Welcome to the newsletter of the Blue Mountains Australia Supporters of the Camino

Newsletter September 2019   
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MORNING WALK - Saturday 28th September 2019
9.00am - 1.00pm

Meet at Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath by 8.50am for 9.00am start.  Route to be advised, but walks are generally 10-14kms taking 3-4 hours.  Some walks may involve steps, uneven tracks (wet and dry) and terrain but the scenery is always sure to be beautiful.  

Alternatively, there is the regular  self guided walk from Blackheath to Medlow Bath return which is on the shared fire trail.  There is a break for refreshments half way at the Hydro Majestic Hotel or Synonymous Café.  This walk is 7-8kms, relatively flat track with some inclines at the start, taking approx. 3 hours.  Be at Glenella by 8.50am for 9.00am start.

Please come prepared in appropriate clothing (rain/wind jacket) and suitable footwear, this is the mountains so weather is changeable!  Please check weather forecast.  Bring water, snacks and money for refreshments where shops available.  Basic first aid kit especially if new footwear, hat and sunscreen.

CAN YOU HELP?  if you can help with either 'lead' OR 'sweeping' for our monthly walk, please let us know!  Email us 
CAMINO MEETUP: Saturday 28th September  2019
2.00 - 4.00pm at Glenella 
Camino Meetups are held the LAST Saturday of the Month (previously 4th Saturday AND the is NO Meetup in December), 2.00-4.00pm at Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath.  Look forward to seeing you on Saturday 28th September 2019  at 2.00pm.   

If you are new to this Camino group, the Camino Meetups are an informal gathering and have proved to be an informative afternoon, a chance to share all things Camino including your stories and experiences, occasional 'show & tell', for others to learn about the Camino.  If time permits, there may be a short Camino related doco film shown in the Glenella Cellar Theatre.   Come along to enjoy the camaraderie! 

All visitors and pilgrims are welcome to join us for afternoon tea, the cost is $5.00pp. (cash only) Santiago tart usually baked by one or more of our supporters, with thanks.  

Whilst at Glenella, check out "Camino Corner" with map of pilgrimage routes in Spain, books and DVDs.  There is a trunk with donated/surplus adventure gear that may be useful for your Camino.  Items by $5.00 donativo unless otherwise marked.  If you have any spare gear you wish to donate, bring them along to a Camino Meetup.

Are you planning to go on your Camino during 2019 or 2020?  Let us know if you are On Your Way   email us

22-27 October 2019 CAMINO EVENTS in the Blue Mountains
Tickets are being booked at a steady pace for the John Brierley weekend of events in Blackheath.   Bookings are essential as all venues have limited seating capacity.

* 5 Day Camino-like Training Walk:  22-26 October 2019 from Penrith to Blackheath.  We have 20 participants registered so far.   Remember, you may choose to walk all 5 days or join in for a day or two along the route.

For more information of the 5 Day Camino-like Training walk,  CLICK HERE 
Please REGISTER HERE your interest whether it be the full 5 days or just a day or two.   
There is no charge to register online or to join the walk.  

The walking route is currently being updated.  Final maps and details will be emailed to those who have registered 2 weeks prior to the walk but you should book your accommodation soon.
25-27 October 2019  John Brierley Camino Weekend at Blackheath
Bookings are essential where indicated as seating capacity at venues are limited.

* CAMINO STORYTELLING:  Friday 25, 8.00pm-9.30pm.  Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino are hosting a social evening with Camino Storytelling at Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath.  BYO drinks.   Walkers on the 5 Day Camino-style walk will be on their 4th day and are invited to catch the train from Katoomba to Blackheath to attend the Storytelling at Glenella.  Bookings Essential

* WALK: Saturday 26, 8.30am-1.00pm,  an earlier start time to join in with the 5 day walkers (on their 5th day).  Meet at Katoomba Station (near the Station Bar) for walk to Blackheath. There maybe 2 options on this route, approx. 12-14kms taking about 4 hours with a break at Medlow Bath.  You also have the train option at Medlow Bath to Blackheath, so have your Opal card!   To have an idea of numbers to expect for Day 5 of walk, please register your interest  HERE 

Alternative Walk 9.00am-1.00pm, you may wish to do the shorter walk at 9.00am from Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath to Medlow Bath return, This is approx. 7-8kms taking about 3 hours plus refreshment break at Medlow Bath.  There is no requirement to register for this shorter walk, just be at Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath by 8.50am for 9.00am start.  Either walk will get you to Blackheath in time to grab some lunch and go to the extended Camino Meetup at 2.00pm.  You should endeavour to be at the RSL Hall  and seated by 1.50pm.

* CAMINO MEETUP: Saturday 26, 2.00-5.00pm.  The venue for this Camino Meetup is the RSL Hall, 2 Bundarra Rd, Blackheath (across the railway line). 
Please arrive early, doors open from 1.30pm.  If you have registered you should be seated by 1.50pm  This is an extended Camino Meetup with special guest, John Brierley  in Blackheath.  His presentation will be  Path of Self Discovery and Q&A.   

The cost is $5.00pp for Camino Meetup (pay at the door, cash only) which includes tea/coffee and delicious homemade Santiago tart.  Bookings Essential
UPDATE:  This event is now fully booked, there is a wait list  via Trybooking.

John is looking forward to meeting pilgrims and intending pilgrims and is happy to sign your Camino book/s, new and old copies.  However, if you are going to the Camino Dinner afterwards, you might like to take your Camino book there to be signed as some pilgrims are coming up just for the day.   There will not be any Camino books for sale.

* CAMINO DINNER: Saturday 26, 6.30pm-10.00pm  Later on from 6.30pm there is a social evening dinner and Camino chatter held at Birdies Bistro at  Blackheath Golf Club, cnr Valley Rd & Brightlands Ave, Blackheath.   We anticipate John Brierley will join us giving you another opportunity to meet him and have your Camino book/s signed, new and old copies.  Dinner and drinks at your own cost, there maybe a 'specials' board available.  Bridies Bistro Menu   Bookings Essential

* WALK: Sunday 27, 9.30am-1.00pm  Walk the Grand Canyon Loop, Evans Lookout Rd, Blackheath.  Meet 9.20am at the Grand Canyon Loop Carpark (the 2nd carpark on the left approx. 100m through the NP gate). This is a beautiful circuit walk of approx. 7-8kms, taking approx. 3.00-3.30hrs.  More details about this walk  HERE

* SOCIAL LUNCH: Sunday 27, 1.00pm-2.00pm  in the Glenella Guesthouse gardens - bring your own lunch to enjoy the tranquillity of the rear gardens at Glenella before your journey home. 

HOW TO BOOK:  All of the venues have limited capacity so it is highly recommended to book early to reserve your place where indicated above with Bookings Essential.  Full list of events for the John Brierley Camino Weekend in Blackheath and     BOOK  HERE   
There is no charge to register online or to join the walks.

We are very excited to be hosting John Brierley in Blackheath, the Blue Mountains.  John will be a keynote speaker at the first National Conference in Adelaide, hosted by the Australian Friends of the Camino, 11-13 October 2019.  He has generously offered to address local Camino groups in Australia.  Both the Pilgrims of Sydney and Central Coast Camino groups have opted to come up to the Blue Mountains for a joint event.  We hope to see as many pilgrims here for this rare opportunity to hear and meet John Brierley, UK author of the Camino books, "A Pilgrims Guide...."  Make it a Camino weekend in the mountains!

For John Brierley's stay in the Blue Mountains, he will be generously hosted by Margaret and Rowan Bouttell of Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath.   
5 Day Camino-like Training Walk, 22-26 October 2019:  Summary of each day's walking distance and accommodation options
There is still time to register for this training walk via the trybooking link as outlined above. You still need to register your interest if only doing the Saturday morning walk from Katoomba to Blackheath.

Camino events in August:  Great to see so many attendees at The Camino Voyage movie & Fundraiser, a full house at Mount Vic Flicks.  It was a wonderful evening, firstly with the FlamencoVero group dancing us into the spirit of the evening with their traditional Flamenco dancing and music. While we lined up for soup, a choc-top or a cuppa at the gorgeous Mount Vic Flick kiosk, Ce handed out her wonderful Santiago Tart.

The movie was an inspiring delight, we met a passionate band of Irish adventurers, following in their ancestors footsteps (or rowing strokes as it happens) full of humour and great Irish music, it was a joy to watch them make their 2500km journey by sea to Santiago de Compostela in a Naomhog, a small rowing boat made which they made themselves from timber, hide and tar - yes tar!  If you missed seeing The Camino Voyage, we highly recommend you try catch it elsewhere or on DVD.  The Irish music was great too!

We also met local Veteran, Graeme Bolitho, who will attempt the inaugural I'll Push You "Accessible Camino 2019" from Sarria to Santiago de Compostella in late September. Tony Jacques introduced us to Graeme and we heard, Graeme's inspiration to complete his own pilgrimage, wanting to share in such a unique experience with a mate. Tony will push Graeme in a special wheelchair being bought with funds raised from the movie night and donations from family and friends. The wheelchair will then be left in Santiago de Compostella to help any other disabled Aussies who are wanting to complete a Camino.


Thank you to all who attended this special evening.  Anyone wanting to assist with the purchase of the wheelchair can still make donations HERE.

Photos from The Camino Voyage movie & fundraiser evening at Mount Vic Flicks and the special wheelchair which has now arrived in Blackheath.
On the August Morning Walk we were joined by 15 walkers setting off from Glenella, eleven walked  the Fort Rock circuit and four others walked to Medlow Bath and return. Everybody started out in the crisp air and a blanket of fog!   As the fog lifted those walking the Fort Rock option made their way back to Blackheath via the Campbell Rhododendran Gardens to Glenella.  This took approx. 3 hours and 8kms. The view from Fort Rock was not visable due to the fog, a great walk regardless and a joy to see the early Rhododendrons coming into flower and enjoy the bush paths.
An enjoyable Camino Meetup later at Glenella, attended by 18 pilgrims and newcomers.  Les hosted the Camino Meetup with Kerrie giving us an interesting display of her well thought out pack. Johann and Tony entertained us with their preparation plans and everyone joining in on a fasinating conversation of all things Camino!   The $5.00 donativo proceeds for this afternoon tea was generously donated by Margaret & Rowan towards the  Accessible Camino 2019  wheelchair.

There are at least 7 members about to embark on their Camino's this September.  We look forward to hearing about their respective Camino on return.  Don't forget to post photos and comments on  '
blue mountains camino community', search and request to join the Group on facebook.   Buen Camino.
Photos from the August Walk and Camino Meetup.
HANDMADE CAMINO EARRINGS:  Les has made two styles of Camino shell earrings (hook & studs), selling them for $8.00 each.  He generously donated the proceeds from sales at The Camino Voyage movie event and the Camino Meetup the following day towards the special wheelchair used for the Accessible Camino 2019.  You can contact Les Simons if you wish to purchase additional earrings by email at
Facebook:  We have a new Facebook 'Group' page for BMASotC.  You can request to JOIN the group, once a member you can post Q&As, photos, start conversations and be more interactive than our normal Page allows.  The new Group is - Blue Mountains Camino Community. To request to join  Click Here  
We still have the Blue Mountains Aust Camino Supporters facebook page,  For link  Click Here  where we continue posting events, articles and photos. 

We hope you will check out the Group and ask to join.  Thank you Kerrie for being an administrator.   
Last year saw many of our supporters walk the Camino…. is it your turn this year?? 
We are so thrilled to see so many of our supporters ON THE WAY board. BUEN CAMINO 
Drop us a note if
you are planning to start your Camino and which route and we will put you on the list. Also get in early and let us know if your are planning for 2020.  Email us 
Phillip & Karen doing the CF from Sarria 10 Sept, Rosie is doing Le Puy to SJPdP, those pilgrims starting from SJPdP include Carmen is already walking, Tony & Johann about to start,  Kerrie & Deb from 18 Sept. Tony Jacques is doing 2wks of CF from SJPdP before joining the Accessible Camino in SdC and be the 'pusher' of Graeme from Sarria,  DavidM in time plans to do start from Madrid and David & Anne walking in Switzerland ....  Buen Camino.
National Camino Conference 11-13 October 2019
El Camino - The Way Ahead
The Australian Friends of the Camino (AFotC) are hosting the first National Conference being held in Adelaide in October 2019.  There is a great line-up of speakers and entertainers.

UPDATE:  If you would like to attend the conference, it is recommended you contact the organisers ASAP.  
Here is the link for information and bookings on the AFOTC website.

If you would like a pdf copy of the program, please email us at

There are several members of BMSotC attending the conference and we look forward to their feedback.  
**Become a member of AFofC and get your Australian Pilgrim Credencial from them too - 
                   UPCOMING EVENTS FOR YOUR 2019 DIARY
Check individual event listings for details on our website, facebook and newsletter.

Sat 28 September,  9.00-1.00pm - Morning Walk start from Glenella Guesthouse

Sat 28 September,  2.00-4.00pm - Camino Meetup at Glenella

11-13 October - AFOTC National Conference in Adelaide  

22-26 October - 5 Day Camino-style Training Walk from Penrith to Blackheath

25 October,  8.00-9.30pm - Camino Storytelling at Glenella

26 October,  8.30am - Saturday morning walk from Katoomba Station to Blackheath to join in on the last day of the 5 Day Camino-style Training Walk. 
Alternatively, there is shorter walk  from Blackheath to Medlow Bath and return, starting at 9am from Glenella

26 October,  2.00-5.00pm - Extended Camino Meetup with special guest, John Brierley at RSL Hall Blackheath.  The Camino Meetup now has a Waiting List.  If your booked tickets and find you can't attend, please 'return' tickets via the trybooking link OR email us so we can re-allocate the tickets.

26 October,  6.30pm-10.00pm - Camino Social Dinner at Birdies Bistro, Blackheath Golf Club

27 October,  9.30am-1.00pm - Sunday morning walk of the Grand Canyon Loop depending on demand, weather permitting

27 October,  1.00pm-2.00pm - Social lunch in the Glenella Gardens.  BYO lunch

29 November - End of Year Camino Dinner.  Venue and details to be advised.  Help is required to organise this event.   Please email us, love to hear from you!
You will find regular updates on Events on our facebook and website.  We welcome you to share your Camino photos on facebook, search and LIKE us 
Facebook:  bluemtnsaustcaminosupporters  AND
a new Facebook 'closed group' for Q&A forum, you need to request to join 
Blue Mountains Camino Community 

Camino Meetups, dinner events & newsletter organised by Tony Jacques, Margaret & Rowan Bouttell, Carlene Martin and Sharise Watson.  Website by Mark Johnson and Carlene who also does the facebook page.  Kerrie Mackaway-Girdo is joint administrator of the new facebook group. There are  others making valuable contributions  enabling the Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino group to keep active.

However, we could always use your help!!  If you can assist in some small way such as leading (or sweeping) a Saturday morning meetup walk,
help with a Saturday Camino Meetup at Glenella,  bake a Santiago tart, etc. please contact us!

Your stories and photos are always welcomed contributions for the newsletters and facebook posts. Please send them in!  
We welcome your feedback or suggestions -  email us
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Blue Mountains Australia Supporters of the Camino
C/- Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath 2785

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