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!!!Second man masturbating naked on the camino del norte!!!

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seaseeker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del norte
I’m consternated to inform that today, unfortunately I came across a second man naked jacking off in the woods. I hike alone.
The first one around Liendo, on the 9th of October, the exact location for those of you who have the app ‘what3words’ is [///ailing.prickles.trespass]. He was a young man on his late twenties with a mountain bike, upon turning left on the road I found him jacking off half naked, but as soon as he saw me he got startled and stopped, and I walk as fast as I could from there, but didn’t report to the police thinking it was just an odd occurrence.
Second time was today in Ruiloba, just before entering Comillas nearby a gas station Repsol, the exact location was [///snare.offset.tarnish] on the app ‘what3words’.
This time was worse, I was hiking downhill, super chilled singing my song and I come across this man on his late 50’s half naked, jacking off, the moment he saw me he came walking towards me whilst holding his penis and saying I don’t know what, because Spanish is not my mother language. I runned as fast as I could almost falling downhill at 12 km/h according to my watch and called the police as soon as I gained some distance whilst keep looking over my shoulder to check if he wasn’t coming on my way. The police met further away nearby the city centre of Comillas and got the description and exact location where it happened and went away.
The albergue owner where I am told me is not the first time and it happened recently with a German lady staying at Comillas.
So my advice, do a different route from Sierra and take the sea route even if it’s on the highway or get a cab, bus train from Santillana del Mar till Comillas.
I am fine although shocked and literally wondering what the f@ck is wrong with these men jacking off in the middle of nowhere, I mean, is this a thing?
Anyway have a safe and buen camino everyone.
 
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Sincere sympathies to Seaseeker on a repeat of this clearly distressing incident.

I think I’m fairly ‘aware’ of what’s going on around me day-to-day and I’ve only once heard of something similar happening in an area where I live in the past 50 years yet reports of this outrageous behaviour are not infrequent on a forum which represents (in population terms) a fraction of those present in a very large country.

(Rhetorically) - what the hell’s wrong with these people?
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
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Sincere sympathies to Seaseeker on a repeat of this clearly distressing incident.

(Rhetorically) - what the hell’s wrong with these people?
This is not normal male behaviour. They need mental help. Disgusting.

So sorry you had to experience this. Twice.
 
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No words @seaseeker. I'm so sorry.
Great you now have AlertCops on your phone - but I hope you do not need it! You totally did the right thing reporting this. It's the only way anything changes.

We can talk all we like about what we'd do if we'd been in your shoes, but none of us are. So just sending well-wishes for a buen (better!) camino from here on out.
 
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Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Hi @seaseeker. A range of thoughts and reactions when I read your post. Appreciation that you reported it here on the forum and to the police, with clear language and precise information including the exact location in both cases. Feeling the shock when you realised that the man was approaching you and saying or shouting something in your direction. Nodding in agreement that your immediate reaction was to gain a safe distance. And finally anger. Immense anger that these men dare to invade our public space and our camino space. And continue to dare to do so.

I'm just curious about something. You write: I called the police as soon as I gained some distance whilst keep looking over my shoulder to check if he wasn’t coming on my way. The police met further away nearby the city centre of Comillas and got the description and exact location. Could you explain this a little further. When you called 112, did they tell you to continue walking to a place where the police will meet you? And if so, was it far?

Have a Buen Continued Camino. I know you will. ☺️
 
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seaseeker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del norte
Hi @seaseeker. A range of thoughts and reactions when I read your post. Appreciation that you reported it here on the forum and to the police, with clear language and precise information including the exact location in both cases. Feeling the shock when you realised that the man was approaching you and saying or shouting something in your direction. Nodding in agreement that your immediate reaction was to gain a safe distance. And finally anger. Immense anger that these men dare to invade our public space and our camino space. And continue to dare to do so.

I'm just curious about something. You write: I called the police as soon as I gained some distance whilst keep looking over my shoulder to check if he wasn’t coming on my way. The police met further away nearby the city centre of Comillas and got the description and exact location. Could you explain this a little further. When you called 112, did they tell you to continue walking to a place where the police will meet you? And if so, was it far?

Have a Buen Continued Camino. I know you will. ☺️
Hello thanks for the reply. As I was speaking to the police they were asking me where was I. I’ve said it but kept running, there was no way I would be waiting for the police and allow that son of a b* catch up with me. So as they kept redirecting me to the local guardia civil of Comillas I was still running fast away from where it happened.
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Hello thanks for the reply. As I was speaking to the police they were asking me where was I. I’ve said it but kept running, there was no way I would be waiting for the police and allow that son of a b* catch up with me. So as they kept redirecting me to the local guardia civil of Comillas I was still running fast away from where it happened.
Thanks. I am not joking when I say that it felt as if my own heart was beating faster when I read how fast you ran to gain a safe distance: 12 km/h as registered by your watch. Phew. And again: sending some cyber hugs and Buen Camino!!!
 
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walkinglover

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, '16 and '18; Portuguese '17; Ingles - 19
I’m consternated to inform that today, unfortunately I came across a second man naked jacking off in the woods. I hike alone.
The first one around Liendo, on the 9th of October, the exact location for those of you who have the app ‘what3words’ is [///ailing.prickles.trespass]. He was a young man on his late twenties with a mountain bike, upon turning left on the road I found him jacking off half naked, but as soon as he saw me he got startled and stopped, and I walk as fast as I could from there, but didn’t report to the police thinking it was just an odd occurrence.
Second time was today in Ruiloba, just before entering Comillas nearby a gas station Repsol, the exact location was [///snare.offset.tarnish] on the app ‘what3words’.
This time was worse, I was hiking downhill, super chilled singing my song and I come across this man on his late 50’s half naked, jacking off, the moment he saw me he came walking towards me whilst holding his penis and saying I don’t know what, because Spanish is not my mother language. I runned as fast as I could almost falling downhill at 12 km/h according to my watch and called the police as soon as I gained some distance whilst keep looking over my shoulder to check if he wasn’t coming on my way. The police met further away nearby the city centre of Comillas and got the description and exact location where it happened and went away.
The albergue owner where I am told me is not the first time and it happened recently with a German lady staying at Comillas.
So my advice, do a different route from Sierra and take the sea route even if it’s on the highway or get a cab, bus train from Santillana del Mar till Comillas.
I am fine although shocked and literally wondering what the f@ck is wrong with these men jacking off in the middle of nowhere, I mean, is this a thing?
Anyway have a safe and buen camino everyone.
This is why a woman shouldn't walk alone, or at a minimum, keep other pilgrims in sight of her.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
I'm just glad that the what3words came out appropriately 😁.

I really don't think this is a reason why women shouldn't walk alone. These stupid things can happen absolutely anywhere, and thankfully, are very rare everywhere. It sounds like the O/P did all the right things.
 

El Cascayal

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
This is why a woman shouldn't walk alone, or at a minimum, keep other pilgrims in sight of her.
This is NOT a reason why women shouldn’t walk alone. Women don’t need to be further threatened, harassed, intimidated or worse.
This is a reason to educate, report and jail those who behave like this. Safety and freedom to walk for all Peregrin@s!
@seaseeker so glad you are safe and reported it. Buen Camino Peregrina!
 

Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
I think a woman should not be forced to give up solitude because of some other person's behavior. Seaseeker was correct in alerting us, and suggesting too that this area may be a hot spot to avoid for a time. It could have been a vicious dog, or a dangerous section of highway, all valid concerns to take action to mitigate, but, I don't think telling a woman she needs to be accompanied to walk or hike is the solution. That said your sentiment walkinglover was grounded in care I think, and that is never a bad thing!
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
This is why a woman shouldn't walk alone, or at a minimum, keep other pilgrims in sight of her.
Not advice that I would give or heed. And it is illusionary and not a solution as there will always be women pilgrims who walk on their own.

My opinion: this is why each and every incident of this sort must be reported; followed up by police; offender must be found and sanctioned; reported in news media; everyone must learn that there will be consequences and that it is not worth it to risk these consequences.
 
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HaveringRob

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
This is why a woman shouldn't walk alone, or at a minimum, keep other pilgrims in sight of her.
You could not be more wrong. THIS is why men shouldn't accost, harass, and sexually aggress against women. The actions of a few individuals should not hold all of us hostage, which is the outcome of your proposal. I understand that you are trying to ensure that women are safe, but you are going about it in a wrong-headed way. The problem is not women walking alone -- the problem is that men are masturbating in public in the hopes of frightening women travelers. Such behavior is a type of sexual terrorism and the response should focus on the perpetrator, not the victim.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
This is why a woman shouldn't walk alone, or at a minimum, keep other pilgrims in sight of her.
This is Not why women shouldn't walk alone. This is why men should take responsibility for their own actions. If they have to jerk off, they can do it in the privacy of their own home, except that some probably get a thrill from being intimidating. Women should not have to give up their right to roam freely, that takes away part of the reason for many to set out on a solo çamino. Sorrt, I am not anti men, just anti men who put women in this intimidating situation.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I'm just glad that the what3words came out appropriately 😁.

I really don't think this is a reason why women shouldn't walk alone. These stupid things can happen absolutely anywhere, and thankfully, are very rare everywhere. It sounds like the O/P did all the right things.
This is absolutely true.
I once bicycled past a man on the Burnside Bridge in Portland, Oregon who was exposing himself and masturbating away! I had to swerve my bike to miss him! That was probably 20 years ago. My girlfriend and her 5 year old daughter were walking to their car in a supermarket parking lot (this must be 30 years ago) and a fellow drove up and exposed himself. Her response was, "Oh LOOK Megan! Like a penis, only smaller!" He turned red and drove away in a hurry. I've always wished I could think that quickly!
 

JamesVT

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
I’m consternated to inform that today, unfortunately I came across a second man naked jacking off in the woods. I hike alone.
The first one around Liendo, on the 9th of October, the exact location for those of you who have the app ‘what3words’ is [///ailing.prickles.trespass]. He was a young man on his late twenties with a mountain bike, upon turning left on the road I found him jacking off half naked, but as soon as he saw me he got startled and stopped, and I walk as fast as I could from there, but didn’t report to the police thinking it was just an odd occurrence.
Second time was today in Ruiloba, just before entering Comillas nearby a gas station Repsol, the exact location was [///snare.offset.tarnish] on the app ‘what3words’.
This time was worse, I was hiking downhill, super chilled singing my song and I come across this man on his late 50’s half naked, jacking off, the moment he saw me he came walking towards me whilst holding his penis and saying I don’t know what, because Spanish is not my mother language. I runned as fast as I could almost falling downhill at 12 km/h according to my watch and called the police as soon as I gained some distance whilst keep looking over my shoulder to check if he wasn’t coming on my way. The police met further away nearby the city centre of Comillas and got the description and exact location where it happened and went away.
The albergue owner where I am told me is not the first time and it happened recently with a German lady staying at Comillas.
So my advice, do a different route from Sierra and take the sea route even if it’s on the highway or get a cab, bus train from Santillana del Mar till Comillas.
I am fine although shocked and literally wondering what the f@ck is wrong with these men jacking off in the middle of nowhere, I mean, is this a thing?
Anyway have a safe and buen camino everyone.
I’m so sorry this happened to you and glad that you are safe. You made good decisions and protected yourself (and others by notifying the police). The acts of these men are weird, deviant behavior, not really clearly explicable to others who are not troubled in the way that these two men are. I hope you still will be able to enjoy the remainder of your time on the Camino. Good luck going forward. I will keep you in my thoughts.
 
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I am horrified that this should happen to any woman anywhere and I sympathise deeply over your horrific experience. As a man I cannot truly imagine how awful this has been for you. I am particularly angry that this second occasion happened on a stretch of the route I know really well, not only from my own Camino a couple of years ago but from walking here with my wife and daughter on a number of occasions while staying at Ruiloba. I just hope this does not spoil your whole Camino.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
What a way to mess up your Camino. Even though it was reported to the police after the fact, it is so important to do so. By documenting it now may assist with further victimization's to others as well as assist with apprehension and prosecution at a later date of the violator in your matter and/or someone elses
 

Pipmahoe

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances June 2018
Central Portuguese April 2019 8 weeks post hip replacement!
Aww thats a shame, I hope you don’t allow 2 idiots to spoil your Camino experience. I’m not sure how I’d react if that happened to me, I feel so sad when I read those things.
Thank goodness for modern technology, I’ve just uploaded the two apps that have been mentioned on this thread.
Be strong and keep walking on your way. For theses two horrible humans there are thousands more, but they are kind, gentle, caring people.

bon Camino 😀👣💕
 

Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
I've been thinking on this post a bit and will share, that since COVID I find there are a lot more socially unacceptable behaviors ( I run a very large, public community park and we have had to engage security for our big farmers market and other events for this reason) that have been unleashed, and as such I am bringing a very small, but quite effective retractable steel billy club with me that I walk with normally. It is invisible in my hand, and likely will never see the light of day, but if I am alone or I come across a dog I can not sweet-talk or calmly walk away from, I have something between me and whomever. For this reason, I will be checking my bag. I don't want fear to prevent me from doing something I want to do, but I also know my physical limitations and potential outcomes given a bad situation.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
I’m consternated to inform that today, unfortunately I came across a second man naked jacking off in the woods. I hike alone.
The first one around Liendo, on the 9th of October, the exact location for those of you who have the app ‘what3words’ is [///ailing.prickles.trespass]. He was a young man on his late twenties with a mountain bike, upon turning left on the road I found him jacking off half naked, but as soon as he saw me he got startled and stopped, and I walk as fast as I could from there, but didn’t report to the police thinking it was just an odd occurrence.
Second time was today in Ruiloba, just before entering Comillas nearby a gas station Repsol, the exact location was [///snare.offset.tarnish] on the app ‘what3words’.
This time was worse, I was hiking downhill, super chilled singing my song and I come across this man on his late 50’s half naked, jacking off, the moment he saw me he came walking towards me whilst holding his penis and saying I don’t know what, because Spanish is not my mother language. I runned as fast as I could almost falling downhill at 12 km/h according to my watch and called the police as soon as I gained some distance whilst keep looking over my shoulder to check if he wasn’t coming on my way. The police met further away nearby the city centre of Comillas and got the description and exact location where it happened and went away.
The albergue owner where I am told me is not the first time and it happened recently with a German lady staying at Comillas.
So my advice, do a different route from Sierra and take the sea route even if it’s on the highway or get a cab, bus train from Santillana del Mar till Comillas.
I am fine although shocked and literally wondering what the f@ck is wrong with these men jacking off in the middle of nowhere, I mean, is this a thing?
Anyway have a safe and buen camino everyone.

Love how you handled situation.

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I've been thinking on this post a bit and will share, that since COVID I find there are a lot more socially unacceptable behaviors ( I run a very large, public community park and we have had to engage security for our big farmers market and other events for this reason) that have been unleashed, and as such I am bringing a very small, but quite effective retractable steel billy club with me that I walk with normally. It is invisible in my hand, and likely will never see the light of day, but if I am alone or I come across a dog I can not sweet-talk or calmly walk away from, I have something between me and whomever. For this reason, I will be checking my bag. I don't want fear to prevent me from doing something I want to do, but I also know my physical limitations and potential outcomes given a bad situation.
You really might want to think again, or at least do some research. I don’t know Spanish law on carrying offensive weapons - I suspect it’s more relaxed than in some other western-European countries given that pepper spray is sold; but in the UK that billy-club would be categorically illegal.
 

Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
You really might want to think again, or at least do some research. I don’t know Spanish law on carrying offensive weapons - I suspect it’s more relaxed than in some other western-European countries given that pepper spray is sold; but in the UK that billy-club would be categorically illegal.
Good suggestion. Yes I will inquire.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I am bringing a very small, but quite effective retractable steel billy club with me that I walk with normally... I have something between me and whomever.
I see no benefit in carrying this, and see several disadvantages. It would be hard to use walking sticks while you have something else in your hand. Walking sticks are more multi-functional, and emphasize the positives of your journey rather than being a constant reminder of a remote negative situation.

I have been allowed out, even to cross the street by myself, since I was 7 years old. Some day maybe I will again be stopped from going out alone, but it hasn't happened yet.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
You really might want to think again, or at least do some research. I don’t know Spanish law on carrying offensive weapons - I suspect it’s more relaxed than in some other western-European countries given that pepper spray is sold; but in the UK that billy-club would be categorically illegal.
Quick google search appears to show that the legal situation is roughly the same in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium as in the UK: individuals are not allowed to carry telescopic billy-clubs in public as weapon of self-defence. In some of these countries you can buy them, in others not, or you can keep them at home or not but carrying in public is not generally allowed. OK, this may no stop someone from doing so. Also, I vaguely remember that in Spain it may be particularly difficult to claim self-defence if you hit and injure someone because you think you may be in great danger but cannot prove it.

But I find this discussion beside the point. What would I do if I were in the same situation as @seaseeker described it: run/move quickly away or wait/walk towards the person and initiate battle with my walking poles or any weapon that I have ready in my hand waiting to be used? I think that I would do what @seaseeker did: remove myself from the situation as quickly as I can and call the police as quickly as I can.
 
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Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
I see no benefit in carrying this, and see several disadvantages. It would be hard to use walking sticks while you have something else in your hand. Walking sticks are more multi-functional, and emphasize the positives of your journey rather than being a constant reminder of a remote negative situation.

I have been allowed out, even to cross the street by myself, since I was 7 years old. Some day maybe I will again be stopped from going out alone, but it hasn't happened yet.
Thank you for your thoughts. I have no intention of walking with it clutched in my hand, it would be accessible only. For me it is not a negative and would or will not detract from my experience, I walk all the time with it tucked in my pocket. We have wild pigs in the hills the size of small cars, and just last week a man that was high as a kite blocked my path, I managed fine without it, but I was happy to have it accessible. The world is not the same as it was when anyone was 7, even for eight year olds. I don't anticipate ever needing it, nor am I advocating it for anyone other than myself. The jackwagons that the young lady encountered are harmless until they're not. Diligence, common sense, etc does mitigate most things.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
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(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Is pepper spray possible to buy in in Spain, and if so; where?
 

Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
Quick google search appears to show that the legal situation is roughly the same in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium as in the UK: individuals are not allowed to carry telescopic billy-clubs in public as weapon of self-defence. In some of these countries you can buy them, in others not, or you can keep them at home or not but carrying in public is not generally allowed. OK, this may no stop someone from doing so. Also, I vaguely remember that in Spain it may be particularly difficult to claim self-defence if you hit and injure someone because you think you may be in great danger but cannot prove it.

But I find this discussion beside the point. What would I do if I were in the same situation as @seaseeker described it: run/move quickly away or wait/walk towards the person and initiate battle with my walking poles or any weapon that I have ready in my hand waiting to be used? I think that I would do what @seaseeker did: remove myself from the situation as quickly as I can and call the police as quickly as I can.
Thank you for that information.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I think @seaseeker did everything right and I commend her and hope the rest of the journey is uneventful. My two cents on some comments: I wouldn’t laugh, make jokes, point or take pictures. Things can escalate. I wouldn’t carry a weapon—men’s reach exceeds ours, as does their strength (in general)—it can be taken away and used on you. The only thing I would have done differently is dropped my pack to increase my speed and distance…it’s just stuff, you can return with police to get it. For this reason, as well as potential for falling into water, I think pilgrims of both genders should be familiar enough with their pack that they can release all connections and drop it in the dark at a moments notice.

Safe travels
 
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Icetea

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I’m consternated to inform that today, unfortunately I came across a second man naked jacking off in the woods. I hike alone.
The first one around Liendo, on the 9th of October, the exact location for those of you who have the app ‘what3words’ is [///ailing.prickles.trespass]. He was a young man on his late twenties with a mountain bike, upon turning left on the road I found him jacking off half naked, but as soon as he saw me he got startled and stopped, and I walk as fast as I could from there, but didn’t report to the police thinking it was just an odd occurrence.
Second time was today in Ruiloba, just before entering Comillas nearby a gas station Repsol, the exact location was [///snare.offset.tarnish] on the app ‘what3words’.
This time was worse, I was hiking downhill, super chilled singing my song and I come across this man on his late 50’s half naked, jacking off, the moment he saw me he came walking towards me whilst holding his penis and saying I don’t know what, because Spanish is not my mother language. I runned as fast as I could almost falling downhill at 12 km/h according to my watch and called the police as soon as I gained some distance whilst keep looking over my shoulder to check if he wasn’t coming on my way. The police met further away nearby the city centre of Comillas and got the description and exact location where it happened and went away.
The albergue owner where I am told me is not the first time and it happened recently with a German lady staying at Comillas.
So my advice, do a different route from Sierra and take the sea route even if it’s on the highway or get a cab, bus train from Santillana del Mar till Comillas.
I am fine although shocked and literally wondering what the f@ck is wrong with these men jacking off in the middle of nowhere, I mean, is this a thing?
Anyway have a safe and buen camino everyone.
I am very sorry that we share similar experience , it is very disturbing.
My conclusion after this type of event
1. Get a whistle
2. Make friends with other pilgrims if you haven't yet , exchange your phone numbers, make sure you are leaving little before or together depending on your and their pace . This trick helped me to feel safe and being sure somebody I know is front of me or behind , even after I never had to use it. Also I made two great Camino friends :)
3. If you check my post , in that particular location I was advised to go through the village not through the official route on Buon Camino app.
4. Get the police app just in case, I had it after , never had to use it since.
5. Haven't done myself but sounds good . have chilli powder at your front pocket , bum bag etc :)
this is my experience : https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...an-in-outskirts-of-aviles-near-salinas.70739/
all in all i manage to deal with fair and it was all fine in the end :)
 

seaseeker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del norte
A similar thing happened to me just after Santillana del Mar...I'm glad you are safe and I hope these perverts stop doing this to innocent hikers.
One more reason for people to avoid this stage between Santillana del Mar and Comillas.
 

Icetea

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
One more reason for people to avoid this stage between Santillana del Mar and Comillto be hone

One more reason for people to avoid this stage between Santillana del Mar and Comillas.
I think it can happen anywhere , so avoiding any particular stage will not save the day . I heard after when I shared my experience that's it's more likely to happen in outskirts of bigger towns. I think being aware , reporting it this is really important, and as I said no matter that I love independence etc. After my event I took a decision to be more with a flow of people ,not necessarily being two steps away but knowing they are there :)
 

seaseeker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del norte
I think it can happen anywhere , so avoiding any particular stage will not save the day . I heard after when I shared my experience that's it's more likely to happen in outskirts of bigger towns. I think being aware , reporting it this is really important, and as I said no matter that I love independence etc. After my event I took a decision to be more with a flow of people ,not necessarily being two steps away but knowing they are there :)
I just read your post and I am so sorry you had to go through a similar disgusting experience.
All in all , between our ordeals and another german lady that was at the same albergue I was in Comillas, we are talking about 4 sexual assaults within 3 months between Cantabria and Asturias. I really don’t like the sound of that.
I keep walking because I don’t want a bad experience define my camino and like others pointed out, there are thousands of good and kind natured people across the Camino.
My only immediate hindsight was that I could definitely teach him a lesson, it just startled me and my initial reaction was run. But I did regret not handling him, him being smaller and much older than me, me with walking sticks, a knife and being quite bigger and younger could definitely defend myself, but then I was warned by locals that is very difficult to claim self defense if anything happened. That usually there is this bs of using ‘excessive’ force ie.: somebody breaks into your house with a knife and you use your gun you would most likely be guilty of using disproportionate force to defend yourself.

Either way I feel bummed and disturbed that there are a few too many deranged men out there lurking in the Camino.
For those suggesting I should walk with people in sight, that has proven almost impossible, as I have ashtma I usually gasp for air, specially on hills, so is hard to keep the same pace and I don’t want to hold anyone behind.
Having said all of that, women should be encouraged to walk whatever way they want, solo or accompanied, but keep walking and always report any issue, this way we can protect each other’s now and prevent in the future.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I have no intention of walking with it clutched in my hand, it would be accessible only
I wasn't very clear. My point was that walking sticks are alway in my hands, anyway, and the reason that hiking poles are not permitted in the airplane cabin is that they are potential weapons. I doubt that a billy club would be much more effective than a sturdy metal hiking pole.
 
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Ivan_Prada

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
Whenever I read about a situation encountered by the OP, makes me think about my wife and daughter if they are confronted with such event.

As a former practitioner of martial arts, what the OP did, is the first rule of self defense by finding a escape and getting away from the assailant. Try to get the best description of the assailant and report the incident to the authorities.

Self defense is a matter of awareness of your surroundings and common sense. It is a battle for survival. Running, yelling, whatever it takes to save your life.

For those that walk with trekking poles, they can be easily used as weapons. All you need to learn how! They are long enough to keep the assailant at a distance, many have used them when approached by dogs on the Camino. You are defending yourself from the dogs!

My suggestion is go around your community and look for places that offer self defense classes just to awaken the preservation instinct. On YouTube, you can fund many videos that shows self defense using a staff, these techniques can be easily adapted.

Better be ready, safe than sorry.

Here is a link that I found in YouTube.

 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I trained in Aikido for many years. Beginner uke’s (attackers) were always great bc they didn’t know how to attack “the right way”. The best defense: be aware (no ear pods in both ears) and put distance between you and the other person so you don’t need to see if self defense tactics really work. One night a 6th degree black belt asked me to walk with him to the nearby ATM after class so he could withdraw money. I made a joke about it as we walked. He said my job was to help keep an eye out but mostly just by being there it decreased the odds he’d have to do anything. His goal was avoid having to fight someone. Which isn’t to say we all need to pair up—I certainly won’t, but we do need to pay attention to our surroundings and try to avoid seeing if our carbon fiber hiking poles will snap if we hit someone with them, or if they will get wrenched out of our grip.

While this video could very well be staged, I’ve seen beginners do something similar to instructors or senior partners and think of it every time someone mentions relying on their martial arts training.

 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Perhaps it’s unfortunate that his or her comment was not better expressed but I cannot see that the comment either ‘blamed the victim’ as an earlier post said or said that it was ‘her fault’ as a later post suggested.
Independent of who wrote what and who replied what, there is an interesting angle to this. I'm both surprised and pleased to see how many reactions there are of posters who do not approve of the suggestion that "this is why a woman shouldn't walk alone, or at a minimum, keep other pilgrims in sight of her". I find that over the course of my now long life there has been a change in thinking; we don't accept any longer that we must change our behaviour. The point here is, yes, we all know, that there are places and situations where it would not be wise to go at all or go alone, for men and women alike. But we reject the proposition that the Camino de Santiago, rural, semi-rural, non-urban, is such a place.
 
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