October 2022 Newsletter
Pilgrim Reflection

Poem on the wall as pilgrims enter Najera on the Camino Frances.  Jill and Tristan read this poem at the September Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk.   Thank you Jill H for image and translation below. 

Dust, mud, sun and rain
Camino de Santiago is
Thousands of pilgrims
and more than a thousand years

Pilgrim what calls you?
What hidden force attracts you?

Neither the Field of Stars
or the great cathedrals
not brave Navarra
Or the wine of La Rioja
Not Galician seafood or
the landscape of Castille

Pilgrim, who calls you?
What unseen force attracts you?
Not the people of the Camino
Or the customs of the Way

It is not the history or the culture
or the rooster of Calzada,
or the Palace of Gaudi
Or the Castle of Ponferrada

I see everything in passing
and is a joy,
but the voice that calls me

I feel most deeply.

The force that pushes me
The force that attracts me,
Cannot be explained,

But I will know it when I arrive
October Walk + Meetup

Saturday 29 October
Camino Training Walk + Meetup in Woodford.   
An easy and medium walk will offered to the Woodford Dam, to be followed by a Camino Meetup at the Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat.

More details and registration HERE.
25 -27 November "Camino Celebracion"
We have a great weekend planned for our end of year Camino Celebracion in Blackheath.  The weekend will include local training walks, Artisan Workshops (build your own Waymarker) and a Pilgrim Fair at Glenella.  Plus a Paella dinner on the Saturday!  Glenella will also host a Camino Open Weekend. 

Don't miss this Feria de peregrino

Planned activities: 
  • Friday 25 November + Sunday 27 November
    • Camino Way Marker Workshop with Les Simons, Glenella workshop/garden from 10am.
  • Saturday 26 November
    • Camino Training Walk - Blackheath, 9am - 1pm
    • Feria de peregrino (Pilgrim Fair) - Glenella Garden, 1pm - 3pm
    • Camino Meetup - Glenella Garden, 3.30pm - 5pm
    • End of Year Camino Dinner - a Paella Feast, Glenella, 6.30pm - 10.30pm 
If you are interested in joining the Waymarker workshop please email us HERE for more information.

We are calling for expressions of interest from artisans, writers, bakers and merchants who would like to display and sell Camino related art, craft, books, cakes or pilgrim wares during the Feria de peregrino.  If you'd like to set up a table at our fair, please email us HERE for more information. 

Glenella Camino Open Weekend
Details about booking accommodation at Glenella will be in the November newsletter.  Bookings will open a few days AFTER the November newsletter is sent out. 
2023 Planner 
Last Saturday of the month Training Walks + Camino Meetups will continue from January 2023.

We will host a Spring and Autumn Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk.  Dates for 2023 are 27 March - 2 April, and 11-17 September.

There will be an opportunity for pilgrims to "give back" with a Blue Mountains Camino Track Care day on Sunday 5 March (Clean up Australia Day).

Australian Friends of the Camino - National Conference 17-19 February 2023 -  for more info click HERE
Keep up to date via our Newsletter, Facebook and Website.
We hope you will join us for a Camino event in 2023
Our September Training Walk and Meetup
24 September the Blue Gum Swamp, Winmalee in the lower Blue Mountains.  It was great to explore more of the lower mountains region.  Due to the terrain, degree of difficulty and longer distance the Medium Walk group set off an hour earlier than the Easy Walk.

There were 19 walkers for the 13km Medium walk along the wide fire trail which had several creek crossings in the valley floor through the lush forest of beautiful and towering Deanes Blue Gums.  There were many birdsong sounds to be heard and the frogs in the swamp.  The group encountered the switchback fire trail with elevation gain of 250+m to Bees Nest Hill with stunning views over the Grose Valley below.

The Easy Walk group of 7 included 3 new walkers, one being Roxanne from the UK staying with one of our Camino 'family'.  The Easy walk followed the same track to the junction point before returning with a detour to the Grotto, a 9km return walk.
The spring wildflowers were beautiful - waratah, flannel flowers and 'bacon & eggs' and lush forest vegetation made for a great Camino training walk.  Luckily everyone made it back to cars before the storm arrived.  Reports of hailstones at Leura!

Lunch was at The Royal Hotel, Springwood.  We decided to forego the regular Camino Meetup because of the noisy surrounds, it was AFL Grand Final after all!  Sorry the Swans got well and truly done!
Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk

5 - 10 September 2022 
Photos Top: Group on Day 4 at Wentworth Falls Lookout;  Day 5 at Katoomba Station.
Bottom: Day 5 around Lake Catalina at The Gully,  Glenella waymarker, Blackheath.

The Blue Mountains weather provided varied conditions for the 33 walkers who joined us for our September Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk.  It was wonderful to have so many pilgrims joining us.  We had 8 from Queensland including 7 pilgrims from the Sunshine Coast Camino group and 4 from Melbourne. Remaining pilgrims were from Sydney, the Shoalhaven and Blue Mountains villages.  We were also joined by Mike from California, in Australia at the invitation of Les, one of our much-loved supporters.  Les, Mike and John, the Three Amigo met almost 3 years ago on the Camino Frances.   

We thank the wonderful hospitalerios, Eileen and Richard who brought their wealth of knowledge and experience with such flair to Glenella 'Albergue' for the week, and to Margaret and Rowan (in his absence) for making the beautiful Glenella available for the Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk.  The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Group is so fortunate to have Glenella as its spiritual base.

Thank you to all the pilgrims from across Australia for supporting and joining in one of our annual Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walks.  We are proud to have these walks on our program and it is a privilege to showcase a small part of the beautiful Blue Mountains to you.
David writes on behalf of the Sunshine Coast Camino Group.
A trip to the Blue Mountains
There are times in your life that you just need to seize the moment and go!  Having planned to spend 5 days with the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters a couple of years ago a number of us were thwarted by you know what!  What a joy when our friends down there invited us to join them this year!  The word went around and yes, we made our plans.  Garry and I were only able to go for the 5 days while Karen, Simon and Jo had grander plans, and Lyn-Anne and Amorica chose different days down and back. It was great to have Jo there to keep us organised!

September is an ideal time of year to enjoy the Spring beauty of these mountains and although the weather forecast did not look good, Mother Nature had better plans for us and just sprinkled us a couple of times!  Sure, there was a chill breeze at times but with such grand landscapes and terrific company we had a fabulous time!

On arrival at “Glenella” in Blackheath, the spiritual and real home of the Blue Mountains Group we were greeted with heart-warming welcome to this fabulous guest house (albergue!) and allocated our rooms.  I just loved this old place, steeped in history, and so homely!  We were to return each afternoon at the end of our day’s walk to relax and enjoy delicious meals and great, informative and entertaining night activities.  Of course, there was time for a beer or two at the local to put some energy back into our weary bodies!

Each morning our leaders marshalled the 25 participants staying at Glenella for a train ride to the beginning of each day’s walk.  We began at Penrith, 1hr 20min trip from Blackheath, and hiked upward, (with plenty of down!) for 20-odd kilometres through magnificent forest trails and a little suburbia.  We encountered waterfalls and spectacular cliff faces, caves and stunning views, indigenous history and occasional fauna with beautiful flora.  Every day finished at a railway station for the trip back to Blackheath.  Over the time we walked about 90 kilometres and gained considerable elevation.  Truly, a memorable and much-loved walk!

This beautiful quote that was available to us each day summed up our thoughts about our time in the Blue Mountains - A journey becomes a pilgrimage as we discover day by day that the distance travelled is less important than the experience gained....Ernest Kutz.

Editor: Thank you David for your insights of your Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk.  We loved having members of the Sunshine Coast Camino Group, thrilled you were finally able to join us and share our Blue Mountains Camino camaraderie.  Hopefully some of us will be able to join in a walk with the Sunshine Coast Camino Group in the future.
Photos below: 
A scenic lookout; placing stones on the Glenella Waymarker; Day 1 at Blaxland;  preparing evening meal & cheers in the Glenella kitchen.
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 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.
Walking For Good!

LONG WALK HOME:  Sharise led Team Blue Mountains Camino on the 28km Long Walk Home from Leura to Springwood on Saturday 8 October.  Sharise and team member Jen raised almost $1,200 for Wayside Chapel to support people experiencing homelessness who walk an  average of 28 km a week to find shelter or a place to sleep. 

Sharise and Jen braved the inclement weather
(although it did start off with bright clear skies), finishing at the Royal Hotel close to 6pm to refuel after a long day.

Thank you to all the wonderful supporters who donated generously.

There is still time to sponsor Team Blue Mountains Camino  CLICK HERE 
Who's On the Way!
To Inspire, To Share, To Connect.....    
After two years of border closures, many of our Supporters headed overseas on their Camino during 2022 whilst others planning their Camino in 2023.  We look forward to hearing your Camino stories 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 to all those currently walking in Spain 

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. 
Glenella is owned and managed by Margaret and Rowan Bouttell .
                                              The Admin Team                                                     
L-R Johann Saure, Rowan Bouttell, Rosie Edmonds, Tony Hodgson, Carlene Martin, Sharise Watson, Margaret Bouttell.  Jen McPherson has joined the Admin Team replacing Rowan who will continue as a volunteer developing the new BMCS website.

Thank you to the volunteers:
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 manages TryBooking and BMCS financial matters.
Kerrie Girdo and Carlene Martin manage the Blue Mountains Camino Community Group Forum on Facebook.  
Rowan Bouttell and Nick Batten are tech support, videographers and editors. 
Margaret Bouttell and Nick Batten are our Chief and Deputy Mappers extraordinaire.
Our website is managed by Johann Saure, Nick Batten and Carlene Martin.

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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