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December 2021 Newsletter.
The Blue Mountains Camino Admin Team

Wish you a Merry Christmas.

A Happy and Safe 2022!
Filled with Adventure, Friendship and Good Health.

We look forward to connecting with you again in the New Year.

Thank you for your participation and support in what was a year with many challenges.

We are looking forward to sharing more of the Camino Spirit with you in 2022!


 
Camino Training Walk and Meetup January 2022.

From January 2022 we will be introducing a $5.00 registration fee for each Camino Training Walk.  Initially this will be paid via Trybooking when you register for the walk.  The fee is being introduced to cover expenses such as our insurance, website and printing costs.

SATURDAY 29 JANUARY 2022
WALK: BLACKHEATH to MOUNT VICTORIA 
MEETUP: GLENELLA, BLACKHEATH

 

JOIN US for our regular last Saturday of the month walk - this month from Glenella in Blackheath.  You don't have to be a Camino Pilgrim, but you may aspire to one day walk the Camino or other pilgrimages; walk with like-minded people who enjoy bush walking/hiking and an opportunity to do some beautiful walks in the Blue Mountains. 
An opportunity to learn more about the Camino.   You must know your own walking ability.

There will be a Camino Meetup at Glenella in the afternoon from 2-4pm.   
Tea/coffee + cake will be served, please bring $5 cash donativo.   

Meet:  Glenella, 56 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath. 

Time:  Meet 8.15am for 8.30am start  (note earlier times)
 

Walk 1 - Easy.  

Walk through the Blackheath village then along the western side of the railway line with lovely views over Kanimbla Valley to the Jenolan mountain range in the distance.  A slight hill into Mount Victoria past the iconic Mt Vic Flicks heritage theatre to the beautifully restored Mount Victoria train station.  Train back to Blackheath (remember your Opal card).  Approx 6km and will take around 3 hours.  
 

Walk 2 - Medium.

Walk through the Blackheath village then along the western side of the railway line with lovely views over Kanimbla Valley to the Jenolan mountain range in the distance.  Up the hill to Mt Piddington at 1111m above sea level, then out along the fire road to the scenic Hourn Point.  Return on fire roads on the eastern side of the railway line passing Mt Boyce, the highest point on the Great Western Highway, and through Rhododendron Garden back to Blackheath.  Approx 15km and will take around 4 hrs.    

Register for our first walk and Camino meetup of 2022  HERE.

Glenella will be hosting an Open Camino Weekend for those wishing to stay in Blackheath and experience a weekend of Camino Spirit (and the famous pizza night!).

If you would like to make a weekend of it and stay at Glenella you can book  HERE.
 

Photo: Track to Hourn Point, Mt Piddington Nov 2021 by Carlene
Our 2022 Calendar.
  • Saturday 26th February:  Katoomba walk. Informal meetup at pub or park post the walk. Details will be in the January Newsletter.
  • Tuesday 22nd March to Saturday 26th March:   5-Day Walk. Penrith to Blackheath. Registration details will be in the January Newsletter.
  • Saturday 26th March:   Katoomba to Blackheath walk.  Casual lunch at Glenella post the walk. Details will be in the February Newsletter.

 
  • Saturday 30th April, Walk and Casual Meetup

  • Tuesday 2nd to Saturday 8th, May 5-Day Walk (proposed)

  • Saturday 28th May, Walk and Casual Meetup

  • Saturday 25th June, Walk and Casual Meetup

  • Sunday 24th July, Feast of St James Day Eve dinner

  • Saturday 30th July, Walk and Casual Meetup

  • Saturday 27th August, Walk and Casual Meetup

  • Tuesday 5th to Saturday 10th September, 5-Day Walk (proposed)

  • Friday 16th to Sunday 18th September, AFOTC Conference

  • Saturday 24th September ,Walk and Casual Meetup

  • Tuesday 24th to Saturday 29th October, 5-Day Walk

  • Saturday 29th October, Walk and Lunch

  • Saturday 26th November, Walk and Casual Meetup


 
All our events are subject to Greater Sydney Region COVID-19 restrictions. 
If we cannot gather face to face, we will host virtual events where we can. 
Stay Well, Walk Well
 
We hope you will join us in 2022.
Blue Mountains Camino 5 Day Walk.
Thanks to Jen, Nick and Lois for these photo's from their 5-Day Walk in November 2021.
Congratulations to the 30 pilgrims who walked all or some of the Spring 2021 Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day walk, Penrith to Blackheath. 

Despite date postponements and cancellations, concerns about COVID-19 and if it would be too hot for our Pilgrims for a November date, everyone managed to have a great adventure, all be it in POURING rain on some days.  Wet weather gear got a good test!

Many walkers stayed at Glenella, creating a Camino Family, travelling by train up and down the mountains for each day's walk.  Some 8 intrepid walkers joined us to trial the pre 5-Day Walk by walking an additional 3 days from Paramatta to Penrith, with a super adventurous Nick starting in Circular Quay and walking for a total of 10 days.  Post 5-Days, many Pilgrims walked an additional day, effectively Day 6 from Blackheath to Mount Victoria.

On the final day of walking a celebratory lunch was held at Glenella.

We are thrilled to have been able to host the walk and look forward to hosting more 5-Day walks in 2022!
Some of the feedback about the 5-Day Walk held in November 2021

"Any problems were from our lack of fitness not the walks. 😉
"Day 2 was the least favorable day with a lot of GWH walking.  I enjoyed & used as many scenic routes as possible. 
 WhatsApp - "Enhances and Keeps the Camino spirit by photos and comments being shared Keeping track of others in case of safety issues or simply to make arrangements.
Celebratory lunch -  "It is very important as it celebrates and completes our Camino 5 days. Thank you for providing these - and everything else.
"I really appreciate everything you all do to organise and host the group. The lunch was perfect
:)

* "Thank you everyone for the great organisation this year, it was flawless. Such a rich and special time.
* "I really enjoyed it and plan to be much fitter for the next 5 day walk.
🤞
*  "The provided route maps were excellent, so congratulations to the person (or team) that produced them.  Also, although I didn't do the full five days, because the weather was dreadful (along with the leaches) the event was extremely enjoyable and well organised, particularly noting the current Covid circumstances. Very well done to all those involved!
* "Once again I want to reiterate how grateful I am to the BMCS team and Glenella hosts. Capturing the Camino essence is a big ask and you guys do it soooo well.
* "I really enjoyed it again & can't wait for the next one.  Relaxing & ad-hoc communal meals at Glenella really makes me feel part of the Camino community.
*  "Thank you once again for all the hard work the organisers have done to keep this walk going in the spirit of the Camino.
*  "Basically, I love everything about the Blue Mountains Camino Group. Thanks to everyone that keep it running!


From the Admin team, thank you for the great feedback which is helpful in planning future 5-Day Camino Walks.  We love the Camino camaraderie and sharing the Camino Spirit you all bring!

Photo by Carlene: Walkers leaving Glenella for 'Day 6' Blackheath to Mount Victoria, the Camino Waymarker made by Les Simons

Other Events
The Way of St James Cygnet
Registrations are now open for The Way of St James Cygnet
15th-16th January 2022.
Tasmania
Information and Registration Here.
Hospitalero Training
Sydney
22nd -23rd January 2022.
Information and Registration Here.
Australian Friends of the Camino [AFOTC]
 2nd National Conference


- The Journey & Beyond -
Lake Dewar Lodge, Myrniong, Victoria
16th -18th September 2022

Tickets on sale February 2022
On The Way 
To Inspire, To Share, To Connect.....

In pre-Covid times we used to include a photo in our monthly newsletters of the On The Way Board, listing all those heading off to the Camino.
 
Now that we are permitted to travel internationally again (subject to Covid rules and being fully vaccinated), many of you are starting to make your Camino dreams a reality with planning and flight bookings to do your Camino in 2022 and beyond.  In line with our recent adaptation to virtual meetings,  we have introduced a Virtual On The Way Board.     
 
Our first Pilgrims with flights booked and plans well underway for 2022.   
You can see the On The Way Board  HERE.      Ultreia!   Buen Camino
 
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.
~
* My plan is to walk the Camino Frances, leaving Sydney for Barcelona on 21 April. I will begin walking from St Jean Pied de Port on 27 April (booked into Orisson that night). My return flight is from Madrid on 15 June, so I can take my time. I am also looking forward to a night at Casa Susi, Diane
~
* Planning to do parts of several Camino routes in Spain.  
April 10th to 16th Piemont Route (also known as the Pyrenean Foothill Way), Lourdes to Saint Jean Pied de Port. 
April 18th to 21st Camino Frances to Pamplona.
April 27th until approx May 4th Leaving Ponferrada to walk the Invierno Camino to Santiago.
May 5th or 6th beginning Muxia/ Finisterre Camino extension, 
Narelle
~
* Camino de Norte in April 2022.   We have a family wedding to attend to in France in May so will be starting the Norte before and return after the wedding to complete.  Planning to be away for 4 months, Tony & Johann
~
* Lausanne to Rome, via Francigina,  Starting 24 August, David M
~
* On our way on St Olav in Norway in May 2022, Will & Corrie
~
* Walking the Camino Frances from St Jean- starting on 27 th April and staying that night at Orisson. I plan to allow 40 days to walk- with rest days and should arrive Santiago 5 th June - or round about then. Beyond excited at my first Camino and second attempt to go, Sandra R
~
* Planning to walk the Camino del Norte staring early May 2022, Pamela & Terry
~
* Will be starting Camino Frances number 2 from St Jean Pied de Port on 27 April - yay!!, Tessa  
~
* Camino Frances Late April and May 2022, Dolomites - June 2022, Benjamin Acland
* Camino Frances Late April and May 2022, George Acland; We leave 15/4/22 and spend some time in the UK first. Can't wait to catch up with Suzi and Fermin at Casa Suzi. George & Benjamin Acland  
~
* We are seriously looking at the Rota in Vicentina, in Portugal ‘the Historical Way and the Fishermans Way’. The route starts, interestingly, in Santiago do Cacem about 250 kms, south of Lisbon and takes the traveller to Cabo de Sal Vicente on the Algarve region of Portugals SW coast.  It is 225 kms and tracks along the underpopulated and beautifully wild south western coast of Portugal. The Alentejo region of Portugal through which the route passes is one of the least well known, yet undisturbed, areas of Portugal of Europe even. We aim to walk in September/October 2022, Roger and Liz
 
Some interesting Caminos planned. 
Buen Camino to all.
 
GLENELLA in Blackheath is seeking a Camino couple
as hosts from mid March to mid April 2022


Margaret and Rowan are travelling to South Africa to visit their parents and are seeking a couple to take care of Glenella for 4 weeks.

Ideally a couple who have walked a Camino and are confident with people.  Hospitalero experience would be a bonus!  

The last week in March, Glenella will be hosting the Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk when about 25 pilgrims will be staying at Glenella for 6 days while they walk from Penrith to Blackheath.  This will be a busy but special experience for the hosts.

A comfortable furnished flat is provided with 2 affectionate cats.   There is a small stipend to cover travel and incidentals. 

Contact Margaret and Rowan at info@glenella.com.au or 02-4787 8352. 
An encounter with a snake.
Have you ever thought about what you would do if you had an encounter with a snake?
 
We are fortunate to have a beautiful environment in the Blue Mountains and we know from lockdown that we love being outdoors.  Don’t let the possibility of encountering a snake ruin your walk and hiking adventures. Believe it or not horse riding is at least five times more deadly than snakes in Australia.  

Photo of Red Bellied Black Snake taken by Rosie while hiking Federal Pass, Katoomba 18/12/2021   
Getting bitten is a serious matter especially due to the distance and time you may be from the nearest hospital.  There are around 3000 snake bites in Australia each year, with approximately 550 admissions to hospital and on average 2 people die each year from venomous snake bites.
Most bites occur on the legs, feet, arms, and hands.  Covering up with long pants, hiking boots and gaiters can provide a layer of protection.
 
Snake bites can be dry or venomous; and even non-venomous bites can still cause a life-threatening reaction.
 
Dry Bites
A dry bite involves a snake striking its victim without releasing venom and this can be painful.   It’s impossible to tell if there is venom present so treat it as life-threatening.
Venomous Bites
Venomous bites involve a snake strike with venom.  The venom is poisonous and has the capacity to make the unsuspecting walker very ill.
Symptoms of Venomous Snake Bite
Symptoms of snake bites are not always revealed immediately.  Bite marks can vary from an obvious puncture to scratches that are almost invisible.
Symptoms may include pain, a rapid and irregular heartbeat, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, oozing blood from the bite site or gums, tingling, or burning skin, blurred vision, generalised weakness, changes in speech, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, difficulty breathing, confusion and collapse.
 
What to do?
The best thing you can do is be aware of how to avoid our fanged friends and what to do if you are unlucky enough to get bitten.  

If you are fortunate enough to see the snake well ahead of you.  Stop.  Take note of which direction it is going.  Back away slowly and give it a wide berth.  
 
If you don’t see the snake until it’s right in front of you. Stop.  Stand very still.   When the snake moves away, slowly move in the opposite direction.  If the snake turns back to you as you move, stop, and stand still again. Give your fanged friend plenty of time to move away.  Snakes only strike or bite in self-defence when they feel threatened.  
 
Always carry a at least 2-3 snake bite bandages; two or three bandages will effectively cover an adult limb.  Simple first aid is effective if done quickly by bandaging and immobilising the effected limb.
 
If you’re unlucky enough to get bitten remain as calm as possible.  Snake venom spreads through the body as muscles expand and contract.  Any movement accelerates the spread of venom through the body.  
 
Recommended actions:
  • Stop walking
  • Call out for help to your hiking companions
  • Lie down and stay completely still
  • Call 000 or use the Emergency Plus phone app which has a triple zero link and identifies your location.   If you have no mobile service, activate your Personal Locator Beacon
  • Without moving the limb, quickly remove fit bits, watches, rings, and bracelets because if swelling occurs these devices cause constriction additional problems
  • Don’t remove pants as the movement will accelerate the spread of venom
  • If the pants/leggings are tight, bandage over them
  • Apply a firm wide elasticised bandage from below the limb upward towards and over the bite site. The bandage should be applied with firm pressure.  Extend the bandage as far as possible up the limb (fingers to shoulder or toes to the hip)
  • Apply a rigid splint to the limb (a hiking pole or a branch)
  • Splint both legs together to immobilise the body
  • Write down the time of the bite and when the bandage was applied
  • If possible, mark the bite site on top of the bandage for the medical staff
  • Stay with the victim until emergency medical aid arrives
  • Never remove the bandage until hospital care with resuscitation facilities is available, removing the bandage is like opening the flood gates for venom
  • Call the victims family
  • Never give the victim any medication, food, or drinks without medical advice
  • Never wash or clean or apply ointments to the bite wound
  • Never apply a tourniquet and never cut the wound
  • Never try to catch or kill the snake and don’t pick up a dead one
Interestingly, science has discovered components derived from snake venom that may offer hope in treatment of numerous health conditions such as cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and bleeding disorders. 
 
Information for this article was collected from the Australian Venom Research Unit, NSW Health, St John Ambulance and Fast Snake Identification Australia.
 
Author Rosie Edmonds. 
Blue Mountains Camino Badges
Our Blue Mountains Camino Supporters cloth badges are available to order or purchase from Margaret or one of the admin team at Camino Meetups and save on postage!  The badge measures 8cm in diameter. The cost is $10 per badge + $2 postage for up to 4 badges in an envelope.  
 
Please  EMAIL US  once you have made your payment.  Remember to put your name in the details field. Thank you.
Money can be deposited directly into our new Bendigo Bank account:

Name:      Blue Mountains Camino Supporters
BSB:        633-000
Account:  173070897
 
Once you have attached your cloth badge (with glue or stitched) onto your backpack or hat, etc why not take a photo and email it or post a comment on our Facebook page or Facebook group.
 
Acknowledging the badge design concept by Jill Day with final design by Chris Osborne for Blue Mountains Camino Supporters
Can you help?
We could always use your help!  Can you assist in some small way such as leading or sweeping a monthly Saturday morning walk or with the Camino 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.
About Blue Mountains Camino Supporters
Blue Mountains Camino Supporters is a community group run by volunteers, we aim to support those planning to start a Camino and Pilgrims who have returned from their Camino.  By coming together regularly we hope to enable and encourage the Camino Spirit here in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

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 usually, when the venue is available at Glenella in Blackheath, hosted by Margaret & Rowan Bouttell. 

This newsletter is produced by Sharise Watson and Carlene Martin,  the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Facebook Page is managed by  Carlene & Rosie Edmonds whilst Kerrie Girdo and Carlene manage the Blue Mountains Camino Community Group Forum on Facebook.  Rowan & Bob Girdo, tech support, videographers and editors.  Rowan & Nick Batten are our Chief and Deputy Mappers extraordinaire and Diane Cousins hosts the Camino Swap Table. Tony & Ce Jacques co-ordinate Camino movie events.  Jerard & Enda Barry host an annual Feast of Saint James Dinner and host Pilgrims at their Pop-Up Albergue in Wentworth Falls by arrangement.  Our website is managed by Johann Saure and Carlene. 

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

Blue Mountains Camino Supporters recognises that the Dharug and Gundungurra Traditional Owners have a continuous and deep connection to their Country. We pay 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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