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Perverts on Portuguese Camino

Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#1
Hi all,
I feel that I have to inform you solo female pilgrims that I Have encountered three disgusting perverts on my way so far.
Not once, or even twice. Three times.
I started from Lisbon and I am still on my journey and it has happened three times.
As a female, it is very scary to meet a stranger guy who put down his pants zipper and show off his penis.
I was walking alone (mostly I walk alone) on a quiet, narrow road and in the woods and again on a quiet but wide road on a Sunday afternoon.
It was outside Vila Franca de Xira and Before Albergaria-A-Nova and before Vairao.
It is just disgusting and they are sick.
I like Portugal and I have met many goodhearted Portuguese people but these experiences certainly affect my perception toward this country and I am angry that they ruined my Camino.
I am not even finished my Camino yet.
I love walking alone but now I'm so afraid of walking alone because of these guys.
What is going on in this country? Seriously.

It isn't just me but I have heard and met several other female pilgrims who experienced the same thing.

Just be aware. And bring something to protect yourself. I should have brought my bear spray.

I have reported the first one to the police and the second one was already reported by Another pilgrim and I was warned in advance. Third one I haven't. Yet.
 
Last edited:

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#3
I am sorry for your experience. Last year when I walked from Lisbon there were similar reports. There was a horrible assault of a young woman in our very close to Lisbon. It seems like all of this disgusting incidents happen early, closer to Lisbon. Partly, maybe, due to the fact that there are fewer pilgrims l. Do report everything to Police and Hospitaleros as the police are responsive. As the previous person wrote and the Albergues can spread the word.
If this is any encouragement, it seems as this is much rarer as you go north. There are more and more pilgrims the closer you get to Porto and than a lot more in Porto. I like to walk alone too but again the issues of women perpetuated by some men are even here on our Camino. Find some good pilgrims and walk with them or nearby. You can practice walking in solitude with others as you can walk in peace because you are walking with security. Together we walk alone.
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#5
I am sorry for your experience. Last year when I walked from Lisbon there were similar reports. There was a horrible assault of a young woman in our very close to Lisbon. It seems like all of this disgusting incidents happen early, closer to Lisbon. Partly, maybe, due to the fact that there are fewer pilgrims l. Do report everything to Police and Hospitaleros as the police are responsive. As the previous person wrote and the Albergues can spread the word.
If this is any encouragement, it seems as this is much rarer as you go north. There are more and more pilgrims the closer you get to Porto and than a lot more in Porto. I like to walk alone too but again the issues of women perpetuated by some men are even here on our Camino. Find some good pilgrims and walk with them or nearby. You can practice walking in solitude with others as you can walk in peace because you are walking with security. Together we walk alone.
Buen Camino
Thank you for your reply. I am already past Porto. The third one happened just this past Sunday after I walked out of Porto.
Unbelievable. Seriously..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#6
Whack them between the legs with your stick!

Or laugh and point.

Take their photo and report to the police.

Seems I saw an application on here recently that would automatically call the police
Wish I could do that when I am alone on a quiet road with no cars and people nearby. When I'm too scared, I can't take out my camera and take photo.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#7
Hi all,
I feel that I have to inform you solo female pilgrims that I Have encountered three disgusting perverts on my way so far.
Not once, or even twice. Three times.
I started from Lisbon and I am still on my journey and it has happened three times.
As a female, it is very scary to meet a stranger guy who put down his pants zipper and show off his penis.
I was walking alone (mostly I walk alone) on a quiet, narrow road and in the woods and again on a quiet but wide road on a Sunday afternoon.
It was outside Vila Franca de Xira and Before Albergaria-A-Nova and before Vairao.
It is just disgusting and they are sick.
I like Portugal and I have met many goodhearted Portuguese people but these experiences certainly affect my perception toward this country and I am angry that they ruined my Camino.
I am not even finished my Camino yet.
I love walking alone but now I'm so afraid of walking alone because of these guys.
What is going on in this country? Seriously.

It isn't just me but I have heard and met several other female pilgrims who experienced the same thing.

Just be aware. And bring something to protect yourself. I should have brought my bear spray.

I have reported the first one to the police and the second one was already reported by Another pilgrim and I was warned in advance. Third one I haven't. Yet.
Ugh. Definitely not a pleasant experience, and you've gone through it three times. So sorry to hear. So glad you reported the first two incidents, and hope reporting the third is a smooth process. Hopefully your reports can save some other women from going through the same thing.
Buen Camino for the rest of your trail.
Faith
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#8
NOTE FROM THE MODERATORS, posted whenever an incident is shared on the Forum:

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 REMOVE yourself 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.
 
#9
Hi, Jamie,
This is unbelievably bad luck, and I know what you mean about how it takes the glow off your camino. I hope you find a way to put it behind you, send the disgust packing, and get back to enjoyment and awe.

I know there are perverts everywhere, and over my years of caminos, I have probably had a total of five or six incidents. It is all starting to fade into the haze of distant memory, though, because for the last 8 or 9 years I have been walking remote and solitary caminos. Maybe this is counterintuitive, but I think the perverts are likely to be on the popular and heavily traveled caminos - Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Portugues. They wait for a lull in the traffic and strike. But I have walked thousands of kms on caminos with no other pilgrims for days and days and have never had an issue. I think the perverts are very unlike to stake out a spot on the camino olvidado, for instance, and wait for a few days till a woman walks by.

Wishing you a good ending to the rest of your walking, bom caminho, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles Nov 2018
#10
Whack them between the legs with your stick!

Or laugh and point.

Take their photo and report to the police.

Seems I saw an application on here recently that would automatically call the police
The app is ALERTCOPS you register with your details, contacts, medical issues but it’s with the Spanish Guardia Civil.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles Nov 2018
#11
Wish I could do that when I am alone on a quiet road with no cars and people nearby. When I'm too scared, I can't take out my camera and take photo.
I agree, remove yourself don't try to take a photo. After returning to my quiet town in Slovakia after my Camino on El Norte (38days walking almost always alone with no one near me) I had 2 encounters with a pervert. I just took out my phone and yelled that I’m calling the police. He jumped on his bike and left but later I realized he could attack me to take my phone. It’s a very unpleasant experience. I’ll pray for your Camino. Stay safe fellow pilgrim.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
#12
Thank you, natefaith, for the reminder.

And I very much agree with you, Laurie, that the fewer people are walking a camino, the less likely it is that you have such an experience. Maybe age comes into it too - I did my first camino at 70 some years ago (the Norte and SdC to Finisterre after following the French coast from St. Malo to Irun), have walked several others since (not the Frances) and have never had a problem.....

Anyway, don't let it spoil your camino, Jamie. Buen camino for what is left of it!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#13
NOTE FROM THE MODERATORS, posted whenever an incident is shared on the Forum:

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 REMOVE yourself 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.
I just downloaded the app, and unfortunately it will not work if you are from the United States because they insist that your passport number have eight digits and a letter and our passports do not have that. I tried every possible combination and nothing would work.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#14
I just downloaded the app, and unfortunately it will not work if you are from the United States because they insist that your passport number have eight digits and a letter and our passports do not have that. I tried every possible combination and nothing would work.
Thanks for the note, Annie. Has anyone else from the US been able to have success with the app?
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#16
Thanks for the note, Annie. Has anyone else from the US been able to have success with the app?
I just successfully downloaded and installed the app on an iPhone 8 (iOS 11.3.1).

The trick to use non-Spanish info (Passport and telephone country code) is to use the selection ~roller~ at the bottom of the screen (Passport/DNI/NIE & specific country).

¡Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
#18
Thank you for your reply. I am already past Porto. The third one happened just this past Sunday after I walked out of Porto.
Unbelievable. Seriously..

I am on my way soon to Portugal and appreciate the heads-up.
And sorry you've had this experience! May the rest of your journey be less eventful.
 

Meeshell

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#19
Hi all,
I feel that I have to inform you solo female pilgrims that I Have encountered three disgusting perverts on my way so far.
Not once, or even twice. Three times.
I started from Lisbon and I am still on my journey and it has happened three times.
As a female, it is very scary to meet a stranger guy who put down his pants zipper and show off his penis.
I was walking alone (mostly I walk alone) on a quiet, narrow road and in the woods and again on a quiet but wide road on a Sunday afternoon.
It was outside Vila Franca de Xira and Before Albergaria-A-Nova and before Vairao.
It is just disgusting and they are sick.
I like Portugal and I have met many goodhearted Portuguese people but these experiences certainly affect my perception toward this country and I am angry that they ruined my Camino.
I am not even finished my Camino yet.
I love walking alone but now I'm so afraid of walking alone because of these guys.
What is going on in this country? Seriously.

It isn't just me but I have heard and met several other female pilgrims who experienced the same thing.

Just be aware. And bring something to protect yourself. I should have brought my bear spray.

I have reported the first one to the police and the second one was already reported by Another pilgrim and I was warned in advance. Third one I haven't. Yet.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#20
There is no option for an American passport. That is the issue. I chose English because that’s my language but the English option allows only for a passport with 8 digits and a letter. Our passports have 9 digits.
Hi Anniesantiago,

I admit that the user interface is bit clunky and unintuitive (I think I needed do specify the country twice), but it does indeed work with 9 digit passports for country USA. I successfully registered mine. AlertCOPS app.jpg

I also happily confirmed my identity using my Google Voice phone number which I will continue to have access to when I use a local SIM on the Camino.

¡Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am walking part of the Camino from 2nd September to 18th, Leon to Santiago.
#21
That's awful! I am walking the Portuguese Camino in September alone. How are finding the Camino, other than the perverts. Allergies, food, scenery?
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am walking part of the Camino from 2nd September to 18th, Leon to Santiago.
#22
Thank you for your reply. I am already past Porto. The third one happened just this past Sunday after I walked out of Porto.
Unbelievable. Seriously..
I am working with a Portuguese doctor and she really praises Portugal. How expensive is it?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, (fall, 2018)
#23
Wish I could do that when I am alone on a quiet road with no cars and people nearby. When I'm too scared, I can't take out my camera and take photo.
Flashers are frightening, or at the very least, disconcerting, but not particularly dangerous. However -- I imagine it's not a good idea to take a photo or let him see that you're calling the police, for fear of having him panic and try to take away your phone. Just walk away quickly, and as you retreat, dial the 112 number to report the incident. And let it go. Your camino is more important than holding on to disgust.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#24
Even if someone else has reported an incident, it is important for you to report as well so that police can build a picture - otherwise isolated random events remain just that.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#25
Hi all,
I feel that I have to inform you solo female pilgrims that I Have encountered three disgusting perverts on my way so far.
Not once, or even twice. Three times.
I started from Lisbon and I am still on my journey and it has happened three times.
As a female, it is very scary to meet a stranger guy who put down his pants zipper and show off his penis.
I was walking alone (mostly I walk alone) on a quiet, narrow road and in the woods and again on a quiet but wide road on a Sunday afternoon.
It was outside Vila Franca de Xira and Before Albergaria-A-Nova and before Vairao.
It is just disgusting and they are sick.
I like Portugal and I have met many goodhearted Portuguese people but these experiences certainly affect my perception toward this country and I am angry that they ruined my Camino.
I am not even finished my Camino yet.
I love walking alone but now I'm so afraid of walking alone because of these guys.
What is going on in this country? Seriously.

It isn't just me but I have heard and met several other female pilgrims who experienced the same thing.

Just be aware. And bring something to protect yourself. I should have brought my bear spray.

I have reported the first one to the police and the second one was already reported by Another pilgrim and I was warned in advance. Third one I haven't. Yet.
Experienced the same last summer. I recommend always keeping other pilgrims in sight.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#26
Hi Anniesantiago,

I admit that the user interface is bit clunky and unintuitive (I think I needed do specify the country twice), but it does indeed work with 9 digit passports for country USA. I successfully registered mine. View attachment 42829

I also happily confirmed my identity using my Google Voice phone number which I will continue to have access to when I use a local SIM on the Camino.

¡Buen Camino!
Well I’ve tried numerous times so I’m not sure how you did. The version I downloaded has no USA option unless they added it while I was sleeping.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#27
Hi Anniesantiago,

I admit that the user interface is bit clunky and unintuitive (I think I needed do specify the country twice), but it does indeed work with 9 digit passports for country USA. I successfully registered mine. View attachment 42829

I also happily confirmed my identity using my Google Voice phone number which I will continue to have access to when I use a local SIM on the Camino.

¡Buen Camino!
Here are my options for country
F8018D09-6487-47F7-8808-9DFC640DB637.png F8018D09-6487-47F7-8808-9DFC640DB637.png 2980A989-D4A7-4F0F-BBB1-1DEA243DB1EC.png
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#28
Hi Anniesantiago,

Since the app is already installed on my iPhone, I can't see the installation (or change the country). I tried installing on an iPad, as suspected it is a phone only app. So, I installed it on an old Android phone, I can't remember (although it was just about 10 hours ago) if it is exactly the same, but it was similar (and somewhat clunky).. But the trick on Android (and possibly iOS) is to specify the telephone country code PRIOR to inputting the Passport number. When it knows you are in the United States it will allow a 9 digit passport number. If that does not do it on iOS, make sure there is no rolling selector at the bottom of the screen for country.

Again, I am happy that it accepted my Google Voice phone number, because I will have access to it when I am in Spain.

For others, you can get to the AlertCops app for Android or iOS via:
https://alertcops.ses.mir.es/mialertcops/

AlertCopsCountryHack.jpg

¡Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#29
@Anniesantiago, as @Latecomer has said earlier you need to click on DNI first and then select Passport from the roller menu at the bottom of the screen and then the app will accept a 9-digit number. There are actually no options for country. The country code for the telephone number is irrelevant, it works for +34 or +1 or any other country code. Hope it works now for you and buen camino!
Kathar1na is correct about Android - I deleted it there and reinstalled and it seems to not edit the passport value at all (e.g., it will take a 15 digit number). Installing on iOS felt a little different this morning, but I was multi-tasking and not paying much attention. Thanks Kathar1na!
Anniesantiago, please do update us when you figure it out because it will be helpful for somebody in the future.
¡Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#30
I just downloaded the app, and unfortunately it will not work if you are from the United States because they insist that your passport number have eight digits and a letter and our passports do not have that. I tried every possible combination and nothing would work.
Are you able to determine who the administrators of the app are?? If yes then contact them and point out the issue with US passports; from memory our Oz ones are ok - one "Alpha" and 7 or 8 numerics. Cheers
 

TulaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto to Santiago de Compostela June 2018
#33
Easy Peasy! Thanks for the info and suggestions for set up
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francais 2017, Portugues 2018
#34
Three
Hi all,
I feel that I have to inform you solo female pilgrims that I Have encountered three disgusting perverts on my way so far.
Not once, or even twice. Three times.
I started from Lisbon and I am still on my journey and it has happened three times.
As a female, it is very scary to meet a stranger guy who put down his pants zipper and show off his penis.
I was walking alone (mostly I walk alone) on a quiet, narrow road and in the woods and again on a quiet but wide road on a Sunday afternoon.
It was outside Vila Franca de Xira and Before Albergaria-A-Nova and before Vairao.
It is just disgusting and they are sick.
I like Portugal and I have met many goodhearted Portuguese people but these experiences certainly affect my perception toward this country and I am angry that they ruined my Camino.
I am not even finished my Camino yet.
I love walking alone but now I'm so afraid of walking alone because of these guys.
What is going on in this country? Seriously.

It isn't just me but I have heard and met several other female pilgrims who experienced the same thing.

Just be aware. And bring something to protect yourself. I should have brought my bear spray.

I have reported the first one to the police and the second one was already reported by Another pilgrim and I was warned in advance. Third one I haven't. Yet.
Three German girls turned around on the trail and told me about a man masturbating on the trail a few kilometers south of Caldas de Reis this morning. I caught a short glimpse of him two hundred meters ahead of us. They asked me to walk with them for a while. We didn’t see him again. Two other sets of German women reported same.
 

Sharon B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk Portuguese interior Camino route in July. Start point? Do I need maps?
#35
Hi all,
I feel that I have to inform you solo female pilgrims that I Have encountered three disgusting perverts on my way so far.
Not once, or even twice. Three times.
I started from Lisbon and I am still on my journey and it has happened three times.
As a female, it is very scary to meet a stranger guy who put down his pants zipper and show off his penis.
I was walking alone (mostly I walk alone) on a quiet, narrow road and in the woods and again on a quiet but wide road on a Sunday afternoon.
It was outside Vila Franca de Xira and Before Albergaria-A-Nova and before Vairao.
It is just disgusting and they are sick.
I like Portugal and I have met many goodhearted Portuguese people but these experiences certainly affect my perception toward this country and I am angry that they ruined my Camino.
I am not even finished my Camino yet.
I love walking alone but now I'm so afraid of walking alone because of these guys.
What is going on in this country? Seriously.

It isn't just me but I have heard and met several other female pilgrims who experienced the same thing.

Just be aware. And bring something to protect yourself. I should have brought my bear spray.

I have reported the first one to the police and the second one was already reported by Another pilgrim and I was warned in advance. Third one I haven't. Yet.
So disturbing. I experienced this in Portugal before but hoped it was an anomaly. Were the police helpful? If they warned you in advance does that mean they knew about it but didn’t do anything? I will get bear spray before starting, and thank you for the warning.
 

Sharon B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk Portuguese interior Camino route in July. Start point? Do I need maps?
#36
NOTE FROM THE MODERATORS, posted whenever an incident is shared on the Forum:

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 REMOVE yourself 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.
Is there a similar number for Portugal? All these incidents were on the Portuguese Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#39
Three

Three German girls turned around on the trail and told me about a man masturbating on the trail a few kilometers south of Caldas de Reis this morning. I caught a short glimpse of him two hundred meters ahead of us. They asked me to walk with them for a while. We didn’t see him again. Two other sets of German women reported same.
Thanks for the warning. Is that on the Portuguese, Central way?
I'm past Porto now. Is that after Porto?
Jesus...
 

anaanes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Taking the camino on 2019
#41
NOTE FROM THE MODERATORS, posted whenever an incident is shared on the Forum:

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 REMOVE yourself 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.
Please note that you have said "The app allows anyone in Spain" and she is not in Spain. Is on portuguese territory that she needs help.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2014
#42
Whack them between the legs with your stick!

Or laugh and point.

Take their photo and report to the police.

Seems I saw an application on here recently that would automatically call the police
There is an app called “AlertCops”. I recently added it to my phone. Though I’m not walking alone this time, you never know when you might need to make a report.

My ex was a cop. He warned that, at least here in the States, it’s unwise to point and laugh at someone flashing you. Clearly they’re already mentally off kilter. Laughing at them could escalate the situation.

But I love the idea of cracking their little party with my walking poles!

Sandi
 

lindacube

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte, Camino Costa, Camino Central (all 2017); Camino Primitivo + Norte (July 2018)
#43
Hi! I haven't had such an unfortunate meeting like you, but I met a lot of friendly Portuguese men who were helpful with the way on the way up from Porto and especially on the way South (I was walking backwards from Santiago to Fatima). I'm sorry to hear you have such a meeting. I was afraid a bit on the Norte as I had a bad feeling from a group of male pilgrims and so asked a male friend I made on the way but who preferred to walk alone if I could keep within viewing distance of him and of course he agreed and tried making me as comfortable as possible. Since then I have started to learn wing chun, which is a martial art that uses the attacker's strength so it's great for women! I walked my second Camino feeling much much better about being able to at least deliver a good whack with my stick and be able to at least surprise anyone who tries anything and I walked mostly alone which felt great.

So to all female pilgrims I can only recommend this martial art -> Wing Chun . Check it out. It's a good meditation also. Keep safe out there xx
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
#44
Hi all,
I feel that I have to inform you solo female pilgrims that I Have encountered three disgusting perverts on my way so far.
Not once, or even twice. Three times.
I started from Lisbon and I am still on my journey and it has happened three times.
As a female, it is very scary to meet a stranger guy who put down his pants zipper and show off his penis.
I was walking alone (mostly I walk alone) on a quiet, narrow road and in the woods and again on a quiet but wide road on a Sunday afternoon.
It was outside Vila Franca de Xira and Before Albergaria-A-Nova and before Vairao.
It is just disgusting and they are sick.
I like Portugal and I have met many goodhearted Portuguese people but these experiences certainly affect my perception toward this country and I am angry that they ruined my Camino.
I am not even finished my Camino yet.
I love walking alone but now I'm so afraid of walking alone because of these guys.
What is going on in this country? Seriously.

It isn't just me but I have heard and met several other female pilgrims who experienced the same thing.

Just be aware. And bring something to protect yourself. I should have brought my bear spray.

I have reported the first one to the police and the second one was already reported by Another pilgrim and I was warned in advance. Third one I haven't. Yet.
I have not read others responses but felt the need to chime in. I am in my last 48 hours of beautiful Portugal. I’ve been here and Spain for ten weeks with my daughters ages 11 and 13. The people are beautiful, sweet and loving.
What you describe has happened to us twice...
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#45
Don't forget the power of prayer. I l did the Portugues solo from Porto about 7 years ago. I loved Portugal, the solitude, the beautiful scenery and the kind people I occasionally met on the road. Yet, I also found some sections quite creepy - can't remember quite where though. The scariest moment was, when I was sheltering under a tree from the rain, and a van stopped near me and the driver yelled at me to get in. I realised soon after that I had been mistaken for a prostitute, like those immigrant women who were sitting at various intervals along the road. I also had to step around used condoms and soiled underwear on deserted forest paths. Very sad, and I prayed not only for my own safety, but also the poor immigrant prostitutes I passed on the road.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#46
Don't forget the power of prayer. I l did the Portugues solo from Porto about 7 years ago. I loved Portugal, the solitude, the beautiful scenery and the kind people I occasionally met on the road. Yet, I also found some sections quite creepy - can't remember quite where though. The scariest moment was, when I was sheltering under a tree from the rain, and a van stopped near me and the driver yelled at me to get in. I realised soon after that I had been mistaken for a prostitute, like those immigrant women who were sitting at various intervals along the road. I also had to step around used condoms and soiled underwear on deserted forest paths. Very sad, and I prayed not only for my own safety, but also the poor immigrant prostitutes I passed on the road.
Thanks LgLg for your reply. It's very sad to hear what's happening to the weak, vulnerable people here. I'm just a visitor here so I don't fully see what's really happening. My best guess is always far from the reality and when I realize that it shocks me and confuses me in such strong ways.
I'm getting recovered slowly now from what had happened. But certainly this will be a part of my first Portuguese Camino memories..
Sorry to hear that you had to walk through the areas you described.. It's unbelievable. Truly..
 

Anna92

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future: as much as possible!
#47
I have already finished my camino, but something similar happened to me on my way.. it was close to Ponte de Lima, on quite a frequent road. The road was surrounded from both sides with high walls and I was walking alone, when a car stopped, some man got out of the car, shouted at me and was pretending masturbation.. nothing really pleasant, mostly because there was no escape from this road due to the high walls. But I believe that it was just exceptional, most women with whom I have been talking to have not experienced something like this. Ironically, I felt more safe in nature, distant from bigger cities than closer to those cities. But it was beautiful anyway, I said to myself that I won ´t let anybody to ruin this amazing experience.
 

Maxie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,16
Ingles 15
Norte 16, 17
Finesterra /Muxia 16, 17
Primativo 16
VDLP 16
Portuguese 17
#48
Whack them between the legs with your stick!

Or laugh and point.

Take their photo and report to the police.

Seems I saw an application on here recently that would automatically call the police
Overall this is very poor advice. Do not antagonise them, they are ill and the situation could escalate very quickly. Get out of the area as quickly as possible and call the Police.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#49
Overall this is very poor advice. Do not antagonise them, they are ill and the situation could escalate very quickly. Get out of the area as quickly as possible and call the Police.
In 65 years, I and friends have been confronted by a few flashers, all of whom have shrunk and run when laughed at. I’ve never heard, not once, if one turning to violence when laughed at. If some guy comes at me waving his bits, I’m going to knock them into Sunday and call the police. You may be intimidated, which is what he wants, but I refuse!
 

Maxie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,16
Ingles 15
Norte 16, 17
Finesterra /Muxia 16, 17
Primativo 16
VDLP 16
Portuguese 17
#50
In 65 years, I and friends have been confronted by a few flashers, all of whom have shrunk and run when laughed at. I’ve never heard, not once, if one turns to violence when laughed at. If some guy comes at me waving his bits, I’m going to knock them into Sunday and call the police. You may be intimidated, which is what he wants, but I refuse!
I guess laughing at them would be no big deal but taking a photo could cause them to panic and try to retrieve the evidence.
I applaud your feisty nature.
Normally these men are younger than 65 and more than likely stronger than you, good luck with knocking them into next Sunday. Be aware of your own limitations it only takes one of them that you can't intimidate for a trip to end badly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#51
I guess laughing at them would be no big deal but taking a photo could cause them to panic and try to retrieve the evidence.
I applaud your feisty nature.
Normally these men are younger than 65 and more than likely stronger than you, good luck with knocking them into next Sunday. Be aware of your own limitations it only takes one of them that you can't intimidate for a trip to end badly.
Are they normally younger? Do you have statistics i can read? All I’ve seen except one was probably closer to 70-80. Like I said, I’ve never heard of one single instance of it turning to violence. But thanks for your concern. ;)
 

Esauro57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St.Jean Pied du Port - Santiago 23-29/7/2010 23-30/7/2014
Lisbon-Fatima-Santiago 2018..Hopefully...
#52
Get a chilly pepper spray can . they are small in size and easy to hide... but if used in the eyes temporary blinds them in case these guys attack you. I saw these selling in Italy in an armory... guess you can get them in Portugal too... but i think you can get them in bigger pharmacies too. Use only as a last resort... i think calling for help/police and getting away and reporting as soon as you can to the Police 112... it far better. I am Sorry... these things Should never happen anywhere.. let alone on the Cammino... It seems that Pilgrims historically have had to deal with robbers:- they used travel together and probably paid a Knight Templar to escort them. It seems man is not progressing but regressing ...sad. Try to stay close to other people / Pilgrims

Do not allow this to spoil your cammino! Ultreya! and Bom Cammino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#53
Get a chilly pepper spray can . they are small in size and easy to hide... but if used in the eyes temporary blinds them in case these guys attack you. I saw these selling in Italy in an armory... guess you can get them in Portugal too... but i think you can get them in bigger pharmacies too. Use only as a last resort... i think calling for help/police and getting away and reporting as soon as you can to the Police 112... it far better. I am Sorry... these things Should never happen anywhere.. let alone on the Cammino... It seems that Pilgrims historically have had to deal with robbers:- they used travel together and probably paid a Knight Templar to escort them. It seems man is not progressing but regressing ...sad. Try to stay close to other people / Pilgrims

Do not allow this to spoil your cammino! Ultreya! and Bom Cammino
Thanks.. I'm nearly close to Santiago now.. I am afraid I liked Potruguese route in general but it gave me such shock how this Camino turned out. I just hate that I have to be alert and watch out who is trying to do anythin to me when I could enjoy seeing and hearing this and that..
I am speechless honestly how frequently I feel insecure and unsafe whenever I see a car parked on the road or at the trailhead. I had two other incidents yesterday and today and I was with people. A group of Spanish-looking men at the cafeteria table outside when I was walking past started talking very loudly to me (no idea what they were saying), laughing a little . It was very uncomfortable. And today, I was walking behind two other pilgrims, a man in the parked car by the roadside was staring at me when I got automatically alert and met his eyes, then he put his finger in his mouth and made a disgusting facial expression. I later regreted that I didn't give him my middle finger and said go fuck yourself. Can you believe this? I'm losing my humanity on the Camino. What an irony..
 
Last edited:

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#55
@Jamie K , this is so sad to hear .

And the sad part is that you are constantly looking around and not enjoy yourself as you should.

Hope that you have some nice company tonight .

Wish you well and take care , Peter .
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18
#56
Driving down the Portuguese Coast we are seeing lots of women (some quite old) sitting on chairs at the start of forest roads waiting (we now know for clients) and this must be why there is a problem with this unsavoury behaviour of harassing lone female pilgrims. Be careful out there if you are a lone female and be pro active in protecting yourselves as you walk through these regions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or Norte
#57
@Jamie K : I feel so much sadness for you.
Really do not know what to say but you have my sympathy.
Do you have some nice company tonight?
I don't. I'm taking an alternative route so there are much fewer people and all new people, which I usually enjoy being off the Camino after being with the same groups of people all the time... I don't think it will make any difference anyway..
I prayed while walking alone in the foggy mountain for hours today, constantly looking around and got even lost, no beauty of nature and tranquility came to my mind but just so scared, not because of being lost but because of those occasional cars driving past me on the road.. before meeting two other lost pilgrims in the middle of nowhere. Well. I don't know if I will ever want to come back to the Camino now. This is not fun. I could enjoy hiking so much better in the wilderness back home in Canada but Camino touched me last year so I thought I could try again..
 
Last edited:

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#58
I don't. I'm taking an alternative route so there are much fewer people and all new people, which I usually enjoy being off the Camino after being with the same groups of people all the time... I don't think it will make any difference anyway..
I prayed while walking in the foggy mountain for hours and got even lost before meeting two other lost pilgrims in the middle of nowhere. Well.
Do not know when you will arrive in Santiago but if you need some nice company in Santiago do visit the Pilgrim's House at Rua Nova for some friendly faces.Closed though on Wednesday if I am correct.
Also at the Pilgrim's Office there are some Sisters active and other volunteers for a friendly chat.
You are not alone!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#60
I could enjoy hiking so much better in the wilderness back home in Canada
@Jamie K
I am so sorry that these incidents have happened to you and distressed you. I had some problems on the VdlP last fall and felt similar. It is a challenge to affirm past camino blessings when things go wrong and the decision to do another camino does not work out as we wish. But I hope that you will find the spirit to look for peace in walking "in the wilderness back home in Canada," which is what I also plan to do this summer. Buen camino wherever you walk.
Mary Louise in Calgary
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#61
Thanks.. I'm nearly close to Santiago now.. I am afraid I liked Potruguese route in general but it gave me such shock how this Camino turned out. I just hate that I have to be alert and watch out who is trying to do anythin to me when I could enjoy seeing and hearing this and that..
I am speechless honestly how frequently I feel insecure and unsafe whenever I see a car parked on the road or at the trailhead. I had two other incidents yesterday and today and I was with people. A group of Spanish-looking men at the cafeteria table outside when I was walking past started talking very loudly to me (no idea what they were saying), laughing a little . It was very uncomfortable. And today, I was walking behind two other pilgrims, a man in the parked car by the roadside was staring at me when I got automatically alert and met his eyes, then he put his finger in his mouth and made a disgusting facial expression. I later regreted that I didn't give him my middle finger and said go fuck yourself. Can you believe this? I'm losing my humanity on the Camino. What an irony..
you have done a good thing by posting, sharing your situation. So very sorry that it has been like this for you. I wish you a safe ending to your camino. You have been given some good advice about talking to people in Santiago who are there to listen and help.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#62
I am sorry this happened to you, Jamie. It sounds most unpleasant and I can certainly understand why you are now hyper vigilant. Like you, I went back to walk alone after a happy and safe first camino that I walked with family. I had several similar incidents happen to me on my second camino with the same effect. Posting about them became part of the healing process and I am still grateful for the kindness and understanding that I received from the men and the women of this forum. Take care and I hope that you learn to love the camino again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugese (11-20 may 2018)
Primitivo (september 2018)
#63
I also met one pervert after Esposende on the ocean shore. but I'm not afraid of them, since they only show they do not get close. In Russia in childhood, I saw a lot of exhibitionists perverts. they are not dangerous.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances {2016}, Portugese {2017}
#64
I'm sorry this happened to you. I was also flashed on the Portugese route between AAV & AAN. I ended up bonding at the AAN alburgue with a lovely Italian lady who experienced the same. The hospitaleria convinced us to make a police report. Despite being flashed before when hiking in Canada, this was more disconcerting. Being very tired and not speaking the language I suppose.
 

jana2017

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago 2017, Portuguese planned 2018
#65
Ah, Jamie I'm so sorry to hear this. I remember the yucky feeling from seeing this when I was in grade school. I'm very grateful to you for posting. I am just about to walk the Portuguese with my beautiful 18 year old daughter and now I'm having second thoughts - I don't want to expose her to that *&*! - maybe we'll go to the Norte.
 
#66
Ah, Jamie I'm so sorry to hear this. I remember the yucky feeling from seeing this when I was in grade school. I'm very grateful to you for posting. I am just about to walk the Portuguese with my beautiful 18 year old daughter and now I'm having second thoughts - I don't want to expose her to that *&*! - maybe we'll go to the Norte.
This is definitely a yucky thing and I am glad to see people are reporting it more frequently.

I think that the incidence of flashers is pretty evenly distributed among the Francés, Norte, and Portugués. A few reported on the Primitivo. Here’s a recent Norte report.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/warning-flashers-near-santander.56340/
I have experienced this about 4 or 5 times over the years, always on the Francés, I think. It has never happened to me on remote caminos where there are few or no other pilgrims, like Levante, Invierno, Vadiniense, Castellano-Aragonés, Ebro, Aragonés, Catalán, etc. Those caminos offer so much but they are solitary, and as far as I know, pervert-free.
 

jana2017

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago 2017, Portuguese planned 2018
#67
This is definitely a yucky thing and I am glad to see people are reporting it more frequently.

I think that the incidence of flashers is pretty evenly distributed among the Francés, Norte, and Portugués. A few reported on the Primitivo. Here’s a recent Norte report.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/warning-flashers-near-santander.56340/
I have experienced this about 4 or 5 times over the years, always on the Francés, I think. It has never happened to me on remote caminos where there are few or no other pilgrims, like Levante, Invierno, Vadiniense, Castellano-Aragonés, Ebro, Aragonés, Catalán, etc. Those caminos offer so much but they are solitary, and as far as I know, pervert-free.

Thank you so much Peregrina2000 - we'll look into those. We are flying in and out of Madrid so its easy to adjust - although we were thinking that the Portuguese would be cooler in August.
 
#68
Thank you so much Peregrina2000 - we'll look into those. We are flying in and out of Madrid so its easy to adjust - although we were thinking that the Portuguese would be cooler in August.
I honestly would not change camino plans because of scattered reports like these. But it is true that the incidence increases as the number of women passing by increases, because it creates so much more opportunity. If you are nervous about it, you could always walk with others when the camino seems to be heading off into the countryside with nothing around.
 

jana2017

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago 2017, Portuguese planned 2018
#69
I honestly would not change camino plans because of scattered reports like these. But it is true that the incidence increases as the number of women passing by increases, because it creates so much more opportunity. If you are nervous about it, you could always walk with others when the camino seems to be heading off into the countryside with nothing around.
You're probably right, its just my mamma bear instinct kicking in. I have to trust that she's a strong, bright self-assured young woman - so we'll talk about it and go from there. We loved our time on the Frances last year and have been yearning to camino again. One of the things that I loved was the kindness of of so many strangers and camaraderie of pilgrims. I remember reading an interview with the founder of Craigslist and he said that what craigslist taught him is that the vast majority of people are good and decent and far outweigh the bad apples. So, maybe we can rest in that - and be simultaneously more aware than we would have without Jamie's generous post. Here's hoping that there will come a day when this isn't an issue for our granddaughters or great granddaughters.
 

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