January 2023 Newsletter
Pilgrim Reflection

"Go out, go out I beg of you. And taste the beauty of the wild. Behold the miracle of the earth with all the wonder of a child.”

Edna Jaques
January 2023 Walk + Meetup

JOIN US for our regular last Saturday of the month Camino-style walk - this month exploring the Ngula Bulgarabang Regional Park north of Katoomba (previously known as Radiata Plateau).  

Two options are offered for our January training walk, an Easy Walk of about 10km and a Medium Walk of about 14km. To join the Medium walk you must have walked with the Blue Mountains Camino group previously - no first timers. 

There will be a Camino Meetup at the Katoomba Family Hotel. This is an opportunity to explore Camino topics further.  The meetup runs from 2 - 4pm.    

For more info and to book click HERE 

Upcoming events in 2023
FEBRUARY Saturday 25th February
Camino Training Walk, 8:45am for a 9am start, Blackheath
Camino Meet-Up, 2:00pm.
*Glenella Open Weekend* including special guest, Susi from Casa Susi, Trabadelo, Spain

MARCH Saturday 25th March
Camino Training Walk, 8:45am for a 9am start, Mount Victoria
Camino Meet-Up, 2:00pm.

Tuesday 28th March - Saturday 1st April 
More details below

APRIL Saturday 29th April 
Camino Training Walk, 8:45am for a 9am start, Leura
Camino Meet-Up, 2:00pm.

Keep up to date via Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Newsletter, Facebook and website.
We hope you will join us for a Camino event in 2023.
BM Camino 5-Day Walks in 2023

We have two 5-Day Walks scheduled for 2023
AUTUMN: Tuesday 28th March - Saturday 1st April
Glenella will again offer an accommodation package for pilgrims wanting to base themselves at Blackheath for our popular 5-Day Blue Mountains Camino.

Bookings for our Autumn walk open 23 January 2023 at 6pm.  
Link to TryBooking page:  HERE 

SPRING: Tuesday 12th September - Saturday 16th September
Our Spring Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day walk will be a "village to village" walk in true Camino style and will not be hosted at Glenella.
Bookings for our Spring walk will open in July. 

Photos below: Day 4, Wentworth Falls lookout, Sept 2022; Day 1, Penrith Station, Nov 2022
Narelle's Camino Invierno
Photo 1: Las Médulas, remains of the Roman mines.
Photo 2: The steep walk up through the vineyards to Chantada.
Photo 3: Half way up Monte Faro.
Photo 4: Early morning on the Camino Invierno.
The Camino Invierno is a 263km Camino, starting in Ponferrada, a town on the Camino Frances with a Knights Templar castle, and ending in Santiago de Compostela. In late April 2022 I set off walking this route, solo, and it was a wonderful adventure through amazing scenery. I added on some extra days for exploring, and with 4 rest days, I allowed 15 days for my Camino. This is a quiet route in nature and a real contrast to what the Frances would be in late Spring. When I first heard about this Camino I knew that it was the one for me. The Camino Invierno surrounds you with nature, and in April, lots of flowers, as soon as you leave Ponferrada. First stop was the Médulas with jaw dropping scenery of the man made mountains that are the remains of an extraordinary Roman mine. I spent 2 nights here and a whole day just walking around this amazing place. Google Las Medulas for stunning photos.

The route initially follows the valley of the River Sil and most days I’d begin walking in the mist, crossing over the River Sil or walking high above it looking down at the meandering river as the sun was rising. I found this peaceful walk to be so joyful. Despite walking alone about 90% of the Camino I never felt lonely or uncomfortable at any time. Distances between villages or towns can be quite large and mountainous. 20-30kms is not unusual and I had at least one 40km day. This meant that you could not count on a cafe and you needed to bring along some picnic food each day. I think the local people were often a little shocked that someone from a country as far away as Australia was walking while they were still very concerned about Covid, but generally people, predominantly older in the countryside, were friendly and often offered water. Potable water is frequent enough to not be a problem and sign marking was good. Though I was happy to have the Wise Pilgrim app on my phone so I could check that I had not wandered too far off track. Nearly all the pilgrims I met were Spanish (not really a surprise as I was in Spain!). And the amount of pilgrims I saw was very few. I did however make some lovely Spanish friends and like all Camino friendships shared some very personal and heart felt conversations.

My weather in April was exceptional and not really what I should have had in Spring. On the whole Camino I only had rain one night for about 5 minutes, while returning from a bar. The temperature was constantly perfect being maximums of high teens and early twenties. My accommodation was a mix of small hotels with ensuites, which generally cost 24 Euros and albergues that cost about 13-17 Euros. I walked through so many beautiful areas, villages and towns. Half way through the Camino Invierno is Monforte de Lemos, the biggest town on the route and a good spot to take a rest day. Shortly after Monforte my favourite day was descending down to the Rio Miñho and then walking up the very steep Roman road surrounded by vineyards to the beautiful town of Chantanda. In the last few days of the Camino Invierno you join with the Camino Sanabrés, which is also the final section of the Via de Plata. It was a chance to meet a couple more pilgrims and hear about other caminos.

The final walk into Santiago is a lovely route and the views and tranquility as you enter Santiago de Compostella are really something to treasure. If anyone would like further details on this Camino and details of my accommodation and recommendations please feel free to message me. The infrastructure on this route seems to be constantly growing and I hope that it will become more popular as people look for alternatives to the Francis and in particular a different route from Ponferrada
Narelle Campbell
Volunteer Portal
The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters have 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. 
For instance, you may offer help in leading a walk/s, get involved in our Blue Mountains Camino 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.
Who's on the Way!
To Inspire, To Share, To Connect.....    
We know there are several Blue Mountains Camino Supporters who are planning and booking their airfares to do their Camino in 2023.   Do let us know when you are planning to walk and which route/s, just in case others in this group are able to linkup with you! 
On your return, we would love to hear about your Camino either at a Camino Meetup or you may wish to write a 'highlights' blog to include on our website.... You can see the Virtual  "On the Way board" on our website:  HERE. 
Buen Camino
If you would like to share your plans or connect with one of your fellow Australian Pilgrims when you’re On the Way, drop us a line HERE.
We look forward to reading your blogs. 
Blue Mountains Camino Supporters
Pilgrim Record and Camino Badge.
 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 badge 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. 

The Admin Team are responsible for developing and facilitating the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters activities, however there are also a band of keen volunteers who so willingly help when required.  Without you all, the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters wouldn't exist.
Glenella is owned and managed by Margaret and Rowan Bouttell .
                                              The Admin Team                                                     

L-R front row:   Tony Hodgson, Carlene Martin, Sharise Watson, Jen McPherson.
Back row:         Rosie Edmonds,  Johann Saure, Margaret Bouttell.  

Thank you to the volunteers including those not listed:
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  and Jen McPherson manage TryBooking 
Carlene Martin manages the Blue Mountains Camino Community Group Forum on Facebook and BMCS financial matters with assistance of Margaret
Margaret Bouttell and Nick Batten are our Chief and Deputy Mappers extraordinaire.
Our website is managed by Johann Saure and Carlene Martin.  Rowan Bouttell is developing a new website
Rowan Bouttell and Nick Batten are tech support, videographers and editors. 

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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