PC#60 – Is the Camino an 800km pick-up joint?

Do some people walk the Camino to “hook up?”

Kathy Foote in her most recent blog wrote about a couple who were forced to share a double room one night – she titled her post Sleeping with Strangers. The couple had a great night together (the walls were very thin, Kathy wrote), and they ended up walking the rest of the Camino together.


I wrote a blog titled Sex on the Camino where I argued that the energy of the Camino worked to create a strangely chaste environment.


The two blog posts are not contradictory. I was aware of several hook-ups during my pilgrimage, and I wasn’t even really plugged in to the social interactions around me, because I was walking my own walk. So there could well have been many more.

Certainly the Camino throws people together, as in the case that Kathy cited, and often the shared experience of hardship and exhilaration quickly forges bonds. Relationships form, and sometimes they last well beyond the Camino.

As well, many people walking the Camino are single, they’re unattached or between relationships, some are emotionally vulnerable and are seeking companionship.

Some too are quite deliberately on the hunt for a partner, or a short term relationship. You can see them at work. It ain’t pretty.

But do people decide to walk the Camino to look for a hook-up? (A hook-up implies a quick transitory relationship.) And do some so-called pilgrims regard the Camino like a Mediterranean cruise ship, or a holiday to Cancun?

Cheap beer, and hey, we’re all in this together. Why not have some fun? 

You are at your least attractive on the Camino, let’s face it. But that’s not necessarily a disincentive to hooking-up. Ship-wreck survivors on a desert island are unattractive too. But ship-wreck survivors have been known to co-mingle.

I believe that the spiritual energy on the Camino is conducive to bringing people together who are meant to be together.

But as it becomes more popular, as more and more people walk the Camino, is it fast becoming an 800km pickup joint?

Boadilla couple

11 thoughts on “PC#60 – Is the Camino an 800km pick-up joint?

  1. I only saw one case of it that I knew of and that one was filled with drama and on again and off again. I have no idea how it ended up as it involved folks from Germany and the US. Kind of hard to continue. But, like you Bill, I can’t say that I paid any attention. These just happened to be in my “group”.


    • Yes Steve –

      I was too busy walking and worrying about my own problems.

      But i did see some pretty obvious attempts at hooking up, and I also saw some long term relationships form too – in one instance, it was very very sweet, and the couple really were a great fit, or so it seemed.



  2. We saw it, on several occasions, and once could not avoid hearing a very personal conversation in our casa rurale dining room. For people who are available to new relationships, I suppose any part of their lives is a potential pickup joint, and the emotional intensity of the the camino is powerful. I hope it worked out well for them.


  3. I met a woman in the Hotel Akeretta (yes, the place from the movie), her name was Mary (name changed) she was all dressed up in short shorts, a white spaghetti strap top, fully made up with her hair nicely coifed and a backpack on her back.

    She sat at the same dinner table as I, she barely ate a bite but spent the dinner hour telling me that she had the world’s best husband back in Canada who encouraged her to take some time off and enjoy herself doing what she had wanted for so long – the Camino.

    Two days later, we caught up again. This time she was with a fellow. I saw them entering a hotel where I had just eaten breakfast.

    Again at another hotel, I believe in Logrono, we again crossed paths. This time she and the beau were waiting for the elevator and he was rubbing her derriere.

    And finally again in Burgos where Mary introduced me to Sam and told me how she found her true love, her soul mate on the Camino.

    I didn’t ask, but wondered – what about the greatest husband in the world back in Canada?



  4. Seems like the WordPress spam filter isn’t working too well this morning.

    I fly swatted them, but it’s a nuisance.

    Not sure if you guys are getting them – they’re coming up on earlier posts, but they come through on my email notifications.



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