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First Camino Safety Concerns

Discussion in 'The Camino Portugues' started by Jayne, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Jayne

    Jayne New Member

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    Hi! Just signed up and on the trail out of Lisboa on our first full Camino . A bit anxious about the long, isolated stretches. Should I be concerned about safety or just get over it and relax?
     
  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jayne - Welcome to the Forum. Let me phrase my comments by saying that everyone should ALWAYS be conscious of their surroundings regardless of the Camino they are walking. You're correct that there can be some long, isolated stretches whether it be on the Portugués or other routes. I can't tell by your post if you're already walking, but it sounds like you're with someone else. From my perspective, if you have a walking partner, you've already minimized certain inherent risks that one can find anywhere.

    I've just returned from the Porto-Santiago portion of the route and I would make two observations. First, at this time of year, there are not as many pilgrims walking as there will be a month from now. On our first two days out of Porto, we only crossed paths with four other hikers. All the more reason to have a walking partner! Second, although there were isolated sections on the northern section of this Camino, I had no sense that I should be particularly alarmed walking it at a non-busy time of year. By the time we had reached Santiago, we had had the opportunity to chat with a number of women walking alone. No one indicated any type of discomfort in their travels with regards to safety. Nonetheless, always stay aware of your surroundings and exercise good judgement and caution when necessary. Although it might not be everyone's preference, having a walking partner would reduce some of the anxiety over legitimate safety issues and at the same time be someone to share the experience with. Bom Caminho!
     
  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jayne and welcome to the Forum.

    Statistically Camino Walking is very safe – But incidents aren’t unheard of and one female Pilgrim was lured off the main trail and murdered on The Camino Frances http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ellow-arrows-led-straight-suspect-s-farm.html

    So you certainly shouldn’t be Blaze when it comes to Safety !!



    As I read your post, you say ”our first full Camino” – So I am also assuming that you aren’t walking alone – If that is the case, then I really can’t see any major safety issues, so, as you say “just get over it and relax”



    However, If you are intending to walk the route solo, please pop up another post to clarify this and I am sure that you will get more good advice.

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  4. Jayne

    Jayne New Member

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    Hi Wiley,
    Thanks very much for the quick and detailed reply! Yes, there are 2 of us walking and so far, it's been great.
    We are up to day 4 now and the scenery and 'mood' have improved a lot since Lisbon. It is quiet on the walk so far as we've only met 6 other walkers- 2 of them were women walking alone. I think my initial concerns had a lot to do with the practicalities of traversing a large city.
    Having said that, we will of course remain vigilant.
    Cheers. Jayne
     
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  5. Jayne

    Jayne New Member

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    Hi Rob,
    Thanks for your thoughts! Yes, there are 2 of us and we have come across 2 female solo walkers since Lisbon. They certainly didn't seem worried. The walking has been wonderful. So far, so good! Cheers. Jayne
     
  6. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jayne - Good to hear from you. Glad your Camino is going well. I understand your concern about traversing a large city. When you reach Porto, let me suggest that you take the coastal route out of the city. That way, you'll avoid another long industrial section. From the cathedral, it's a nice walk along the Douro River to the coast. From there, it's boardwalk almost all the way to Vila do Conde. At that point, we cut in toward Arcos to catch the Central Route. If it also works out, I'd highly recommend spending a night at Casa Fernanda. It's about halfway between Barcelos and Ponte de Lima. As that is a long stage (33.6 km adjusted for elevation), Fernanda's house is a great choice for a stop. You won't find a more gracious person than her anywhere. I would call in advance to see if she has room (914 589 521). Hope you've adjusted tomthe cobblestones! :) Enjoy! Bom Caminho!
     
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