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Welcome to the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Newsletter January 2020.  
 
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¡Feliz Año Nuevo!  Happy New Year!  We hope the new decade and  2020 is a good to you and your families.  May you have good health to be able to do some interesting training walks and plan for your Camino!   Our thoughts are with those who may have been affected by the bushfires many of us have or are still currently experiencing.  The bushfires have caused so much devastation and tragedy in so many regions, and to our beautiful Blue Mountains bush and forests;  the loss of so much wildlife and their habitat is devastating.  However, we are a resilient community and will bounce back, we need and welcome visitors return to the Blue Mountains! 
We hope many of our supporters will attend one or more of our regular walks and Camino Meetups, held the last Saturday of the month except December or dinners and other events or even a 5 Day Camino Training Walk.  There is a full 2020 calendar of events for your diaries.    Ulteria!
Upcoming Events.
Saturday 25th January, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath. At the time of writing we are planning to walk the Braeside Walk at Blackheath. Which is about 10-12KM taking 3-3:30hrs. There is also the option to walk to the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath and return.  More info
Saturday 25th January, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash only)  More info
Why not consider making it a long weekend for Australia Day in the Mountains? 
Save the date: 29 February 2020 Camino Meetup.  Kerrie Girdo has been in contact with Susi Stephenson and her husband Fermin, who will be in Sydney in a few weeks time and they have been invited to be guest speakers at our February Camino Meetup.  Susi, an Australian, and Fermin own Casa Susi located in Tabadelo (10kms from Villafranca del Bierzo) and in stage 26 John Brierley guide on the Camino Frances.  Susi has done at least 10 Camino so we think it's safe to say the Camino is her passion!  We are excited to have Susi and Fermin visit us in Blackheath and give us their insights on life on the Camino Frances route.  We hope you will join us!  Susi and Fermin are kindly hosted by Margaret and Rowan Bouttell at Glenella Guesthouse.  
Autumn 5 Day Walk Camino-style
from Penrith to Blackheath.

5 Day Walk Camino-style Training Walk,  24-28 March 2020

It's on again this year, in fact we have two 5 day Camino training walks for the diary!The first is an Autumn 24-28 March 2020 walk and save the date for a Springtime walk to be held 22-26 September 2020. Details for the September walk to be notified.

JOIN our Autumn 5 day (or part thereof) walking adventure!  Members and friends of the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters  group will again be walking from Penrith, at the base of the Blue Mountains, all the way to Blackheath near the top, finishing with the Camino Meetup at Glenella Guesthouse in Blackheath.  The walking distance is approximately 68-81kms depending on the route walked.

Why? This is a great opportunity to experience the Camino spirit right here in Australia.  If you’re thinking of walking a Camino in Spain or Portugal, or other pilgrimages elsewhere, what better way to try out your gear and see if you like long distance walking!  And if 5 days is too long you can join the group for fewer days or just one day along the route if you wish.  

How?  Please be aware this is not a ‘guided’ walk but rather a walk with a group of Camino friends travelling up the Blue Mountains.  Each registered person will be provided with the 5 Day Walk Information Package which includes PDF walking route guide and digital link with two optional routes; a technical route and the  direct route.  The technical route can involve more bush walking and steep inclines up and down into some valleys whilst the direct route is no less scenic and has various bushy sections but may in parts involve more secondary road and pavement walking; it is a walk reminiscent of travelling a Camino in Spain.

Walking a Camino means you might walk on dirt tracks, concrete footpaths and roads as well as through paddocks and rural scenery.  You will encounter hills and steps as Penrith, our starting point is 25m above sea level, and Blackheath is 1065m.   Each days walk is a Station to Station walk for the convenience of start and end point.

Registration:  A lot of effort and work had been made to improve all the tools provided to walkers for last year's walk, and following valuable feedback from pilgrims we have therefore introduced a $25 donation at registration for 2020 walks.  This registration donation will go towards the ongoing development and mapping of the 5 day walk route.   To register for the Autumn 5 Day Camino Training Walk  via Trybooking   Register Here
The 5 Day Walk Information Package will be emailed within a few days once confirmation of your registration has been received.  Buen Camino

Please email us if you have any questions.  It is recommended to book accommodation early; a summary of the 5 Day Camino Training Walk below.

There are daily photo albums of the 5 Day Camino-style walk from 2019 on the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters facebook page you may wish to view  Click Here  

Camino Dinner: Then on the evening of Day 4, 27 March 2020 there is a Camino Dinner being held at the RSL Blackheath-Mt Victoria sub branch hall, 2 Bundarra St, Blackheath.  Pilgrims on the 5 day walk may wish to attend, however you are required to RSVP to reserve a place.  More details about the Camino Dinner  CLICK HERE.

Our sincerest thanks and gratitude to Chris Osborne of Chris Osborne Adventures for his countless hours over several weeks of walking, plotting and mapping the routes from Penrith to Blackheath.  He has prepared (voluntarily) maps and walking guides, due care has been taken to create the maps as accurate as possible, however there may be some inaccuracies.  Chris also created the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Pilgrim Credential and the Blue Mountains Camino 5 Day Walk map which is now proudly hangs on the wall in the Camino Corner at Glenella Guesthouse.

We also like to thank Margaret and Rowan Bouttell of Glenella Guesthouse for hosting Chris Osborne during his extended stay in the Blue Mountains

Ulteria!  
Pictured below Summary of the 5 Day Camino Training Walk.  Email us if you would like a copy of the Summary.  

2020 Camino Calendar for your Diary!
Saturday 25th January, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 25th January, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Saturday 29th February, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 29th February, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only). Special guests Susi and Fermin from Casa Susi, Trabadelo, stage 26 on the Camino Frances (TBC).

Tuesday 24th March ~ Saturday 28th March, 5 Day Camino-style Training Walk  Penrith to Blackheath. BOOK HERE
Friday 27th March 7:00PM. BYO Tapas Meal at Blackheath RSL.  Share a BYO Tapas Meal and guest speaker/s.  More info here 
Saturday 28th March, Camino Training Walk. Meet by 8.20AM for a 8.30AM start, this walk will be from Katoomba Station, joining the 5 day walkers who will be on their final day of walking.  Distance 14KM.
Saturday 28th March, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Saturday 25th April, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. A special ANZAC Day walk is planned.
Saturday 25th April, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Saturday 30th May, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 30th May, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Friday 26th June 7:00PM. BYO Tapas Meal at Blackheath RSL.   Share a BYO Tapas Meal and guest speaker/s
Saturday 27th June, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:20AM for an 8:30AM Start, at Warrimoo Station to walk to Woodford, distance 11.5KM.   
Saturday 27th June, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Friday 24th July 7:00PM, Feast of St James eve Dinner at Wentworth Falls Popup Albergue.  (Booking details TBA) 
Saturday 25th July, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:20AM for an 8:30AM Start, at Woodford Station, Woodford for walk to Wentworth Falls, distance 13KM.
Saturday 25th July, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Friday 28th August 7:00PM, Camino Movie (TBA) at Mount Vic Flicks. (Booking details TBA)
Saturday 28th August, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:20AM for an 8:30AM Start, at Wentworth Falls Station, Wentworth Falls for walk to Katoomba, distance 11KM. 
Saturday 29th August, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Tuesday 22nd ~ Friday 26th September, 5 Day Camino-style Training Walk  Penrith to Blackheath.  (Booking details TBA)
Saturday 26th September, Camino Training Walk. Meet by 8.20AM for a 8.30AM start, this walk will be from Katoomba Station, joining the 5 day walkers who will be on their final day of walking. Distance 14KM.
Saturday 26th September, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Saturday 31st October, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 31st October, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Friday 27th November End of Year Camino Dinner 7:00PM, (Booking details TBA)
Saturday 28th November, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 28th November, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

NOTE:  Some of the station to station walks may vary if there are scheduled trackworks.  It is intended the station to station walks to provide a taste of some of the routes of the 5 day Camino-style Training Walks.
Camino training walks and Camino Meetups are held the last Saturday of the month, except December.
Sharise Watson is making her way to Tasmania to do The Way to St James Cygnet Pilgrimage being held 11-12 January 2020.  We look forward to hearing about Sharise's Australian pilgrimage.  
The Way to St James Cygnet- inspired by the El Camino of St James,  is a two day pilgrim walk that will take you through the scenic and peaceful Huon Valley, Tasmania  to a celebration at the Spanish mission styled Church of St James, nestled in the heart of Cygnet.  More information about this pilgrimage  Click Here  
Kerrie Girdo's Camino Frances 2019
My Camino Frances 24th September to 3rd November, 2019
I have been back from my Camino for 6 – 7 weeks now (arrived home 16th November), and all is back to normal, life goes on. I had been a little apprehensive about how it would be, slotting back into life after 7 weeks of living simply with the only things to worry about being finding a meal, somewhere to sleep and walking. I’m pleased to say I’ve had no difficulty whatsoever. I was however, very ready to come home – maybe 7 weeks was a little too long for me?
I left home on the 19th of September with my sister Deb. We took our time getting to our starting point, St Jean Pied de Port. We spent a night in Madrid, a night in Pamplona and 2 nights in St Jean. We had a great time just playing tourist for a few days. It was Deb’s first visit to Europe and I enjoyed showing her the places I was familiar with and exploring with her, those places new to both of us.
St Jean Pied de Port is a charming little village, I really enjoy spending time there. On the 24th September we started our walk; first stop being Orisson then the next day on to Roncesvalles. The weather turned very cold and windy on day 2 and since we had our bags transported I had forgotten to carry my warm hat and wrist warmers in my daypack, brrrr! I had walked this route in 2016 and it was so foggy, I had completely missed the Virgin Biakorri. But there she was this time. Deb and I spent some time there taking some photos and sat for a while to have something to eat.
We took things fairly easy the first few days, not walking great distances. After a week or so Deb was finding the going a bit tough. Her shoes were giving her grief, and she’d developed a couple of blisters, but she persevered. We took a rest day in Pamplona, but by the time we got Burgos, Deb had made the difficult decision to go home. I was disappointed, but since I had done a similar thing in 2016, (went home from Pamplona) I knew how she was feeling. My biggest fear was that I would now be alone and wouldn’t be able to do it ‘on my own’.
Since we hadn’t been covering a lot of distance in the time we’d been walking, we decided to bus ahead to Leon where Deb was able to catch a bus directly to Madrid airport, and I could carry on.
And carry on I did! I was amazed at how easy it actually was, how comfortable and fearless I felt. I enjoyed walking alone! My Camino didn’t turn out at all how I had anticipated. But it was a great adventure that I’m glad I went on. I never did find a ‘Camino family’, but I often walked with people during the day; sometimes for only 10 or 15 minutes, others for a couple of hours or more. And almost always had people to eat with at night. I stayed in some wonderful albergues, no bad ones at all, saw amazing scenery, walked through many little towns and villages. My favourite part was walking through the little villages. I walked through all seasons, sunny and hot, cool to cold, wind, clear blue skies and lots of rain. For the last 5 days, I walked with Zuzana from Sweden, and we were able to walk into Santiago together. I was happy to have someone to walk into Santiago with.
As it turned out I arrived in Santiago with almost 2 weeks to spare before my flight home. I need not have bussed ahead to Leon. I was ready to go home then!
I look forward to seeing you all again at the January meetup where I’ll give a bit of an appraisal of my pack and its contents and tell you about the highlights as well as any down sides to my adventure. And happy to answer any questions people might have.
Kerrie Girdo
Photos: The Virgin at Biakorri, Deb and Kerrie at Alto del Perdon, Long shadows on The Way, Kerrie in Santiago de Compostela
Make Your OWN Camino Marker
Do you fancy the idea of having your own Camino Marker to show how many kilometres from your place?  Les Simons has come up with the brilliant idea of running a weekend hands-on workshop in the Blue Mountains to make your own.  The Camino Maker is based on others he has seen such as the one at Wentworth Falls Pop-up Albergue. Les has made his (pictured) from Hebel block and a tile brought back from Spain and weighs about 17kgs.   It takes approx 3-4 hours to craft your Marker and another 1-2 hrs the following day to complete the project.  
Costs to be determined by number of participants but it's estimated a minimum of $100 per Marker.  Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in the Camino Marker Workshop to be held at Glenella Guesthouse grounds in 2020.  Date to be advised  Email us HERE
Who is going on The Camino in 2020?
It is great  to have a few of our supporters ON THE WAY board already!  Also in the planning for September are Roger & Liz, Le Puy to SJPdP and Pamploma.  We were thrilled to learn about Bruce who came up for the November walk and Camino Meetup, within weeks he had booked flights!  Drop us a note if you are planning your Camino and which route, we will add you ON THE WAY board at Glenella.   EMAIL US.    Buen Camino
We hope you like our new logo?  The original 'shell' and Three Sisters image in blue logo was a concept Jill Day suggested and was used until recently.  The updated Blue Mountains Camino Supporters logo has been voluntarily produced by Chris Osborne. 
Stay tuned for the availability of Blue Mountains Camino Supporters patches for your backpack!  
You will find regular updates on Events on our  Facebook Page  and  Website
We also have a Closed Group on Facebook, Blue Mountains Camino Community CLICK HERE to join.    This is where you can post and discuss all things Camino with the Blue Mountains Camino Community.

Y
ou can also  EMAIL US  anytime with any questions or stories you would like to share.  
The Blue Mountains Camino Group is a community group, we aim to support those planning to start a Camino and those who have returned from their Camino. By coming together regularly we hope to enable & encourage the Camino Spirit here in the Blue Mountains. We hold monthly Camino Meetups (last Saturday of the month except December) at Glenella Guesthouse in Blackheath, hosted by Margaret & Rowan Bouttell. There is a training walk each month which assistance is always appreciated with either "Leading or Sweeping". Sharise Watson and Carlene Martin produce this Newsletter and manage the Facebook Page. Kerrie Girdo also manages our community Facebook Group. Tony & Ce Jacques co-ordinate and host the Tapas Dinners & Camino Movie events each year, Jerard & Enda Barry host an annual Feast of Saint James Dinner and also host Pilgrims at their Pop-Up Albergue in Wentworth Falls during our 5 day training walks. Our website is managed by Mark Johnson and assisted by Carlene and Sharise.  
 
We could always use your help!  If you can assist in some small way such as leading or sweeping a Saturday morning walk or with our monthly meetup, baking a Santiago Tart, or perhaps you have a suggestion for an event or training walk, have you read a great book about the Camino or perhaps seen an inspiring movie or listened to a podcast about the Camino then please EMAIL US and let us know.

The Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino was founded in 2015 by Tony & Ce Jacques and Margaret & Rowan Bouttell.

The Blue Mountains Camino recognises that Darug and Gundungurra Traditional Owners of the Blue Mountains region. We pay respect to their Elders past and present. 
Camino Links:
The Official Pilgrim Information Site  CLICK HERE
Australian Friends of the Camino      CLICK HERE
Dan Mullins My Camino Podcast      CLICK HERE
Casa Ivar Forum & luggage storage  CLICK HERE

John Brierley October 2019 visit to Blue Mountains presentations
YouTube @ Glenella Guesthouse     CLICK HERE
Podcast part 1 @ RSL Blackheath    CLICK HERE
Podcast part 2 @ RSL Blackheath    CLICK HERE
Podcast part 3 @ RSL Blackheath    CLICK HERE
Podcast Q&A   @ RSL Blackheath    CLICK HERE

 
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