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how safe is the camino Frances for a woman on her own?

Forrest

New Member
I am new to this forum and plan to do this route in 2011. I suspect it is perfectly safe as I have not heard or seen anythign to the contrary, but I wonder if other lone women have felt completely comfortable?
 
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Sansthing

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
French Camino (2009), French Camino (2011), Via de la Plata (2012), Camino Inglês (2014),
I walked the Camino Frances in May/June this year on my own and never felt uncomfortable or threatened at all. Don't worry, just use commonsense and you'll be fine. The important thing is to relax and enjoy your Camino.

Sandra :arrow:
 

Ajda

Member
I walked form SJPDP to Santiago in july/august this year. I walk alone. I did felt completely comfortable. 90% of time. It was only one day i didnt felt completely comfortable. It was a day when a walked from Terradilos de los Templarios to Burgo ranero. I didnt know there are two ways - and i choose the less popular ( via Calzadila de los hermanillos). And i was alone all day. :? I mean, really alone. From 9.oo till 14.00 i saw just 2 people (on bikes). It was't really comfortable. But nothing dangerous or something like that.

I love this way, but i wouldn't go alone there again. With one peregrino/a, ok, but not alone.

Camino is safe, but ...people are just people. So, common sense...and everything will be ok.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Ajda:
It´s so wide-open and deserted out there that even the perverts can´t be bothered to go! I think you´d have more problems in the city.

I love that camino stretch, and have spent many hours out there, alone. And I am a girl.

Rebekah
 
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Ajda

Member
Rebekah Scott said:
Ajda:
It´s so wide-open and deserted out there that even the perverts can´t be bothered to go! I think you´d have more problems in the city.

I love that camino stretch, and have spent many hours out there, alone. And I am a girl.

Rebekah


Rebekah, I guess you are right. It is a really wonderful stretch.
But... i didn't know there are two ways, and it was really scarry for me not to know - why I'm alone? Where are the other pilgrims? Am I lost? really not the most comfortable situation.

When i'm looking back - it was nice walk, but my mind wasn't ready for this kind of stretch. I was thinking i'm walking "the ordinary" way.
And the shock, when i came to Calzadilla.... and i thouht it is Bercianos. And another shock when i discovered that in alberg is no hospitaliero or pilgrims. :shock: :? :|
At the end i decided to walk on the main street to Burgo Ranero.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
yes. in those situations it´s really great to have a good guide book! You must´ve been scared. I don´t mean to demean your experience, really.

Come back again and I´ll walk it with you!
Reb
 

elzi

Active Member
Personally I always feel a lot safer on the empty countryside stretches where there is noone around. It's in the cities where I sometimes I feel uncomfortable as a woman alone and often in the evening when I look more like a tourist than a pilgrim.
A lot of the fear is in your head, everytime I set out alone I am scared for the first half hour of the first day and then I relax. Occasionally I'll be walking alone through a forest or something and a guy will appear holding something like a big stick or a massive sharp farming tool and I'll give myself a heart attack and do you know what happens? They usually smile and say "Buen Camino!" :D
It makes me sad when women say they are too scared to walk the camino alone, it's not an experience you should miss out on. The occasional scare story reminds me to be careful but lots of women walk alone every year and almost all survive!
I always find folks are extra friendly and understanding if you are walking alone and lets face it it's best to keep your wits about you whether you are walking alone or not!
Go for it! Buen Camino!
 

Ajda

Member
Rebekah Scott said:
yes. in those situations it´s really great to have a good guide book! You must´ve been scared. I don´t mean to demean your experience, really.

Come back again and I´ll walk it with you!
Reb

You are right, the only day on my camino I read a guide book - it was at the evening of this day. And you didn't demean my experiance :)

I'll come back (hope so) and i'll let you know. Or better - i'll come to Moratinos (if i remembered corectlly you are living there) and visit you). :)
 

Ajda

Member
elzi said:
Personally I always feel a lot safer on the empty countryside stretches where there is noone around. It's in the cities where I sometimes I feel uncomfortable as a woman alone and often in the evening when I look more like a tourist than a pilgrim.
A lot of the fear is in your head, everytime I set out alone I am scared for the first half hour of the first day and then I relax. Occasionally I'll be walking alone through a forest or something and a guy will appear holding something like a big stick or a massive sharp farming tool and I'll give myself a heart attack and do you know what happens? They usually smile and say "Buen Camino!" :D
It makes me sad when women say they are too scared to walk the camino alone, it's not an experience you should miss out on. The occasional scare story reminds me to be careful but lots of women walk alone every year and almost all survive!
I always find folks are extra friendly and understanding if you are walking alone and lets face it it's best to keep your wits about you whether you are walking alone or not!
Go for it! Buen Camino!


I totally agree - 90% of fears are just product of our head. And i knew that fears are just in my head. But - it was Spain, not my home country, i dont speak spanish... So... it's ok (in my opinion) to be carefull. In one moment (on this day to Calzadila de los hermanilos) i saw a man in read T-sirt who was running into the forrest. And i was alone. I was so afraid, i just took my phone and typed 112. Just in case. But - of coures - it was just a farmer (i think) on bike. If i wouldn't be so tired and scared, i guess i would laugh to my self.
And really sad for this lady who who do not have the courage to walk te Camino alone.
 
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Marycamino

New Member
Hi,

I felt completely safe as a woman alone on the camino in August 2009 even though the temperature was so hot that I needed to walk before dawn with a head torch to get 5-10kms done before sunrise most days. You know the other pilgrims are never far away because of the music of the batons on the ground! I must say it was rare to be alone because I always talked to the people around me in whatever language I could muster up and I walked in a group of people which formed naturally one evening in an albergue. There were Spanish, German, Franco-anglaise, and Peruvians - all ages 25-50. We keep in touch now and I'm planning the next camino at Easter with my daughter and Spanish friends from that group. It was really a great experience ... don't hesitate to go alone - you'll have more contacts with others! ( I only met 2 English people on the path, mainly Spanish, German, Italian, French ... but if you like languages it's a great place to share)
 

cete46

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2012
When walking with my husband in 2003 we met a Canadian on her own who walked with us from Los Arcos to O'Cebreiro. Between Triacastela and Sarria we were joined by a Brazilian lady who asked for protection as she had just found out her walking companion was a murderer! We calmed her down and talked a while, then she spotted the young man again & said she had to clear the air & confront him. It was a question of "lost in translation" The young Swiss guy in question was a "Lady-Killer" Some time later we saw him on the bus TO Finisterre with one lady friend, whom he saw back onto the bus 2 days later before finding his next lady friend! My husband overheard him telling his bus companion that his mother had told him that ladies on their own in this sort of situation are looking for a man! So apparently he thought he was doing what Mum had told him. Fortunately this is a rare occurence & you should be quite safe!
 

cete46

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2012
An upbeat thought - last year at our dinner table we had a young Parisian lady walking on her own. Someone asked her if she felt vulnerable, she said her friends had asked the same question. She told them firmly NO! She explained - I live in an appartment complex which houses 5,000 (yes five thousand) people, I hardly know anyone. If I went for a walk on the streets of Paris & fell & hurt myself no-one would stop to help me. If I am on the Camino & I get into difficulties I KNOW someone will be along soon who WILL help me. Happy Walking!
 

Portia1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
When I was walking, I stumbled off a curb and cut my head open (I have blood spatters on my pack as a fond remembrance!). You would not believe the number of people who rushed to assist and offer bandaids, etc. I went by myself and I am glad for it. It gave me far more flexibility over all and other than a few times in the darkness in the cities, I did not fear when walking by myself. And the fear I experienced was more about getting lost than anything else!
 
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cooker1200

New Member
I finished the Camino Frances about 6 weeks ago. I was traveling with a male friend but often we would hike on our own and have a plan to meet for lunch or a stop somewhere midday. One day my friend was hiking about a meter behind me, I was hiking alone. I couldnt see any hikers in front of me or behind me. I had a man that came out from behind trees with his pants off doing a lewd act. It scared the hell out of me. I screamed until my friend heard, he came running up and actually tried to chase the man down. I think I had felt too safe in the beginning and let my guard down. from that day on, I made sure I could always see hiker in range. From where the man positioned, I felt like I wasnt the first girl he had done this to.
 

k-fun

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
It is amazing how many people who have not walked long distances ask if it is safe not only of me but also of my spouse. It is a sad commentary on the lack of trust of others and or perhaps a fear of the unknown. While hiking the Camino de Santiago this year, I interviewed many women...none expressed a fear of walking alone, some welcomed the fact that they were alone, and all were enjoying themselves. I asked one woman who was visually impaired and walking alone if she was afraid of getting lost. She said that if she could not find the arrows, she simply waited until someone came along to show her the way. Some women who came alone found walking partners; others found friends to join for the evening after having spent the day alone. Also depending on the season, one is not alone for a long time; there are many pilgrims.

For the most part, my husband and I walked as a couple. The few times that we walked apart, I never was fearful but appreciative of the peace and tranquility of being outdoors and enjoying the beauty of the surroundings.
 

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