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

Newsletter June  2019   
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Hola Peregrinos, future pilgrims and supporters of our Camino group.  Where did May go?  It passed so quickly, sorry we didn't manage to get a May newsletter out!  

We thank again David Barrett and supporters of the Central Coast Camino Group for making it up to Blackheath to join us with walks and Camino activities in April.  Everyone enjoyed their weekend and the warm hospitality of Glenella Guesthouse.  It was great that some of our supporters could join in to show CCC group some true mountains hospitality.  All they needed was some snow like we experienced this week!

Thank you Tony for hosting the May Camino Meetup at Glenella and to the walkers who joined us for morning walk to Fort Rock and the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens, best flowering late September/October but still a delight to walk through.  Due to the semi-trailer incident that occurred at 7am Saturday morning on the GWH at Medlow Bath, traffic congestion was still being experienced some 12 hours later! 

Welcome home our returning pilgrims and Buen Camino to several of our supporters.  Find out who are on The Way below....

We are excited there are so many people who are interested in the Camino, many new visitors local and from afar have attended our Camino Meetups at Glenella. Whether you are experienced pilgrims or want to find out more and/or just to join us on the Saturday morning walk and later the Camino Meetup, a huge thank you all for your participation!  

Remember if you wish to stay overnight or the weekend, please contact Glenella Guesthouse directly to arrange accommodation -

CALL FOR HELP!  If you are able to help in anyway, no matter how small, please contact us by email and let us know.  How you can help could include  'leading' walks, do show and tell at a Camino Meetup, bake Santiago tart/s for Meetups, provide vital assistance with the newsletters including contributing articles  and photos for the newsletter and also our facebook page to name a few things that are currently being done by too few people. 
Ulteria!    Admin Team
Friday 28 June 2019, 7.00-9.30pm
Blackheath-Mt Victoria RSL sub-branch hall
The June Camino Dinner is fast approaching, Tony is taking bookings now!  This dinner event is a bring a plate of Tapas style food to share and will be held at the Blackheath-Mt Victoria RSL Sub-Branch Hall at 2 Bundarra Street, Blackheath at 7.00pm.  Speaker is to be advised (a surprise), there will also be some audio visual and Camino Q&A.  These events are always insightful and fun.  Everyone welcome!

Cost of the evening is $5.00 to cover insurance and drinks available by donation. Santiago tart and tea/coffee provided.

Seating is limited to around 50 so please reserve your seat/s early!  Email here with Tony to book your place.  If you have booked and find you can't attend, it would be appreciated if you would  let Tony know at   in case there are people on the 'waitlist'.  Thank you!

NOTE:  the suggested bring a plate of food to share is Tapas style but any 'finger food' (it could be sweets or fruit platter)  so long as it doesn't need heating!  
Saturday Walk at 9.40am on 29 June 2019
Katoomba Station to Glenella, Blackheath
As there is a Camino Dinner on Friday night, 28 June,  some people may choose to stay for the weekend, it is proposed the route for the June walk from Katoomba to Blackheath (Glenella).  It is intended to catch the 929am* train from Blackheath Station arriving Katoomba 940am (unless there are track works we will need to change to do a  local Blackheath walk from Glenella at 9.00am).

You are welcome to  join Ce and Carlene for this walk.  Meet at Katoomba Station, in front of the coffee stall at 9.40am.  Option 1 to walk along the road to Blackheath via the Explorers Marked Tree, Hydro for refreshments and continue to Blackheath.  The longer option 2 from Katoomba Station and via Stuarts Rd to the Clifftop Track, Explorers Marked Tree, Hydro Majestic for refreshments and continue to Blackheath.  There is an ascent to climb on the longer scenic route. The total walk will take approx 4 hours and is about 12-14kms.  Some may choose to get the 1.32pm* train from Medlow Bath to Blackheath.  *Note, you need to check train times closer to the date.

A further option is that Tony may walk from Glenella to Medlow Bath return depending on interest if people may not be able to do a longer walk, however you are welcome to do this self-guided walk along the Fire trail.  Tony can advise this option at the Friday night Camino dinner.

Please bring water, snacks,  sunscreen, hat, rain gear (if forecast - its a great way to check if your particular set of rain gear works!), first aid bits & pieces and wear sturdy footwear.  Bring your Opal card and lunch & coffee can be bought at the Hydro Majestic or Synonymous as you choose.

Let us know if you intend on walking click hereMeet in front of Katoomba Station near the coffee stand at 9.40am  Then later on, at 2.00pm, there's the usual Camino Meetup.    Hope to see you there, everyone is welcome!
CAMINO MEETUP: Saturday 29 June 2019
2.00 - 4.00pm at Glenella

Camino Meetups are held the 4th Saturday of most months*  from 2.00-4.00pm at Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath.  The next Camino Meetup will be on Saturday 29 June 2019  at 2.00pm.   

If you are new to this Camino group, the Camino Meetups are an informal gathering and have proved to be an
informative afternoon, a chance to share all things Camino including your stories and experiences, occasional 'show & tell', for others to learn about the Camino.  If time permits, there may be a short Camino related doco film shown in the Glenella Cellar Theatre.   Come along to enjoy the camaraderie! 

All visitors and pilgrims are welcome to join us for afternoon tea, the cost is $5.00pp.  Santiago tart usually baked by Ce and sometimes Julie., with thanks.  Thank you Kerrie for your baked contribution to afternoon tea for the May Meetup.

Whilst at Glenella, check out "Camino Corner" with map of pilgrimage routes in Spain, books and DVDs.  There is a trunk with donated/surplus adventure gear that may be useful for your Camino.  Items by $5.00 donativo unless otherwise marked.  If you have any spare gear you wish to donate, bring them along to a Camino Meetup.

Are you planning to go on your Camino during 2019?  Write your name up On The Way board.   Let us know if you are on Your Way email us 

watch for advertised dates, subject to change  
Some photos of pilgrims from the Central Coast Camino group visit to the Blue Mountains in April with some of our members.  You will find 'Albums' on our facebook page to view.

Visit to the Blue Mountains by the Central Coast Camino Group

At the end of our monthly walk in February this year the idea of a visit to the Blue Mountains was broached and received an enthusiastic response.  It was decided that our visit would coincide with the April monthly meeting of the Blue Mountains Group to meet some members of another Camino group and to take advantage of the cooler weather for walking.

On Friday 26th April eight of us from the Central Coast and two from Sydney arrived at Glenella Guesthouse in Blackheath to receive the traditional warm greeting from the owners, Margaret and Rowan, before going for pre-dinner drinks at the local watering hole.  We then joined several members from the Blue Mountains group at Blackheath Golf Club for an excellent dinner.  Leaving the Club it was definitely a lot colder than we generally experience at the Central Coast and many of us were grateful for the doonas and electric blankets on our beds back at Glenella.   Several members enjoyed a showing of The Way in the Glenella Cellar Theatre before turning in.

On Saturday morning after a hearty buffet breakfast at Glenella we gathered for a walk to Govetts Leap Lookout via Popes Glen and on to Evans Lookout and back to Glenella.  There was a large group of about thirty walkers with plenty of leaders, so we split up into three groups – fast, medium and slow taking variations of the route.  This was a challenging walk compared to most of our walks on the Central Coast, but very enjoyable.  After lunch we gathered in the lounge at Glenella for all of us to introduce ourselves and talk about our Camino experiences. This was a great opportunity for those who had not walked a Camino to ask questions.  Later in the evening some of us ordered take away pizzas and relaxed at Glenella so as to be ready for another walk on Sunday.

After breakfast on Sunday almost all of us walked the Grand Canyon trail, and although I say walked, it was mostly up and down a very hard track with many steps, which even the hardy mountain people found tough.  After returning to Glenella we coastal people headed back home.

In conclusion we found the walks very beautiful and well worth the effort.  I would especially like to thank Margaret and Rowan for their help in making this such a successful weekend, and Carlene and Tony whose assistance in every way was invaluable.

We will definitely be back for another wonderful weekend.    
Article by David Barrett  

Editor note:  On behalf of the Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino group, we thoroughly enjoyed having CCC group here in Blackheath and hope to see you up here again.   Thanks to those who subscribed to our newsletter and facebook page.  There are many photos posted in Albums on our facebook page -  

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 are Phillip & Karen doing the CF from Sarria 10/9/19.
Jen (pictured above) recently returned from the Camino Frances came to the April Camino Meetup and showed us her backpack which had a total weight, including water being around 5kg!!  Jen happily shares her packing list as listed below.  We hope you find this useful in your packing, lightly... now that is a challenge to see how light you can go! 
Jen wore Chaco hiking sandals on her Camino and carried a Iowe alpine Fuse 20 backhack.  Her big tips were the Bose earbuds and Injinji toe socks.  Jen's Camino packing list as follows:
* summer sleeping bag (Kathmandu grey goose)  * sleeping bag silk liner
* raincoat (Altus poncho)  * rain pants  * down jacket
* small bag of toiletries and sunscreen 
* small supply of medications (painkillers, anti biotics,
* antihistamines etc) and band aids
* electronics- phone and Bose earbuds and charging cables for both
* 1 litre nalgene bottle (can also function as hot water bottle for cold nights)
* walking poles (Helinox)
* 3 x small lightweight bags for organising stuff inside bag
 Day clothing:  * hiking skirt  * merino wool leggings  * merino tank top base layer
* merino long sleeve base layer  * sun hat   * buff and merino balaclava  
* sunglasses   * gloves  * 2 x merino toe socks   * 2 x underwear  
* chaco hiking sandals * knee supports   * Night clothing  * fleece pants (also worn in day in cold weather)  
*  long sleeve cotton shirt (becomes day walking shirt in hot weather)

ST JAMES DAY DINNER:  Thursday 25 July 2019 at 6.30pm, Wentworth Falls PopUp Albergue 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, 186 Blaxland Rd, Wentworth Falls.  Bookings are essential

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 $20 per head.  The menu will reflect what a rural albergue of Spain provides.   Beer will be available on a donativo basis.

Bookings open on July 1.  To book, 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 us to organise food 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.

Walking the Camino del Norte solo April-May 2019:  "It has rained all day.  I walked a 10kms straight before having a second coffee. Then the last 10 kms to Santiago de Compostela. I WALKED THIS TRACK IN 39 days.  I can’t quite believe it.
I have put up with painful shoulder & neck every day. Sore feet have been controlled with strapping. 2 toenails are on their way out. And my back tonight says ‘enough’.  But I did it........ This has been an amazing experience, more so than last time because I have walked so much on my own.  I have been lost at least once a day except for the last 2 days. Thank goodness for Apps.  It has given me so much time to reflect on my life & my amazing family.  I’m so proud of them all.
        Ce Jacques   
Top photo: Margaret Boutell, co-owner of Glenella Guesthouse is on her solo 400km pilgrimage on the Apennine Way, Italy.  You can follow her blog at -  

Middle photos 2&3:  Les Simons is currently on the CF starting out from SJPdP on 1 May.  Les intends doing three Caminos whilst away.  Les at the March Camino Meetup brought along his pack for 'show & tell' which made for interesting discussion.  We will have Les' article about training for his Camino in the next newsletter.  Oh, the painted toe nails courtesy of a trip to Bali before Les left for his Camino, colours represent those in the Spainish and Aboriginal flags.

Bottom left photo:  Fi & Mark Johnson on top of Fort Rock, from the May walk.  They have just left for their 2000km pilgrimage from Finesterre, France to Finesterre, Spain.  They anticipate it will take a little over 100 days and will be pulling a trolley with their gear!  In 2016 Mark & Fi did the Camino Frances, they created their blog to share experiences and tips with other vegetarians.  You can follow their blog and their latest Camino - 

Bottom right photo:  Jen was given this bag on her Camino Frances and used for collecting rubbish along the way.  A great idea!
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

Fri 28 Jun - Camino Dinner - bring a plate of food Tapas style, guest speaker, Camino Q&A at Blackheath-Mt Victoria RSL sub-branch

Sat 29 Jun
9.00am walk, route TBA.  Meet at Glenella Guesthouse 8.50am unless otherwise advised

Sat 29 Jun 2.00-4.00pm Camino Meetup at Glenella Guesthouse, $5 afternoon tea  

Thu 25 Jul - St James Day dinner at Jerard & Enda's Popup Albergue in Wentworth Falls.  Save the date, bookings open 1 July.

Fri 30 Aug - SAVE THE DATE for a special Camino movie (TBA) at Mount Vic Flicks, Mount Victoria.

11-13 October - AFOTC National Conference in Adelaide  
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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C/- Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath 2785

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