Is it safe to walk the Camino alone?

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One of the most common questions I am asked when people hear of my adventure walking 800km across Spain and soon to be 650km across Portugal – is it safe to walk the Camino alone? (Actually it will be 750km as I am definitely walking from Santiago to Finesterre this time round which is +- 100km’s over 4 days)

My opinion is yes, it is safe, I would think safer than many local walking routes in most countries and most definitely safer than walking even in a group in South Africa.

Even though the Camino Frances is incredibly safe one still needs to be aware, I can’t vouch for the Portuguese Way as yet but research shows it is just as safe as the Francis Way. Gerry, a dear friend walked the Portuguese Way last year May and I know he cares enough about me to have warned me if this route was not safe for women to walk alone. 2013 I walked a fair distance (280km) with my two girls alone the entire way and in a time that the Camino is not busy. Not once did I or the girls not feel safe, in fact both Cassidy and Tanika mentioned how safe they felt in Spain. Perhaps one of the reasons there are so few reports of any mishaps regarding pilgrims is that we are normally in bed by 21h00 and sleeping 5 seconds later.

Some of the misconceptions about Spain are quite funny. Firstly, Spain is not a third world country, it has a brilliant internal travel system, its banking system is the same as the rest of the world, you will recognise the food, its healthcare system is great, (not that I have experienced it but a few pilgrims walking with me 2012 did and the reports were very favourable), most things that you forget you will be able to buy locally.

Now after all that bear in mind that the Camino Frances goes through some of the most rural areas in Spain. Outside of the main cities you will find it difficult to buy much apart from food – but you will not need anything, bar food and water.

Most start walking alone and end up as part of a loose group as they walk – this is one of the best parts of the Camino meeting amazing and interesting people.

I am most fortunate in that my best friend will be walking with me as well as another friend. The ying yang is balanced this time with Sharon and Alan by my side.

Oh and one last thing, Cassidy and Tanika would like to walk the Francis Way after matric with one or two of their friends and they have my blessing because I know it is SAFE!!

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