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

Newsletter July  2019   
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ST JAMES DAY DINNER:  Thursday 25 July 2019 at 6.30pm, PopUp Albergue in Blaxland Rd, Wentworth Falls  hosted by Jerard and Enda.

The Feast of St James falls on 25 July this year.  To celebrate we are holding a pilgrim meal at the Popup Albergue, in Blaxland Rd, Wentworth Falls.  Bookings are essential and places still available.  Please contact Jerard & Enda ASAP so not to miss out celebrating St James Day.

The albergue is not large so the number of guests is restricted to 18.  The meal will consist of Tapas, Soup, a Main meal and Dessert.   House wine will be supplied.  The cost is just $20 per person.  The menu will reflect what a rural albergue of Spain provides.   Beer will be available on a donativo basis.

There are still place available, please email Jerard and Enda on  

Give name/s and contact details in your email.  Your email will be acknowledged and further information provided.   Bookings must close on July 20 to allow for food to be organised for this single event.   Payment in advance is required and we will advise you of the details when you email us.   Your booking will be confirmed on receipt of payment.  Refunds are possible until July 20 when food supplies are sourced.

STOP PRESS -  Save the Dates for October
* 5 Day Training Walk, 22 - 26 October 2019:  It's on again this year from Penrith to Blackheath so start booking in your leave and put on your walking boots/shoes.  You may also want to consider making reservations early  at Glenella Guesthouse, Mount Victoria Manor, Blackheath Caravan Park, Airbnb, Katoomba hostels or other nearby accommodation of your choice. 

You may wish to walk all 5 days or join in for a day or two along the route.  For the 2018 walk there were 9 starters with another 20 or so joining in the last day from Katoomba to Blackheath.

The walking route is currently being updated and more details will be published on our website -  facebook page - bluemtnsaustcaminosupporters and in the next newsletter.  However, if you wish to express interest in the 5 Day Training Walk   click here    If you are able to help in any way, please let us know, or contact Margaret at Glenella Guesthouse, phone  02 4787 8352.  

* CAMINO MEETUP 26 October 2019 and meet John Brierley!
Saturday morning walk 8.30am,  an earlier start time  to join in with the 5 day walkers.  Meet at Katoomba Station (near the pizza place) for walk to Blackheath. There are 2 options on this route, approx. 12-14kms taking about 4 hours with a break at Medlow Bath.  You may also take the train option at Medlow Bath to Blackheath!

If you wish to do the shorter walk at 9.00am from Glenella, Blackheath to Medlow Bath return, this is approx. 7-8kms taking about 3 hours depending on refreshment break at Medlow Bath.  You can indicate your interest in the Saturday morning walk,  click here  

Whichever walk you choose, it  will get you back to Blackheath in time to grab some lunch and go to the extended Camino Meetup starting at 2pm.  The venue for the Camino Meetup for October will be the RSL Hall, 2 Bundarra Rd, Blackheath (across the railway line), this is because special guest, John Brierley will be in Blackheath to give a presentation as well as meet and chat with you!  John is happy to sign your Camino book/s, new and old copies.   The cost of the afternoon Camino Meetup is $5.00 which includes tea/coffee and homemade Santiago tart.  You can indicate your interest in the Camino Meetup for catering purposes,  click here

* CAMINO DINNER:  Later on from 6.30pm there will be a dinner for more of a social evening and Camino chatter.  We hope John Brierley will join us to give you another opportunity to meet him.  The venue and details for dinner to be confirmed.  You can express your interest in the dinner,  click here  

We are very excited to be hosting John Brierley in 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 as possible for this rare opportunity to hear and meet John Brierley, author of the Camino books, "A Pilgrims Guide...."  Make it a Camino weekend in the mountains!

For John's stay in the Mountains, he will be generously hosted by Margaret and Rowan Bouttell of Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath.   

There are a lot of "click here" to indicate your interest in various events on Saturday 26 October, you can use one of them for your reply, just list what interests you.  In due course, we may opt to use for expressions of interest in the events.  Apologies in advance if it seems to be duplicating responses, however details are still being finalised and we wanted to give you early notice of the October events and John Brierley's visit.
5 Day Training Walk, September 2018.  Pic left: group leaving Penrith.  Pic right:  expanded group from Katoomba Station to Blackheath
A feast of Camino films coming in August and showing at Mount Vic Flicks, 2A Hartley Ave, Mount Victoria

The Camino Voyage at Mount Vic Flicks, Friday 30 August 2019 at 7.30pm

"Do you love Irish music and dancing and Celtic Romance and adventure? - maybe you also love the Camino in Spain and the stories that weave around the many walks and pilgrimages? ......combine them both with the Blue Mountains Australia Supporters of the Camino on a special night at Mount Vic Flicks.   

Doors open at 7.30pm for a great introduction with Flamenco Vero warming you up with Spanish dancing and music. 

At 8.00pm, the main event - the most beautiful and inspiring and different "The Camino Voyage" of Irish everyday Celtic people creating a boat and rowing to Santiago from Ireland.  Movie ends 9.45pm.   It will be followed with a Q&A session on all things Camino and free Santiago Tart. 


We guarantee a wonderful night for $20 (more if you partake of delights from the renown kiosk).

See you there for another great night - bring a friend.  It would be fabulous to have a full house and support a worthy cause.

Any money that is over at the end will go towards buying the $9,400 wheelchair that will allow our local Veteran, Graeme Bolitho, to attempt the inaugural I'll Push You team's "Accessible Camino 2019" from Sarria to Santiago de Compostella in late September-early October.  This special wheelchair will be left in Santiago de Compostella to help any other disabled Aussies who are dreaming of doing a Camino and need help.

Tickets $20, please book early and bring friends - see you there!  Bookings via Mt Vic Flicks on

CAMINO SKIES showing at Mount Vic Flicks,   1-4 August 2019.  A walking meditation on life, love and loss. Exploring themes of spirituality, wellbeing and religion, this is the inspirational journey of six strangers from New Zealand and Australia walking the 800km Camino de Santiago to overcome the personal and physical trauma that life has dealt them. Through blisters, shin splints and heat, the Camino forces pilgrims to defy their age and physical ability, while also acting as a catalyst for change. Both heart-breaking and inspirational, ‘Camino Skies’ is an uplifting story about everyday people doing the extraordinary.

"A wonderfully genuine piece of filmmaking" - JOHN BRIERLEY, CAMINO GUIDES

"A meditative film that invites reflection and wonder" - FILMINK

"This is the most beautiful documentary!" - RADIO NZ

"Poignant" - STUFF NZ

Cast includes Australians, Claude Tranchant and Susan Morris
It was a great night for the Camino tapas style dinner held at the RSL Hall, Blackheath on Friday, 28 June 2019 with about 40 people attending.  There was more than ample delicious food to share and three great women guest speakers who each recently completed their respective Caminos or pilgrimage.  Congratulations to these three inspiring  women and to all recently returned pilgrims including Les.

Helen did the C Frances from SJPdP with her daughter for 3 weeks to Sahagun then the remainder solo  Congratulations and a great effort on her first Camino!

Margaret asked "Pilgrimage. What does this word mean to you?"   A few offered their thoughts before Margaret showed a quote which resonated with her.  It was "(A) journey becomes a pilgrimage as we discover, day by day, that the distance travelled is less important than the experience gained"  Ernest Kurtz.  

Margaret finished her solo pilgrimage in 23 days on the Apennine Way, Italy.  "Tear started flowing.  Was it sadness to leave the GEA without completing the last 4 days?  Was it a feeling of failure not having walked to the end?  I realised it was not tears of sadness or failure. It was the emotion of having walked my own path my own way; 388kms - I felt victorious".  
The altitudes and tracks that went straight up and down unlike the track on the C Frances sounded tough!   You can read Margaret's blog Adventure along the GEA and the emergence of a Free Spirit....     

Ce completed the C del Norte solo 1 April - May 2019, 840kms in 39 days.  Ce actually started off with a friend met on an earlier Camino but ditched him a few days in as he was walking only in sandals which meant at a slower pace.  This was Ce's second solo Camino and has notched up her 5th Camino with 3 C Frances, C Inglis, and now the C del Norte.   Congratulations Ce.  Oh, did you know she has had both knees replaced and is a cross-fit fanatic!!

The C del Norte looked spectacular and picturesque but a tough Camino with the terrain and mud to contend with!  Ce said "This has been an amazing experience, more so than last time because I have walked so much on my own.   It has given me so much time to reflect on my life & my amazing family.  I’m so proud of them all".
Photos by Yvonne, with thanks,  from RSL tapas style dinner.  Top L: Helen, Top R: Margaret
Bottom L: Ce with her signature Santiago tart, Bottom R: delicious bring a plate to share buffet   
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  Apologies if you told us but have omitted your name.  Just let us know when you are planning to start your Camino and which route and we will put you on the list.  Email us 
To be added  Phillip & Karen doing the CF from Sarria 10/9/19 and Nicky Lumb, C Portuguese late July and hospitalerio in Portugal.  
Mark & Fi are navigating their way, 2000kms from Finesterre, France to Finesterra, Spain!  They commenced walking on 14 June 2019 with a trailer to start but ditched idea that after a few days.  Mark loves his toys and has some beautiful footage from his drone and selfie stick.
9 July 2019: "Today marks the half-time point in the French Chapter as we have 26 more days to get to Saint Jean Pied de Port".  You can follow the Johnson's epic pilgrimage on their blog -
National Camino Conference 11-13 October 2019
El Camino - The Way Ahead
The Australian Friends of the Camino (AFOTC) has the first National Conference being held in Adelaide in October 2019.  There is a great line-up of speakers and entertainers  with their latest coup  being the infamous John Brierley!  He is the keynote speaker on the Sunday morning with plenty of time for questions and guidebook signing.

If you would like to attend the conference, here is the link for information and bookings on the AFOTC website.

Remember you can become a member of AFOTC and get your Australian Pilgrim Credencial from them too - 
                   UPCOMING EVENTS FOR YOUR 2019 DIARY

Thu 25 Jul - St James Day dinner at Jerard & Enda's Popup Albergue in Blaxland Rd, Wentworth Falls.  Places still available, BOOK NOW!

1-4 August -
Camino Skies at Mount Vic Flicks, Mount Victoria for several screenings.  Check Mt Vic Flicks website for session times.

Fri 30 Aug 7.30pm - The Camino Voyage at  Mount Vic Flicks, Mount Victoria, hosted by Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino group fundraiser.

11-13 October - AFOTC National Conference in Adelaide  

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

26 October 8.30am - Saturday morning walk from Katoomba Station to Blackheath to join in on the last day of the 5 Day Training Walk.  

26 October 2.00-5.00pm - Extended Camino Meetup with special guest, John Brierley to be held at RSL Hall Blackheath

26 October 6.30pm - Camino social dinner, venue and details to be confirmed    

29 November - End of Year Camino dinner.  Venue and details to be advised.
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
Camino Meetups, dinner events & newsletter organised by Tony Jacques, Margaret & Rowan Bouttell  and Carlene.  There are also others making a valuable contribution including the planning meeting, enabling the Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino group to keep active.

Please let us know if you are willing to help in some small way such as taking others for the Saturday morning Walking Meetup, help with a Saturday Camino Meetup at Glenella,  help bake Santiago tarts, etc. 

It would be terrific if we have a volunteer who can do the regular newsletters too.  We would love to hear from you!!  Your stories and photos are always welcomed contributions for the newsletters and facebook posts. 
Any help would be greatly appreciated to lessen the load on us volunteers.  

For feedback or suggestions you are welcome to 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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