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Welcome to the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Newsletter July 2020.
 
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Hola pilgrims and friends! 
We hope with further easing of COVID-19 restrictions, life is starting to have some moments of normality for you and that you and all your family are well! At the time of writing Victoria heads back into isolation, we send our thoughts and stay well wishes to our Camino friends and families in Victoria and also to our friends and people in Spain

We had a wonderful turn out on Saturday the 27th of June with 3 groups heading off on 3 different walks at 9.00AM from Glenella Guesthouse in Blackheath.  Afterwards at the 2.00PM Camino Meetup it was a full house (COVID-19 restricted seating to 24) to meet and listen to guest speaker, Lucy Mushita and enjoy afternoon tea.  We were fortunate to  have Susi and Fermin from Casa Susi in Trabadelo, Spain join us via Zoom to share whats happening on the Camino, what the new restrictions mean for Albergue owners and showed us how their wonderfully productive garden is progressing. Thank  you both for your early morning start (Spanish time) to chat to us!  The honour of lighting the Camino Candle given to Liz and Shane from the Central Coast Camino Group, with Shane speaking in Spanish  with thoughts of those on the Camino and remembering our dear Camino friend, the late David Barrett.

Quiero dicir algo palabras espanol
Que Dios bendiga a todos los que caminan por el Camino
...Y particularmente
Vamos hacer una pausa para recordar a nuestro amigo desde el Camino David Barrett
Vale David

I want to say some words in Spanish
May God bless all those who walk the Camino
...and particularly
We pause to remember our Camino friend David Barrett
Vale David

                                                           *************

MORNING WALK AND CAMINO MEETUP: For Saturday 25th July there is a change of meeting point and venue to Wentworth Falls.  This month we offer two walking routes around Wentworth Falls and afterwards a luncheon Meetup at the earlier time of 1.00PM at the Grand View Hotel, Wentworth Falls. You will find the walk and lunch details further in the newsletter, If you wish to join us, RSVPs are essential for the lunch, and  you can let us know if you wish to do a morning walk.   

Please Note: Due to unavailability of Glenella Guesthouse as a venue for our August Camino Meetup, we will advise next month details of the Morning Walk and Camino Meetup.

ST JAMES DAY is July 25th, it would be wonderful if you could join us for the Morning Walk and/or Lunch at Wentworth Falls and bring a Camino or St James memento you bought while in Spain or perhaps have from an Australian Camino, if you have a Scallop shell or St James Cross Badge or Jewellery, T'shirt or Cap today is the day to wear it or bring it along.

CANCELLED EVENTS  Due to COVID-19, sadly the Feast of St James Day dinner planned for 24 July 2020 is cancelled.  We thank Jerard & Enda Barry who were hosting this event. Until further notice, Jerard and Enda will not be hosting pilgrims at their Popup Albergue in Wentworth Falls.

CAMINO MOVIE EVENT:  Tony & Ce Jacques were hosting a Camino movie event at Mt Vic Flicks, however the cinema hasn't reopened yet and it is unsure when the movie can be shown. Stay tuned for further notice.

5-DAY CAMINO TRAINING WALK  We are thrilled with interest shown in the 5-Day Blue Mountains Camino Training Walk scheduled for 22-26 September 2020.  We hope many if not all of the walkers who registered for the March 5-Day walk, which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, can join us in September for the Springtime walk up the mountains.  We will continue to  monitor COVID-19 situation and hope the September walk can proceed   More details about the 5-Day Camino Training Walk below.

We may not be able to book our flights to Spain any time soon, but the Camino Spirit is strong and The Way will be there when we are able to return in the future, until then we hope you enjoy this newsletter, stay well, keep dreaming.  We look forward to seeing you at our July walk and lunch.  BUEN CAMINO
Our June Training Walk
There was a wonderful turn out for the June morning walk with twenty four walkers assembling at Glenella Guesthouse.  We had travellers from country Victoria, members of the Central Coast Camino Group and a number of regulars and some newbies travelling up from Sydney along with local Blue Mountainers.   The group had a choice of three routes for the morning walk which ranged from 8-12kms, differing terrain and scenery.  
 
Seven set off on the Gourmet Coffee Walk to Medlow Bath and return. Ten chose the Beauty and Fire Walk to Fort Rock and Campbell Rhododendron Gardens route, approx 8kms and 3 hours walking. A very scenic route with lots of steps, a creek crossing and of course views over Kanimbla Valley from Fort Rock,  passing the Blackheath Community Garden then cautiously crossing the GWH and making our way into the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens before returning to Blackheath village. The final group of seven chose the Bush Regeneration Walk along the Braeside Firetrail to Evans Lookout and return route, this has a slight incline and a creek crossing approx 12kms, 3hrs walking. A good Camino training route.
 
It was another crisp morning with the mist lifting by the time everyone set off to enjoy the hiking, talking, Camino-like camaraderie and of course being COVID-19 Safe. All groups were back in Blackheath with plenty of time for lunch with many staying on for the Camino Meetup at Glenella at 2pm.  Thank you all for joining us for these great local Blackheath walks.  We were thrilled guest speaker, Lucy, Adrian and Wendy could also join one of the walks to see a little more of the Blue Mountains.
Fort Rock and Campbell Rhododendron Gardens walkers.
Braeside Firetrail to Evans Lookout and return
Our Gourmet Coffee Walkers at the Hydro Majestic Hotel Medlow Bath.
Lucy Mushita ~ Escaping Into Yourself on the Camino

Our guest speaker at the June meet-up was Lucy Mushita. Lucy was born and grew up in Zimbabwe she went to live in France in 1986 and has lived in Michigan and Melbourne. These days, Lucy spends her life between Paris and Sydney. Lucy and her husband, Adrian, arrived in Australia in February 2020 and were supposed to leave for Paris on the 27th May but due to COVID-19 and the discontinuation of travel they are still waiting for flights home. 

Since 2015, Lucy and three girlfriends have been taking a hike week each year, The opportunity to “Runaway, from home and the everyday” preferably in May or June, before it gets too hot and too many tourists arrive. Each time they have walked they have learnt the lessons the Camino teaches, such as less is more when it comes to luggage, and now they carry very little – their loads becoming lighter and lighter over the years, perhaps not just in luggage but also in the lightness they feel at the end of each week on the Camino.

Together they, walk, talk, laugh, cry and eat. They get dirty and thirsty, stripped away and cleansed, coming to themselves as their journey moves along. They meet, walk, eat, and talk with strangers. The break refreshing them and recharging their batteries for when they return to their everyday lives.

The friends going deeper and deeper into themselves, supporting one another when they are lost, tiered, sore, hungry, sad and sharing in each other’s joy when the day is done, exhausted but on a high having seen humanity pass them by as they walk together.

One of Lucy’s observations of the Camino experience is how people, strangers react to each other, peoples acts of generosity and it restores her faith in humanity, on the Camino people “assume friendship” when we are walking together we assume everyone comes with a good heart, not as enemies all walking together with one purpose – to make it to their destination and enjoy the moment.

The last 4 hikes Lucy and her friends did were in Aubrac (nearest town is Aurillac), Basque country (on the border with Spain), Belle Ile (a stunning little island in Brittany) and Cognac (near the town of Cognac). When they hiked in 2015, they crisscrossed the Camino but in 2016 they did the Camino Route from Ainhoa to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port - in 2 days. 

For Lucy, doing a Camino allows you to “Escape into yourself”.  Thank you Lucy for sharing your wonderful stories with us, we wish you a safe trip home (eventually) and many more enjoyable Caminos escaping into yourself.

If you would like to watch Lucy speaking at our Camino Meetup you can do so HERE.
Lucy is an Author and Educator if you would like to read more about her writing you can do HERE.

Photos:  Lucy Mushita speaking at our June Camino Meetup, Glenella Guesthouse, Hiking with 3 girlfriends in France, Lucy and Wendy at Fort Rock, Blackheath

Significance of Feast of St James 
Saint James, is the Patron Saint of Spain. The annual Feast of Saint James day is on the 25th July and is a public holiday in Galicia. As far back as AD 865, St Germain’s text, Martyrology, mentions the feast day and it was on July 25th 1120 that Santiago was given the supremacy of the churches in the west of Spain.

The two weeks leading up to The Feast of St James, Santiago is full of art exhibitions, drama productions, indoor and outdoor concerts and all kinds of music and street entertainment. On the evening of 24th July, in the Plaza del Obradoiro, are the Fuegos del Apóstol – an incredible display of pyrotechnics is shown on the side of the cathedral dramatically illuminated at midnight. You can see this HERE.

The feast day itself includes many official celebrations the most important of which is an official mass which is attended by representatives of the Galician government and often members of the Spanish Royal family. Known as the King’s Offering to the Apostle, this is one occasion when the gigantic incense burner, the Botafumeiro, is swung down the cathedral aisles, almost touching the vaulted ceilings. You can see this HERE. What a spectacular sight. On the day of the Feast of Saint James the streets of Santiago de Compostela are lined with people watching processions of different carnival groups, papier-mâché cabezudos and a multitude of Galician pipers have a look HERE to experience these. The dancing, music, eating and drinking continue well into the early hours. Much emphasis is placed on the eating of oysters or scallops in order to ensure that the following year is wealthy and healthy. 

Last year we held the inaugural  Feast of St James dinner, hosted by Jerard and Enda, in Wentworth Falls, it was indeed a feast and a celebration. We learnt to sing Ultreia, this is a popular Hymn in French, you can enjoy a version HERE. Jerard provided the words in English for us;

Ultreïa.

Every morning we take the Camino,
Every morning we go farther,
Day after day the route calls us,
It’s the voice of [Santiago de] Compostela!
Chorus:
Onward! Onward! And upward!
God assist us!
Way of earth and way of faith,
Ancient road of Europe,
The Milky Way of Charlemagne,
It’s the Chemin of all the Santiago pilgrims!
And over there at the end of the continent,
Santiago waits for us,
His smile always fixed
On the sun that dies at Finisterre.
Our Next Training Walk Saturday 25th of July
9.00am Start from Wentworth Falls Station
SATURDAY MORNING TRAINING WALK, instead of our regular Blackheath meeting point, our next training walk on Saturday the 25th of July, we will meet at the Wentworth Falls Train Station (Station St side near Wentworth's statue) at 8:45AM for a 9:00AM start.

There will be two options of walks a Technical route and a Direct route.  Both routes will include sections of our 5-Day Camino Training Walk.  The Technical Route will be to the Conservation Hut and the Nature Track with optional extension to Inspiration Point and return to Grand View Hotel.  This walk is approx 8KM or 12KM with the optional extension.  There are steps and ladders on the route and then some uphill on the extended route.  Note, the route/s subject to change if there is wet weather.

The Direct route will include a walk around Wentworth Falls Lake and the flatter section of the Nature Track and Coffee! This walk will be approx 11KM. If you would like to join us for either of these walks please EMAIL US. 

NOTE:  There is a Lunch Meetup  at 1.00PM following the Morning walks, see details below

July 25th is St James Day, it would be wonderful if you could join us to share either of these two walks and bring a Camino or St James memento you bought while in Spain or perhaps have from an Australian Camino, if you have a Scallop shell or St James Cross Badge or Jewellery, T'shirt or Cap today is the day to wear it or bring it along!
Camino Meetup Lunch
Saturday 25th of July, 1:00pm At the Grand View Hotel Wentworth Falls

CAMINO MEETUP July 25th at 1.00PM  Please note change of venue and time for today's Camino Meetup.  Instead of our regular Camino Meetup at Glenella Guesthouse (venue unavailable), today will be casual Meetup at an earlier start and lunch, 1.00PM at the Grand View Hotel 174 Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls following the morning training walk.

July 25th is St James Day, it would be wonderful if you could join us to share a meal and bring a Camino or St James memento you bought while in Spain or perhaps have from an Australian Camino, if you have a Scallop shell or St James Cross Badge or Jewellery, T'shirt or Cap today is the day to wear it or bring it along. 


If you would like to join us for the lunch (meal and drinks at own cost) RSVP Essential to reserve your seat/s  please EMAIL US,   A table is booked for 1:00PM.  Click here for Bistro menu

(Please Note: There won't be a Blackheath morning walk or Camino Meetup at Glenella for July and August 2020)

Photo below:  Some of the Pilgrims at the end of Day 4 (Wentworth Falls) of the 5-Day Camino Training Walk last year.

Our Badges are Now Available to Order
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
5-Day Camino Training Walk 
from Penrith to Blackheath.  
JOIN us for the Springtime  5-Day Camino Training Walk  22-26 September 2020

With so much uncertainty about the Camino in Spain and Portugal and overseas travel in general, you have an opportunity to do the 5-Day Walk in our beautiful Blue Mountains.

Members and friends of the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters  group will again be walking from 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
REGISTER HERE

We hope walkers who registered to do the Autumn March 2020 5-Day Walk 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 and used the trains daily at start and end of the day.  The choice is yours!   For more information and enquiries   Click Here    Get on your boots and start training....  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 July 25th 8:45AM for an 9:00AM Start Wentworth Falls Train Station Camino Training Walk Yes, Via Email*
Saturday July 25th 1:00PM Grand View Hotel Wentworth Falls St James Day Lunch Yes, Via Email*
Saturday August 29th 8:45AM for an 9:00AM Start Leura Train Station Camino Training Walk Yes, Via Email*
Saturday August 29th 1:00PM TBA Lunch Yes, Via Email*
Tues ~ Sat September 22nd ~ 26th 8:15AM for an 8:30 Start Penrith Train Station Five Day Camino Training Walk Yes, Via Trybooking~
Saturday September 26th 8:15AM for an 8:30AM Start Katoomba Train Station Camino Training Walk Yes, Via Email*
Saturday September 26th 2:00PM Glenella Guest House Blackheath 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 2:00PM Glenella Guest House Blackheath 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 2:00PM Glenella Guest House Blackheath Meetup Yes, Via Email*

* To RSVP please EMAIL US.
~ To Book for the Five Day Training Walk please BOOK HERE.
 
Morning Training Walks at 9.00am-12;30pm and Camino Meetups, 2.00-4.00pm are held on the last Saturday of the month (except December.  Meeting venue is our base, Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath unless otherwise advised.  Check Blue Mountains Camino Supporters website and Facebook page for updates.
 
Inspiration, Books, Movies, Podcasts....
* 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 Mark Johnson and Carlene, assisted by Sharise.  
 
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. 
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