June 2022 Newsletter.
June Walk + Meetup
+ Camino Open Weekend at Glenella

June Camino Training Walk + Meetup
in Blackheath
Saturday 25th June
Plus:  Camino Open Weekend at Glenella

Easy walk - Enjoy the Winter hues around the streets of Blackheath and the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens and Blackheath Memorial Park as you make your way to Govetts Leap Lookout before returning to Blackheath village.  11km.

Medium walk - A good training walk along the Burramoko fire trail out to Baltzer Lookout with spectacular views over the Grose Valley.  The brave can scramble down to Hanging Rock.  14km.
You will need to book the walk PRIOR
to booking accommodation at Glenella. 

All information is on our TryBooking page
 Click HERE

July Events 

Sunday 24th July
Feast of St James Day Eve Dinner
Saturday 30th July
Camino Training Walk + Meetup 

Further Details in our July Newsletter
Save the Dates
Saturday 27th August, Camino Training Walk + Meetup
Tuesday 6th to Saturday 10th September, 5-Day Walk - Details and Registration Here
Saturday 24th September, Camino Training Walk + Meetup
Saturday 29th October, Camino Training Walk + Meetup
Tuesday 1st to Saturday 5th November, 5-Day Walk - Details and Registration Here.
Saturday 26th November, Camino Training Walk + Meetup 

We hope you will join us in 2022.
New Volunteer Portal
Pictured:  Nick and Margaret at the Pilgrim Welcome Table.
The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters have created a Volunteer Portal to provide opportunities for the Camino Community to be involved in our local Camino events.

We relish being able to offer opportunities for people to give back to the Camino Community, in recognition of all the Camino has given to so many. 

There are opportunities to support our walks, get involved in our 5-Day Walks and much more! Thank you to those who have already registered, we appreciate your support.

Read more about the various volunteer opportunities HERE.
Our May Training Walk and Meetup
Top Row  Medium Walk from Kings Tableland out to Ingar Dam, Wentworth Falls  (Rosie Edmonds),
Bottom Row  Easy Walk around Wentworth Falls Lake (Ann Panitz)
The Medium walkers met on Kings Tableland Road for a long walk along the firetrail to Ingar Dam and return.  "A longish amble to Ingar Dam via Kings Tableland. 22.5kms. Perfect walking weather apart from a cloud burst of hail towards the end and finished up at the Grand View Hotel. Great day."   Rosie E

The Easy walkers met at Wentworth Falls station, headed out around Wentworth Falls Lake then enjoyed a coffee break before heading over the Highway, winding through the backstreets of Wentworth Fall down to Conservation Hut (currently under refurbishment), returning via the Nature Trail to the Grand View Hotel for lunch and Camino connections. 
"I found it a really enjoyable walk with great company, lovely scenery and some wonderful Camino conversations and learnings."    Ann P
My 2022 Camino
Sharise interviewing guest speakers at to completion of the May 5-Day Walk:  Cecilia Jacques and Rev Mel Macarthur.
Cecilia Jaques sent us an account of her recent Camino experience, Cecilia also spoke to the 5- Day pilgrims at the completion of their May 5-Day Camino, Thank you Cecilia for sharing your experience with us!

This has been an entirely different Camino with challenging times throughout. Starting before 1st April was the first challenge. Most Albergues were closed, only opening this week. The majority of bars along the way were also closed even though advertised as open. A little demoralising to go off the track to find it was”cerrado”.  Ah well. All part of the unpredictability of the Camino. The Spaniards seemed weary after 2 years of Covid.  All the small supermarkets in the tiny towns were firmly shut, some boarded up so provisions bought when available. Day 1&2 walking the Val Carlos route I found exhausting. Roncesvalles had only 2 rooms open in the old seminary but the showers were hot & a meal was available in the bar next door. I believe that Roncesvalles is now well & truly open. Day 3 to Zubiri was the usual problem in the rain in mud & on wet slate but we got there. Next morning I woke with a dreadful back. Couldn’t stand up straight so had to work hard on that. The best treatment was hanging from the top bunk to stretch my back, use walking poles and wear the backpack as a brace. Fixed in a few days and no further problems.
I had to bus from Villafranca montes dos Oca as there was no accommodation for at least the next 16 kms & I had already walked 15km. So….on to Burgos. A slow walk onto Hornillos  the next day as I was very tired. A persistent cough overnight so self tested for Covid. Oh dear, it was positive. I felt like a leper when I told the other pilgrims- they all rushed out of the door!  A very lovely hospitalera organised a hostal for 7 days of isolation and a taxi to take me back to Burgos. After 7 days I retested at the local hospital and was still positive so had to isolate for a further 3 days. I didn’t go crazy. Slept a lot. All food was provided for €50 a night. I wasn’t really unwell & think I got off lightly. However I had lost 10 days walking so on day 11 after a negative RAT test I walked to Burgos railway station and enjoyed a train ride to Ponferrada. It is a beautiful town with a very well preserved Templar’s castle.

After 2 nights in Ponferrada I recommenced the walk. It was like starting again on day 1. I felt very unfit & struggled with the distance. It’s amazing how the body copes. The last 4 days of this walk have been so good, and different. I am full of energy and feel so much stronger.

Today arrived in Santiago de Compostella and will stay overnight in an old monastery next to the cathedral. The room is fairly stark but sheets and towels are provided. Such a luxury. Tomorrow I hope to bus to A Coruna to walk the shorter Camino Ingles, only about 75 kms. That should fill in time until my flight leaves on 12/4/22. I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed!

So after Santiago, what next?  A train to A Coruna. I did manage the walk from A Coruna- only another 75 kms. No one else walking it so 2 nights on my own in Albergues. Night 3 I was soaked after 6 hours of torrential rain so opted for a single room in the Albergue with bathroom, sheets & towel…..bliss. And… I managed to dry all clothes.

The big worry after arriving again in Santiago was being allowed on the flight home. One must now use the Australia DPD app which I found difficult to do but eventually succeeded. Covid test required to complete the documentation. Testing is finally available at the airport but this week is no longer required to come back home. Rules change all the time!

I would recommend that anyone walking a Camino, whichever one they walk , take several RAT test kits with them. Many people are walking with “just a cold” & I guarantee they had Covid. I did the right thing & isolated. There is insurance cover for isolation , well worth having.
Buen Camino
Who's On the Way!
To Inspire, To Share, To Connect.....    
Some of our Supporters are either well on their way with Camino plans or returning with Camino stories to share... You can see the Virtual  "On The Way Board" on our website:  HERE. 

Buen Camino to all those currently walking in Spain + Italy!
(too many to list here!) 

If you would like to share your plans or connect with one of these fellow Australian Pilgrims when you’re On The Way, drop us a line HERE.
We look forward to reading your blogs. 
Both Sandra and Diane coincidentally started their Covid delayed Camino Frances on the same day from SJPdP.   On separate days, they both were lucky to stay with Susi y Fermin at the beautifully renovated and reopened Casa Susi in Trabadelo to enjoy Casa Susi's warm hospitality.  They are pictured with Susi. 
Tony & Johann were doing the Camino Norte and had met up with Diane in Arzua where the routes join.  These wonderful Blue Mountains Camino Supporters all happened to be finishing their Camino in SdC on the same day.... celebrations to be had and congratulations (and now pilgrims) on your Caminos!   
Our congratulations to the many other returning pilgrims too.   We look forward to hearing about your journey.
Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Pilgrim Record and Camino Badges.
The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Pilgrim Record has been developed for pilgrims to record their walks here in the Blue Mountains or anywhere.  Collect pilgrim stamps each time you walk with us here in the Mountains, write your reflections, collect business cards or mementos to keep in your Pilgrim Record.

The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Cloth Badges can be attached to your backpacks, covers, hats, or clothing. The badge measures 8cm in diameter and can be glued or stitched.

More details how to purchase a  Pilgrim Record and/or Badge   Click Here     
About Blue Mountains Camino Supporters.
The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Inc is a community group run by volunteers with the aim of:
  • Fostering the Camino Spirit in the Blue Mountains.
  • Bringing people together to share their interest and experience in walking a Camino pilgrimage
  • Supporting pilgrims in preparation for their pilgrimage
  • Connecting with other Camino Groups
  • Supporting Camino communities and organisations
There is a dedicated team of volunteers who plan, recce and organise the Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walks, monthly Training Walks, Camino Meetups and other events.   We hold monthly Camino Training Walks and Meetups on the last Saturday of the month except December. When available Glenella in Blackheath will host Meetups and the Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Pilgirms. Glenella is owned and managed by Margaret and Rowan Bouttell .
                                              The Admin Team                                                     
L-R Johann Saure, Rowan Bouttell, Rosie Edmonds, Tony Hodgson, Carlene Martin, Sharise Watson, Margaret Bouttell

Thank you to the volunteers:
This newsletter is produced by Sharise Watson and Carlene Martin, supported by Margaret Bouttell.
The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Facebook Page is managed by Carlene Martin and Rosie Edmonds.
Margaret Bouttell manages TryBooking and BMCS financial matters.
Kerrie Girdo and Carlene Martin manage the Blue Mountains Camino Community Group Forum on Facebook.  
Rowan Bouttell and Nick Batten are tech support, videographers and editors. 
Rowan Bouttell and Nick Batten are our Chief and Deputy Mappers extraordinaire.
Our website is managed by Johann Saure, Nick Batten and Carlene Martin.

The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters was founded in 2015 by Tony & Ce Jacques and Margaret & Rowan Bouttell.  
Blue Mountains Camino Supporters acknowledges the Dharug and Gundungurra Traditional Owners have a continuous and deep connection to their Country. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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Blue Mountains Australia Supporters of the Camino · c/o Glenella Guesthouse · 56 Govetts Leap Road · Blackheath, NSW 2785 · Australia

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