The Girls Guide to Good Grooming for the Camino

Today’s a day of waxing, dyeing, plucking, clipping and buffing.

Nope – I’m not remodeling a ’67 Chevy, I’m doing my Camino grooming.

Setting out to spend 30-40 days walking some 500 miles across Spain takes a lot of planning. There’s the training, buying all that gear, working out all the logistics, and then there’s the grooming. And ladies, good grooming is what separates us from, well them.

Maybe the Man of La Mancha marched blissfully without any preening, but the idea of me setting out without decking out – is just (wait for it…..) the “impossible dream.”


Pre-Camino grooming is very important to me. Some people (I’m talking to you darling husband) think I’m completely mad, worrying about my nail color, roots showing or poor pores…. but seriously, why shouldn’t I at least try to look my best while shvitzing like poor Sancho Panza on my Spanish Schlep?

So here’s my official Pilgrims Pampering Plan:

Nailed It: I hope to walk about 15 miles a day for about 30-40 days, so I gotta keep my feet happy.  For the first time in decades, my tootsies will be au naturale. No more Sugar Daddy, Ballet Slippers, Bachelorette Bash, Smokin’ Hot,  or my fave Udon Know Me – Nope, I’m going with what God gave me, “In the Buff” … and it’s classic matte. No, it’s not because I live close to Boulder or that I own four pairs of Birks, I’m going all granola because I need to be able to see if there’s any bruising or signs of (gasp) losing a toenail.

I should have gotten a huge discount on my pedicure ‘cuz that gal didn’t have to lift a finger on my toes. I got ’em cut really short and told her not to touch my calluses. I need all that build-up. Instead of filing it all away, I had her rub a gallon of lotion into my feet and massage the shit out of them. I’m proud of my calluses and know they’ll help cushion every friggin step.

As for fingernails – I hate that “gel gap” or “shellac space.” I don’t want to have to try to find a nail salon on “The Way,” so my fingerlings (yep, my fingers look like little potatoes) are all trimmed down and naked.

Get Thee to a Stylist: One of my biggest worries is, what am I going to do with my hair? I can’t rock a ponytail or a bandana or even a sweatband – I just don’t have that face. I’ve got a big old round Irish face. My hair is super fine, has no shape, no body, and no pizzaz – worrying about how to look presentable while schlepping through Spain is, right now, one of my biggest concerns; not the actual walking.

So my stylist did what every stylist does for a woman of “a certain age” – she gave me the “Mom Bob.” Mine’s a pseodo Kate Gosselin cut with a twist….. I don’t have all those kids, that husband, or those chunky highlights.  If only I had mom hair like Kate Middleton. Sighhhhhhh

I also got my roots – and eyebrows done. Hey, during the construction stage it is NOT A PRETTY SIGHT – but I’m either going to pay now – or pay on the road…. I choose now. I will not go grey graciously. Not now, not evah.

My pre-Camino plans include some major root work – NOPE, it ain’t a pretty sight.

Protect that Pout – Get a Facial: I don’t think it’s going to be easy when I’m trekking through Spain’s fields, farms, mountains and villages to truly take care of my skin. I’ll wash my face, slather on some sun protection, wear the world’s most hideous hat and hope for the best. My skin is going to take a beating. So today I took some preventive care and did it up. I got my mug blasted with the ultimate hydration mask. Happy pores make for happy trails.

Dare to be Bare – We’re Talkin’ Waxing: If the weather forecast is to believed, it’s going to be hot as ass while I’m hoofin’ it across Navarre – the bread basket of Spain. And as I’ve already shared with you – I sweat – and I mean like – you know, “sweaaaaaaaaaaaaat” there, there and there. Yep, everywhere. So I’ve gone all “commando.” Yeah,  it’s a tad pervy, but pristine.  I don’t think we need to cover this any more – you get it, right?! I’m confident it’ll help – I mean c’mon, ever see Telly Savalas sweat? I think I’ve made my point.

Massage: I’ve been talking, planning, dreaming, fretting about this schlep for more than two years and, I’ll be honest with you, yeah, it’s taken its toll. I know it sounds like a walk in the park to be able to just take off and you know, walk in the park…. but uhhh, it’s not. All this planning and stuff is stressful. Ladies, before you take off on your own Camino, get a massage – work out some of that stress before you set off on the pilgrims path. Think of it as a happy beginning – why wait for a happy ending?

Don’t Leave Home Without It: I never ever leave home without my Bobbi Brown face cream and eye cream (NO, I’m not a paid spokesperson, this shit is just that good). I’ve transferred my creams from their glass jars and put them in small plastic jars with lids. They weigh nothing, but will bring me a sense of luxury at the end of a long day’s walk. Veterans of the Camino say “The Camino provides” maybe that’s true, maybe there are miracles to be found on “the way,” but just in case they’re running short of miracles, I’m bringing my magic in a jar.

After a full day of grooming – this girl is finally ready for the Camino

One Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: