August 2022 Newsletter
August Events
Saturday 27th August

Camino Training Walk +  Meetup @Glenbrook
Join us for our next Camino Training Walk starting from the Glenbrook train station.  Choose from EASY (6km) or MEDIUM (11km).  Both walks take in the scenic Chalmers and Ross Lookouts with expansive views over the Nepean River.  

A Camino Meetup will be held after the walk from 2-4pm where you have the opportunity to hear from recently returned pilgrims.  
There are plenty of cafe's in Glenbrook to enjoy a cuppa or lunch before the meetup. 
Save the Dates
Tuesday 6th to Saturday 10th September, 5-Day Walk - Details and Registration Here
Saturday 24th September, Camino Training Walk + Meetup
Saturday 29th October, Camino Training Walk + Meetup
Tuesday 1st to Saturday 5th November, 5-Day Walk - Details and Registration Here.
Saturday 26th November, Camino Training Walk + Meetup - Blackheath

We hope you will join us for a Camino event in 2022.
Our July Training Walk and Meetup
Photo L-R: Medium walkers group on Yandhai Bridge, walking along Nepean River and in the bush near Leonay.  Crossing Yandhai Bridge.  Easy route walkers setting off again after refreshments at Lewers Gallery Cafe.
In July, our monthly training walk starting point was Emu Plains at the base of the Blue Mountains. The Pilgrim table was set up in the carpark of Emu Plains train station to greet 20 walkers from as far as Avoca on the Central Coast, Sydney and from a number of Blue Mountains villages and surrounds.  It was a perfect sunny Winters day for walking. 

The group of 14 medium walkers left Emu Plains Station to explore the banks of the Nepean River and a bush track up to Explorers Reserve in Lapstone ably led by Ann and Terry.  There was of course a coffee stop at The Coffee Club Precinct enroute to Lapstone.  At Lapstone the group stopped at Explorers Reserve where there is a hidden gem of bush looking down towards Nepean River.  On return to down the bush track there were views of the Nepean River and the damage caused by the recent floods were very evident.  The group enjoyed another coffee stop at Willow Tree Café at Leonay before heading back to Emu Plains and meeting the Easy route walkers for lunch and our meetup at O'Donoghues.  A number of the local Blue Mountains walkers stated they didn't realise these tracks were accessible from the banks of the Nepean River.  Written by AnnP
Thank you Ann and Terry for leading the Medium walk!

Meanwhile, a small group of 6 walkers did the Easy route walk through the streets of Emu Plains passing some historical landmarks.  It was a joy to see so many youngsters out playing junior soccer games at the oval.  Asking for directions from locals, the group met Olympian Jess Fox's (canoeist) rehomed greyhound out for a walk.  Soon the group were at Lewers Gallery Cafe, so of course coffee and refreshments prevailed before continuing on beside the Nepean River, up and over the M4 to the other side of the Nepean, continuing to Yandhai Bridge to eventually reaching O'Donoghues.   Unlike the Medium route, this was a very flat walk at a relaxed pace.  
Thank you Carlene and Sharise for leading the Easy walk!
Camino Conversations :  Sharise interviewing Sandra
Sharise chatted to Sandra about her recent Camino Frances experience.  It was a fun, relaxed chat, while we lunched at O'Donoghues pub after the walk.  Sandra talked about the initial desire to walk, about 7 years ago then booking- and cancelling - in April 2020, to finally arriving in SJPdP in April 2022.  Coincidentally arriving on the same day as DianeA  from our Blue Mountains Camino group!  Sandra said, with identical packs, both adorned with the Blue Mountains Camino patch, and matching bumbags, it was a reassuring start.

Sandra discussed the numerous highs and lows- physical and emotional of the trip. Initially feeling so enthused and overjoyed during the first few days and  beautiful Pyrenees, to some days later, with feet sore and heavy pack..sitting in Pamplona thinking “omg I don’t think I like this”  Expect the unexpected they say!   Fortunately that was a short lived feeling and soon she was back on track to enjoying the experience of Camino life- ups and downs included…a few mishaps and challenges along the way including the loss of her sleeping bag early on and the  too late realising that there is a knack to tying it to the pack! 

The Frances route was busy post-lockdown, and being a Holy Year,  which made pre-booking accommodation necessary and sometimes challenging, the spontaneity of just winging it to find a room was stressful so booking ahead it was.  Albergue life with noisy room mates had the first prize going to a 3 month old baby, who I frequently ended up with, often in very small off track albergues…snorers had nothing on that little one :)

Sandra's highlights included walking in Spring with wildflowers bursting with colour, wonderful people met and new friendships, staying in little off  guidebook/Brierley villages- and some delightful stays, especially  the tiny Sanbol albergue was a favourite find and a memorable fun night of singing and dancing. 

Another memorable highlight for Sandra was she got to stay at the wonderful Casa Susi with Susi and Fermin, and the new roof!!  My timing was great as they only opened the week before. It was a fabulous night and they were sooo appreciate of the efforts of the Blue Mountains Camino group and fundraising and made special mention to Les- to our group dinner!  It is an excellent albergue- like being in a home of warmth and Camino spirit- with amazing food!!

Finally walking into Santiago- with Diane and having the great fortune to see the Botafumeiro swing was an unforgettable experience.  Also meeting Johann and Tony in Santiago at the pilgrims office together was a great finish.

Thank you Sharise, you're a naturally good interviewer - watch out Dan Mullins!   And thank you to Sandra for being so honest and sharing your Camino experience with us!
From L-R.  Sandra and Sharise in conversation.  Diane and Sandra arriving at the cathedral in Santiago.  Susi and Sandra at Casa Susi.  The four Blue Mountains Camino pilgrims meeting up in Santiago de Compostella  - Sandra, Tony, Johann and Diane. 
Blue Mountains Camino 5-DAY Walk
5-10 September 

Photo: Past 5-Day walkers exiting Sassafras Gully (Day 2)
Thirty eight Pilgrims are training up (we hope!) to walk 95km up the Blue Mountains from Penrith to Blackheath early next month.  
Of interest is where they are travelling from:  10 from QLD, 3 from VIC, 24 from NSW and even 1 from California! 
We are hoping to have good Spring weather but as we have experienced in the past, snow can fall at any time of the year in the upper mountains!  

Some pilgrims are challenging themselves by adding on extensions before and after the 5-Day Walk to make it a 14 day walk of almost 250km. 
The Long Walk as it's now referred to, starts at Circular Quay (Sydney harbour) and finishes in Lithgow. It will be a test of endurance and good walking shoes!!

Thank you Nick for developing and recce'ing the Long Walk route and Rosie for assisting him. 

There are still a few places left to join our September 5-Day Walk but you will need to arrange your own accommodation (Glenella is full)Click here for Trybooking link 

New Volunteer Portal
Pictured:  Nick is our assistant Chief Mapping Officer (A/CMO) and the 5-Day Walk Info Portal expert.  Be sure to see Nick when you arrive in Blackheath ahead of your Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk.

The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters have created 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 your support 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.
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 with a few more about to embark on their Camino in 2022 whilst others plan their Camino in 2023.  We look forward to hearing your Camino stories either at a Camino Meetup of 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 + Italy + Portugal!

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.
We look forward to reading your blogs. 
Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Pilgrim Record and Camino Badges.
 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 Badges 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

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. 
Rowan 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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