Pilgrims warned not to walk alone on Camino de Santiago

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fran eirin flickr

PILGRIMS walking the Camino de Santiago have been warned to avoid walking alone on part of the route as police investigate an attempted abduction in the same area an American woman disappeared six weeks ago.
Denise Thiem was last seen in Astorga, Leon, on April 5. The 41-year-old from Arizona was doing the Camino Frances, one of the most popular routes pilgrims take to Santiago de Compostela.
More than a month and a half after she disappeared, police continue to investigate while family and friends recruit volunteers to search the area.
Alarm was sparked in the small municipality of Astorga when a local woman out jogging reported two men had tried to grab her and pull her into a car.
As police investigate both cases, one of the pilgrimage’s largest English-speaking forums has advised people to avoid walking between Astorga and Rabanal del Camino alone. “It seemed like it got to a point where there were so many things, and when you put them together it sounded like we should tell people about this,” said site administrator Ivar Rekve.
Meanwhile locals have said this isn’t the first time incidents have happened and complained of a lack of security in the area and several more pilgrims have reported inappropriate behaviour.
One woman from New York said a mountain biker had accosted her and repeatedly tried to touch her chest, and another from Germany said a white car kept passing her while she was walking alone near Astorga.
Local authorities have also decided to recommend pilgrims avoid travelling alone in remote areas just in case.
“It’s for precaution, we understand there isn’t any danger,” the local mayor said, likening the warning to those to watch over luggage at airports.
“The airport isn’t full of people who rob all the time, but there are a few people who will find a piece of luggage and take it,” she said, urging pilgrims to stay calm and stressing that the incidents where still being treated as isolated cases.




2 COMMENTS

  1. I would like to warn solo female walkers of an incident on the Portugese Coastal Camino before Esposende on May 6th 2015 when a local guy who had been following me on a bike ,later jumped out of the bushes ,tried to drag me into bushes/rape me.I would consider this area unsafe to walk alone as remote and isolated.

  2. [quote]I would like to warn solo female walkers of an incident on the Portugese Coastal Camino before Esposende on May 6th 2015 when a local guy who had been following me on a bike ,later jumped out of the bushes ,tried to drag me into bushes/rape me.I would consider this area unsafe to walk alone as remote and isolated.[/quote]
    Hi Lorna, I’m sorry about your frightening experience, did you report the crime to the police and are you willing to share your testimonial in our facebook group?
    The Buddy System for women group
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/CaminoBuddySystemForWomen/
    it’s a closed group but I invite you to join our network and share your voice in informing other women in regards to the danger of sexual violence on the camino which we all have to take it seriously now. Thanks. H.L

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