Welcome to the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Newsletter August 2020.
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We hope this August newsletter finds you safe and well, to our Victorian friends we are with you and send you our best of wishes. At the time of writing you are going into the highest level of lock-down yet seen in Australian, we are all thinking of you and hope these new steps reduce the transmission levels of COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

MORNING WALK AND CAMINO MEETUP: For Saturday 29th of August there is a change of meeting point to Leura. This month we are again offering two walking routes. Post the walk you may like to join us for a casual meetup/lunch at the Alexandra Hotel. You will find the details and how to RVSP for the walks further in the newsletter.  

Please Note: Due to the unavailability of Glenella Guesthouse, there will be no Camino Meetup in August.   

CAMINO MOVIE EVENT:  Tony & Ce Jacques were hosting a Camino movie event at Mt Vic Flicks, however the cinema hasn't reopened yet - stay tuned for further notice in coming months.

5-DAY CAMINO TRAINING WALK: At the time of writing we are still planning to proceed with the September 5 Day Camino Training Walk, Scheduled for 22-26 September 2020. We continue to  monitor the COVID-19 situation. More details about the 5-Day Camino Training Walk below.  . 

We look forward to seeing you at our August Leura Training Walk. 

Our July St James Day Training Walk, Wentworth Falls
Thank you to all those that braved the threatening rain to join us for our July Training walk in Wentworth Falls. It was wonderful to have some new faces to the group and see many familiar supporters  join us for the morning walks, for what turned out to be perfect weather for walking.  Twenty two walkers gathered near (but apart) the Wentworth Falls Station.  We broke into three groups; Direct (Wentworth Falls Lake, Coffee and Nature Trail), Technical and Technical Plus (Nature Trail, Conservation Hut, stunning views,  lookouts and lots of steps).  Before setting off, we shared a moment to remember it was St James Day and to think of the pilgrims in Spain and the gatherings that would normally have taken place to celebrate St James the Patron Saint of Spain.

Twelve walkers choosing the Technical routes made their way to the Conservation Hut via Shortcut Track, Empress Falls from above to Lillians Bridge Track.  From here the group split with 8 heading to Edinburgh Castle Rock and 4 walkers continuing onto Inspiration Point, towards Leura (involved a lot more steps down and back up) before returning to Wentworth Falls village.  The Technical routes were 9 and 14KMS and taking 3 and 5 hrs respectively.  Great walks with many stunning views to enjoy, we hope all the walkers recovered well from all the steps!

For the Direct route, there were 10 walkers setting off for Wentworth Falls Lake, this is a man made lake created to supply the steam trains in the late 1800's in what had always been an area of natural water source. The walk around the lake is 3.5KM it provides lovely views across the lake, bird life, many different plants and today we saw a model power boat club putting some beautiful model boats through their paces. At the facilities area we visited the LoveBites Coffee Cart then headed back through Wentworth Falls village and crossed the highway, heading down Falls Road to the Conservation Hut where we joined the Nature Trail and returned towards Wentworth Falls village.  along the way a detour at St Francis Xavier's the Catholic Church in Day Street, where there is a grotto with a Madonna. An interesting Spanish connection; Francis Xavier was born in 1506, in Xavier Castle, located near Sangüesa, in the kingdom of Navarre (part of present-day Spain). The total distance covered was about 11KM taking 3.30hrs.   

Thank you to our July walk 'leaders' and sweepers for each route; Tony and Johann, Margaret and Rowan, Sharise and Carlene.   

Please let us know of local routes you can suggest that are suitable for the Camino group to do in future and if you are able to help with guiding the walk/s.
Photos: Walkers on the Technical route enjoying the magnificent views and creek crossings.  Last photo shows altitute for the Technical plus route (to Inspiration Point)
Photos: Direct route had the benefits of coffee break at Wentworth Falls Lake!
Our Next Training Walk Saturday 29th August
8.45 for 9.00am start from Leura.
CAMINO TRAINING WALK; Saturday 29 August 2020 will be starting from LEURA.  Meet at Bloome Park, which is on the CNR of 231 Leura Mall and Craigend St, 8:45AM for a 9:00AM Start.  There will be two walking routes offered, and are approx 10-11KM.  Both groups will have us back at Leura Village at approx  12.30-1.00PM

The Technical Route will visit Lyrebird Dell, the Pool of Siloam and Sublime Point Lookout.  This walk has lots and lots of steps down and up, come prepared for potential wet tracks. The Dell and Pool are a very special part of the bush in Leura and the views from Sublime Point are - yes Sublime!  The route is subject to change if there has been recent rain thus making the track too muddy and slippery.

The Direct Route will take in Gordon Falls, Olympian Rock and Sublime Point Lookouts, an opportunity to walk past many of the beautiful Leura gardens and see some of the early blossoms and many bulbs already appearing.   There are steps down and up on the Direct Route, but not as many as the Technical Route.

There will be a break at one of the lookouts - however none of these have catering, so a chance to get that thermos out and give it a whirl!  Bring water and snacks. Please note also, there are toilet facilities only at Gordon Falls. On return to Leura Village they are near the Woolworths Car Park area.

Come prepared; wear suitable footwear and clothing, bring a rain jacket/poncho just in case it rains and a fleece for cooler weather. Also bring hand sanitiser, basic first aid, ensure you have ample water, a hat, sunscreen and snacks.

With COVID-19 requirements in place, please adhere to 1.5m physical distancing (unless a family group) and good hygiene practices.  Carry some hand sanitiser in your pack. Have you downloaded the COVIDSafe App?    If feeling unwell, please do not participate.

It is proposed to have a post walk casual meetup/lunch at the Alexandra Hotel However, we aren't doing any reservations for lunch, the choice is yours and there are many venues for lunch options and shops to browse.

If you wish to join us for the morning training walks,   please RSVP  HERE.  

Depending on number of walkers, there will be maximum of 10 per group.  You may wish to catch the train to Leura and walk down Leura Mall approx 450m or there is ample free parking  near the meeting point (just check signs for time limits).

Please bring extra cash if you wish to buy a Blue Mountains Camino badge, just $10 each, at our next Morning Walk Meetup.  See Margaret or Sharise at Leura on the 29th.   

PLEASE NOTE: Glenella Guesthouse venue is unavailable July and August for the afternoon Camino Meetup.   
Photos:  Pool of Siloam, Leura
5-Day Camino Training Walk 
from Penrith to Blackheath
22 - 26 September 2020  
At the time of writing we are still planning to go ahead with our 5-Day Camino Training Walk from Penrith to Blackheath in September.

We hope your will join us as we walk in the spirit of the Camino here in the beautiful Blue Mountains. We will walk safely together but apart, enjoying the challenge of the journey together.

Penrith, at the base of the Blue Mountains, all the way to Blackheath near the top, finishing with the Camino Meetup at Glenella Guesthouse in Blackheath.  The walking distance is approximately 68-81kms depending on the route chosen.

Why? This is a great opportunity to experience the Camino spirit right here in the Blue Mountains, NSW.  If you’re thinking of walking a Camino in Spain or Portugal, or other pilgrimages elsewhere, what better way to try out your gear and see if you like long distance walking?  And if 5 days is too long you can join the group for fewer days or just one day along the route if you wish.  

How?  Please be aware this is not a ‘guided’ walk but rather a walk with a group of Camino friends travelling up the Blue Mountains.  Each registered person will be provided with the 5-Day Blue Mountains Camino Training Walk Information Package which includes PDF walking route guide and digital link with two optional routes; a technical route and the direct route.  The technical route can involve more bush walking and steep inclines up and down into some valleys whilst the direct route is no less scenic and has various bushy sections but may in parts involve more secondary road and pavement walking; it is a walk reminiscent of travelling a Camino in Spain.

Walking a Camino means you might walk on dirt tracks, concrete footpaths and roads as well as through paddocks and rural scenery.  You will encounter hills and steps as Penrith, our starting point is 25m above sea level, and Blackheath is 1065m.  Each days walk is a Station to Station walk for the convenience of start and end point.

Registration  Much effort and work had been made to improve all the tools provided to walkers for last year's walk, and following valuable feedback from pilgrims we have introduced a $25 donation at registration for 2020 walks.  This registration donation will go towards the ongoing development and mapping of the 5-Day Walk route.   To register for the Spring 5-Day Blue Mountains Camino Training Walk  via Trybooking

If you registered to do the Autumn March 2020 5-Day Walk, we hope you are able to join us for the Springtime September walk.  We also hope our interstate walkers will be able to join us!  We shall continue monitoring COVID-19 situation to ensure walkers can be COVID SAFE.

The 5-Day Blue Mountains Camino Training Walk Information Package will be emailed within a few days once confirmation of your registration has been received. 

NOTE  if you intend walking only on Day 5 (Saturday 26 September 2020) you are not required to register nor pay the registration donation, however you won't receive the information pack as this day's walk will be our regular last Saturday of the month walk.  You are welcome to join the 5-Day walkers on their last day from Katoomba to Blackheath.  Please be at Katoomba Railway Station before 8.30am near the Station Bar (pizza place) for 8.40am start.

Our Thanks to Chris Osborne of Chris Osborne Adventures and other volunteers in the preparation and updating of the maps and walking route guide.  All due care has been taken to create the maps to be as accurate as possible, however there may be some inaccuracies and last minute changes due to the recent bushfires and heavy rains.

OTHER: Some walkers last year chose a mixture of staying in suggested accommodation whilst others based themselves either at home (if local) or at one village such as Blackheath and used the trains daily at start and end of the day.  The choice is yours!   For more information and enquiries   Click Here   
We are unable to travel overseas at the moment and it doesn't look promising for 2021 so this is a great opporutnity to get on your boots and keep training and motivated for your Camino....  Ulteria!  

Pictured below Summary of the 5-Day Blue Mountains Camino Training Walk and elevations of the Direct and Technical routes (sample Day 3)  
2020 Calendar of Events
Day and Date Time Location Event RSVP or Booking
Saturday August 29th 8:45AM for an 9:00AM Start Bloome Park, cnr Leura Mall & Craigend St, Leura Leura Morning Walk Yes, Via Email*
Tues ~ Sat September 22nd ~ 26th 8:15AM for an 8:30 Start Penrith Train Station 5-Day Camino Training Walk Yes, Via Trybooking~
Saturday September 26th 8:15AM for an 8:30AM Start Katoomba Train Station Camino Training Walk (Day 5 of walk) Yes, Via Email*
Saturday September 26th 2:00-4.00PM Glenella Guest House Blackheath Camino Meetup Yes, Via Email*
Saturday October 31st 8:45AM for an 9:00AM Start Glenella Guest House Blackheath Camino Training Walk Yes, Via Email*
Saturday October 31st 2:00-4.00PM Glenella Guest House Blackheath Camino Meetup Yes, Via Email*
Saturday November 28th 8:45AM for an 9:00AM Start Glenella Guest House Blackheath Camino Training Walk Yes, Via Email*
Saturday November 28th 2:00-4.00PM Glenella Guest House Blackheath Camino Meetup Yes, Via Email*
Our Badges are Now Available to Order
and at our Saturday Meetups
Thank you Maria Munoz for sending in a photo of your pack with newly attached Blue Mountains Camino Supports Badge!
Our new Blue Mountains Camino Supporters cloth badge now available to order!  Badge measures 8cm 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
Inspiration, Books, Movies, Podcasts....
Read about Camino De Sydney HERE.

Read about Tony Jacques and Graham Bolitho's Accessible Camino HERE.

Ivar Rekve of Casa Ivar recorded a lovely conversation with John Brierley on 21 April 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown  Click here to listen

A video message from Sue and Fermin of  Casa Susi from their delightful albergue in Trabadelo, Spain.  This was included as part of the online Blue Mountains Camino Meetup in May 2020 during COVID-19 restrictions.   Click here to view

Playlist for John Brierley's presentations during his visit to Blackheath and the Blue Mountains in October 2019  Click here to view
You will find regular updates on Events on our  Facebook Page  and  Website
We also have the "Blue Mountains Camino Community" a private group on Facebook,  CLICK HERE to join.    This is where you can post and discuss all things Camino with the Blue Mountains Camino Community.

You can also  EMAIL US  anytime with any questions.  We are always seeking Camino and walking stories/tips and photos you might like to share. 
The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters is a community group, 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 & encourage the Camino Spirit here in the Blue Mountains. We hold monthly Camino Meetups held on the last Saturday of the month except December at Glenella Guesthouse in Blackheath, hosted by Margaret & Rowan Bouttell. Prior to the Camino Meetup there is a Saturday morning training walk. 
Sharise Watson and Carlene Martin produce this Newsletter and manage the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Facebook Page. Kerrie Girdo manages our Blue Mountains Camino Community forum on Facebook. Bob Girdo is our video recorder and editor.  Tony & Ce Jacques co-ordinate and host the Tapas dinners & Camino movie events each year, Jerard & Enda Barry host an annual Feast of Saint James Dinner and also host Pilgrims at their Pop-Up Albergue in Wentworth Falls on special occasions.. Our website is managed by Johann Saure, Mark Johnson and Carlene.

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.

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

The Blue Mountains Camino recognises that Darug and Gundungurra Traditional Owners of the Blue Mountains region. We pay respect to their Elders past and present. 
Copyright © Blue Mountains Australia Supporters of the Camino, All rights reserved.
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Blue Mountains Camino Supporters
C/- Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath 2785

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