compostela)
#12
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
You will be just fine. There are many people walking the Camino and seldom will you be out of sight of others unless you want to (and sometimes that doesn't work). Like every day anywhere, just always be aware of your surroundings. It's easy for the mind to wander and worry about the unknown. Once you get there and see it for yourself, you'll wonder why you ever worried to begin with. I'm starting the last leg on May 2nd this year so maybe our paths will cross. Buen Camino to you always!
 

Shelova

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#13
Hi Lucy,

I will also be walking alone in May, for the first time. From what I gathered, it is not an entirely "lonesome" route, unless you want it to be. There is a group on FB called camigas, it is A very supportive women walking alone group chat, and there you can put your name down on the group list, contact ppl within the group who will be walking the same dates as you. Secondly, it is recommended that you stay at albergues , which will allow you to make friends, meet ppl, and start out the walk with a group of ppl who are starting their day at around the same time. The group also has warmly recommended staying at beilari in SJPDP as a starting point. So, go for it! BUEN CAMINO
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#14
Always be aware of your surroundings. I have walked twice--alone. The horrible incident that you just read about happened two years ago. Old story, and the horrible fiend has been found guilty and is safely locked up.

I was so relieved that they found him before I walked, in September 2015! You will find friends to walk with if you like. In May, a lot of folks will be walking. I sure wish I were going to be!

Let go of the fear, but look both ways before crossing the streets!

Buen Camino!
 

Hutton24

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October 2013
Camino Frances April 2017
#15
Hi Lucy

I walked alone on Sept 2013 - met a great buddy the next day and we walked for 2 weeks together. She is still a good friend and we are in regular contact.
I am walking again in a couple of weeks and will be solo. If you think of all the bad stuff out there you will be constantly worried and won't enjoy yourself.
You are experiencing these concerns now because you need to address this side of you - on your Camino you will learn a lot about yourself and, I hope, grow as a person.
Have loads of fun - PM me if you want to 'chat'.

Buen Camino, Kate
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#16
I can only comfirm what others wrote.

And the Guardia Civil and Policia Local aka police are doing a good job. I noticed it last year and again this year that they are much more driving around , especially on the lonelier stretches.
In the early morning two weeks ago when walking from Reliegos to Mansilla de las Mulas a patrol of the Guardia Civil drove by and asked me if all was ok and if I needed anything the next town would have shops etc...

Do not worry, you will do fine.
 

SitaClaire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the camino mid April to mid May 2017 from Madrid
#17
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
Hey Lucy, I'm right there with you! I'll be walking the Madrid route next week which is a lot lonelier than the Frances, and I'm having serious doubts about being able to sleep at night wondering if anyone is going to wander into the albergue. Maybe we should make a deal to let people here know we are okay at the end of each day's walk? Write a little summary of what's been up to help future pilgrims and give each other a sense that somebody knows where we are? Unfortunately I've noticed that the older I get (I'm 9 years older than you), the fear of these things tends to increase as I hear more about the realities of such situations. When I was 16 I would hitch hike in the middle of the night in the city with drunk hooligans. These days I'd just pay for a taxi (or be in bed by 10). But don't let fear stop you from being free. xo
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2017)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2017)
#18
the fear and anxiety will most likely disappear as soon as you clock in your first 10 kms and take in the breathtaking scenery, meet other pilgrims and friendly locals, and stop for your first café con leche.

no one can make the evil in this world disappear, but the Camino probably remains much safer than most large city parks anywhere in the world.

have a look at previous threads in this forum for more information and a bit more reassurance.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#20
I walked the camino alone in 2015, at the time when Denise was missing. The police were noticeable in the section of the camino where she was last seen. We were encouraged to walk in groups. I felt safe that day because the Spanish police were taking it seriously. But out of a 42 day walk, it was only one day that we were being told to stay together. The rest of the 730 km was the same as always. I felt safe, even on days when I was walking completely alone. On the Camino Frances, if you are alone and want company, stop walking, and someone will come by within a few minutes. Also, the locals are so friendly and helpful. Twice when I wasn't sure of the directions, I just stopped and local people came by and directed me. They recognize pilgrims - we are pretty obvious in our clothing, with our backpacks - and they want to help us in our journey. You just have to trust that it will work out, and step out into the big world. You will be so glad you did! Spend these last 3 weeks getting ready. Occupy your mind with saving weight by ruthlessly cutting back on what you are taking. Practice walking in the rain, cold, wind etc. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
#21
For me, and certainly for many others, walking the Camino was, and will be again in 12 days, an exercise in conquering fear. Some times that I felt the strongest were when I was on my own. Use your common sense. If you run into problems just ask, hospitaleros and other pilgrims will help you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
#22
I don't know where you live but I guess that leaving your house probably will be more dangerous then walking the camino. Of course the difference is that you'll be walking and finding your way in unknown surroundings. But it's like all other respondents say, you don't have to be alone on the road and will get any support you want from others pilgrims and Spanish people alike. Just go on ahead and I'm sure that after the first day of walking you will come to the conclusion that your worries had no ground. Just try to enjoy your preparation and find back your initial excitement. Buen Camino
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
#23
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)

I have walked the French and part of the Norte by myself. You have nothing to worry about. On the French you will be lucky to walk if there isn't someone else within a few hundred meters. Just go for it, use common sense and enjoy your walk. You will love it.
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
#24
Many thanks to everyone for your words trying to reassure Lucy.
The Spaniards are a friendly people, and you can trust fully in our Police, especially in the Guardia Civil (rural police).
Lucy, I start the Camino on May 1st in Zizur Mayor, a town near Pamplona, maybe we'll meet on the Camino.
Bienvenida a España y Buen Camino.
 

LaurelL

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on starting the Camino in March, haven't set an exact date yet, still looking up flights.
I want to start in St.Jean.
I am looking forward to learning along the way .
#25
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
I plan on travelling in Sept. And going alone....
 

WalkonBy

Walk' Wounded
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Fall 2015
Upcoming, Portuguese Comino summer (2018)
#26
One suggestion I have is to book a night in advance in Orrison. You will meet and dine and openly talk with pilgrims that first night out. I'm sure you will find many others to walk with for awhile...you will be fine
 

AbbyDee

Court Jester
Camino(s) past & future
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of my 25th year, I will begin my Camino in September 2017
#27
It really distresses me how women are always taught to be afraid of "something " that might happen. Statistically speaking a woman is more likely to be hit by a hypothetical bus than for anything untoward happening to them on the Camino.
 

jagoca

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Via de la Plata (Seville to Santiago) in spring 2017
#28
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
Hi Lucy, I understand your worry - I am currently walking the via de la plata alone and it is a VERY lonely route; in the last 3 weeks I have only met 6 other pilgrims but it is a quiet route and a quiet time of year. Important is to know what you would do if certain situations arise - almost everyone I have come across has been friendly and kind BUT I had a guy drive up to me while I was sat eating lunch on a very quiet stretch of road the other day, block me in with his car and then try and expose himself to me. I was prepared though - I had noticed him slow down and stare at me and then turn around so I super fast collapsed my hiking poles together (to shorten them to batons) and took the rubber tips off to expose the sharp metal spikes. I was standing up by the time he drove back and went on the attack, which totally shocked him. As he got out of the car I asked him immediately in Spanish what he wanted and why he was trying to block me in with his car, he mumbled something and I said (still in Spanish) that my husband and friends were just a couple of minutes behind me (not true but NEVER admit you're alone) and he still started fumbling with his zipper, clearly about to expose himself so I went towards him with my poles, shouting in English and he leapt in his car and drove off fast. There are several incidences of men exposing themselves to lone women but I firmly believe they are absolutely the exception and most likely opportunists. I also had a day when I saw that murder story in the news (as the trial is now) a couple of days ago and felt very nervous indeed walking that day but thankfully, on one of the many times I looked over my shoulder, I saw 2 figures on the horizon with rucksacks and waited til they caught up and asked to walk with them - 2 dutch men in their 70s who were marvelous company for the rest of the walk. In a nutshell - be realistic, there are pervs everywhere, plan how you'd react to being flashed at, grabbed, know that such incidents are the absolute exception, hook up with others to walk if you feel nervous (you're on a busy route so you won't be short of options)- and above all.... enjoy!! Buen camino
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#29
Hi Lucy, I understand your worry - I am currently walking the via de la plata alone and it is a VERY lonely route; in the last 3 weeks I have only met 6 other pilgrims but it is a quiet route and a quiet time of year. Important is to know what you would do if certain situations arise - almost everyone I have come across has been friendly and kind BUT I had a guy drive up to me while I was sat eating lunch on a very quiet stretch of road the other day, block me in with his car and then try and expose himself to me. I was prepared though - I had noticed him slow down and stare at me and then turn around so I super fast collapsed my hiking poles together (to shorten them to batons) and took the rubber tips off to expose the sharp metal spikes. I was standing up by the time he drove back and went on the attack, which totally shocked him. As he got out of the car I asked him immediately in Spanish what he wanted and why he was trying to block me in with his car, he mumbled something and I said (still in Spanish) that my husband and friends were just a couple of minutes behind me (not true but NEVER admit you're alone) and he still started fumbling with his zipper, clearly about to expose himself so I went towards him with my poles, shouting in English and he leapt in his car and drove off fast. There are several incidences of men exposing themselves to lone women but I firmly believe they are absolutely the exception and most likely opportunists. I also had a day when I saw that murder story in the news (as the trial is now) a couple of days ago and felt very nervous indeed walking that day but thankfully, on one of the many times I looked over my shoulder, I saw 2 figures on the horizon with rucksacks and waited til they caught up and asked to walk with them - 2 dutch men in their 70s who were marvelous company for the rest of the walk. In a nutshell - be realistic, there are pervs everywhere, plan how you'd react to being flashed at, grabbed, know that such incidents are the absolute exception, hook up with others to walk if you feel nervous (you're on a busy route so you won't be short of options)- and above all.... enjoy!! Buen camino

I'm so terribly sorry for what happened to you!!! It is completely up to you but are you sure you won't report this to the police? Please they will take it very seriously.
Even if the guy is " just an opportunist " I firmly believe in reporting the incident.
Whatever you decide....buen Camino and hope you will find marvellous company like those two Dutch men.

Take very good care!!!
 

jagoca

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Via de la Plata (Seville to Santiago) in spring 2017
#30
I'm so terribly sorry for what happened to you!!! It is completely up to you but are you sure you won't report this to the police? Please they will take it very seriously.
Even if the guy is " just an opportunist " I firmly believe in reporting the incident.
Whatever you decide....buen Camino and hope you will find marvellous company like those two Dutch men.

Take very good care!!!
Thank you Sabine, yes, now I am in Salmanca i shall indeed report him to the Police as I took down his registration number, vehicle description and a description of him at the time. I was in tiny villages since then with no Police at all but now I have a couple of rest days here then I shall absolutely do so.

And yes, I hope I find more company too. I am staying alone in Casa Rurales as I am such a light sleeper I am not keen to share in Albergue but I will try it for a couple of nights once I leave Salamanca as I realise that will be the best way to meet others and after 3 weeks and 500km alone then I would love some walking company
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
#31
Hi Lucy, I understand your worry - I am currently walking the via de la plata alone and it is a VERY lonely route; in the last 3 weeks I have only met 6 other pilgrims but it is a quiet route and a quiet time of year. Important is to know what you would do if certain situations arise - almost everyone I have come across has been friendly and kind BUT I had a guy drive up to me while I was sat eating lunch on a very quiet stretch of road the other day, block me in with his car and then try and expose himself to me. I was prepared though - I had noticed him slow down and stare at me and then turn around so I super fast collapsed my hiking poles together (to shorten them to batons) and took the rubber tips off to expose the sharp metal spikes. I was standing up by the time he drove back and went on the attack, which totally shocked him. As he got out of the car I asked him immediately in Spanish what he wanted and why he was trying to block me in with his car, he mumbled something and I said (still in Spanish) that my husband and friends were just a couple of minutes behind me (not true but NEVER admit you're alone) and he still started fumbling with his zipper, clearly about to expose himself so I went towards him with my poles, shouting in English and he leapt in his car and drove off fast. There are several incidences of men exposing themselves to lone women but I firmly believe they are absolutely the exception and most likely opportunists. I also had a day when I saw that murder story in the news (as the trial is now) a couple of days ago and felt very nervous indeed walking that day but thankfully, on one of the many times I looked over my shoulder, I saw 2 figures on the horizon with rucksacks and waited til they caught up and asked to walk with them - 2 dutch men in their 70s who were marvelous company for the rest of the walk. In a nutshell - be realistic, there are pervs everywhere, plan how you'd react to being flashed at, grabbed, know that such incidents are the absolute exception, hook up with others to walk if you feel nervous (you're on a busy route so you won't be short of options)- and above all.... enjoy!! Buen camino
Go girl, you rock! Good you got to practice your skills. That will keep you sharp.
I am sure he did not see that one coming, the stuff that nightmares (his!) are made of.
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
#32
I'm very sorry to hear of your meeting with an undesirable.
You have acted with a lot of "sangre fría". Usually they are cowards who flee when they are fought.
In these cases you have to telephone the police and give the car registration number.
Buen Camino y disfrútalo.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#33
Thank you Sabine, yes, now I am in Salmanca i shall indeed report him to the Police as I took down his registration number, vehicle description and a description of him at the time. I was in tiny villages since then with no Police at all but now I have a couple of rest days here then I shall absolutely do so.

And yes, I hope I find more company too. I am staying alone in Casa Rurales as I am such a light sleeper I am not keen to share in Albergue but I will try it for a couple of nights once I leave Salamanca as I realise that will be the best way to meet others and after 3 weeks and 500km alone then I would love some walking company
Ok good for you! And there is no better place than Salamanca to stay a couple of days!!
Again take good care....
 

jagoca

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Via de la Plata (Seville to Santiago) in spring 2017
#34
Thank you Sabine, yes, now I am in Salmanca i shall indeed report him to the Police as I took down his registration number, vehicle description and a description of him at the time. I was in tiny villages since then with no Police at all but now I have a couple of rest days here then I shall absolutely do so.
Go girl, you rock! Good you got to practice your skills. That will keep you sharp.
I am sure he did not see that one coming, the stuff that nightmares (his!) are made of.
I thought better to wave my poles at him than him...ahem...wave his at me :D
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#35
Just compare the crime rate on the Camino to the crime rate in your home town - I am sure the Camino is, statistically, safer. I nearly always walked it alone and never had any major problem. Buen Camino, SY
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
#36
I walked alone and I was absolutely fine - as are many 1000s of women who walk the route alone. I deliberately chose to walk alone often in the evenings when the camino is empty. I had a wonderfully peaceful and reflective time and felt very safe. A million and one things could go wrong but are you going to let that stop you? If you don't go, will you look back in 20 years with regret or will you be happy that you made the safer choice?
 

Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances Sept/Oct 2016
Camino Portuguese Oct 2017
Del Norde Start 2nd May 2018
#37
I walked the Camino Frances last September/October and met along the way many wonderful people, high percentages of them were solo females young and not so young. I have 2 daughters in their 20's and whilst on the Camino as a father saw a couple of times solo girls who were as we all suffered having a low moment or two. A comforting word or two, the offer of a 'safe zone' should they feel the need for assurance was rarely taken but friendships were developed with groups of mixed generations and nationalities.
As many have said it is very hard to be on your own unless you want to be, so if there are no ladies about to offer you reassurance there will be loads of 'fathers and brothers' on the Camino who will willingly look out for their Camino 'daughters and sisters'. I can't guarantee that they will speak the same language though but who cares.
Buen Camino, you'll love it.
 

GreatDane

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
#38
I've walked solo twice (partials). Both times I mostly walked alone during the day (my preference) but had quickly joined a camino family. We'd say "I'll probably be in (name of village here) tomorrow any one else? And then we'd just kind of meet up late afternoon the next day in the plaza major of the village. Yes that way I went through a couple of camino families but when I got to Leon I felt like a rock star with so many people I'd been with greeting me. I walked shoulder season both times and half the time I was the only woman in either the alburgue or our room in the alburgue and had no problems.
 

SitaClaire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the camino mid April to mid May 2017 from Madrid
#39
Hi Lucy, I understand your worry - I am currently walking the via de la plata alone and it is a VERY lonely route; in the last 3 weeks I have only met 6 other pilgrims but it is a quiet route and a quiet time of year. Important is to know what you would do if certain situations arise - almost everyone I have come across has been friendly and kind BUT I had a guy drive up to me while I was sat eating lunch on a very quiet stretch of road the other day, block me in with his car and then try and expose himself to me. I was prepared though - I had noticed him slow down and stare at me and then turn around so I super fast collapsed my hiking poles together (to shorten them to batons) and took the rubber tips off to expose the sharp metal spikes. I was standing up by the time he drove back and went on the attack, which totally shocked him. As he got out of the car I asked him immediately in Spanish what he wanted and why he was trying to block me in with his car, he mumbled something and I said (still in Spanish) that my husband and friends were just a couple of minutes behind me (not true but NEVER admit you're alone) and he still started fumbling with his zipper, clearly about to expose himself so I went towards him with my poles, shouting in English and he leapt in his car and drove off fast. There are several incidences of men exposing themselves to lone women but I firmly believe they are absolutely the exception and most likely opportunists. I also had a day when I saw that murder story in the news (as the trial is now) a couple of days ago and felt very nervous indeed walking that day but thankfully, on one of the many times I looked over my shoulder, I saw 2 figures on the horizon with rucksacks and waited til they caught up and asked to walk with them - 2 dutch men in their 70s who were marvelous company for the rest of the walk. In a nutshell - be realistic, there are pervs everywhere, plan how you'd react to being flashed at, grabbed, know that such incidents are the absolute exception, hook up with others to walk if you feel nervous (you're on a busy route so you won't be short of options)- and above all.... enjoy!! Buen camino
Far out, this is a semi-regular occurrence? I'm heading out on the Madrid route next week without poles... maybe I should have a quick squiz for basic self defense moves... don't know what I'd do if that happened to me! Luckily (or unluckily?) there are not many roads on the Madrid route...
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#40
SitaClaire, I walked the VDLP in June/July 2015 with no problems but occasionally you will see a car in the middle of nowhere that makes you wonder and take extra caution. Does no harm to learn a few good Spanish swear words though.
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
#41
Let's not forget about the solo male walker,i'm forever getting hassled by woman on the way,i could of course put this down to my devilish good looks and Irish charm but i prefer to think it's the low cost of alcohol :)))
:D ... you forget to mention how modest you are .... Arrrgh but dat would be da blarney in ya :D

Love the Irish

Ultreia
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
#42
Far out, this is a semi-regular occurrence? I'm heading out on the Madrid route next week without poles... maybe I should have a quick squiz for basic self defense moves... don't know what I'd do if that happened to me! Luckily (or unluckily?) there are not many roads on the Madrid route...
On the Frances last year ... some stretches i was alone.
I had a plan if anyone approached : poles in right hand at groin level and small tin hair spray in left hand at eye level.... I kid you not ..... it would have been effective if needed.
 

AbbyDee

Court Jester
Camino(s) past & future
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of my 25th year, I will begin my Camino in September 2017
#43
Far out, this is a semi-regular occurrence? I'm heading out on the Madrid route next week without poles... maybe I should have a quick squiz for basic self defense moves... don't know what I'd do if that happened to me! Luckily (or unluckily?) there are not many roads on the Madrid route...

There will always be flaming 4 cylinder ar$eholes among us. Luckily, They will always be outnumbered by shining examples of the good and kind.

I have been confronted by a few flashers over the years and the first time it was a bit jarring. The second time I managed to keep my wits about me and our discourse went something like this "you poor illegitimate person. That is the ugliest john thomas I have ever seen" shouted at the top of my lungs which, needless to say, was not the response he expected. And I don't know how to say it in Spanish.

I am, however, old and curmudgeonly.

That said, your best defense in these untoward situations is to make "a lot" of noise. Generally Flashers are just looking for the "thrill value" as it were. Noise and commotion will generally set them to their heels as the last thing they want is to be confronted by a very angry vocal woman.
 

SitaClaire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the camino mid April to mid May 2017 from Madrid
#44
All this talk of flashers cornering women on lonely paths has made me change my plans from walking the Madrid route to taking the bus to Burgos and just going for the Frances. Not my first preference but will probably save me a lot of unnecessary worry.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#45
Hi Lucy, I understand your worry - I am currently walking the via de la plata alone and it is a VERY lonely route; in the last 3 weeks I have only met 6 other pilgrims but it is a quiet route and a quiet time of year. Important is to know what you would do if certain situations arise - almost everyone I have come across has been friendly and kind BUT I had a guy drive up to me while I was sat eating lunch on a very quiet stretch of road the other day, block me in with his car and then try and expose himself to me. I was prepared though - I had noticed him slow down and stare at me and then turn around so I super fast collapsed my hiking poles together (to shorten them to batons) and took the rubber tips off to expose the sharp metal spikes. I was standing up by the time he drove back and went on the attack, which totally shocked him. As he got out of the car I asked him immediately in Spanish what he wanted and why he was trying to block me in with his car, he mumbled something and I said (still in Spanish) that my husband and friends were just a couple of minutes behind me (not true but NEVER admit you're alone) and he still started fumbling with his zipper, clearly about to expose himself so I went towards him with my poles, shouting in English and he leapt in his car and drove off fast. There are several incidences of men exposing themselves to lone women but I firmly believe they are absolutely the exception and most likely opportunists. I also had a day when I saw that murder story in the news (as the trial is now) a couple of days ago and felt very nervous indeed walking that day but thankfully, on one of the many times I looked over my shoulder, I saw 2 figures on the horizon with rucksacks and waited til they caught up and asked to walk with them - 2 dutch men in their 70s who were marvelous company for the rest of the walk. In a nutshell - be realistic, there are pervs everywhere, plan how you'd react to being flashed at, grabbed, know that such incidents are the absolute exception, hook up with others to walk if you feel nervous (you're on a busy route so you won't be short of options)- and above all.... enjoy!! Buen camino
You did good. Sorry you had to experience that, but you handled it bravely.
Pervs like that are dysfunctional cowards, and thrive on a passive, shocked victim response, and when you didn't play that role it took all the steam out of his engine.
ultreia
 

AbbyDee

Court Jester
Camino(s) past & future
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of my 25th year, I will begin my Camino in September 2017
#47
All this talk of flashers cornering women on lonely paths has made me change my plans from walking the Madrid route to taking the bus to Burgos and just going for the Frances. Not my first preference but will probably save me a lot of unnecessary worry.
Personally, I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. These occurrences are rare, and they can happen anywhere. Both of mine occurred in my home town and in a good neighbourhood.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#48
All this talk of flashers cornering women on lonely paths has made me change my plans from walking the Madrid route to taking the bus to Burgos and just going for the Frances. Not my first preference but will probably save me a lot of unnecessary worry.
Please take the time to think about why you chose the Madrid route in the first place. Anything can happen, anywhere. I don't know that this thread should be a reason to not walk where you want to walk. It might be scary to be in a country without the language skills to deal with a flasher, but I have walked the Frances twice over 2 months and never had to deal with a flasher, and never met anyone who saw a flasher.
 

SitaClaire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the camino mid April to mid May 2017 from Madrid
#49
Please take the time to think about why you chose the Madrid route in the first place. Anything can happen, anywhere. I don't know that this thread should be a reason to not walk where you want to walk. It might be scary to be in a country without the language skills to deal with a flasher, but I have walked the Frances twice over 2 months and never had to deal with a flasher, and never met anyone who saw a flasher.
I like the idea of leaving from my arrival point, but I think I will be worried about the isolation on the way from Madrid regarding safety. It's probably easier to follow the Frances where I will be in the company of others, but I am not too social when I am walking.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#50
I like the idea of leaving from my arrival point, but I think I will be worried about the isolation on the way from Madrid regarding safety. It's probably easier to follow the Frances where I will be in the company of others, but I am not too social when I am walking.

That is the good thing also about walking the Camino Frances : you can, if you want, walk alone on long stretches. Pilgrims won't be offended if you don't hold long conversations. When you are in the albergues, again you can choose how much you want to engage in conversations. That is the beauty of walking a Camino. And if you tend to get " stuck " in a loud group : next day you can walk a bit longer or shorter to avoid them.
And if you can there is nothing wrong to get a nice private room for some nights.

Good luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017, Portugues
#52
All this talk of flashers cornering women on lonely paths has made me change my plans from walking the Madrid route to taking the bus to Burgos and just going for the Frances. Not my first preference but will probably save me a lot of unnecessary worry.
SitaClaire, I am taking the Portuguese central route and will be in SdC May 19. Let me know if you end up there at that time! =)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#53
@jagoca I am really sorry this happened to you, but you have handled it well - I'm very impressed you got his registration number and a description. That is exactly the kind of hard information the police will be able to use. I agree with your idea of staying in albergues from now on - it really is the best way of meeting other pilgrims, and amongst them you will find chivalrous men, as well as female companions.
 

JRO

Member
Camino(s) past & future
santiago to muxia
#54
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
Hi Lucy:

Just wanted you to know that my daughter (26) just completed walking the Camino, and she went alone. On the bus ride there, she started to meet people. By Day 2, she had a "group" of folks that she continued on with...sometimes part of the group was slower, sometimes part went faster, but always she had someone to be with. She never felt afraid, and described it to me in a phone call as "the best time of my life". If you wish to have some alone time, you can certainly do that, but I think that especially at the time you will be walking, there will never be a time that you can't be with others if you wish. She began 3/2/17, and reported many many people already on the trail, though that is early in general. All the usual cautions for anywhere apply as always - be alert to surroundings, and if anything makes you feel uncomfortable, leave, or find another set of people to be with. As a single woman, I probably wouldn't stay all by myself as the only occupant of an albergue, but I don't think you would even have that choice as there are many walking. GO, and have the "best time of your life!".
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés sept 1, 2015
#55
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
The trail is always easy to find and plenty of folks in front or back or beside you. I walked alone and found my friend Dave on day 2. We walked with all sorts of females on and off and felt we gave them a little comfort just being in proximity but the trail is so nice as well as all the pilgrims from around the world
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017, Portugues
#56
@jagoca I am really sorry this happened to you, but you have handled it well - I'm very impressed you got his registration number and a description. That is exactly the kind of hard information the police will be able to use. I agree with your idea of staying in albergues from now on - it really is the best way of meeting other pilgrims, and amongst them you will find chivalrous men, as well as female companions.
When I walk, my cell phone is always handy. There have been smash-and-grabs at the park where I take my dogs a lot. If a car or person sets off my internal alarm, I pretend to be messing with my phone but what I'm really doing is taking pictures of the person/car...just in case. That would be very easy to do very quickly if someone is approaching you and you are worried, you could even get a quick video!
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#58
One day visiting Washington DC carries the same risk as 23 days in Spain. Don't even look at the numbers for the resort town of Acapulco, Mexico.
 

SuzanneR

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles
#59
I walked the Northern route and the Portuguese on my own. Starting the English way in May. I understand the feeling, I was also a bit concerned before my first camino. I'm sure you'll be fine, especially that the French way is so very busy.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances; Via Podensis; Via Francigena; Via Portugues; Via Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg.
#60
Some anxiety on a first long walk is perfectly natural. In fact, I am nervous before all my long walks.

I would just make two points, one relevant to long walks and the other relevant to anxiety in general.

Much of the anxiety associated with long walks, especially the first one, is a concern/anxiety about the many unknowns you may have to deal with en route. It helps to reduce the unknown by reading as much as you can in guidebooks, in this forum and in online blogs. Spend as much time as you can spare to finalise your pack load so you don't stress about it. Do training walks so you will be confident you can handle the daily distances you hope to walk. All these things will reduce the scope of the unknown.

As for anxiety in general, there are many helpful books on 'self-talk', cognitive behavioral therapy and the like that give helpful practical advice about dealing with anxiety. Do a search to find a book that gives you insights into the causes of anxiety as well as helpful coping strategies. Just understanding the problem and its causes can give much relief to anxiety sufferers. Having coping strategies gives one a sense of being in control and that by itself can be a great relief.

Bob M
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
#61
An Irish pilgrim I met as walking told me the story of two monks approaching her ...I forgot where but on the camino.... they were in town for a day getting provisions..... invited her for a drink ... she thought coffee ... they drank wine... I won't go into the conversation that followed but it was interesting ..... but it was typical o_O ....
 

SitaClaire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the camino mid April to mid May 2017 from Madrid
#62
SitaClaire, I am taking the Portuguese central route and will be in SdC May 19. Let me know if you end up there at that time! =)
Thanks Sarah :) I have to get to Madrid by the 13th May, I am going to be in Santiago before you but it is nice to have a fellow peregrina reach out x buen Camino :)
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
#63
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
I walked alone last fall. Never felt any danger whatsoever. I even accepted rides from strangers a couple of times, something I would NEVER even consider doing in the States. Like others have said, you're only as along as you want to be, and quite often, you may be a lot less alone than you'd like - especially if you're doing the CF, it can be pretty crowded. There's some property crime along the way, so take care of your money, passport, and electronics, but as far as your physical safety, you should try to rest easy.
 
#64
All this talk of flashers cornering women on lonely paths has made me change my plans from walking the Madrid route to taking the bus to Burgos and just going for the Frances. Not my first preference but will probably save me a lot of unnecessary worry.
Hi, SitaClaire,

I'm not going to try to change your mind, since this is such a personal issue. But as someone who has walked solitary Caminos for the last 8 years or so, I never saw a flasher. I have, however, seen about five or six at different spots along the Camino Francés and the Norte. My theory is that these perverted people gravitate to where there are large numbers of women. If only one or two passes by a day, it would hardly be worth it. But again, I'm not trying to convince you, just to tell you that I have never had an issue on many caminos where I slept alone in albergues.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#66
Can I urge anyone who has any incident of someone behaving in an upsetting way towards her to please report the matter to the police promptly. It might seem unimportant or even just silly, but monitoring worrying patterns of behaviour is very very important in policing and crime prevention.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2018)
#67
I thought better to wave my poles at him than him...ahem...wave his at me :D
You did the right thing. As noted above, many of these guys are cowards and run when confronted. Puff yourself up stare them down and scream also a whistle is good. I recommend yelling a guys name sometimes that also makes them flee thinking someone's around the corner. I think having your phone set to emergency police number in Spain is also a good idea.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2018)
#68
LucyL
Please don't read the negative stories and think it's a common experience. I've traveled all over the world alone. There have been times I was a little nervous but I've had the same feelings here in U.S. as stated by others, be aware but not paranoid about your surroundings. Attitude means a lot if you go with a sense of wonder instead of fear you will send out different vibes. bring a whistle and enjoy this beautiful country and it's people!
 

MeliCunn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully.....soon! Yes! September 2016!!
#69
I walked a short Camino last September on my own. The worst I suffered was rude comments because I am not the typical pilgrim. I am not a size 2 and I am not athletic, but I managed to walk 11 miles a day. There were times that I was completely alone, but most of the time there were others around. For the most part, people were friendly and gracious, but there were also those that felt the need to stare or make rude remarks toward me. When I think back on it, I try to remember those wonderful people I met along the way, but I am human, so those hurtful glares and rude comments are part of my Camino too. Alas, this will not stop me from, hopefully, walking another Camino!!! Best of luck to you Lucy! Buen Camino.
 

Irish Bernie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017,May 2018,Sept 2018.
#70
An Irish pilgrim I met as walking told me the story of two monks approaching her ...I forgot where but on the camino.... they were in town for a day getting provisions..... invited her for a drink ... she thought coffee ... they drank wine... I won't go into the conversation that followed but it was interesting ..... but it was typical o_O ....
They obviously had bad habits ;)
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
#71
Hi Lucy,

I hope you've taken a lot of reassurance from the previous posts and I'll add my experience which I hope will also help. I walked the Camino Frances alone in September 2015, from SJPP, met a Camino amigo after one week and we walked the rest of the way together. It was one of the best experiences of my life and, because I didn't end up walking alone, I returned to Spain in April 2016...specifically to walk by myself...and did The Via de La Plata from Seville.

It was much quieter (several times I slept in albergues alone) and the very rare moments of anxiety I felt, and learning to overcome them, were part of that Camino's gift to me.

I am currently walking the Camino Primitivo alone and loving every moment of it. There are fewer people again but I never feel lonely. The local Spanish people are friendly, patient and very helpful, fellow pilgrims are friends waiting to be made and every day brings a new gift or discovery.

Fear is a healthy and natural emotion when we're about to embark on a new adventure but please don't allow it to overshadow what has the potential to be an amazing experience...as I'm sure it will be for you.

Buen Camino :)

Michele
 

Crosby

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2017)
#72
You will be fine, just take ordinary precautions. Most young women I met who were your age generally found a pretty tight group to walk with fairly early on. If you are looking for some solitude on your walk, that's available as well . I am starting out of SJPdP on April 19, maybe I will see you along the way! Buen Camino
Jay.. did you happen to attend Nichols.. class of '79?
 

Shawnae

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France May-June (2017)
#73
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)

Hey there- I know what you mean. I'm worried about unfriendly dogs, and being alone. I'm hitting the Camino Frances leaving out of SJPDD on May 13th and am looking for an open minded walking partner. By open minded I mean someone who would consider continuing on path past planned destination to get a little further on some days or lagging behind to do any necessary healing on other. I'm a 27 Female USA - first Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances
#75
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP to Santiago August 2016

Frances SJPDP to Santiago, Finnistere + Muxcia June 2017
#76
Hi everyone!
I'm a 22 year old female walking the Camino Frances by myself in 3 weeks.
I've been so excited to do it. But I've just seen a news article regarding a woman who was murdered on the Camino. I've tried to ignore it. But of course my brain is incapable of that and so ive spent the last hour googling all types of catastrophe's that have happened to girls travelling alone.
I refuse to let this stop me. But I can't pretend that it hasn't terrified me reading about girls travelling alone being targeted, so I'm hoping that someone could just help reassure me that this route isn't as terrifying as my brain is making it out to be? Anyone (women in particular) that has walked it alone, would be so grateful to hear how safe you felt and any tips for keeping safe!
Thank you so much (and sorry for being dramatic!)


I am a 22 year old female and will be doing my 2nd full Camino on my own in June, I did my first one last August and although I was there with my father we often left the hostel in the mornings at different times. I found it completely safe. It was some times scary if it was dark in the morning and couldn't see arrows so make sure to bring a small flash light! I will bring a head flashlight so that I can put it on my head whilst using my walking sticks! But there are always people around somewhere so if you ever do get a bit freaked out just wait until you see other pilgrims catching up on you and walk with them! You will also probably end up in a group of people that you all kind of walk together in the morning time and meet up in hostels with at night! By the end of week one we ended up with a group of around 10 of us waiting on each other to get ready in the morning and walking the first hour or 2 of the day with them until the sun was out/ stopped for breakfast with and then we went on to do our own thing during the day! It was like a family even though we had ownly known eachother for a week or so! Every one just looks out for each other. Just try and prepare your route in the morning and have a good idea of where you're going and follow the YELLOW arrows and if in doubt/ unsure of what way to go just ask people or wait where you are until other pilgrims come by and that way if you get lost you get lost together! You are never far away from other pilgrims particularly in May/June/July/Aug/Sept particularly if you leave around the same time as every one else in the morning! Buen Camino!! - Marie-Claire
 

typerhappy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016 Sept-Oct)
the Hungarian part of the Camino: Budapest - Lébény (2017 April)
#77
Hi Lucy! You will be totally fine! <3 I walked the Camino on my own last September-October, I was 24 (I look much younger) and it was perfectly okay. You are never really alone there... even if you're like me and prefer walking alone most of the time, there is always someone in walking distance. I felt really safe even if there was no one in sight. This April I walked the Hungarian part of the Camino.. from Budapest to (almost) Austria. It's a route less walked... I didn't meet a single pilgrim during the 9 days, I was all by myself in the 'albergues' (so called), and I felt safe there, too. But I understand your worries - I am afraid of dogs, and it was a challenge to overcome this fear on both caminos (in Romania we have many dangerous wild dogs and it's not that safe to walk in the nature). I knew I won't let my fears stop me, but I had to work on letting go the fear in the first place because I didn't want to spend my caminos worrying about this. (I had a pepper spray with me, but in the last days when I had a walking partner, he wanted to see it and I realized it was so hard to get it out - even though I was sure it's at a super easily accessible place, that it would be totally useless anyway. I left it at the airport in Santiago and could not buy a new one for this camino, but I didn't really mind.) Please do the same and don't let your fears ruin your journey! It will be amazing! Buen Camino!! :)
(There is also a facebook group I heard about while walking, a buddy system for solo female travelers who want to team up, it's called Camigas.)
 

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