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2019 Camino Guides

Warning for solo female pilgrims to be aware on Mozárabe

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#1
I hadn't thought to mention this previously, but on reading today a post on a fb group I follow I think I should.

On the long stage from Villaharta to Alcaracejos there is a smallholding that you pass through at around 18 km. Back in 2015 I walked this route from Málaga with forum member @george.g. When passing this smallholding the farmer engaged us in conversation and was very chatty and I thought quite charming - he seemed reluctant to let us go when the time came. I remember reading in NickandAngela's blog (which is mentioned elsewhere on the forum) that they had a similar experience.

So it came as a surprise to me when another forum member with whom I walked this year told me that this man had accosted her when she walked through his farm in 2016. He grabbed her and tried to kiss her. She was terrified and pushed him away and ran as fast as she could to get away.

This year I once again walked this stage, on the Mozárabe from Almería. I was walking alone as my camigas chose to walk only the second part of the long stage and so bypassed this section. When I reached his farm I trod quietly hoping to get by without being noticed, but his dogs announced my passing and he hurried out of a building and called to me. I walked on, but he kept trying to attract my attention by offering me water and telling me that the river crossing was high. I shouted a thank you and hurried on without pausing.

Today I have read on the page of the fb group "Amis Camino Mozarabe Via de la Plata" that several other women have been on the receiving end of unwanted attention from this man and that he has been reported to the Guardia Civil. To be honest I personally didn't feel threatened, he is a smallish man in his late seventies - but I am fairly tall and strong and not easily intimidated. I can understand that many women might find this behaviour very intimidating and upsetting and I think forewarned is fore-armed.
 
#2
This is a good heads up, Maggie, the same thing happened to me. He came out when he saw me approach, ostensibly to tell me that the stream passing was flooded and that I should take some loop or another. That was not the case, btw. As I recall he was on the other side of a fence, so there is some kind of barrier there, do you remember that? Like you, I did not feel threatened or creeped out, but I just said, gracias, and then went on my way with no further interaction. I always report flashers but it didn't occur to me to report this guy, maybe because I cut him off right at the beginning before things could get creepy. Knowing he is there and that you should just keep on walking is great advice. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#3
Hi Laurie. I’m not sure if he came through his gate. I didn’t hang around or look back thanks to my forewarning. But without this knowledge I would have engaged with him based on my previous experience and possibly had an unpleasant encounter. At the time I felt a bit mean and rude but am now comfortable that I took the best action.
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
#4
Thanks for the warning, which I shall bear in mind when undertaking the Mozarabe next year. I’m not on Facebook, so I can’t ascertain whether the man has done anything more threatening than try to steal a kiss. Is it possible that he is simply a harmless old farmer suffering the effects of rural isolation, emigration and social alienation? I’ve encountered several similar characters in my own home area, and do my best to dodge the kisses and decline the proffered bottles of beer as courteously as possible. In this situation, I try to maintain a civil conversation while observing the appropriate distance between us. The only sinister character I’ve come across on the Camino was in a pension in Irun, on the return journey, but that’s another story.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#6
[QUOTE="Paladina, post: 676250, member: 69466"..... so I can’t ascertain whether the man has done anything more threatening than try to steal a kiss. Is it possible that he is simply a harmless old farmer suffering the effects of rural isolation, emigration and social alienation? [/QUOTE]

Specific details weren’t given, but several women had reported him, and the association of friends are taking it very seriously. And I imagine for every woman who reported him, there were probably several more who didn’t!

It is easy for those of us who are not easily intimidated to brush off such an encounter, but I can totally understand that being grabbed and kissed in a remote and secluded area where there is very little chance of someone passing to assist would freak a solo female. Personally, I got the impression that he is just a very lonely old guy who yearns company, but that is not at all the impression my friend got when he assaulted her.

I wrote in my blog back in 2016 that I really enjoyed my conversation with him, He was kind enough to let a couple of young pigs out of their field for me to meet up close and he was very engaging, but I was in the company of a 6 ft + pilgrim and so nothing other than conversation was likely to happen.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
#7
As I had read your blog i was a Little bit nervous when I approached the house. It was early in the morning when I got there and he dogs started to bark. He came running and opened his gate and stepped out in front of me. He spoke to me and I stopped with some distance between us. I couldn’t really understand/hear what he said (the dogs were barking and every other word was to tell them to be quiet) more than that he asked if I needed water. I said no and thanked for the offer and continued my walk. He looked really disappointed when I didn’t stay for long. He seems to be very lonely out there.
 
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Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#8
That’s how I felt @BeatriceKarjalainen, but having read of others' experiences I thought a heads-up might be in order.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
#9
That’s how I felt @BeatriceKarjalainen, but having read of others' experiences I thought a heads-up might be in order.
I'm glad I had read your blog and had been warned, I could be alert, keep a distance and decide if I wanted to talk to him or not. I didn't like the discomfort I felt on my way there though but know I'm quite strong and know some self defence so I didn't felt it a a threat. But if someone are insecure try to find some one to walk the stretch with or just pass without stopping, I doubt he will run after anyone.
 
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Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
Al the optimist Camino Mozárabe 8
C Camino Mozárabe 4

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