This was posted on the forum late October 2018.
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.
Read all the responses to Warning for solo female pilgrims to be aware on Mozárabe here on the forum.