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Warning: Improper behavior reported between Astorga and Rabanal

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ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Dear Pilgrims,

There has been some improper behavior reported towards women over the last few weeks on the stage between Astorga and Rabanal. These reports are sufficiently credible that we would like to make a general advisory that pilgrims walking alone on this section of the Camino Frances, might want to walk in pairs or groups. This is the general area where Denise the missing pilgrims was last seen a few weeks ago. The local police are still working on finding Denise and also are aware of these latest occurrences.

The Camino has been a very safe place, and it still is, but it only takes a few to make the situation more uncertain. This message is not made to scare anyone, but more to inform of the situation, so that if you are walking this section in the next few days/weeks can make the necessary adjustments and find a walking parter.

If you decide to comment on this thread, please try to stay away from speculations, so that this thread can become a place where pilgrims can come and learn "what we actually know", and not rumors or speculations around this topic. The mods will help me with this.

Buen Camino!
Ivar
 
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movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
With much gratitude Ivar; so helpful to know this. I will be on my own, but not until Sept/Oct, so I will keep in touch with this thread in the event I can hopefully join a few fellow pilgrims in this particular area; otherwise, I feel totally safe on my own. Maggie
 

sehumphries

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk half of the camino in May/June 2015.
I am leaving for my camino this Saturday 5/23. I will undoubtedly be walking through this area during the beginning of my camino (I'm starting in Leon.) As a solo female, I am wondering what details you can give about the situations that have been reported. This way I know behavior to look out for and when I should be walking with others. Any information you can provide would give this about-to-be pilgrim some peace of mind! Thank you! Sarah
 

sehumphries

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk half of the camino in May/June 2015.
I'd been debating whether to bring my pepper spray, buy some in Spain, or just hope that I'll be safe. Is pepper spray legal to carry in Spain?
I believe pepper spray is illegal in Spain. Much to the chagrin of my mother!
 

Elllie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk June 2015
Hey, thanks.

Im walking cf alone in June. Was wondering if any groups or anyone will be in this area mid June so i can walk with someone??

Thanks
 

Walking by faith

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept. 2014 - Camino Frances
Aug. 2015 - Camino da la Costa, Camino Primitivo
June 2016 - Camino Portuguese Litoral
Hey, thanks.

Im walking cf alone in June. Was wondering if any groups or anyone will be in this area mid June so i can walk with someone??

Thanks
There will be many of us, June is a pretty busy month on the Camino. No need to be worried, just remember the name Astorga, and once sleeping in an alberge there, make arrangements with some group of pilgrims (many people do walk in the group, and who knows, maybe you will already be in one when reaching Astroga :))
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Dear Pilgrims,

There has been some improper behavior reported towards women over the last few weeks on the stage between Astorga and Rabanal. These reports are sufficiently credible that we would like to make a general advisory that pilgrims walking alone on this section of the Camino Frances, might want to walk in pairs or groups. This is the general area where Denise the missing pilgrims was last seen a few weeks ago. The local police are still working on finding Deniese and also are aware of these latest occurrences.

The Camino has been a very safe place, and it still is, but it only takes a few to make the situation more uncertain. This message is not made to scare anyone, but more to inform of the situation, so that if you are walking this section in the next few days/weeks can make the necessary adjustments and find a walking parter.

If you decide to comment on this thread, please try to stay away from speculations, so that this thread can become a place where pilgrims can come and learn "what we actually know", and not rumors or speculations around this topic. The mods will help me with this.

Buen Camino!
Ivar
As few previous posters asked - what are those reports about "improper behaviour towards women", Ivar???

And thanks for posting this, BTW!!!
 

Tessera

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Fall 2015)
I will be walking the Camino Francés in September (leave SJPP late August, walk in to Santiago about the end of September). I am a confident woman and not fearful. I will be happy to share this part of the route with traveling companions who might find reassurance in knowing we can all look out for one another. (Hey, it's my first post! Thanks to all who share their knowledge and good humor in this forum!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Here is the story I found on http://caminosantiago2.blogspot.com/2015/04/a-missing-pilgrim.html. I cannot verify that this is in any way accurate but it does give a warning for the following - "Lastly, if you are planning to walk or know someone currently on the Camino, please advise them NOT to take the shortcut/alternative route from Murias de Rechivaldo through Castillo de Polvazares! There have been two instances of solitary pilgrims being tazed. One man was robbed and a German woman managed to get away. Stick to the main route and walk this section in a group. This is Stage 23 in Brierley's book from Astorga to Rabanal del Camino." Posted 4/27/15 by Annie's Simple Life.

Pictures of Denise and a request for any information that anyone may have is also included in the link.

Again, I cannot verify that the information is in any way accurate regarding the tazered pilgrims so please do not use this as a verified source or panic that this will happen again. This is merely submitted as an informative article for those that may be travelling this route alone.

Buen Camino!
That's my blog and the tazered pilgrims have reported on this forum in person.
 

dcorrea951

La Coruna
Camino(s) past & future
(2013)Frances;(2015)Pilgrim Office;(2016)Portuguese Coastal;(Portuguese Central,Ingles,Sanabres
Thanks for all you do Ivar. I will be volunteering in the Pilgrim Office in October, and would like to meet you for dinner or a glass of wine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I don't think there is any reason to panic or carry pepper spray, which can harm you as much as the bad dude if you spray it in the wind.

Simply walk with a buddy in this area until the bad guys have been caught.
Just like you would if you were walking in any remote area in the USA.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I'm about 5 days away from reaching this section. There are loads of Pilgrims on the road currently.

For single ladies walking alone it will be simple to just walk with other Pilgrims that you know or recognize.

There were about 100 of us at least setting out from Carrion this morning.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
@ivar, thank you for sharing information with pilgrims. This type of information--however distasteful--certainly helps to keep us safe.

With gratitude---

Deb
 

steppingpono

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Meseta & Los Campos 2015
Portuguese 2016
Sjpdp - Burgos 2017
Dear Pilgrims,

There has been some improper behavior reported towards women over the last few weeks on the stage between Astorga and Rabanal. These reports are sufficiently credible that we would like to make a general advisory that pilgrims walking alone on this section of the Camino Frances, might want to walk in pairs or groups. This is the general area where Denise the missing pilgrims was last seen a few weeks ago. The local police are still working on finding Deniese and also are aware of these latest occurrences.

The Camino has been a very safe place, and it still is, but it only takes a few to make the situation more uncertain. This message is not made to scare anyone, but more to inform of the situation, so that if you are walking this section in the next few days/weeks can make the necessary adjustments and find a walking parter.

If you decide to comment on this thread, please try to stay away from speculations, so that this thread can become a place where pilgrims can come and learn "what we actually know", and not rumors or speculations around this topic. The mods will help me with this.

Buen Camino!
Ivar
Thank you for the heads up - all info is welcome.
 

deborah101

New Member
I am leaving for my camino this Saturday 5/23. I will undoubtedly be walking through this area during the beginning of my camino (I'm starting in Leon.) As a solo female, I am wondering what details you can give about the situations that have been reported. This way I know behavior to look out for and when I should be walking with others. Any information you can provide would give this about-to-be pilgrim some peace of mind! Thank you! Sarah
Hi Sarah, there are 2 recent articles in the Spanish press, "Diario de Leon," about this situation. The most recent development, as per the articles, is that a local woman was victim of an attempted abduction, somewhere in the area of Santa Catalina de Somoza, a town located just after Astorga and before El Ganso. According to the article, since the disappearance of the American woman over a month ago, other women have have reported being harassed by a man or men in this same geographical area. The victim of the recent abduction attempt was "practicando deporte" someplace not far from the Camino de Santiago, near Santa Catalina de Somoza---my guess (sorry, I know we aren't supposed to speculate) is she was jogging, I say this because I have seen people jogging along the trail every time I walked through that area. The woman was quoted as saying her would-be abductors were not speaking in Castellano, that it sounded like an "Eastern" language. Links to both recent articles from the Diario de Leon may be found on the APOC (American Pilgrims on the Camino) Facebook page. Although I am a solo female hiker, I am out of the age demographic usually targeted for this sort of thing (read: old!), but if my daughter were planning to walk now, I would advise her to make sure to walk with other people, probably from Astorga all the way to Sarria, or at the very least to be sure to let someone know where she was going to be walking each day and to have her spider sense activated. When I was in that area just over a month ago, I actually called the police from the trail after running into, for the 3rd time, the phony "deaf-mutes" soliciting donations along isolated areas of the trail. According to the locals, a band of Rumanians has be frequenting certain areas on the trail, soliciting donations for a center for the hearing impaired. According to the locals, these are the same people who robbed pilgrims last summer at the albergue in O Cebreiro. I do not know whether they are connected with the recent incidents near Astorga, but I imagine the police know a lot more than they are telling at the moment. Last but not least, I wouldn't discourage anyone, even my own daughter, from walking the Camino right now. Just don't get so carried away with endorphins that you forget to pay attention... :)
 

steppingpono

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Meseta & Los Campos 2015
Portuguese 2016
Sjpdp - Burgos 2017
Hey, thanks.

Im walking cf alone in June. Was wondering if any groups or anyone will be in this area mid June so i can walk with someone??

Thanks
Will be leaving Burgos 2nd June - we are two "older" women - I am from Canada my friend is from Sweden only going as far as Astorga this year. Keep in touch if you need it - but also be assured you will meet wonderful caring people on the Camino who will look out for you too if you are open to it.
 

Suzanne S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino Frances/Muxia/Fisterre (2017) Caminho Portuguese/Fisterre
(2019) Camino del Norte
Thank you, Ivar! I'm leaving Carrion de los Condes tomorrow, so its good to be aware.
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
I've stopped walking with my headphones during my training walks and just take in the scenery and sounds. This is practice for the camino to be in the moment but also to be aware of my surroundings. I am a slow walker and not sure I will find other pilgrims to walk with on the Vdlp in Sept/October. Will have taken self defense by the time I leave but am going to do my best to try to trust that all will go well and that if it doesn't I'll know what to do.

On a lighter note I've read some funny approaches to threats. One pilgrim said he would ask the muggers to wait while he took out his list of Spanish curse words or protest, "Soy sacerdote y no tengo dinero." Guess I could be a "monja, sin dinero." Another person talked about saying , with waving hands, "in nomini patri, et fili, et spiritu santo." Another talked about having done a ninja routine swinging trekking poles until the person drove away cursing.
Long ago I heard that acting insane, or faking a seizure might scare away someone. But I guess in the end you never know how you will act. It will be instinctual. I knew 2 fellow female students long ago who were mugged. One froze as in a trance and the other one fought. Neither one ever predicted how she wound up reacting.
 

steppingpono

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Meseta & Los Campos 2015
Portuguese 2016
Sjpdp - Burgos 2017
Thank you for this post. I am hesitant to share this with immediate family. Would it be appropriate to start a thread for solo females beginning the Camino within the next month or so, or should we reply here? I am solo beginning in SJPdP June 25.
Great Idea I will be starting 2nd June from Burgos and ending Astorga this year around the 12/13th June. I will be starting with a friend(both of us older females) but we have different paces and might end up alone for a few days.
I dont want to seem alarmist but until this is sorted we should always be in shouting distance of someone - all along the way, as he might change from Astorga to who knows where.
 

Carina Grönroos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Are there many pilgrims out right now? I'm planning to start from Astorga may 31. Really hope I can join someone..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
And remember, this is one very small section of the entire Camino. Being in Pamplona and worrying about something happening in Astorga is like being in Portland, Oregon and being afraid because of an attempted abduction in Seattle, Washington. There have been no reports of any violent crime anywhere else along the route that I'm aware of.
 

lindalou

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Summer 2011
Depart SJDP May 29, (2015)
Hey, thanks.

Im walking cf alone in June. Was wondering if any groups or anyone will be in this area mid June so i can walk with someone??

Thanks
You can easily find someone at the lodging in Astorga. I am sure you will not be alone in this regard. Please don't let this discolor your excitement - you are going to have a wonderful experience!
 

Pruden

Pilgrim of life
Camino(s) past & future
October 2012 Camino Francés Sarria /Santiago.
November 2013 Camino Francés
León to Sarria
June 2014 Camino Francés San Juan Pie de Port to Logroño.
November 2016 Camino Frances ,Logroño to León.
Thanks Ivar ! Is a pitty things like this are hapening !
I honor the police take care of this .
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
I also will be there on my own in Sept./Oct. Thank you, Ivar, I appreciate this information. What is the source of the improper behaviour? Could be helpful to know.
Would be great if we were to meet up around this area and walk together to get past it…..but I don't start my walk (SJdP) until approx Sept 23/24 and all of October; few days in November...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many
I will be in Astorga in a week's time and will inquire directly with the local police for more details. There is sizable gap between "improper behavior" and kidnapping and a thread of this nature demands greater clarification.

If anybody closer or with more detailed knowledge of these matters is able to share them via PM I would appreciate having as many details as possible before making any inquiries.

Keep safe everyone.
 

angeliki louk

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2014 camino Frances.
June 2015 Camino north
Camino primitivo
Thank you Ivar for the information.
I walked last year the Camino frances and not a moment I was scared,even when I was walking alone....I am feeling a bit scared now even though I am walking Camino north in a month from now....I don't want to begin this magic way feeling scared...I ve been there and I know that u can find friends and walk in a group but if there is a day that u don't find someone to walk???
I don't know...I try to think positive but sometimes when I read about all this I am scared....I hope everyone has a Buen camino and I hope that the way will provide safety for every pilgrim.
 

Jane Erasmus

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('14)
Portuguese ('17)
Ingles ('17)
Muxia/Finisterre ( 14 & '17 & '18)
Del Norte ('18)
I walked on my own last year and never felt concerned, often walking in the early morning dark as I loved the sunrises - I would say, be alert, keep your eyes open and make sure there is always someone just ahead or behind you. You can still be walking on your own, yet not be on your own, if you get what I am explaining. I think as a South African woman I was just always very aware of my surroundings - I think we are generally hyper vigilant (which is actually a bit sad in its own way) So, to the solo ladies, enjoy your Camino, just keep your eyes and ears open. Buen Camino
 

BShea

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
(9/2019) RL Stevenson
Hey, thanks.

Im walking cf alone in June. Was wondering if any groups or anyone will be in this area mid June so i can walk with someone??

Thanks
I am starting on 27 May from Pamplona so I should be in Astorga around the 11th or so.
 

susieu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug. 2015 camino frances
I will be walking the Camino Francés in September (leave SJPP late August, walk in to Santiago about the end of September). I am a confident woman and not fearful. I will be happy to share this part of the route with traveling companions who might find reassurance in knowing we can all look out for one another. (Hey, it's my first post! Thanks to all who share their knowledge and good humor in this forum!)
Am leaving SJPP Aug 24 for my first Camino.....Maybe will see you.
 

joanna king

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012); Frances (2015)
An attempted kidnapping by two men, according to the press reports.[/QUOTE
Would be great if we were to meet up around this area and walk together to get past it…..but I don't start my walk (SJdP) until approx Sept 23/24 and all of October; few days in November...
Yes, that would have been great but I am leaving approx. Sept. 14. I'm sure there will be others to walk with when the time comes. Buen camino!
 

angelafinnigan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Dear Pilgrims,

There has been some improper behavior reported towards women over the last few weeks on the stage between Astorga and Rabanal. These reports are sufficiently credible that we would like to make a general advisory that pilgrims walking alone on this section of the Camino Frances, might want to walk in pairs or groups. This is the general area where Denise the missing pilgrims was last seen a few weeks ago. The local police are still working on finding Deniese and also are aware of these latest occurrences.

The Camino has been a very safe place, and it still is, but it only takes a few to make the situation more uncertain. This message is not made to scare anyone, but more to inform of the situation, so that if you are walking this section in the next few days/weeks can make the necessary adjustments and find a walking parter.

If you decide to comment on this thread, please try to stay away from speculations, so that this thread can become a place where pilgrims can come and learn "what we actually know", and not rumors or speculations around this topic. The mods will help me with this.

Buen Camino!
Ivar
Your comments are much appreciated Ivar. Thank you.
Angela
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Yes, I'm sure there will be others; and if not, I will fear not!
 

FlinFlonWalker

"Great Dreams Still Await My Soul"!
Camino(s) past & future
June 2015
Hey, thanks.

Im walking cf alone in June. Was wondering if any groups or anyone will be in this area mid June so i can walk with someone??

Thanks
I leave st Jean June 11 and have Orrison booked that night.
 

elysiandreamx

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
October (2015)
Would be great if we were to meet up around this area and walk together to get past it…..but I don't start my walk (SJdP) until approx Sept 23/24 and all of October; few days in November...
I'll be there Oct 12 - Nov 15th or so, so I'll keep an eye out for you too. Us ladies need to stick together :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
As stressful as this is for walkers, I think it is so wise to warn people. I know we all worry about blowing things out of proportion and about scaring people away from what is often a life changing experience. But preparation is good and simple precautions like walking with a group are likely to be effective. Thanks Ivar.
 

Elena1111

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I did the Primitivo last year. That was the first camino. Now I am planning to do the camino again, again the Primitivo but this time solo. My very first time to do the camino solo
Thank you Ivar for the information.
I walked last year the Camino frances and not a moment I was scared,even when I was walking alone....I am feeling a bit scared now even though I am walking Camino north in a month from now....I don't want to begin this magic way feeling scared...I ve been there and I know that u can find friends and walk in a group but if there is a day that u don't find someone to walk???
I don't know...I try to think positive but sometimes when I read about all this I am scared....I hope everyone has a Buen camino and I hope that the way will provide safety for every pilgrim.
I have the same feeling, I want to do this camino, but now I feel that I have to be overly alert. I do not want to spoil the magic of the camino, but at the same time, it sounds more necessary than ever to pay attention. I walk a different camino (Primitivo) and I know it is not anywhere near as busy as the CF, thats why I loved it and thats why I chose to do it again. What happened to Marc31 on the Primitiv just days ago it is unnerving, and I should be there Sat 23 (Escamplero).
Not nice, I hope and wish that something good will come from this situation. Meanwhile I am more than happy to join a thread for solo walkers
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many
Thank you mountaingoat. I get the feeling that the general approach to these situations, particularly the one near Astorga, is that the police are taking care of it and that pilgrims need only keep their wits about them.

That may well work to prevent something happening to you, but with a community as large as we are it would seem to me that a more proactive stance could be taken if we had more information like this. If I had a description of the van for example, I could quite easily keep an eye out for it while I am in the area. I am no junior detective but there is a reason that the police release perp sketches.

Above all else I would encourage everyone that sees something out of place, or if anyone is mis-treated, that they contact the police. There are plenty of translators along the camino willing to help get the job done if you don't speak the language.
 

Elaurel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walikgn the camino frances in Sept oct and hoping to get friends to join for finisterra muxia in october
With much gratitude Ivar; so helpful to know this. I will be on my own, but not until Sept/Oct, so I will keep in touch with this thread in the event I can hopefully join a few fellow pilgrims in this particular area; otherwise, I feel totally safe on my own. Maggie
Hi Maggie, i will be walking Sept Oct too on my own. Starting form Pamplona on Sept 2nd. Hope to meet you somehwere on the camino.
 

Elaurel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walikgn the camino frances in Sept oct and hoping to get friends to join for finisterra muxia in october
Hi I am also walking Sept Oct and will be starting Pamplona on the 2nd Sept.
 

Elena1111

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I did the Primitivo last year. That was the first camino. Now I am planning to do the camino again, again the Primitivo but this time solo. My very first time to do the camino solo
Thank you Ivar for posting this information.
 

Elaurel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walikgn the camino frances in Sept oct and hoping to get friends to join for finisterra muxia in october
Thank you for keeping us informed Ivar. I am also walking in sept/oct so it is good to bec aware. This is a fantastic group.
I am walking Sept Oct too, starting from Pamplona on Sept 2nd
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
That's my blog and the tazered pilgrims have reported on this forum in person.
Thanks so much for your post. In checking Brierley's edition that I have (2014) in the map section #23 (P.204), it doesn't mention a shortcut specifically, but it does show what appears to be an alternate route (in bray), but appears to be longer in distance. Murias de Rechivaldo, Castrillo de Polvazares, Santa Cataline, El ganso, ending in Rabanal are all on the main route (yellow)
Hi Maggie, i will be walking Sept Oct too on my own. Starting form Pamplona on Sept 2nd. Hope to meet you somehwere on the camino.
That would be lovely…..and if it doesn't happen, we're all going to be just fine. Thanks for your post
 

fiona99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
Dear Pilgrims,

There has been some improper behavior reported towards women over the last few weeks on the stage between Astorga and Rabanal. These reports are sufficiently credible that we would like to make a general advisory that pilgrims walking alone on this section of the Camino Frances, might want to walk in pairs or groups. This is the general area where Denise the missing pilgrims was last seen a few weeks ago. The local police are still working on finding Deniese and also are aware of these latest occurrences.

The Camino has been a very safe place, and it still is, but it only takes a few to make the situation more uncertain. This message is not made to scare anyone, but more to inform of the situation, so that if you are walking this section in the next few days/weeks can make the necessary adjustments and find a walking parter.

If you decide to comment on this thread, please try to stay away from speculations, so that this thread can become a place where pilgrims can come and learn "what we actually know", and not rumors or speculations around this topic. The mods will help me with this.

Buen Camino!
Ivar
Walked this route yesterday and did notice that police were patrolling the route fairly regularly....only time I felt a bit uncomfortable was when a red ? French plate car pulled off road and drew up very close to the Camino path.....took quite a few attempts to get where he wanted to be Parked. The route was however very busy So although walking alone other people were not to far off..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Thanks so much for your post. In checking Brierley's edition that I have (2014) in the map section #23 (P.204), it doesn't mention a shortcut specifically, but it does show what appears to be an alternate route (in bray), but appears to be longer in distance.
If I'm not wrong, I believe that alternative route is where the German peregrina and male pilgrim were tazed. I'd stick to the main route.
 

traveler

Walking is the answer
Camino(s) past & future
CF May-Jun '15
CF Dec '15
CF May-Jun ‘16
CF Dec ‘16
We're on the Camino right now and there are many, many people walking early morning to mid day. I happened to walk late afternoon (4-7 pm) Viana to Lograno today due to my wife's knee problems slowing us down. And there was no one on the trail. Perhaps one piece of good advice would be to get an early start and plan on being done walking by early afternoon.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2018)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2018)
What we know is that a pilgrim has disappeared and that recently some men apparently attempted to assault a local near (edit) Santa Catalina on the Camino Frances.

The two events may not be associated

(Edited to include location)
 
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grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Thanks to everyone for keeping unsupported speculation out of this thread, as Ivar has requested.

A few posts have been deleted as they were unsupported and only add to fear.

Remember that the recommendation is to use extra care and walk with others whenever possible...which is very easy to do on the Camino Frances. Keep others in sight and walk without fear.
 
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mtman100

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Summer 2015
Hey, thanks.

Im walking cf alone in June. Was wondering if any groups or anyone will be in this area mid June so i can walk with someone??

Thanks
My wife and I are leaving SJPDP on June 17th. You can walk with us if you like.
 

Elllie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk June 2015
Thank you. I'll leave sjpdp on June 1st though. Thanks anyway :)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)

Edith Frost

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
When I started my camino on April 1st I was hiking with a working cellphone and two hiking poles. By the time I got near Astorga I also had two safety whistles: a small one attached to my pack and a seriously super-loud one hanging around my neck & very visible.
 

krazeekuban

Coordinator Valley of the Sun Chapter/APOC
Camino(s) past & future
May/June(2012) Camino Frances. Sept/Oct Camino Frances, Santiago/Finsterre 2013. 2013 Pilgrim Office Amigo Volunteer. Oct 2014 Camino Ingles , Pilgrim Office in Santiago Vol Sep '15, Camino Portuguese Oct '15,volunteer Sept 2015 Ribadiso muni albergue
Thank you Ivar
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztan, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués. Future: Madrid (2019)
14524992061_c46ff98409_z.jpg
I took this photo last June between Astorga and Murias. It will hopefully reassure new pilgrims that this is a busy stretch of the Camino and you should have no difficulty finding someone to walk with, or staying within sight of other pilgrims. Buen Camino all and thanks Ivar for sharing this information.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
Hola!
You might put your starting date into Camino Calendar: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/calendar/ so you won't have to respond to each and every post about your departure date ;)

Don't panic, everything will be OK!
I am exceptionally reassured to know that the information is current, accurate, and presented in a matter-of-fact way. Very helpful. Knowledge is power.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
When I started my camino on April 1st I was hiking with a working cellphone and two hiking poles. By the time I got near Astorga I also had two safety whistles: a small one attached to my pack and a seriously super-loud one hanging around my neck & very visible.
I do that everytime I go out with my backpack. Sort of a reminiscence of a past times when I was alpinist and there were no cell phones in case of emergency ;)

Good that you've mentioned that!!!
 

fallow

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
Hi I am also walking Sept Oct and will be starting Pamplona on the 2nd Sept.
Hi Elaurel - I will be starting from Logrono on the 5th September so I think we may be walking the same or similar stages - hoping to see you there!
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
These articles are about an incident near Santa Catalina de Somoza just West of Astorga at a rest stop along the camino. I speculate that this incident is what has caused Ivar to post his warning.

El Correo Gallego .es
http://www.elcorreogallego.es/santia...edium=facebook

Diario de León
http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/...no_979812.html

ElBierzoDigital
http://www.elbierzodigital.com/los-i...se-thiem/89180

Reading all of the articles will remove any need to speculate, as the journalists really cover everything.
 

mauveglass

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC (Sept/Oct 2012) St Jean-SdC (Sept/Oct 2016)
With much gratitude Ivar; so helpful to know this. I will be on my own, but not until Sept/Oct, so I will keep in touch with this thread in the event I can hopefully join a few fellow pilgrims in this particular area; otherwise, I feel totally safe on my own. Maggie
I am also walking alone Sept/Oct. When and where are you starting from? Cindy
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Dear Ivar - Thank you so much for this thread and your email. I have friends starting from St Jean in a couple of days so I have sent them the link and have asked them to let pilgrims know about the recent problem.
Thanks again - Jenny
 

freespirit

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Lourdes v SJPDP - Santiago (June/July 2010) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (July/August 2015) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (June/July/August 2017)
I will be starting my second Camino early July,on my first I saw many women and young girls walking alone, and they was always safe ,if I can walk with any one to ease there fear,look out for me and just tag along,but dont worry girls there are plenty of pilgrims about.
 

Maddy2015

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting May 23, at SJPDP!
Hi! I'll be walking from Astorga to Rabanal on June 9th; being a solo female first timer, I'd love to meet up and walk with someone if they'll be in the area!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Hi! I'll be walking from Astorga to Rabanal on June 9th; being a solo female first timer, I'd love to meet up and walk with someone if they'll be in the area!
There will be people to walk with when you leave in the morning.
Ask if you can tag along.....or simply keep them in sight.
You will have a hard time to not be in sight of other pilgrims.
Use caution and have a good time.
 

whitelily

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino in April 2015
Thank you so much for this thread and your email, Ivar.
and for those who are walking or planning to walk the Camino.. Buen Camino & Ultreya !!
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
These articles are about an incident near Santa Catalina de Somoza just West of Astorga at a rest stop along the camino. I speculate that this incident is what has caused Ivar to post his warning.



Diario de León
http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/...no_979812.html
Here is an English translation I worked with to try to clarify the article for those of you without the ability to read in Spanish or work around the google translator:

English translation:

All alarms came back last Saturday afternoon when two men tried to kidnap a woman walking through an area near the Camino de Santiago as it passes through Santa Catalina de Somoza, in the town of Astorga. Local residents explained to this newspaper that this is not the first time that similar events are logged in the environment, sometimes to be reported some uncertainty in this area. In fact, it is the same section in which approximately one and a half months ago, Denise Thiem was lost track of, an American pilgrim who has been gone since April 5, when she sent an email to an friend and greeted 'from Astorga "also telling him that she intended to continue to El Ganso. And for that there is no alternative but to follow the Camino de Santiago, where Santa Catalina is a must if the usual route is followed.

In line with the investigations to clarify the whereabouts of this pilgrim [Denise Thiem], of whom nothing is known, it has emerged that one of the lines that shuffled the security forces was to analyze the testimony of other women who have acknowledged having been "harassed" and "disturbed "in this same area.

It seems that nothing is casual, but at the moment, the task is trying to find out whether or not there is a relationship between all cases. Finally, recorded on Saturday at about five in the afternoon, the victim is not a pilgrim but a neighboring villager who had gone for a walk and to play sports as usual. It was then, while walking down a near Pilgrim's Way area, near the rest area for pilgrims, when CAF saw two men who were in a small dark car... one made a gesture, "as if they had a question and would like to ask me something," acknowledges the victim, who asked not to approach individuals too. That's when I saw one of them while the other wore the partially covered face, got out. She maintained at all times a safety margin that allowed her to run away when she saw something strange in the intentions of the two men. However, when starting the flight the man who was out of the vehicle and closer to the victim managed to take her arm, causing bruising. Still, the neighboring Santa Catalina woman managed to escape and ran up to hide in nearby bushes. The two individuals lost track of her , but she knew that one of them tried to follow her. The other man did not get off the car.

After managing to escape and hide, she sounded the alarm, calling and asking for help. At that point, neighborhood sources, police officers and Civil Guard moved in to collect evidence and try to find the two men.

Now, in addition, it remains to be clarified whether these events have any connection with the events from before, or if there is a relationship with [Denise Thiem], th pilgrim disappeared. Although this stretch of road has been combed exhaustively, her whereabouts are unknown, nor are there clues.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
Grrr...too bad she wasn't carrying the "big stick"...Beat them about the head with it. Boy this makes me mad...

And the whistle is a great idea...two is even better than one!
The woman who made the report was apparently just doing some sports in the area, but was traveling in the same area as the Camino--so she would not have been carrying the useful walking poles.
 

Angelo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Portugues (2015)
Madrid (2017)
Inglés (2017)
Invierno (Apr. 2019)
Thank you Ivar for the heads up.

As for those who are doing the Camino on their own, it would be easy to find a walking partner or group as you progress towards Astorga. The months of May to August would be busy and you will never be walking without anyone in front or behind you. This, however was not the case on the Camino Portugues, which I have just finished . But there was never any fear for anyone's safety amongst the pilgrims I met.

The usual vigilance and being aware of one's surroundings would be needed on the Camino, much like anywhere we go.

Buen Camino!
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
We're on the Camino right now and there are many, many people walking early morning to mid day. I happened to walk late afternoon (4-7 pm) Viana to Lograno today due to my wife's knee problems slowing us down. And there was no one on the trail. Perhaps one piece of good advice would be to get an early start and plan on being done walking by early afternoon.
No, not just perhaps - it is the best advice by far that I have read here and that I share: start early when many others start walking and finish by early afternoon.
 

Genevieve123

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
Hey, thanks.

Im walking cf alone in June. Was wondering if any groups or anyone will be in this area mid June so i can walk with someone??

Thanks
Hi Ellie
I was in Go Outdoors, Oxford last Friday and helped by a young man called James. I believe you were there just before me and had mentioned you were doing the Camino. Im arriving in St Jean on Saturday 20th June and am also quite nervous about starting the walk alone. will you be there around the same time?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
It's 8:45 am in Spain and I just watched the news clip about what happened yesterday en route to Astorga. The woman this happened to is a local who jogs on that path regularly and she is easily in her 50s. She knew the area and this helped her hide after she distracted the men in the car and ran from them after they actually managed to put their hands on her. Again, these things are not just a concern for the young women.

And Imwrite this as I am heading solo from Oviedo to Esclampero on my own, via Naranco sites so I assume few will be walking with me.
 
L

Lise T

Guest
No, not just perhaps - it is the best advice by far that I have read here and that I share: start early when many others start walking and finish by early afternoon.

My incident ( where a man tried to grab me in Aug 2013 ) happened between Vanna and Logorono in the afternoon. Like Traveler's post there was no one around. ( I only saw three people). Where as in the morning when I left Los Arcos I definitely felt like I was in a wave.

I totally agree with the recommendations to walk early when there appear to be more people around.
 

Cailin O Eire

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Sarria to Santiago Easter 2014
Hope to walk for 5 days from St Jean Pied De Port to wherever my feet bring me to first week of June 2016
Hi can someone tell me what time is first light now In Spain it's about 6am here in Ireland. I think some of the best advice is in connection with walk early walk with the wave the later in the day one leaves it is likely that later means less people.
Thanks in advance
Rita
 

Angelo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Portugues (2015)
Madrid (2017)
Inglés (2017)
Invierno (Apr. 2019)
Rita,
I just came back from Camino Portugues. Sunrise would be just before 7am. If you stay in the Albergues, you'd be woken by the activity of the early risers and you can ask to join a group when they leave.
 

ngm

" hikelover "
Camino(s) past & future
2010 - Camino Francés to Finisterre 840 km.
2012 - Via de la Plata/ Camino Sanabres some 1000 km
2014 - Camino de Levante/ Sureste .. and ending with the Camino de Invierno ( 1200 km )
2016 - Camino Mozárabe (- de la Plata -Sanabres /Invierno) from Granada to Santiago de Compostela ( 1180 km )
Be care.. All of you, pilgrims outthere.

Buen Camino
 

Elena1111

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I did the Primitivo last year. That was the first camino. Now I am planning to do the camino again, again the Primitivo but this time solo. My very first time to do the camino solo
Since no-one seems to have created a thread for those who want walking companions, I just did:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/ill-walk-with-you.33777/
We take care of each other here...everyone's posts are very heartening. (BTW, I echo the 'no fear' comments. There are many pilgrims now and by and large we DO take care of each other.)
The woman who made the report was apparently just doing some sports in the area, but was traveling in the same area as the Camino--so she would not have been carrying the useful walking poles.
Walking poles are useful if you know how t use them, and even better without a backpack
 

Elena1111

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I did the Primitivo last year. That was the first camino. Now I am planning to do the camino again, again the Primitivo but this time solo. My very first time to do the camino solo
It's 8:45 am in Spain and I just watched the news clip about what happened yesterday en route to Astorga. The woman this happened to is a local who jogs on that path regularly and she is easily in her 50s. She knew the area and this helped her hide after she distracted the men in the car and ran from them after they actually managed to put their hands on her. Again, these things are not just a concern for the young women.

And Imwrite this as I am heading solo from Oviedo to Esclampero on my own, via Naranco sites so I assume few will be walking with me.
Have a lovely walk Anemone. Are there many people starting the Primitivo this time of the year?
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
This is from Diario de León, a reputable newspaper

http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/provincia/dos-hombres-intentan-raptar-mujer-junto-tramo-camino_979812.html

el sábado por la tarde, cuando dos hombres intentaron raptar a una mujer que caminaba por una zona cercana al Camino de Santiago a su paso por Santa Catalina de Somoza,

last saturday afternoon (at about 5 pm), two men tried to kidnap a woman who was walking in an area near Camino de Santiago at Santa Catalina de Somoza

The victim was not a pilgrim, but a local woman instead.

Two men, one of them partially covering his head, in a small dark coloured car, tried to catch her, but she managed to run away and hide behind some bushes.

The newspaer claims similar assaults have been reported lately, although they do not give any more information about this. Police are investigating these incidents in order to find out whether they are related to the case of Denise, the American pilgrim who went missing around that are a few weeks ago.

IVAR, please feel free to censor, cut, delete this message as you see fit with the policy of the website, I am only transcribing excerpts of information from a newspaper (dated may 18th, 2015)
 
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