All Roads That Lead to Rome Are Paved With Rock and Stone
(I know. I am walking on them)
June 9, 2014
And today’s product placement commercial is brought to you by the makers of Vaseline, Tampax and Coke.
Now a word from my sponsors ( I wish these companies would underwrite our pilgrimage).
For you of the male species, this part has no bearing on you. You just don’t get it. But us females…well…we want to know: How do you walk the Camino when it is that special time of month? I know YOU want to ask this question, because let’s face it, walking 500 miles takes some time and Aunt Flo will visit us females at least twice—oh lucky us.
I will try to remain tactful on this subject. If this is too much TMI for you to contemplate, don’t read any further. But I’m a practical, down- to- earth type of person and I believe that my blog is to entertain, educate and inform.
First off, I would highly suggest that you pack some ( not all) feminine hygiene products that you like to use. Chances are, your cycle will be thrown off ( me…not so lucky) and for some you just might stop altogether due to time change, food intake change, the amount of exercise you are doing…but just bring along a few women products as you don’t want to pack the extra wright. And you don’t want to be caught unaware in a small town on a holiday when all the stores are closed.
Yes, you can buy pads and tampons here along the Camino. The tiny stores will not sell the same brand you are used to, nor do they stock all the variety of sizes that you find in the States. Not much choice at all. However, because I am doing the homework for you, Tampax Tampons are found in all the stores ( the teeny tiny hole in the wall village store to the larger markets. Might not have the size you want in stock in the one store you first go to, but they do sell them. You will just have to stop at the different locations in town or proceed to the next town. I have found them being sold in packs of 20 in Light, Regular, Super and Super Plus and the cost is anywhere from 3.50-4.50 €. As for pads, well…I have only seen Spanish brands and I do not know what thickness or length they are.
Speaking of pads. For me personally, and yes…this goes into TMI, but at least you will be able to decide ahead of time what will work for you, instead of having an embarrassing situation occur. I can’t walk wearing them out here. To sweaty and this causes the pad sticky glue to not stick in place. At least that is what I am finding to happen.
For others who have done the Camino, please weigh in.
Also, there are plenty of bars and cafés with bathrooms that you can use ( you will need to purchase something…get a Coke or an Aquarius, which is a product of Coke- helps with those cramps) or, hide on the side of the road and put some survival skills to use. Don’t forget to pack out your stuff. Bring a few baggies with you to keep the Camino Hwy clean.
AND DON’T flush feminine products down the toilet!
And that brings me to Vaseline. I LOVE this product. It keeps your butt checks and inner sweaty thighs from chaffing! Trust me…if you are wearing a pad, it is going to shift and rub you raw in areas you don’t want to be rubbed raw in while walking long distances. It is a lot easier to take your shoes and socks off on the side of the road to deal with blisters by rubbing on Vaseline, but try doing this on the side of the road with your pants down around your ankles or your skirt flung over your shoulder to rub Vaseline where no one wants to see as they go walking by. Plus, those tiny gnats get stuck in the Vaseline and now you are wearing them.
Also, if you are a fan of the wet butt wipes like I am, bring along your pack from home ( I gladly carried the weight) and when you use them up, you can purchase these in smaller quantities in the Chinese stores found in many villages along the Camino or in the tiny markets.
There you go. Now you know what to expect when you cycle…not the bike riding cycle either.
Literally lauhing out loud! Tell it like it is. So happy that through your camino you’re still able to keep us in stitches. Thanks and buen camino!
Just loving your blog posts each day Shawna – GOOD on YOU for telling it just like it is. Even though I no longer have to worry about such issues as Monthly Cycles these days, I do know lots of fellow female walkers who do and who have worried and pondered on this very issue.
Big hugs to you both for the next stage of your walk.
I am lso a fan of “wet” wipes. One trick I have used to lighten my pack a bit (and we all know every bit counts) is to let them dry out and add water as needed. You can keep a few in a separate baggie and add water in the morning or just get one wet as you need it.
This is very practical and helpful advice Shawna! When were you ever worried about TMI?! [remember your infamous boob shot?] 🙂
Thankfully, I won’t have to deal with this issue on the Camino! But, still interesting to know about.
Oh my gosh! You had me in tears! I’m so glad you addressed this issue because I would not have thought to plan ahead! Thank you!!!
I love this post! These are the kinds of things I worry about on the Camino, and am so glad there is someone out there who is not afraid to tell it like it is. I’m really enjoying following your journey – you guys are doing wonderfully! Buen Camino! 🙂
I highly recommend a menstrual cup, like the Diva Cup or Moon Cup. Lightweight, reusable, environmentally friendly and only need to be emptied 2-3 times a day. Wouldn’t travel without one!
I agree. The menstrual cup is easy. I bought on for backpacking but use it exclusively now.
“I will try to remain tactful on this subject.”
Now where is the fun in that?! 🙂 It seems like you and Abby are doing great! Congratulations, Shawna!