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Robbed on Camino Portuguese

Discussion in 'Camino Crime Watch' started by chieko, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. chieko

    chieko New Member

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    About 10km before Porto we were robbed on the camino by 2 men on the roman road stretch, calzada romana, as named in John Brierley's guide book. A photo of the exact place is shown in his guide book. The place is in the forest called Serra de Canelas on mapswithme. If you see 2 men sitting on the embankment at the start of this road, GO BACK, don't attempt to pass unless in a group. Be vigilante in this area. The police are aware of the situation.
     
  2. Thank you so much for reporting this on the forum and to the police, Chieko. I hope this can go in the Crime section or the Personal Safety section. I just heard of another attempted robbery on - I think it was the Via de la Plata - a couple of weeks ago. I'm so sorry this happened to you and hope that you are able to continue your Camino with whatever resources are available or can at least get home safely.
     
  3. NualaOC

    NualaOC Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear about your experience - it must have been very distressing. Thanks for taking the time to share this information. Wishing you well with the rest of your journey.
     
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  4. alaskadiver

    alaskadiver Active Member

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    How did they rob you? You say "we", how many people were with you and did they use a weapon or just ask for money? I'm a LEO so I'm just curious about their method.
     
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  5. grayland

    grayland Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    "LEO" = Law Enforcement Officer

    (For those who were wondering)

    More details from the OP would be useful and appreciated.
     
  6. domigee

    domigee Veteran Member

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    Next camino? I'm thinking......
    Thanks Grayland, I was, actually! :D
     
  7. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Reading @alaskadiver post I thought to myself why is zodiac sign written in capitals :rolleyes:

    Thanks for explanation @grayland !
     
  8. Jersey

    Jersey Active Member

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    Also of note
    Spain is not exactly a good country to practice self defense.
    If someone pulls a knife on ya & you take his eye out with your walking stick, you likely will have a serious problem on your hands.
     
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  9. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Can you back that up with some proof/source of information please? As far as I know, and I live in Spain (and have done so previously for several years), acting in self defense (with reasonable means) is perfectly ok before the Spanish law. Reasonable means meaning you match, or only slightly exceed, the thread that is shown towards you. Examples:

    Somebody shouts a verbal insult at you and you knife them in the heart - NOT reasonable means, even if you felt threatened.

    Somebody puts an knife at your throat and threatens to kill you and you defend yourself with your walking stick and happen to take his/her eye out with it - Reasonable means as as your life was in danger.

    BC SY
     
  10. dozer

    dozer Director of Mirth & Merriment for the Cosmos

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    I will be walking out of Lisbon on Sunday. Should be walking in the area identified about 2 weeks after. Figure local law enforcement will have resolved the situation by then. Though I will be in the company of a US Military Veteran and feel secure in the ability to defend ourselves, I would like to learn a few more specifics related to the incident. Specifically, was a weapon presented? What did they take, or attempt to take? Wallet, Phone, or complete pack? Did they make physical contact?

    Thank you for the heads up. Simply want to ensure any response on my part is properly measured and in proportion.
     
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  11. Jersey

    Jersey Active Member

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    My friend is a lawyer in La Coruna. We have discussed this at length several times. This is the way he explained it to me.
    If someone puts a knife to my throat and I happen to wrestle the knife away from him and fatally stab said criminal to death?
    I will likely be charged with murder. He said I will likely win the case after spending untold thousands of dollars. Likely but not guaranteed lol
    How am I suppose to know in the split second I took the knife off this criminal he's not going to try and get the knife back?

    I have another good friend in Madrid. Lives in a perfectly safe neighborhood. Almost everyone has steel grates on there windows. ( that they lower at night ) I asked him why.
    He said I don't want anyone breaking in while I'm asleep.
    " either I will get hurt or if I hurt him I will have a lot of explaining to do to the police.
    In no way, shape or form am I trying to suggest Spain has a crime problem.
    I feel safer in Spain than I do in the United States
     
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  12. Jersey

    Jersey Active Member

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    SYates
    The problem I have is with the part of Spanish law that says reasonable force.
    When you are in a situation where your life is being threatened, your scared to death & the adrenaline is pumping like a bat of hell,
    how is anyone suppose to act reasonable? Or with Reason?
    Almost impossible
     
  13. alaskadiver

    alaskadiver Active Member

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    HA ha Sorry about that. :)
     
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  14. Bob from L.A. !

    Bob from L.A. ! Active Member

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    That (Robbery) really "SUCKS". (That's an American term usually used when something is bad).
    Sorry to hear about this happening to you.
     
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  15. alaskadiver

    alaskadiver Active Member

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    We just want more information on the nature of the crime. No need to devolve this thread into a legal debate on self defense, but I know what I've personally had to do to a gypsy who grabbed me last year and how the local police in the vicinity reacted and apologized for the trouble she caused.

    More information on the nature of this incident would be helpful to those walking through this area.
     
  16. grayland

    grayland Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Let's try to keep the conversation on the reported incident in the original post.

    Speculation/opinion on Spanish law would best be taken to a separate thread.

    Thanks.
     
  17. Jersey

    Jersey Active Member

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    I have to agree with you on anyone speculating on Spanish law.
    As for opinions? Everyone has one lol
    But I do think it's important that foreigners should understand Spanish laws if they plan on visiting Spain.
    What many of us believe ( right or wrong ) what is self defense in our own country will be considered assault in Spain ( and many other countries for that matter )
    I'm new here on the forum and I don't mean to ruffle any feathers
    ( upset anyone ) but the main purpose of this forum should be two fold.
    First help and second educate. I'm not speaking as an ill informed American. My two best friends in the world are Spanish and my granddaughters other grandfather lived in Spain for two years.
    ( via Cuba )
     
  18. alaskadiver

    alaskadiver Active Member

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    Dude, this incident has nothing to do with Spain. It happened in Portugal. Leave it alone and let's get back on track, please.
     
  19. Jersey

    Jersey Active Member

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    I apologize. I thought Portugals self defense laws are almost identical to Spains.
     
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  20. Lurch

    Lurch Member

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    I'll back up what AlaskaDiver asks for. Like her, I was in law enforcement, though now retired, as a Robbery Dick. To those of us LEOs the devil is in the details and it is in our blood to determine just what happened. This is not for salacious reasons but because we have often dealt with these type of occurrences. Based on the info we receive we may also be able to offer some advice.

    This should not be taken as that we do not have sympathy for the victim(s), we do. We have all seen more than our share of misery on the streets, but are trained to look past that to determine just what had happened and what to do about it. I hope the OP gets back to us and hope that his fortunes continue to improve and he is able to complete his Camino journey. It is a shame that stuff like this happens but unfortunately that is life, even in Portugal.
     
  21. PathMan

    PathMan New Member

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    I think the Spanish "reasonable force" clause is common throughout Europe? It is certainly the case here in the UK and there are occasional cases where someone (a home-owner or someone defending themselves) are prosecuted for seriously injuring or even killing a perpetrator. In many/most cases, the jury will find the defendant acted "reasonably" in protecting themselves or their property, and its quite rare that this isn't the case. For example, when the home-owner has lay in wait for an attempted burglary in the dark with a loaded shot-gun in their hands and blasted the burglars on entry to the property.
     
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  22. wayfarer

    wayfarer Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Back on topic please.
     
  23. MinaKamina

    MinaKamina Active Member

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    Thank you for the warning! So sorry to hear you were robbed. That must have been so awful, whatever they took from you. Hope you are in good company and may your spirit heal soon.
    Could you explain a bit more about the situation? I suppose those two men are not glued to the embankment. Are there places where they might hide? Do they have a car?
    I hope the Portuguese Police solve this soon. Maybe they should borrow a backpack and send a decoy.
     
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  24. Zaspana

    Zaspana New Member

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    I am leaving for Coastal Way in a week. The post suddenly shifted my concern from blisters to the safety issue, which i did not see as a concern till now. I am travelling alone, woman in her middle, not really a wrestler type. Should I change my planes, and go for random wine tour instead :)....
     
  25. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Welcome to the forum @Zaspana I wouldn't change my plans just because of this. Just use the same common sense you also use at home and perhaps walk the mentioned stretch with somebody else. Also note that the OP hasn't been back to the forum since he posted this and hasn't provided any more details about how the robbery actually took place and what exactly was involved. Buen Camino, SY
     
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  26. november_moon

    november_moon Veteran Member

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    I'm still curious about what exactly happened too. I'm not a LEO (Scorpio actually - LOL - and an engineer, so I like details too).
     
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  27. alaskadiver

    alaskadiver Active Member

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    I don't think we're going to get any details. The OP who started this thread has post 3 times in 9 years :)
    I'm giving up and unwatching this thread. It's going downhill fast.
     
  28. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Also, 'robbed' can have several meanings, like in:

    I have been robbed by my bank - the fees were far too high.
    I have been robbed by buying xyz, I found it cheaper some where else.
    And yes:

    I have been robbed at knife point and lost my wallet.


    If the police is 'aware' of this, it isn't the same like 'I reported it and they now chasing the perpetrators'. Sounds, to me, like the police is aware that two men are in the area 'doing something'. Not sure if I get my point across.

    As long as the OP doesn't come back and provides more details, we will never know ... So, again personal opinion, keep calm and walk on, and just use the common sense you use at home. And for most of us 'home' is a far more dangerous area than any part of the Caminos.

    Buen Camino, SY
     
  29. RodlaRob

    RodlaRob New Member

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    Please chieko ........ just post some of the basic details everyone is asking for. This will help everyone travelling in that direction. The original post is too vague and people got off topic.
     
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  30. Lurch

    Lurch Member

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    Part of the LEO interest in this thread is terminology. All professions have their own set of words that mean a lot to them but may end up being used in a vague way by others.

    Let's say you feel a pickpocket with his hand in your, you guessed it, pocket. You turn and confront him. He is guilty (this is using California law, your state or country may vary) of Grand Theft, a felony. The exact term is theft from Person, but GT may also be for taking a firearm, taking above a certain amount of agricultural products (gotta watch how many chickens of avocados you pilfer).

    After being confronted, said person takes a swing at you and misses. This is an assault. If he connects it is a battery. Both of these are misdemeanors, all the following are felonies. If he sees a convenient lead pipe left by a pilgrim (artistic license here) and swings but misses it is an Attempt Assault with a Deadly Weapon (A/ADW) If he connects it is an ADW. If he continues to strike you about the head it can be an Attempt Murder, if you survive. If you don't it is a murder. Robbery is the taking by force or fear. If no weapon is involved it is termed Strongarm robbery, if a weapon is used, be it a lead pipe, firearm, knife or any other device you are afraid of it it just a robbery. In the last instance, in L.A. we had a robbery suspect who carried a hypo filled with what he said was blood contaminated by AIDS.

    So, you see, the devil is in the details. I do not think the OP is going to respond and do not know if the incident really took place. And I apologize for rambling on, but my professional curiosity just took control and I ended up writing an intro to criminal law. Will the madness never end!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:
     
  31. shawn corrigan

    shawn corrigan Goofyguy

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    did standard route from st.jean,finistere and 1/2 of portugal may-june 2016
    i was robbed in porto last year, i tried to post the whole thing i dont know if it got in the system, caught the guy in our room at 6 AM and beat his face, he got me back some and i got the money and passport back. he got away. 4th floor of the norte' hotel.
    the manager said lots of foreigners come with no aim to work. he was about 20 and dropped his new pack of camel cigs that is still have shawn my wife was mortified. i got caught in the breeze and a patron lady screamed,heh.
     
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  32. t2andreo

    t2andreo Veteran Member Donating Member

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    As I retired federal LEO, I will only state that I wholly concur with everything offered my my fellow LEOs, serving or retired.

    To this, I will only add something that was inculcated into me early in my career. The rules regarding appropriate force to use when confronting any threat, to myself or innocents near me, as well as use of lethal force to remove that threat were very deeply engrained into all of us trainees or probationary employees. Reactions became instinctive, and they remain so, decades later.

    As a result, we have a saying in the LEO community, which I rather suspect all US, and likely Canadian LEOs share when asked how they might respond in a threatening situation.

    "I would rather be judged by 12, than carried by 6..."

    In the first instance, you defend yourself. You meet force with enough force to eliminate the direct threat and survive, and find yourself in a court of law, being judged by a jury of 12 of your peer citizens. In the latter scenario, you did not survive, and are being carried to your final rest by 6 pallbearers.

    The choice was clear to me during my career, and remains crystal clear to this day.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  33. amorfati1

    amorfati1 Veteran Member

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    And you do know...i am presuming here... of the difference of civil law and common law, right?
    Certain matters are viewed and interpreted entirely different in the US /UK and most euro countries. The entire justicial system is based differently.
    https://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/robbins/CommonLawCivilLawTraditions.html
    (It is different not only because there's no death-penalty)
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0144818803000280

    Moderator...feel free to delete if posting deemed not OK . Cheers and thanks for your diligient moderating...C
     
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  34. MinaKamina

    MinaKamina Active Member

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    Don't know if it was the whole thing, but you did manage to post about it:

    i was able to jump from a sleep without the benefits of clothes to catch the dude
     
  35. chieko

    chieko New Member

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    Hello again,
    Firstly I say this, no one should change their plans for walking the Portuguese Camino. Myself (female) and my male friend have been in Portugal 8 weeks and have walked the Via Algarviana, Rota Vicentina, spent 2weeks hiking in Madeira, and now walking to Santiago from Azambuja about 60km north of Lisbon. In our opinion the Portuguse people are friendly and the most sincere people we have encountered anywhere.
    The reason we haven't posted again - my friend's tablet was broken during the robbery. My iPhone is old , very slow, and we have been walking 30km most days since the robbery, so we haven't opportunity to read the forum and post again.
    Here are more details; the 2 men jumped from the embankment blocking our passage and demanded money, we refused. One was wielding a stick and the other started throwing punches. I was wrestled to the ground by the man with stick, while my friend defended himself from the other. When it became apparent that I was in a very vulnerable position, my friend said 'Enough I will give you my money, if you let her go.' I was able to run away while the men continue to threaten my friend who gave them the money from his bag. The men then, fortunately, ran away.
    We were able to report to the police within the hour. They were excellent, we can't speak more highly of them. They are not doing nothing about this!
    We just ask pilgrims to be forever vigilante, only have small sums of money along with you, and if you have to walk this section of the Camino before Porto, please be extra careful on the Roman road section.
    Bon Camino
     
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  36. Thanks for returning to report more, Chieko. I was hoping there was no assault involved, but it sounds like they knew exactly how to get what they wanted. The best to you and your most impressive friend as you continue on your way.
     
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  37. Gustavus

    Gustavus New Member

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    Where are the Knights Templar when they are needed?

    [​IMG]
     
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  38. domigee

    domigee Veteran Member

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    Thank you very much @chieko for posting back. Hope everything goes smoothly for you now.
     
  39. Tio Huero

    Tio Huero Member

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    "Just the facts, ma'am." -Sgt Joe Friday
     
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  40. natefaith

    natefaith Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Thanks for the additional information @chieko. Glad you guys are safe. Take care.
     
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  41. Gregory Stegman

    Gregory Stegman New Member

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    9/2014 Camino Frances. 5/2015 Lepuy. next 6/16 ?
    Having walked several Camino's, I've noticed recently a few very undesirable people dressed in Pilgrim style outfits with backpacks who are simply waiting for an opportunity to rob Pilgrims. These low life are not Pilgrims but simply crooks.
    I had a horrible situation last year as I walked the Portuguese Camino. I bullied my way out of the sticky situation.
    We have been blessed for so many years without issues on the various Camino's.
    However as more people walk our Camino's , some attempting their first overseas trip, it like any place on the globe, there will be undesirable people waiting for an opportunity to take your hard earned bucks away.
    It doesn't help when Pilgrims open up their wallets and expose American dollars or Euro falling out in 20s and 50s in a small poor village buying a coffee.
    I keep around € 5 in my pocket to buy a drink or apple but never take out my main wallet in my backpack.
    Ok, enough. I'm in Portugal at the moment showing my wife the highlights of my camino last year. Dressed like a tourist, I'm so envious of
    Pilgrims walking past with backpacks.
     
    Rosy17, SEB, Coleen Clark and 8 others like this.
  42. WayWalker

    WayWalker Member

    Joined:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances, St. Jean to Santiago Sept/Oct 2013 Camino Finnesterre Santiago to Finnesterre Oct.2013
    Camino Portuguese Lisboa to Santiago Sept/Oct 2016
    Camino do Costal October 2016
    Variante Espiritual October 2016
    Camino Muxia Santiago to Muxia October 2016
    Please don't. The CP is safe. This is an isolated incident I am sure and the policia will surely have it resolved.
     
  43. november_moon

    november_moon Veteran Member

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    That is scary, I am very glad that you are safe and unhurt - and to hear that the police are doing something about this. We don't have the Knights Templar any more to protect pilgrims, but hopefully with help from the police, the local community, and other pilgrims, the Camino Community can prevent robberies and assaults on pilgrims.
     
  44. Lurch

    Lurch Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    looking at 2018-2019
    So it was, in fact, a robbery. I am glad the OP is OK and he did the right thing in handing over his $. As Dirty Harry said, 'a man has got to know his imitations'. If you can't win then it is time to give up.

    It is sad to think that there are criminals like this willing and able to take on several pilgrims at a time. But I doubt they would have tried it on more than 2 or if there were 2 men. This is not meant to scare away any peregrinas, but just to be honest. Best advice is to be aware of your surroundings at all times and assess the situation. If necessary give up the $ (no Euro sign on my keyboard) and remain healthy. And, let the police know ASAP. You might not get your money back but just might save another pilgrim from a similar fate.

    I have dealt with enough robbery victims to have the greatest sympathy for these pilgrims. This was not at all what they thought their journey was going to be like. I hope they stay resilient and finish their pilgrimage and may God shower his blessings on them.
     
  45. Bob from L.A. !

    Bob from L.A. ! Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Many more to come in my future God willing !
    While walking the Camino I realize one can become oblivious to their surroundings due to a number of things including fatigue, heat, lack of sleep, dehydration and too much vino the previous night etc... (LOL). When I have walk my Camino's as a habit I tend to look well beyond my immediate surroundings in anticipation of exactly the topic mentioned here (as well as cars driven by bad drivers and unruly dogs !!!!). In doing so this also allows me ample and added time to look for escape routes in the event of a misdeed.
    I have learned when walking to incorporate all my senses when (sight, sound, smell, touch) safeguarding myself against any of the above mentioned issues.
    One thing I would recommend is to not wear any type of headset over your ears, cancelling your ability to hear anything/anyone (human or animal) from approaching you from the sides or the rear. Having your vision one can see anyone approaching from in front or sometimes on your sides, but with your ears covered one cannot preempt an attack from the sides or your rear.

    Just my personal experience and opinion.... "Let's be safe out there". (Hill Street Blues).
     
    JennyH94, SabineP, SEB and 2 others like this.
  46. smileey

    smileey New Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    2013
    Hi I walked this stage today and had no problems. I LOVED this day and hope it was just a one off incident that might happen amywhere
     
    SEB, Coleen Clark and Bob from L.A. ! like this.
  47. Gregory Stegman

    Gregory Stegman New Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    9/2014 Camino Frances. 5/2015 Lepuy. next 6/16 ?
    Oh please don't do a wine tour as each night on the Camino you will be experiencing the best house wines anywhere. By now you have already commenced your Camino. As others have said, walk with another Pilgrim. I have been off air and travelling for a while, I assume the Coastal way was the Camino in Spain.
    From my last Camino in Portugal in August I still corresponded with a number of female and male Pilgrims who I met and shared some walks with. G
     
    Zaspana likes this.
  48. bunnymac

    bunnymac Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Camino(s) past & future:
    CF 2012 SJPP-Logrono, 2013 Logrono-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon
    CF August/September 2016 SJPP- Santiago
    I was just wondering where he got his info from too. I also spend about 2-3 months a year in Spain and to the best of my knowledge their self defence laws are similar to what we have recently decreed in Ireland.
     
    Bob from L.A. ! and SYates like this.
  49. MAK16

    MAK16 New Member

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    I walked the Camino Frances on my own last fall and loved it. I was scared as a single woman, older, walking alone. But that trail is well travelled and you are never on your own long. It was my intent to do the Portuguese trail, likely again on my own. I was told it is less travelled and so you don't see people as often. Should I reconsider?
     
  50. MAK16

    MAK16 New Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Sept/Oct 2016
    Waywalker, if you do decide to do this trail please post back and let us know how safe you felt. I am considering the same trip, single, female, middle, non wresler type.
     
  51. Tom Smith

    Tom Smith Tom Smith at KM 0 in Madrid

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    2017
    Thank you Grayland.....you are exactly correct. Thanks for making the remark.
     
    Bob from L.A. ! likes this.
  52. WayWalker

    WayWalker Member

    Joined:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances, St. Jean to Santiago Sept/Oct 2013 Camino Finnesterre Santiago to Finnesterre Oct.2013
    Camino Portuguese Lisboa to Santiago Sept/Oct 2016
    Camino do Costal October 2016
    Variante Espiritual October 2016
    Camino Muxia Santiago to Muxia October 2016
    I did the CP in August/Sept of 2016. No incidents and felt completely safe. It is less traveled than the CF route so more isolated.
     
    Bob from L.A. ! likes this.
  53. WayWalker

    WayWalker Member

    Joined:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances, St. Jean to Santiago Sept/Oct 2013 Camino Finnesterre Santiago to Finnesterre Oct.2013
    Camino Portuguese Lisboa to Santiago Sept/Oct 2016
    Camino do Costal October 2016
    Variante Espiritual October 2016
    Camino Muxia Santiago to Muxia October 2016
    I did not feel any threats on the CP at all. I did feel some strange energy on the CF a few times.
     
    Bob from L.A. ! and MAK16 like this.
  54. Reija

    Reija Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Finland/Germany
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Francés 2016, Caminho Português 2017, (Ulm-Constance 2017)
    My reply is based solely on my gut instincts, I have no facts to give. I've now walked both routes (the Portuguese only between Porto and Santiago). Both times I walked with my daughter. We felt safer on CP, never got any bad vibes, never felt threatened. Well, actually, while entering Valenca, my daughter got unnecessary and unpleasant attention from men. That was the only negative incident. That happened much much more on CF, especially in Rioja. Even if there are less pilgrims on CP, we still never felt like we were far from people or help, if needed. On CF, however, we felt sometimes a bit scared. Incidents like a car that kept driving by so many times, it made us nervous. A few times we just had a funny gut feeling that told us to be very alert and seek the company of other pilgrims.
     
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  55. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
    I suppose it is inevitable that the low-lifes will seek out those places they know are likely to provide victims. The lesser known caminos may actually be less of a target, but with no "security in numbers".
     
    Bob from L.A. ! likes this.
  56. Bob from L.A. !

    Bob from L.A. ! Active Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Many more to come in my future God willing !
    Dirty water will seek the lowest levels...
     

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