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Wallet stolen in León

Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#1
My wallet with credit, debit and insurance cards plus $400 in cash was very deftly stolen in Leon. I am now in Astorga at Hotel Coruna. When I got here the woman who I was told was the owner (and her sister) was very helpful and suggested I wire money to their bank. I was advised by my bank this was common. After 3 hours on the phone I wired 1k to their bank. I now have to pay everything in cash including my ticket home and it was quite expensive to do so I went for top dollar. Today the woman has vanished. No one who is here (at least five people) can manage to communicate with me and no one knows anything about a transfer. I have no money and everything within walking distance is sold out. May have a place to stay tomorrow.
I have caught both illnesses moving among the pilgrims so stayed 3 days resting in Leon. Now there is festival here so all is closed fri-Sunday. I will have to go to the bank on Monday but since it is In Their account I don’t think they will give it to me. The guy at the desk now is unconcerned at told me to go ahead and call the police. After I talk directly to the bank (waiting a total of six days here) I guess I will do that. Then I am going home as fast as I can get there.
I believed in this journey but this has been so awful and scary. All my friends have gone far ahead so I dont know anyone now and I am Debby Downer. My big dream has become a huge nightmare.

Please see post #42 below from REBEKAH SCOTT UPDATING THIS POST.

"Things are working out. The Hotel Coruna is NOT run by criminals, bank transfers take days to arrive, and the OP is on her way to a cozy safe place in Castrillo de los Polvozares. "
 
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Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#2
Very sad story indeed.

Try to contact your bank as soon as possible (maybe they can withdraw the Transaction and of course they have to invalidate the credit Card and everything).

And inform the Police. There is a central phone for foreigners in Madrid: +34 902 102 112.

You should also try to contact your embassy.

As you are now in Astorga, try to walk to Astorga tomorrow, is is about 20 km. In refugio San Gaucelmo there are englisch-speaking hospitaleros because thies albergue is run by the CSJ.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#4
I feel so bad for you. I am so sorry this has happened. If you are going to stay in Astorga for a few days, can your bank send you a new debit or credit card? It might be easier to navigate either the rest of the camino, or leaving Spain if you have the new card in hand.
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#5
Astorga is sold out and closed down for festival. I called my bank and it is too late to cancel the wired funds. They cannot send a new card since I don’t have established reservations anywhere which is why I wired so much.
Very sad story indeed.

Try to contact your bank as soon as possible (maybe they can withdraw the Transaction and of course they have to invalidate the credit Card and everything).

And inform the Police. There is a central phone for foreigners in Madrid: +34 902 102 112.

You should also try to contact your embassy.

As you are now in Astorga, try to walk to Astorga tomorrow, is is about 20 km. In refugio San Gaucelmo there are englisch-speaking hospitaleros because thies albergue is run by the CSJ.[/QUOTE

Thank you this is helpful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#6
BTW banks are closed in Europe on Mondays, so you will be waiting until Tuesday.
Sorry to say but but your story sounds to similar to the Internet scams where a friend writes to say they have been robbed and need funds wired to them, i.e. the scammer.
You need to see the police ASAP!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#7
BTW banks are closed in Europe on Mondays, so you will be waiting until Tuesday.
Sorry to say but but your story sounds to similar to the Internet scams where a friend writes to say they have been robbed and need funds wired to them, i.e. the scammer.
You need to see the police ASAP!
Good advice about the police!
But @biarritzdon, my bank (in Spain) is open on Mondays :confused:
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#8
When I got here the woman who I was told was the owner (and her sister) was very helpful and suggested I wire money to their bank. I was advised by my bank this was common.
@jkberry, I am truly sorry about what happened and don't really know what to think of this story. See the police in any case, as already advised by others.

Tomorrow Friday 12 October is a national holiday ("festivo") in Spain.

Someone suggested to go to Albergue Gaucelmo in Rabanal as it is run by English volunteers but I think it is better to stay in Astorga and see the bank first thing on Monday. I don't know about Spain but "in Europe" banks are not closed on Mondays as a rule. If you do want to travel home, it is also easier to leave from Astorga than from Rabanal.

Since communication in Spanish is difficult for you, perhaps you can find helpful English/Spanish speaking pilgrims or hospitaleros in one of the albergues in Astorga?

Perhaps also change the title of the thread to something like "Wallet stolen - looking for help in Astorga"?

Since no-one has mentioned it: it is not common to wire money to someone else's account who you don't really know. A common method is to use Western Union money transfers where you can pick up money by yourself at the agency and there is apparently an agent in Astorga; it's at the post office (Correos y Telegrafos). Just for info for other readers.

Best of luck!!!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
#9
I am so sorry all of this has happened to you. Please do call/see the police asap with the information that you have. In the case of wire fraud, once the money is wired, it's gone. However, you have the bank information of the recipient and it seems that someone at that hotel knows these people (the first post states that someone else indicated one of the sisters was the owner?), so that will be valuable information for the police.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
#10
It is a horrible thing to happen on your first Camino, but don’t despair. There are more good Samaritans than thieves on the Camino, and I have no doubt that if you can explain your situation to fellow pilgrims, even if only in sign language, they will contribute to an emergency fund to tide you over until you can make a secure transfer as suggested by other forum members. I had a similar experience, though not on the Camino, on the first day of my journey, as a result of which I lost a sum of money but regained my trust in the generosity of strangers. Best wishes for some pilgrim beneficence!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#11
I was pickpocketed in Madrid prior to the start of my first Camino. I lost all my money, credit and debit cards. My husband sent me money via Western Union until I received my replacement cards which I had sent to a pension that I knew I would be passing (of course I got their okay first)
So sorry that this has happened to you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#12
nightmare stuff - if you have a few coins phone Gaucelmo refugio in Rabanal - is only a day walk up to it. It is an English (CSJ) refugio and they will be able to help you. At the very least you will be amongst English speakers. Is even possible that one of the hospitelaros arrived by car and can pick you up.

don't be alone - it is bad enough as it is - their phone is (+34) 987 631 647

good luck, and do let us know how you get on xx
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#14
@jkberry , I am so sorry this has happened.
I believed in this journey but this has been so awful and scary. All my friends have gone far ahead so I dont know anyone now and I am Debby Downer. My big dream has become a huge nightmare.
Vulnerability can be so scary and this is a deep dive into it. @David gave good advice - because it's a big thing to feel so alone with all of this. The up side is that this is the Camino and help can come from surprising places.
One thought is to contact Kim at the Stone Boat. She's in Rabinal and may be able to help get you steady on your feet again.
https://www.thestoneboat.com/
And I hope you can find someone who is bilingual to help you straighten out the transfer mess - under the circumstances it's understandable to assume the worst, but it may yet 'come out in the wash.'
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#15
You are directly between Peaceable Kingdom in Moratinos, and Stone Boat in Rabanal. The Divine Triangle! We are Camino people, native English speakers, dedicated to helping out pilgrims in need. Please call Kim at 652 66 05 04, she is one day's walk from Astorga. I am farther back, east of Leon, near Sahagun, at 648 854 765. Breathe deep. This is just a bump in the road...
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#16
@jkberry , I am so sorry this has happened.

Vulnerability can be so scary and this is a deep dive into it. @David gave good advice - because it's a big thing to feel so alone with all of this. The up side is that this is the Camino and help can come from surprising places.
One thought is to contact Kim at the Stone Boat. She's in Rabinal and may be able to help get you steady on your feet again.
https://www.thestoneboat.com/
And I hope you can find someone who is bilingual to help you straighten out the transfer mess - under the circumstances it's understandable to assume the worst, but it may yet 'come out in the wash.'
BTW banks are closed in Europe on Mondays, so you will be waiting until Tuesday.
Sorry to say but but your story sounds to similar to the Internet scams where a friend writes to say they have been robbed and need funds wired to them, i.e. the scammer.
You need to see the police ASAP!

As soon as I see the bank and congirm a crime I will call the police. Until then I don’t feel it makes sense.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#19
You are directly between Peaceable Kingdom in Moratinos, and Stone Boat in Rabanal. The Divine Triangle! We are Camino people, native English speakers, dedicated to helping out pilgrims in need. Please call Kim at 652 66 05 04, she is one day's walk from Astorga. I am farther back, east of Leon, near Sahagun, at 648 854 765. Breathe deep. This is just a bump in the road...
Thank you for your helpful suggestions
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#20
@jkberry I think @biarritzdon meant that you may have been a victim of a similar type of scam. I don't think he intended to infer that you are a scammer yourself!

So sorry that this has happened to you, and especially difficult that all this has happened just before a holiday weekend. Do take up the suggestion of calling Kim or Rebekah, living locally they may be able to advise and assist - moral support and comfort also very important at such a time!

NB: It would be worth checking that the post office in Astorga (Correos, where the Western Union office is located) isn't open this Saturday, as it normally is and the actual holiday is Friday - you could perhaps have some emergency funds wired there if that's a possibility for your family.

Good luck!
 
#22
hi @jkberry ... this is kim at the stone boat in rabanal. rebekah just sent me a message. if you would like, i have a room waiting for you tomorrow anytime after 1pm. one idea would be if you are not feeling able to walk (you mentioned the flu) - you could sleep in late/rest in astorga and then take a taxi here to arrive at 1pm (i can take care of the cab fare when you arrive). this way you are able to rest and things can get sorted out from here. i also know the ladies at the hostal coruna. we can talk more about it when you arrive *edit ... a quick note to ease your mind a bit is that the woman who works in the morning (with the long hair) is the only one who speaks english. in my experience, she has always been very kind to pilgrims. i think she has another job as well, so maybe she will be there tomorrow morning and all will be well.

i have a full house here at the stone boat tonight and am headed to sleep. i will check for a message in the morning. just let me know how i can help. - kim
 
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Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#23
Correos has prepaid mastercards that can be filled up through your netbank, cost 6 euros I think.
Sorry to hear about this, I know the feeling of being robbed since I was robbed at the train from the airport in Barcelona luckily on my way home from the camino some years ago.Lost money, creditcards. passport.
Hope your money shows up!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#24
jkberry - this may seem brutal, unkind, but I do not mean it so. On Camino we can be unexpectedly faced with events that bring us to a brink; desperation, loss, despair - true crisis .... not the Camino we imagined, not at all, but definitely the Camino we have been given - but, believe me, believe me, this does not mean that what is happening is "bad", it is just that it is - a confrontation with something deep within, some Karmic thing, something unknown that has finally caught you up, something necessary to face. Camino can do this, life certainly does - and it is attitude which will decide what happens to you next.

Remember Shakespeare in Hamlet? "there is nothing good nor bad until the mind make it so".

Can I give an example? Many many decades ago I bought an old coach, a 56 seater, and converted it into a motorhome, a living van. I was visiting some friends in Oxfordshire, and had parked up and walked my laundry to the village where there was a laundromat. As my bedding spun in the dryer I was reading a book where the main person in the story lost everything (wartime blitz bomb) and I remember wondering what that would really feel like. Fire engines went by, blue lights and sirens. Twenty minutes later one of my friends arrived in tears to tell me my coach was on fire - an electrical fault I guess.
Everything I owned in the world was in that coach. Cash money hidden behind speaker grills in the roof, passport, driving licence, bank cards, clothing, private letters, address book - everything I had.
Everything, except what was in my mind and the dryer - Gone.

I stayed in the house of my friends, lost, completely lost. The media came and took photographs of me in front of the burnt out wreck and it was on the front page of the Oxford newspaper.

Then, on the Saturday, three days later, the three girls in the house insisted they were taking me to a music bar in Oxford as I needed to get out. I went, reluctantly, but I went. A few minutes in, standing at the bar, I felt someone touch my bum - actually my back pocket. I reached in and found a £5 note rolled around a toothbrush. What I didn't know was that the evening was a music benefit for me - at the end of the evening, seriously drunk from all the alcohol people I didn't even know kept buying me, I had five toothbrushes in my back pocket and a few hundred pounds in cash, as the band played for free and there was a big collection for me. I cannot tell you how emotional I felt.

The next day a big box arrived by courier - I opened it and it was three complete sets of brand new clothing, from underwear up, for me from my ex-wife (whom I still love, and always will).

The very next evening, as we sat, drinking wine and talking about what I would - or could - do next, a young Irish man, slightly drunk I think, rang the doorbell and was let in. He said that his father owned Sunshine Coaches in Oxford, had seen my living van driving around and had told his sons that this was what he wanted to do, to retire, give the business to his sons, convert a coach, and go back home to Ireland and spend his last years travelling around and visiting his memories and that when he saw the front page news of my coach burnt to cinders it upset him terribly. So he sent his eldest son to offer me, free, another coach, and to take away the burnt out one.
He had me take it for a drive (gorgeous coach) and I - against his will but I told him he deserved publicity for this act of charity - phoned the newspaper and arranged my collection of the coach at Oxford bus station. They came, and put it front page (you can check all this by doing archive search) - and when he arrived and handed over the marvellous coach he had serviced it, given it a brand new mot, filled the tank, and also added me to his company insurance for a fortnight to allow me time to get sorted.

So, after that total annihilation disaster of losing everything I owned I ended up with hundreds of pounds in my pocket, three sets of new clothing, a new vehicle, better than the one I lost - oh, and five toothbrushes! (and the very unexpected knowledge that I was loved by many, some whom I didn't even know - humans, gotta love them!).

My point here, after this long and rambling tale, is that nothing is bad - it all just is ... and if you flow with it, like an otter floating gently downstream on its back on a turbulent river holding an apple in its paws, All Will be Well.

All Will be Well!!

So your Camino is not like other Caminos, for sure ... but, jkberry, trust the Universe, trust what is happening, relax, surrender into it - trust God if you like - because of your need the universe will respond and you will be meeting the kindest humans - and All will be Well.. All is well xx

Buen Camino to you xxxx
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#25
hi @jkberry ... this is kim at the stone boat in rabanal. rebekah just sent me a message. if you would like, i have a room waiting for you tomorrow anytime after 1pm. one idea would be if you are not feeling able to walk (you mentioned the flu) - you could sleep in late/rest in astorga and then take a taxi here to arrive at 1pm (i can take care of the cab fare when you arrive). this way you are able to rest and things can get sorted out from here. i also know the ladies at the hostal coruna. we can talk more about it when you arrive *edit ... a quick note to ease your mind a bit is that the woman who works in the morning (with the long hair) is the only one who speaks english. in my experience, she has always been very kind to pilgrims. i think she has another job as well, so maybe she will be there tomorrow morning and all will be well.

i have a full house here at the stone boat tonight and am headed to sleep. i will check for a message in the morning. just let me know how i can help. - kim
Beautiful. Just beautiful. 100 likes, Kim.
@jkberry , this is the camino too. And as @David says, it's misfortune in the short term to be sure, but in the long term who knows what will unfold from this?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#26
hi @jkberry ... this is kim at the stone boat in rabanal. rebekah just sent me a message. if you would like, i have a room waiting for you tomorrow anytime after 1pm. one idea would be if you are not feeling able to walk (you mentioned the flu) - you could sleep in late/rest in astorga and then take a taxi here to arrive at 1pm (i can take care of the cab fare when you arrive). this way you are able to rest and things can get sorted out from here. i also know the ladies at the hostal coruna. we can talk more about it when you arrive *edit ... a quick note to ease your mind a bit is that the woman who works in the morning (with the long hair) is the only one who speaks english. in my experience, she has always been very kind to pilgrims. i think she has another job as well, so maybe she will be there tomorrow morning and all will be well.

i have a full house here at the stone boat tonight and am headed to sleep. i will check for a message in the morning. just let me know how i can help. - kim

And here we have in Kim a good heart, an open heart, a kind heart, a generous heart - cherish this jkberry - the benevolent universe is providing; unfolding right in front of you, and you are blessed - not a bad Camino after all .... xxxx
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#27
Can I give an example? Many many decades ago I bought an old coach, a 56 seater,
10 X Like ;)

What a wonderful story @David and thank you so much for sharing it.

I think one of the great lessons I have learnt so far from walking the Camino, is this......

SxxT happens. And at first I would sometimes react with frustration, or anger or disappointment or whatever.

But I soon learned that maybe, just maybe, these things happen for a reason. And I started to adopt the attitude that 'OK that screwed up', but maybe something really cool is supposed to happen instead. Or maybe this was to draw my attention to something I was going to miss?

And in every case, something better happened. Maybe because I was open to it or looking for it, but it did.

Whilst you are not feeling too great right now @jkberry , I suspect we'll soon hear that all is well and some amazing people have helped you to get back onto your journey.

Your Camino isn't over yet ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#28
10 X Like ;)

What a wonderful story @David and thank you so much for sharing it.

I think one of the great lessons I have learnt so far from walking the Camino, is this......

SxxT happens. And at first I would sometimes react with frustration, or anger or disappointment or whatever.

But I soon learned that maybe, just maybe, these things happen for a reason. And I started to adopt the attitude that 'OK that screwed up', but maybe something really cool is supposed to happen instead. Or maybe this was to draw my attention to something I was going to miss?

And in every case, something better happened. Maybe because I was open to it or looking for it, but it did.

Whilst you are not feeling too great right now @jkberry , I suspect we'll soon hear that all is well and some amazing people have helped you to get back onto your journey.

Your Camino isn't over yet ;)
Good man! Exactly so (wish I had written that!!) :) xx
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#30
My wallet was lifted in Barcelona. I called the U.S. Consulate, which was completely useless. I had money wired from home and picked it up at the Correos. The various credit and debit cards were not replaced until I got home.

It is stressful and inconvenient to lose everything in your wallet, but keep working for a solution. Accept help from Kim or Rebekah. It will reduce the stress if not the inconvenience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP
April 2016, August 2017, May 2018
Camino PortuGUESE
May 2019
#31
Dear @jkberry, tears were streaming down for your situation and the positive responses. But "tears are just wet prayers" so trust that you'll be looked after. Maybe you will be given the job of warning others on the rest of The Way. To be taken advantage of, not once but twice would be disheartening especially when your energy is low. (Lot's of lemon juice, rest etc) this type of thing will never happen to you again.
All the very best.....the police will be of great assistance hopefully.
Xxx
Miki Goldie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#32
I was pickpocketed in Madrid prior to the start of my first Camino. I lost all my money, credit and debit cards. My husband sent me money via Western Union until I received my replacement cards which I had sent to a pension that I knew I would be passing (of course I got their okay first)
So sorry that this has happened to you!
Trecile, I am sorry to hear you, too, were robbed in Madrid before starting your first Camino. I hope the OP will be like you, and not give up on the potential joy that can come from continuing to walk her camino now, or in the future.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP april (april2019)
#33
jkberry - this may seem brutal, unkind, but I do not mean it so. On Camino we can be unexpectedly faced with events that bring us to a brink; desperation, loss, despair - true crisis .... not the Camino we imagined, not at all, but definitely the Camino we have been given - but, believe me, believe me, this does not mean that what is happening is "bad", it is just that it is - a confrontation with something deep within, some Karmic thing, something unknown that has finally caught you up, something necessary to face. Camino can do this, life certainly does - and it is attitude which will decide what happens to you next.

Remember Shakespeare in Hamlet? "there is nothing good nor bad until the mind make it so".

Can I give an example? Many many decades ago I bought an old coach, a 56 seater, and converted it into a motorhome, a living van. I was visiting some friends in Oxfordshire, and had parked up and walked my laundry to the village where there was a laundromat. As my bedding spun in the dryer I was reading a book where the main person in the story lost everything (wartime blitz bomb) and I remember wondering what that would really feel like. Fire engines went by, blue lights and sirens. Twenty minutes later one of my friends arrived in tears to tell me my coach was on fire - an electrical fault I guess.
Everything I owned in the world was in that coach. Cash money hidden behind speaker grills in the roof, passport, driving licence, bank cards, clothing, private letters, address book - everything I had.
Everything, except what was in my mind and the dryer - Gone.

I stayed in the house of my friends, lost, completely lost. The media came and took photographs of me in front of the burnt out wreck and it was on the front page of the Oxford newspaper.

Then, on the Saturday, three days later, the three girls in the house insisted they were taking me to a music bar in Oxford as I needed to get out. I went, reluctantly, but I went. A few minutes in, standing at the bar, I felt someone touch my bum - actually my back pocket. I reached in and found a £5 note rolled around a toothbrush. What I didn't know was that the evening was a music benefit for me - at the end of the evening, seriously drunk from all the alcohol people I didn't even know kept buying me, I had five toothbrushes in my back pocket and a few hundred pounds in cash, as the band played for free and there was a big collection for me. I cannot tell you how emotional I felt.

The next day a big box arrived by courier - I opened it and it was three complete sets of brand new clothing, from underwear up, for me from my ex-wife (whom I still love, and always will).

The very next evening, as we sat, drinking wine and talking about what I would - or could - do next, a young Irish man, slightly drunk I think, rang the doorbell and was let in. He said that his father owned Sunshine Coaches in Oxford, had seen my living van driving around and had told his sons that this was what he wanted to do, to retire, give the business to his sons, convert a coach, and go back home to Ireland and spend his last years travelling around and visiting his memories and that when he saw the front page news of my coach burnt to cinders it upset him terribly. So he sent his eldest son to offer me, free, another coach, and to take away the burnt out one.
He had me take it for a drive (gorgeous coach) and I - against his will but I told him he deserved publicity for this act of charity - phoned the newspaper and arranged my collection of the coach at Oxford bus station. They came, and put it front page (you can check all this by doing archive search) - and when he arrived and handed over the marvellous coach he had serviced it, given it a brand new mot, filled the tank, and also added me to his company insurance for a fortnight to allow me time to get sorted.

So, after that total annihilation disaster of losing everything I owned I ended up with hundreds of pounds in my pocket, three sets of new clothing, a new vehicle, better than the one I lost - oh, and five toothbrushes! (and the very unexpected knowledge that I was loved by many, some whom I didn't even know - humans, gotta love them!).

My point here, after this long and rambling tale, is that nothing is bad - it all just is ... and if you flow with it, like an otter floating gently downstream on its back on a turbulent river holding an apple in its paws, All Will be Well.

All Will be Well!!

So your Camino is not like other Caminos, for sure ... but, jkberry, trust the Universe, trust what is happening, relax, surrender into it - trust God if you like - because of your need the universe will respond and you will be meeting the kindest humans - and All will be Well.. All is well xx

Buen Camino to you xxxx
Wow....made my day!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#34
If I understand your first posting correctly, it is a thousand US which has been ... misdirected. As it is over 400 euro, that becomes a different class of offence in Spain, and you should definitely contact the police. Others have given useful suggestions, upon which I cannot improve. I had a wallet lifted in Barcelona, on the first hour of my 2018 pilgrimage, and it is most disconcerting. Best of luck.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#35
@jkberry, my heart goes out to you having to endure this emotional roller coaster you find yourself on. So hard I'm sure to "wait it out" until things can hopefully get resolved. In the mean time you have been given some excellent advise from knowledgeable and compassionate forum members.

I have read about crafty pickpockets over the years at train stations, airports, and major tourist attractions, so I try to be careful and keep my valuables in my front belly bag, zipped inside a private compartment within.

I was very surprised to read of four forum members on this thread who have been the victims of pickpocketing thieves in Leon, Madrid and two in Barcelona. May I ask where your wallets were kept at that time? In hindsight could you have done anything differently to avoid being robbed? I'm asking in order to gain insight on how to become more aware as I always think "it won't happen to me."
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#36
@Camino Chris. My wallet was in an inside zippered pocket. My passport was underneath my shirt in a carrier and I think that, henceforth in Barcelona, I would keep my wallet in the same way or in a moneybelt underneath my clothes. When I reported it to the Mossos, the constable said that the thieves in Barcelona are the most skilful in the world but told me that it was only money, my passport had been spared, and I had not been hurt, conclusions with which I could not argue. My friend in Barcelona who came to lunch with me in Igualada had been robbed three times, once at knifepoint. The Canadian consulate in Barcelona has a fulltime staff member occupied with replacing stolen passports.

I never worried on the Camino itself, although I was (I think) sensible, but public transport and railway stations and airports in Madrid and Barcelona are perhaps some of the worst places in the world for pickpocketry. I thought I was careful, but clearly I was not careful enough.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#37
I’m so sorry to hear about your story. Even if you tried, you couldn’t choose a better place to be a foreigner stuck in an unfamiliar country with an unfamiliar language with no money. You are surrounded by people that want to help you and will help you...just let them.

I’m guessing you are feeling overwhelmed at the moment. It might be hard to decide what to do first. There is lot’s of great advice above. I will consolidate it for you now just in case it’s difficult to sort through it yourself.

If you sill have a little money, get yourself a coffee and something to eat. Force yourself to be aware of your breathing. Take longer than normal breaths, deeper and slower. This will take the edge off of your stress and help you think more clearly. Remind yourself you are not in a life/death situation. You will not miss eating during a day, you will not be sleeping on the sidewalk. You will be taken care of with Food and shelter until you get things sorted out. This whole thing right now is at worst an expensive inconvenience but I’m sure there is a silver lining…just be open to noticing it.

  • Accept the help Kim has offered you. It sounds like a great refugee for you to work from and to recover your spirit until you get your finances and police work sorted.
  • Per Kim, Find the English speaking woman who works mornings at the Hotel Front Desk or the woman who guided you through the money transfer transaction. It’s possible there was just a misunderstanding and you might be able to work it out. If the woman you originally dealt with is there and seems cooperative but evasive and gives excuses and asks you to be patient and wait for your money, go directly to the next step.
  • Ask the Hotel to call the police and ask the front desk person to request an English speaking policeman. If the front desk is uncooperative call the police yourself, 112. One One Two is their equivalent of 911. Ask the person who answers for English please. Communicate you were robbed at Hotel Coruna, ask them to come to the hotel. It is best I think to have the police meet you at the hotel but if you don’t like that idea you can walk to them at the address below. Please get the Police involved as soon as possible so you can file the report and get them working on it. Did the woman give you a piece of paper with her account information identifying where your money was to be sent to? If yes I hope you still have it in her hand writing, on her (hotel) paper etc… If no paper, you will have to get the “address/bank account identifier” from your bank showing where the money was sent to and the police will have to follow that up to verify it. The good news is there is clear evidence re: when and where the $1K came from and where, when and to whom it was deposited…that can easily be proven. Your Leon story tells why you sent the money to her (I hope you reported the theft in Leon and have a report number or something to back you up).
  • Walk to the Western Union locations, one is a bank, Movil, and the other the Post Office or in Spanish, Correos to find out with your own eyes if they are open today. You can also call them and or ask the police. See info below with address and phone numbers and map if my attachment is successful. It shows the police station also. You need to get more cash, if possible, so you have some feeling of independence and security. At both of the Western Union locations you can get a money transfer put into a Pre paid Master Card with a pin to use at ATMs so you do not risk losing everything all at once. Take pictures front and back of the card in case you lose it so you can transfer the balance to a new card and remember your pin. Your home country time zone and banking hours might determine when you can arrange the transaction. Hopefully the account you will be drawing from has 24 hour customer service.
The tasks above are what you need to do today and you need to be flexible if some of them don’t work out. Most important is get the police report done so they can start working on it. Ask the police if they have any short term tourist financial assistance/loans if banking is unavailable during the festival. Or, If you can’t get money in Astorga due to the festival, you might need to taxi to another city to do that, perhaps Leon or maybe something closer. When searching Western Union I see a place in Villa de Obrigo, see below.

You will get through all of this. I hope once you have it all sorted you can resume your Camino Adventure. Although it seems like a terrible experience now, it will become one of your best stories to tell your friends, kids and grandkids, especially if you can find the strength to continue and finish YOUR Camino.

Policia local de Astorga
Plaza Marqueses de Astorga, 0, 24700 Astorga, Spain
+34 987 61 91 12

Western Union at tip of yellow arrow on map. Open Fri 10:00 am
MOVIL TK
Calle Alonso Garrote 11
Astorga, Leon 24700
+34-900-633633

Western Union at tip of green arrow on map. Open Fri 8:30am
CORREOS Y TELEGRAFOS
C/ Alferez Provisional 3
Astorga, Leon 24700
+34-902197197

CORREOS Y TELEGRAFOS
Calle Santo Domingo Guzman 8
Villarejo De Orbigo, Leon 24350
+34-902197197

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.12.12 AM.png
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#38
If I understand your first posting correctly, it is a thousand US which has been ... misdirected.
No, that is (unnecessary) speculation at this point in time. Also, @jkberry has been offered help from the host of the Stoneboat in Rabanal near Astorga, ie someone who lives locally. Time to relax for us and just wait for the confirmation of a happy ending. :)
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#39
No, that is (unnecessary) speculation at this point in time.
Exactly. Kim has said she knows the ladies at the Hostal and hopefully today she will be able to clarify what is going on. Until then we shouldn't climb on the already runaway speculation bandwagon.
The tasks above are what you need to do today and you need to be flexible if some of them don’t work out.
After talking to Kim and letting her help with communication. All this may be a misunderstanding and fiesta-created delay and if that is the case, then getting the police involved is a stressful waste of energy. Which the OP may not have a surplus of right now, given her health.
Time to relax for us and just wait for the confirmation of a happy ending. :)
Amen.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Salvado (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
#41
You are directly between Peaceable Kingdom in Moratinos, and Stone Boat in Rabanal. The Divine Triangle! We are Camino people, native English speakers, dedicated to helping out pilgrims in need. Please call Kim at 652 66 05 04, she is one day's walk from Astorga. I am farther back, east of Leon, near Sahagun, at 648 854 765. Breathe deep. This is just a bump in the road...
Just the people I thought of!!!!!!! Thanks for your beautiful support of so many
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#44
Things are working out. The Hotel Coruna is NOT run by criminals, bank transfers take days to arrive, and the OP is on her way to a cozy safe place in Castrillo de los Polvozares.
Thank you for this information, Rebekah. Please let jkberry know I, and presumably everyone else, am/are delighted and hope she can recover and continue.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
#45
I'm so glad to hear the update! The op's use of the word "vanished" certainly did sound sinister, but it's a relief to know that things are sorting themselves out. I work in banking compliance and have read about SO many different cases of wire fraud / wires going awry, that my guard is always up when the topic of wires comes up. Several people above mentioned using Western Union (or similar) for sending money abroad which is a much safer option. All the best to @jkberry and those providing assistance.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#46
Things are working out. The Hotel Coruna is NOT run by criminals, bank transfers take days to arrive, and the OP is on her way to a cozy safe place in Castrillo de los Polvozares.
Phew! Thank you for the update and well done :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#47
Things are working out. The Hotel Coruna is NOT run by criminals, bank transfers take days to arrive, and the OP is on her way to a cozy safe place in Castrillo de los Polvozares.
Blessings on everyone, and thanks for updating us, Reb. It is a relief to know all is well.
@jkberry , I hope body and soul are on the mend! Ultreia, peregrina!
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#48
hi @jkberry ... this is kim at the stone boat in rabanal. rebekah just sent me a message. if you would like, i have a room waiting for you tomorrow anytime after 1pm. one idea would be if you are not feeling able to walk (you mentioned the flu) - you could sleep in late/rest in astorga and then take a taxi here to arrive at 1pm (i can take care of the cab fare when you arrive). this way you are able to rest and things can get sorted out from here. i also know the ladies at the hostal coruna. we can talk more about it when you arrive *edit ... a quick note to ease your mind a bit is that the woman who works in the morning (with the long hair) is the only one who speaks english. in my experience, she has always been very kind to pilgrims. i think she has another job as well, so maybe she will be there tomorrow morning and all will be well.

i have a full house here at the stone boat tonight and am headed to sleep. i will check for a message in the morning. just let me know how i can help. - kim
Kim I am with your friends Basia and Bertram. That worked out yesterday. Your offer here is Amazing and I cannot thank you enough.
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#49
Update: woman has returned after all and I am waiting to get bank tranfer on Monday. I am AMAZED at you all reaching out with stories, ideas and offers!!!! I am staying on the Camino with new friends and yesterday ran into some others I had thought were way ahead of me. One of them gave me a debit card. Two of them gave me money. I am an artist and have decided to send my Camino paintings to all these angels as soon as I get home. I am also reassured that the hotel staff was not correct and that the money will be there next week. Last night I slept ten hours, like a teenager I was so relieved. Thank you everyone, from the bottom of my previously cynical heart. I will never forget this wrapping up in kindness.
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#50
@jkberry, my heart goes out to you having to endure this emotional roller coaster you find yourself on. So hard I'm sure to "wait it out" until things can hopefully get resolved. In the mean time you have been given some excellent advise from knowledgeable and compassionate forum members.

I have read about crafty pickpockets over the years at train stations, airports, and major tourist attractions, so I try to be careful and keep my valuables in my front belly bag, zipped inside a private compartment within.

I was very surprised to read of four forum members on this thread who have been the victims of pickpocketing thieves in Leon, Madrid and two in Barcelona. May I ask where your wallets were kept at that time? In hindsight could you have done anything differently to avoid being robbed? I'm asking in order to gain insight on how to become more aware as I always think "it won't happen to me."
Mine was in a travel pack on my waist. There was a sudden flurry of people “helping” me that I did not solicit. I can’t be sure but that was the only time in the day someone else touched me closely
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#51
I’m so sorry to hear about your story. Even if you tried, you couldn’t choose a better place to be a foreigner stuck in an unfamiliar country with an unfamiliar language with no money. You are surrounded by people that want to help you and will help you...just let them.

I’m guessing you are feeling overwhelmed at the moment. It might be hard to decide what to do first. There is lot’s of great advice above. I will consolidate it for you now just in case it’s difficult to sort through it yourself.

If you sill have a little money, get yourself a coffee and something to eat. Force yourself to be aware of your breathing. Take longer than normal breaths, deeper and slower. This will take the edge off of your stress and help you think more clearly. Remind yourself you are not in a life/death situation. You will not miss eating during a day, you will not be sleeping on the sidewalk. You will be taken care of with Food and shelter until you get things sorted out. This whole thing right now is at worst an expensive inconvenience but I’m sure there is a silver lining…just be open to noticing it.

  • Accept the help Kim has offered you. It sounds like a great refugee for you to work from and to recover your spirit until you get your finances and police work sorted.
  • Per Kim, Find the English speaking woman who works mornings at the Hotel Front Desk or the woman who guided you through the money transfer transaction. It’s possible there was just a misunderstanding and you might be able to work it out. If the woman you originally dealt with is there and seems cooperative but evasive and gives excuses and asks you to be patient and wait for your money, go directly to the next step.
  • Ask the Hotel to call the police and ask the front desk person to request an English speaking policeman. If the front desk is uncooperative call the police yourself, 112. One One Two is their equivalent of 911. Ask the person who answers for English please. Communicate you were robbed at Hotel Coruna, ask them to come to the hotel. It is best I think to have the police meet you at the hotel but if you don’t like that idea you can walk to them at the address below. Please get the Police involved as soon as possible so you can file the report and get them working on it. Did the woman give you a piece of paper with her account information identifying where your money was to be sent to? If yes I hope you still have it in her hand writing, on her (hotel) paper etc… If no paper, you will have to get the “address/bank account identifier” from your bank showing where the money was sent to and the police will have to follow that up to verify it. The good news is there is clear evidence re: when and where the $1K came from and where, when and to whom it was deposited…that can easily be proven. Your Leon story tells why you sent the money to her (I hope you reported the theft in Leon and have a report number or something to back you up).
  • Walk to the Western Union locations, one is a bank, Movil, and the other the Post Office or in Spanish, Correos to find out with your own eyes if they are open today. You can also call them and or ask the police. See info below with address and phone numbers and map if my attachment is successful. It shows the police station also. You need to get more cash, if possible, so you have some feeling of independence and security. At both of the Western Union locations you can get a money transfer put into a Pre paid Master Card with a pin to use at ATMs so you do not risk losing everything all at once. Take pictures front and back of the card in case you lose it so you can transfer the balance to a new card and remember your pin. Your home country time zone and banking hours might determine when you can arrange the transaction. Hopefully the account you will be drawing from has 24 hour customer service.
The tasks above are what you need to do today and you need to be flexible if some of them don’t work out. Most important is get the police report done so they can start working on it. Ask the police if they have any short term tourist financial assistance/loans if banking is unavailable during the festival. Or, If you can’t get money in Astorga due to the festival, you might need to taxi to another city to do that, perhaps Leon or maybe something closer. When searching Western Union I see a place in Villa de Obrigo, see below.

You will get through all of this. I hope once you have it all sorted you can resume your Camino Adventure. Although it seems like a terrible experience now, it will become one of your best stories to tell your friends, kids and grandkids, especially if you can find the strength to continue and finish YOUR Camino.

Policia local de Astorga
Plaza Marqueses de Astorga, 0, 24700 Astorga, Spain
+34 987 61 91 12

Western Union at tip of yellow arrow on map. Open Fri 10:00 am
MOVIL TK
Calle Alonso Garrote 11
Astorga, Leon 24700
+34-900-633633

Western Union at tip of green arrow on map. Open Fri 8:30am
CORREOS Y TELEGRAFOS
C/ Alferez Provisional 3
Astorga, Leon 24700
+34-902197197

CORREOS Y TELEGRAFOS
Calle Santo Domingo Guzman 8
Villarejo De Orbigo, Leon 24350
+34-902197197

View attachment 47362
This is immensely helpful and I so appreciate the effort to help me. I wish I knew all this a bit earlier but I am now informed and ready to be a part of the solution! Thank you
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#52
jkberry - this may seem brutal, unkind, but I do not mean it so. On Camino we can be unexpectedly faced with events that bring us to a brink; desperation, loss, despair - true crisis .... not the Camino we imagined, not at all, but definitely the Camino we have been given - but, believe me, believe me, this does not mean that what is happening is "bad", it is just that it is - a confrontation with something deep within, some Karmic thing, something unknown that has finally caught you up, something necessary to face. Camino can do this, life certainly does - and it is attitude which will decide what happens to you next.

Remember Shakespeare in Hamlet? "there is nothing good nor bad until the mind make it so".

Can I give an example? Many many decades ago I bought an old coach, a 56 seater, and converted it into a motorhome, a living van. I was visiting some friends in Oxfordshire, and had parked up and walked my laundry to the village where there was a laundromat. As my bedding spun in the dryer I was reading a book where the main person in the story lost everything (wartime blitz bomb) and I remember wondering what that would really feel like. Fire engines went by, blue lights and sirens. Twenty minutes later one of my friends arrived in tears to tell me my coach was on fire - an electrical fault I guess.
Everything I owned in the world was in that coach. Cash money hidden behind speaker grills in the roof, passport, driving licence, bank cards, clothing, private letters, address book - everything I had.
Everything, except what was in my mind and the dryer - Gone.

I stayed in the house of my friends, lost, completely lost. The media came and took photographs of me in front of the burnt out wreck and it was on the front page of the Oxford newspaper.

Then, on the Saturday, three days later, the three girls in the house insisted they were taking me to a music bar in Oxford as I needed to get out. I went, reluctantly, but I went. A few minutes in, standing at the bar, I felt someone touch my bum - actually my back pocket. I reached in and found a £5 note rolled around a toothbrush. What I didn't know was that the evening was a music benefit for me - at the end of the evening, seriously drunk from all the alcohol people I didn't even know kept buying me, I had five toothbrushes in my back pocket and a few hundred pounds in cash, as the band played for free and there was a big collection for me. I cannot tell you how emotional I felt.

The next day a big box arrived by courier - I opened it and it was three complete sets of brand new clothing, from underwear up, for me from my ex-wife (whom I still love, and always will).

The very next evening, as we sat, drinking wine and talking about what I would - or could - do next, a young Irish man, slightly drunk I think, rang the doorbell and was let in. He said that his father owned Sunshine Coaches in Oxford, had seen my living van driving around and had told his sons that this was what he wanted to do, to retire, give the business to his sons, convert a coach, and go back home to Ireland and spend his last years travelling around and visiting his memories and that when he saw the front page news of my coach burnt to cinders it upset him terribly. So he sent his eldest son to offer me, free, another coach, and to take away the burnt out one.
He had me take it for a drive (gorgeous coach) and I - against his will but I told him he deserved publicity for this act of charity - phoned the newspaper and arranged my collection of the coach at Oxford bus station. They came, and put it front page (you can check all this by doing archive search) - and when he arrived and handed over the marvellous coach he had serviced it, given it a brand new mot, filled the tank, and also added me to his company insurance for a fortnight to allow me time to get sorted.

So, after that total annihilation disaster of losing everything I owned I ended up with hundreds of pounds in my pocket, three sets of new clothing, a new vehicle, better than the one I lost - oh, and five toothbrushes! (and the very unexpected knowledge that I was loved by many, some whom I didn't even know - humans, gotta love them!).

My point here, after this long and rambling tale, is that nothing is bad - it all just is ... and if you flow with it, like an otter floating gently downstream on its back on a turbulent river holding an apple in its paws, All Will be Well.

All Will be Well!!

So your Camino is not like other Caminos, for sure ... but, jkberry, trust the Universe, trust what is happening, relax, surrender into it - trust God if you like - because of your need the universe will respond and you will be meeting the kindest humans - and All will be Well.. All is well xx

Buen Camino to you xxxx
I ADORE this story and it is already happening to me. What an outpouring of caring tenderness I have received and what a difference a day and a sleep makes. Gracias David. I am walking the Camino because I need to process a loss just like your story, so what I saw happening was just putting me over the top. I am breathing deeply now, calm and rested and ready for the next step.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#53
Mine was in a travel pack on my waist. There was a sudden flurry of people “helping” me that I did not solicit. I can’t be sure but that was the only time in the day someone else touched me closely
Variations are a worldwide theft technique:

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/the-mustard-scam.5675/

Sadly, I now react with hostility when touched even slightly. It is part of being wary and cautious in a world where duplicity is becoming more common.

I am glad things have worked out as well as they have. Buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#54
Update: woman has returned after all and I am waiting to get bank tranfer on Monday. I am AMAZED at you all reaching out with stories, ideas and offers!!!! I am staying on the Camino with new friends and yesterday ran into some others I had thought were way ahead of me. One of them gave me a debit card. Two of them gave me money. I am an artist and have decided to send my Camino paintings to all these angels as soon as I get home. I am also reassured that the hotel staff was not correct and that the money will be there next week. Last night I slept ten hours, like a teenager I was so relieved. Thank you everyone, from the bottom of my previously cynical heart. I will never forget this wrapping up in kindness.
found this for you, jkberry.
Dark pink roses are
symbolic of gratitude and appreciation, and are a traditional way to say thanks
Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 13.41.15.png
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/Frances. SJPP - Estella May 2009.
C/frances. SJPP - Santiago April/ May 2013.
C/Finisterre. Santiag - Finisterre - Muxia May 2013.
C/Ingles. Ferrol - Santiago May 2013.
C/Frances. SJPP - Santiago May - June 2015.
C/Finisterre. Santiago - Muxia - Finisrerre - Cee. June 2015.
C/Frances. Logrono - Burgos May 2016.
#55
Firstly, Im, sorry to hear of all the trouble you got and hope maybe yours can help others This is probably no help to you know, but it might help someone who is following your post,
My way of doing things are.
I use On-Line Banking, open a Special Debit account with a small amount in it and two cards leave one hidden away with my main credit card, use the other on Holidays and to get Cash, which is mostly used along the Way. This can be got from ATM,s always from the bigger banks in cities /large towns and transfer money into it as needed, over the internet (also pay credit card bills etc on a line while you are away so no big surprises when you get home). If anything happens to your card you only lose a small amount if you are not quick enough to get online and transfer your money out of the account. also if you have only misplaced the card, it gives you time to find it, you don't have to ask the bank to stop it, which is a pain because they take forever to replace cards at home never mind if you are away.
Advise the bank and Credit card company ( only bring one, which you might need to get emergency flights home ) where and when you will be, and for how long.
Then get Skype or Viber and WhatsApp, on your phone.
For safety, in case of being involved in an accident and cannot, communicate. I also carry a copy of a page in an obvious outside pocket, which I have photocopied on front and back, my passport/driving licence/insurances cards /details of meds and prescriptions/donor cards /blood type and allergies/ Contact details of next of Kin and my own phone details.
I carry more of these my pack paper gets destroyed on wet days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#56
hi @jkberry ... this is kim at the stone boat in rabanal. rebekah just sent me a message. if you would like, i have a room waiting for you tomorrow anytime after 1pm. one idea would be if you are not feeling able to walk (you mentioned the flu) - you could sleep in late/rest in astorga and then take a taxi here to arrive at 1pm (i can take care of the cab fare when you arrive). this way you are able to rest and things can get sorted out from here. i also know the ladies at the hostal coruna. we can talk more about it when you arrive *edit ... a quick note to ease your mind a bit is that the woman who works in the morning (with the long hair) is the only one who speaks english. in my experience, she has always been very kind to pilgrims. i think she has another job as well, so maybe she will be there tomorrow morning and all will be well.

i have a full house here at the stone boat tonight and am headed to sleep. i will check for a message in the morning. just let me know how i can help. - kim
Sorry I was late reading this amazing offer Kim. So very kind. Your friends that I am with say that is just how you are! Thank you, I am being wonderfully cared for but I would still love to meet you on the way through.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#57
Mine was in a travel pack on my waist. There was a sudden flurry of people “helping” me that I did not solicit. I can’t be sure but that was the only time in the day someone else touched me closely
I use a large safety pin to keep the waist bag attached to my pants. It’s a great way to possibly prevent this type of ripoff from happening (sometimes they cut it off without you knowing). Safety pins or secure fasteners are a signal to pickpockets that you’re not the easiest target. That flurry of activity is classic for them to distract. Happened to my husband (cell phone in zipped front pant packet). Flurry was people celebrating/dancing and bumped into him /invited him to join and boom, phone gone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from sarria 2015
Via Francigena Aquapendente to Rome 2016
Camino Portuguese from TuI 2016
#58
jkberry - this may seem brutal, unkind, but I do not mean it so. On Camino we can be unexpectedly faced with events that bring us to a brink; desperation, loss, despair - true crisis .... not the Camino we imagined, not at all, but definitely the Camino we have been given - but, believe me, believe me, this does not mean that what is happening is "bad", it is just that it is - a confrontation with something deep within, some Karmic thing, something unknown that has finally caught you up, something necessary to face. Camino can do this, life certainly does - and it is attitude which will decide what happens to you next.

Remember Shakespeare in Hamlet? "there is nothing good nor bad until the mind make it so".

Can I give an example? Many many decades ago I bought an old coach, a 56 seater, and converted it into a motorhome, a living van. I was visiting some friends in Oxfordshire, and had parked up and walked my laundry to the village where there was a laundromat. As my bedding spun in the dryer I was reading a book where the main person in the story lost everything (wartime blitz bomb) and I remember wondering what that would really feel like. Fire engines went by, blue lights and sirens. Twenty minutes later one of my friends arrived in tears to tell me my coach was on fire - an electrical fault I guess.
Everything I owned in the world was in that coach. Cash money hidden behind speaker grills in the roof, passport, driving licence, bank cards, clothing, private letters, address book - everything I had.
Everything, except what was in my mind and the dryer - Gone.

I stayed in the house of my friends, lost, completely lost. The media came and took photographs of me in front of the burnt out wreck and it was on the front page of the Oxford newspaper.

Then, on the Saturday, three days later, the three girls in the house insisted they were taking me to a music bar in Oxford as I needed to get out. I went, reluctantly, but I went. A few minutes in, standing at the bar, I felt someone touch my bum - actually my back pocket. I reached in and found a £5 note rolled around a toothbrush. What I didn't know was that the evening was a music benefit for me - at the end of the evening, seriously drunk from all the alcohol people I didn't even know kept buying me, I had five toothbrushes in my back pocket and a few hundred pounds in cash, as the band played for free and there was a big collection for me. I cannot tell you how emotional I felt.

The next day a big box arrived by courier - I opened it and it was three complete sets of brand new clothing, from underwear up, for me from my ex-wife (whom I still love, and always will).

The very next evening, as we sat, drinking wine and talking about what I would - or could - do next, a young Irish man, slightly drunk I think, rang the doorbell and was let in. He said that his father owned Sunshine Coaches in Oxford, had seen my living van driving around and had told his sons that this was what he wanted to do, to retire, give the business to his sons, convert a coach, and go back home to Ireland and spend his last years travelling around and visiting his memories and that when he saw the front page news of my coach burnt to cinders it upset him terribly. So he sent his eldest son to offer me, free, another coach, and to take away the burnt out one.
He had me take it for a drive (gorgeous coach) and I - against his will but I told him he deserved publicity for this act of charity - phoned the newspaper and arranged my collection of the coach at Oxford bus station. They came, and put it front page (you can check all this by doing archive search) - and when he arrived and handed over the marvellous coach he had serviced it, given it a brand new mot, filled the tank, and also added me to his company insurance for a fortnight to allow me time to get sorted.

So, after that total annihilation disaster of losing everything I owned I ended up with hundreds of pounds in my pocket, three sets of new clothing, a new vehicle, better than the one I lost - oh, and five toothbrushes! (and the very unexpected knowledge that I was loved by many, some whom I didn't even know - humans, gotta love them!).

My point here, after this long and rambling tale, is that nothing is bad - it all just is ... and if you flow with it, like an otter floating gently downstream on its back on a turbulent river holding an apple in its paws, All Will be Well.

All Will be Well!!

So your Camino is not like other Caminos, for sure ... but, jkberry, trust the Universe, trust what is happening, relax, surrender into it - trust God if you like - because of your need the universe will respond and you will be meeting the kindest humans - and All will be Well.. All is well xx

Buen Camino to you xxxx
Oh David !! your story has given me so much . I believe too that things from what looks disastrous,
Can take an unespected turn, a reversal of fortune??
Still , been at that deep end point, it's pretty bleak but Hope, faith and a good degree of resourcefulness,
Can move you on to a better, much better place.
I will save your post and read it every now and then,
To remind myself never to despair.. there is hope out there..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#59
........There was a sudden flurry of people “helping” me that I did not solicit.......
.....Flurry was people celebrating/dancing and bumped into him /invited him to join .......
Sadly, I now react with hostility when touched even slightly. It is part of being wary and cautious in a world where duplicity is becoming more common.
I am trying to train myself that, if I ever suddenly find myself in such a situation, I can instantly react with a loud and vociferous, "Back off."
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
#61
hi @jkberry ... this is kim at the stone boat in rabanal. rebekah just sent me a message. if you would like, i have a room waiting for you tomorrow anytime after 1pm. one idea would be if you are not feeling able to walk (you mentioned the flu) - you could sleep in late/rest in astorga and then take a taxi here to arrive at 1pm (i can take care of the cab fare when you arrive). this way you are able to rest and things can get sorted out from here. i also know the ladies at the hostal coruna. we can talk more about it when you arrive *edit ... a quick note to ease your mind a bit is that the woman who works in the morning (with the long hair) is the only one who speaks english. in my experience, she has always been very kind to pilgrims. i think she has another job as well, so maybe she will be there tomorrow morning and all will be well.

i have a full house here at the stone boat tonight and am headed to sleep. i will check for a message in the morning. just let me know how i can help. - kim
What a lovely offer Kim and if I was in the same situation and read this I would be so deeply appreciative and grateful. When I come next August to walk the camino I will be staying with you. xx
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
#63
And here we have in Kim a good heart, an open heart, a kind heart, a generous heart - cherish this jkberry - the benevolent universe is providing; unfolding right in front of you, and you are blessed - not a bad Camino after all .... xxxx
Sorry David but it’s a terrible Camino for the poor lady quoting Zen and Karma does not make everything suddenly right. Boqets to the people who have tried to help especially Kim, I will make a point of staying there nex year.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#65
This has to be the Camino thread of the month. Glorious.

@Rebekah Scott you never cease to amaze me. Not just a camino angel but a powerhouse. And as to @bigskymind - so kind!
Ditto BIG TIME to @Rebekah Scott !!!
This is how we all should (I believe we do) help with our knowledge and connections.

Pay it forward! And Buen Camino!
 

arturo garcia

Pilgrim/Hospitalero/Mountain guide/Photographer
Camino(s) past & future
French way (Dic. 2012), Portuguese way (Dic.2013) and now living on the Camino.
#66
I couldn´t read all the posts and comments, but if we can give some help or support of a place to stay with no charge for logging and food (Free), we are in Hospital de orbigo in Albergue San Miguel , very close to Astorga. We can send a cab to pick you up. and here you can paint. Buen Camino and best wishes.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#67
I use a large safety pin to keep the waist bag attached to my pants. It’s a great way to possibly prevent this type of ripoff from happening (sometimes they cut it off without you knowing). Safety pins or secure fasteners are a signal to pickpockets that you’re not the easiest target. That flurry of activity is classic for them to distract. Happened to my husband (cell phone in zipped front pant packet). Flurry was people celebrating/dancing and bumped into him /invited him to join and boom, phone gone.
I will add a safety pin what a good idea!
 

anthonymorris

never lost just finding a different route
Camino(s) past & future
cycled 2016 le puy to Santiago ,cycled 2018 Paris to Porto
#68
i was pickpocketed in Leon in 2016 and I was very luckily to have an English speaking person that could speak Spanish that phone the police and was able to help me with all the trouble I was going to face with cancelling all my cards and replacements ,plus thank goodness I kept my passport in a water tight bag inside my bag ,but everything turned out well and I had family forward me money via western union ,I always say once you hit rock bottom the only way is up
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
#69
I too am so sorry to hear about this thing that has happened to you and so many other pilgrims on route - I can only imagine that it must put you into such a spin and especially with the language barrier. But here again we are reminded about the wonderful love that is out there just waiting to spill out on to a victim - yes love is real and very much alive. So many wonderful stories to be learnt here - thank you all for sharing and showing all this love - I have read every comment and really being overwhelmed by such generosity. May your camino continue and bring you much joy and peace and I know that this will reflect in your paintings. Buen camino to you and all and THANK YOU
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#70
I ADORE this story and it is already happening to me. What an outpouring of caring tenderness I have received and what a difference a day and a sleep makes. Gracias David. I am walking the Camino because I need to process a loss just like your story, so what I saw happening was just putting me over the top. I am breathing deeply now, calm and rested and ready for the next step.
Waiting with bated breath for your update... but more about your own state of being than your money transfer. That is of course important, but your faith in yourself and the people who have been close to you and helped you is what is far more important right now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#71
Waiting with bated breath for your update... but more about your own state of being than your money transfer. That is of course important, but your faith in yourself and the people who have been close to you and helped you is what is far more important right now.
My state of being is nearly euphoric. It was almost worth the trauma to have witnessed the kindnesses that I have. Will continue walking tomorrow. Thank you all for your support and Kim if you are here I would love to stay with you tomorrow if there is room!
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#72
I couldn´t read all the posts and comments, but if we can give some help or support of a place to stay with no charge for logging and food (Free), we are in Hospital de orbigo in Albergue San Miguel , very close to Astorga. We can send a cab to pick you up. and here you can paint. Buen Camino and best wishes.
Arturo what a generous kind offer. I a man omayand actually in the position to help someone else which I am doing. Thank you for your very kind offer
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#73
You are directly between Peaceable Kingdom in Moratinos, and Stone Boat in Rabanal. The Divine Triangle! We are Camino people, native English speakers, dedicated to helping out pilgrims in need. Please call Kim at 652 66 05 04, she is one day's walk from Astorga. I am farther back, east of Leon, near Sahagun, at 648 854 765. Breathe deep. This is just a bump in the road...
You are not kidding Rebekah, and I am now with Bertrand and Basia. This is the Divine triangle and every Pilgrim should have their crisis right here! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your offers and your thoughtful hearts. All is well with me.❤️
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#74
It is beautiful to see jkberry’s resilience and the solutions unfolding. To those of us not experiencing jkberry’s trial, it is an eye opener of what opportunities could be available to us should something like this unfold for us. Very calming.

As for everything happens for a reason....
I have my own spiritual life and have no idea if things happen for a reason.
What I do believe is that whatever life throws at us, we have an opportunity to dig deep, grow, let go, accept, learn, apply, become.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#75
Just a word to the pilgrims: There´s a network of good people along the Way who are dedicated to this kind of support. Their names are not in guidebooks, their pictures are not in the newspapers or TV. You will probably never need them, so you will likely never meet them.
But like I´m always nattering on: it´s the quiet ones in the background, the volunteers, who are the beating heart of the camino. When you´re in trouble, ask for help. It´s there for you.

... and not just on the camino. They´re at home, too. They are everywhere! The Camino is just your intro, your eye-opener!
 

Joanne P

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2018
#76
jkberry - this may seem brutal, unkind, but I do not mean it so. On Camino we can be unexpectedly faced with events that bring us to a brink; desperation, loss, despair - true crisis .... not the Camino we imagined, not at all, but definitely the Camino we have been given - but, believe me, believe me, this does not mean that what is happening is "bad", it is just that it is - a confrontation with something deep within, some Karmic thing, something unknown that has finally caught you up, something necessary to face. Camino can do this, life certainly does - and it is attitude which will decide what happens to you next.

Remember Shakespeare in Hamlet? "there is nothing good nor bad until the mind make it so".

Can I give an example? Many many decades ago I bought an old coach, a 56 seater, and converted it into a motorhome, a living van. I was visiting some friends in Oxfordshire, and had parked up and walked my laundry to the village where there was a laundromat. As my bedding spun in the dryer I was reading a book where the main person in the story lost everything (wartime blitz bomb) and I remember wondering what that would really feel like. Fire engines went by, blue lights and sirens. Twenty minutes later one of my friends arrived in tears to tell me my coach was on fire - an electrical fault I guess.
Everything I owned in the world was in that coach. Cash money hidden behind speaker grills in the roof, passport, driving licence, bank cards, clothing, private letters, address book - everything I had.
Everything, except what was in my mind and the dryer - Gone.

I stayed in the house of my friends, lost, completely lost. The media came and took photographs of me in front of the burnt out wreck and it was on the front page of the Oxford newspaper.

Then, on the Saturday, three days later, the three girls in the house insisted they were taking me to a music bar in Oxford as I needed to get out. I went, reluctantly, but I went. A few minutes in, standing at the bar, I felt someone touch my bum - actually my back pocket. I reached in and found a £5 note rolled around a toothbrush. What I didn't know was that the evening was a music benefit for me - at the end of the evening, seriously drunk from all the alcohol people I didn't even know kept buying me, I had five toothbrushes in my back pocket and a few hundred pounds in cash, as the band played for free and there was a big collection for me. I cannot tell you how emotional I felt.

The next day a big box arrived by courier - I opened it and it was three complete sets of brand new clothing, from underwear up, for me from my ex-wife (whom I still love, and always will).

The very next evening, as we sat, drinking wine and talking about what I would - or could - do next, a young Irish man, slightly drunk I think, rang the doorbell and was let in. He said that his father owned Sunshine Coaches in Oxford, had seen my living van driving around and had told his sons that this was what he wanted to do, to retire, give the business to his sons, convert a coach, and go back home to Ireland and spend his last years travelling around and visiting his memories and that when he saw the front page news of my coach burnt to cinders it upset him terribly. So he sent his eldest son to offer me, free, another coach, and to take away the burnt out one.
He had me take it for a drive (gorgeous coach) and I - against his will but I told him he deserved publicity for this act of charity - phoned the newspaper and arranged my collection of the coach at Oxford bus station. They came, and put it front page (you can check all this by doing archive search) - and when he arrived and handed over the marvellous coach he had serviced it, given it a brand new mot, filled the tank, and also added me to his company insurance for a fortnight to allow me time to get sorted.

So, after that total annihilation disaster of losing everything I owned I ended up with hundreds of pounds in my pocket, three sets of new clothing, a new vehicle, better than the one I lost - oh, and five toothbrushes! (and the very unexpected knowledge that I was loved by many, some whom I didn't even know - humans, gotta love them!).

My point here, after this long and rambling tale, is that nothing is bad - it all just is ... and if you flow with it, like an otter floating gently downstream on its back on a turbulent river holding an apple in its paws, All Will be Well.

All Will be Well!!

So your Camino is not like other Caminos, for sure ... but, jkberry, trust the Universe, trust what is happening, relax, surrender into it - trust God if you like - because of your need the universe will respond and you will be meeting the kindest humans - and All will be Well.. All is well xx

Buen Camino to you xxxx
Wow, what an amazing story. That one got the tears flowing!
Thank you for sharing David. I truly hope that jkberry finds your story to be a source of hope for her, to help her stay strong and positive.
 

Joanne P

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2018
#78
I couldn´t read all the posts and comments, but if we can give some help or support of a place to stay with no charge for logging and food (Free), we are in Hospital de orbigo in Albergue San Miguel , very close to Astorga. We can send a cab to pick you up. and here you can paint. Buen Camino and best wishes.
so kind. may good karma come right back to you. have a great day!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#80
My state of being is nearly euphoric. It was almost worth the trauma to have witnessed the kindnesses that I have. Will continue walking tomorrow. Thank you all for your support and Kim if you are here I would love to stay with you tomorrow if there is room!
Kindness is medicine! You've really been through the mill and I'm so happy to know life is looking up.
Thank you for letting us all know you're doing so well.
And now you get the joy (and fun) of 'paying it forward' - and letting the kindness spread across the Camino as you walk on...
A very buen camino to you, @jkberry!
 

arturo garcia

Pilgrim/Hospitalero/Mountain guide/Photographer
Camino(s) past & future
French way (Dic. 2012), Portuguese way (Dic.2013) and now living on the Camino.
#81
Arturo what a generous kind offer. I a man omayand actually in the position to help someone else which I am doing. Thank you for your very kind offer
well, as you see, you got dozens of new genuine friends, Buen Camino !
 
Camino(s) past & future
1st 9/18
#82
The real heroes in my story are Bertrand and Basia of the Flores del Camino in Castillo de los Polvazares who took me in even when some thought I was a scammer, and my dear Camino friends Susan, Jack and Joni. I was sick, sad, broke and misunderstood with nowhere to go and no way to pay for anything. When I called Bertrand and Basia (we have a mutual friend) they welcomed me to come. As I was walking here I stopped (I had to leave where I was at 8am so it was too early to go to their place only 7k away) and ran into Susan who also helped me. Jack and Joni gave me money at the hotel delivered to my room without asking.
Bertrand took me to the police, he helped me get my money and Basia held my hands while I cried. They have welcomed me even though they had a full house. They have now been paid and I will continue tomorrow, but I will NEVER forget how they helped me at this intensely challenging time.
I would also like to thank Visi at the Hotel Coruna who was marvelously helpful and kind.

what I have learned is that we should have an emergency plan and backup for this kind of thing. I will post more on that elsewhere but there are some great ideas here that should be shared in a “before you go” thread. Including what to do if you are having disasterous communications in important junctions. It is nice to know there is so much help out there but there are also risks we should be prepared to deal with. I learned the hard way.
I have been moved by so many offers of help and for that I am grateful. Buen Camino to all of you and thank you again for all your support. Jill K Berry BB5DBE55-B802-4448-9FA1-33D34084610E.jpeg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#83
The real heroes in my story are Bertrand and Basia of the Flores del Camino in Castillo de los Polvazares who took me in even when some thought I was a scammer, and my dear Camino friends Susan, Jack and Joni. I was sick, sad, broke and misunderstood with nowhere to go and no way to pay for anything. When I called Bertrand and Basia (we have a mutual friend) they welcomed me to come. As I was walking here I stopped (I had to leave where I was at 8am so it was too early to go to their place only 7k away) and ran into Susan who also helped me. Jack and Joni gave me money at the hotel delivered to my room without asking.
Bertrand took me to the police, he helped me get my money and Basia held my hands while I cried. They have welcomed me even though they had a full house. They have now been paid and I will continue tomorrow, but I will NEVER forget how they helped me at this intensely challenging time.
I would also like to thank Visi at the Hotel Coruna who was marvelously helpful and kind.

what I have learned is that we should have an emergency plan and backup for this kind of thing. I will post more on that elsewhere but there are some great ideas here that should be shared in a “before you go” thread. Including what to do if you are having disasterous communications in important junctions. It is nice to know there is so much help out there but there are also risks we should be prepared to deal with. I learned the hard way.
I have been moved by so many offers of help and for that I am grateful. Buen Camino to all of you and thank you again for all your support. Jill K Berry View attachment 47624
Jill, just so lovely to see your change of ‘place’. Let it be so, from here on in your camino. Ultreia,,,
 

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