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Welcome to the Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino Newsletter December 2019  
 
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Feliz Navidad y Prospero ano nuevo. Wishing you and your families a Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2020 and great walking!
We have had another great Camino year 2019 which saw more than twenty Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino embark on their first Camino, for others  their second or fourth+ Camino. The call of the Camino and other pilgrimages is growing each year.

During 2019 there were eleven Camino morning walks and later the Camino Meetups at Glenella Guesthouse which continue to be well attended including many new guests coming from afar and  interested in finding out more about the Camino, for 2020 these will be held on the last Saturday of the month (except December); two tapas style byo dinners at Blackheath RSL, a Camino movie at Mt Vic Flicks and The Camino-style 5 day walk was held in October where there were twelve pilgrims setting off from Penrith with 8 completing all 5 days, on the last day the numbers blossomed to 30 people for the Katoomba to Blackheath walk. For 2020 we have scheduled in two 5 day Camino-style walks, in Autumn and Springtime so you can experience different seasons in the Blue Mountains. We have had keen interest from the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle and again the Central Coast Camino Amigos Groups to join us on a 5 day walk or make a Camino weekend in the Mountains!  Everyone welcome!!

Special events for 2019 included John Brierley's visit to the Blue Mountains in October which saw pilgrims from across NSW come especially to meet and listen to John's presentations.  A very special moment for everybody attending.  There was  the inaugural Feast of St James dinner at the Wentworth Falls Pop-up Albergue which will be held again in 2020.  We had six Blue Mountains Supporters attend the inaugural AFotC Conference in Adelaide. We wrapped up the year with an enjoyable End of Year Gathering at Blackheath Golf Club.

We thank you, the supporters of the Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino Group for coming up to Blackheath, participating in activities and sharing the Camino spirit.... without you the group wouldn't continue to grow.  We look forward to seeing you at one or more of the exciting Camino events planned for 2020. 
Buen Camino and Ulteria!
Upcoming Events.
Saturday 25th January, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath. 
Saturday 25th January, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)
Consider making a long weekend in the Mountains?
2020 Camino Calendar for your diary!
Saturday 25th January, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 25th January, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Saturday 29th February, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 29th February, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Tuesday 24th March ~ Saturday 28th March, 5 Day Camino-style Training Walk  Penrith to Blackheath. (BOOKING INFO TBA)
Friday 27th March 7:00PM. BYO Tapas Meal at Blackheath RSL. (BOOKING INFO TBA) Share a BYO Tapas Meal and guest speaker/s
Saturday 28th March, Camino Training Walk. Meet by 8.20AM for a 8.30AM start, this walk will be from Katoomba Station, joining the 5 day walkers who will be on their final day of walking.  Distance 14KM.
Saturday 28th March, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Saturday 25th April, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. A special ANZAC Day walk is planned.
Saturday 25th April, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Saturday 30th May, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 30th May, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Friday 26th June 7:00PM. BYO Tapas Meal at Blackheath RSL. (BOOKING INFO TBA) Share a BYO Tapas Meal and guest speaker/s
Saturday 27th June, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:20AM for an 8:30AM Start, at Warrimoo Station to walk to Woodford, distance 11.5KM. (For those wanting to attend the Camino Meetup, need to catch the 12.58AM train at Woodford)  
Saturday 27th June, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Friday 24th July 7:00PM, Feast of St James eve Dinner at Wentworth Falls Popup Albergue. (BOOKING INFO TBA) Share the eve of the Feast of St James Dinner with Jerard & Enda Barry.
Saturday 25th July, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:20AM for an 8:30AM Start, at Woodford Station, Woodford for walk to Wentworth Falls, distance 13KM. (For those wanting to attend the Camino Meetup, need to catch the 12.15PM train at Wentworth Falls)
Saturday 25th July, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Friday 28th August 7:00PM, Camino Movie (TBA) at Mount Vic Flicks. (BOOKING INFO TBA)
Saturday 28th August,
 Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:20AM for an 8:30AM Start, at Wentworth Falls Station, Wentworth Falls for walk to Katoomba, distance 11KM. (For those wanting to attend the Camino Meetup, need to catch the 12.25PM train at Katoomba)
Saturday 29th August, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Tuesday 22nd ~ Friday 26th September, 5 Day Camino-style Training Walk  Penrith to Blackheath. (BOOKING INFO TBA)
Saturday 26th September, Camino Training Walk. Meet by 8.20AM for a 8.30AM start, this walk will be from Katoomba Station, joining the 5 day walkers who will be on their final day of walking. Distance 14KM.
Saturday 26th September, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Saturday 31st October, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 31st October, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

Friday 27th November End of Year Camino Dinner 7:00PM, (BOOKING INFO TBA)
Saturday 28th November, Camino Training Walk. Meet at 8:50AM for a 9:00AM Start, at Glenella Guesthouse, Blackheath. 
Saturday 28th November, Camino Meetup and afternoon tea, 2:00PM ~ 4:00PM at Glenella Guesthouse Blackheath, $5.00 Donativo (Cash Only)

NOTE:  Some of the station to station walks may vary if there are scheduled trackworks.  It is intended the station to station walks to provide a taste of some of the routes of the 5 day Camino-style Training Walks.
Our November Training Walk and Meetup.
Gardens of Blackheath morning walk took the group of 14 pilgrims and intending pilgrims across the railway track to Fort Rock to see the beautiful views over Megalong Valley (it was a 'white out' for the August walk) then pass the Blackheath Community Farm before crossing the Great Western Highway and making our way to the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Bacchante St.  Set in 18 hectares of bushland the Gardens are established in some 8 hectares, there were still flushes of rhododendrons and other native flowers to be seen amongst the towering eucalyptus trees.  There are a number of walking tracks to be followed including some through the virgin native bush which we discover after a snack break at the gazebo.  The Campbell Rhododendron gardens are open everyday from 9am-4pm, entry by donation and well worth a visit or two throughout the year! 
On, on, the group made their way to the nearby Blackheath swimming pool which looked inviting but probably still a bit cool for a dip so we continue on through the Blackheath Soldiers Memorial Park, down the historic sandstone ANZAC memorial  steps and follow the path under the canopy of established rhododendrons.  The old-style playground equipment and newly installed 'Rocket' can be seen in the distance but we make our way up the hill and return to the centre of Blackheath for lunch before the Camino Meetup at Glenella. An enjoyable walk on a beautiful sunny Mountains morning.
Walkers about to set off from Glenella, at Fort Rock with views over the Megalong Valley and on the tracks in the Rhododendron Gardens, Blackheath.
Our End of Year Get Together.
On Friday the 29th November, 40 Members and Guests of the Blue Mountains Camino Group, gathered at the Blackheath Golf Course for our end of year get together. We took over the Rhodo Room and enjoyed our meals from Birdies Bistro. Mina Howard read the Acknowledgement to Country and Yvonne Reistma gave Thanks.  Graeme and Sandra Bolitho lit our Camino Candle and Dianne Anderson blew it out at the end.  Tony Hodgson and Johann Saure who have just returned from completing their first Camino - the Frances presented a fun overview of their Camino and some of the interesting pilgrims they meet on The Way!  Tony Jacques, Graeme and Sandra (carer) Bolitho who completed the inaugural Accessible Camino from Sarria to Santiago de Compostella in October shared what it was like to walk (hard), be guided,  push and be pushed on an accessible Camino.
It was a lovely end to what has been an enjoyable year for us all supporting and participating in the Blue Mountains Camino Group. Thank you to all those that attended and special thanks to Tony, Johann, Tony, Sandra and Graeme for their presentations.
Tony & Graeme's Accessible Camino
Inspired by the "I Will Push You" film three Blackheathen Aussie mates travelled to Spain in October to take part in the first Accessible Camino organised by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray. I had not heard of Justin and Patrick's, inspiring tale of two mates completing the Camino Frances in 2014, one completely reliant on the other for every step of The Way, both reliant on each other for support, love, courage and understanding.

Tony Jacques pushed and pulled Graeme Bolitho from Sarria to Santiago de Compostella, Sandra Bolitho also travelled to Spain to be with Graeme, as he completed a long held calling to complete a Camino.

Graeme first heard of "Pilgrims and Pilgrimage" at school growing up in Riddells Creek in Victoria. Then meeting Tony, through the Blackheath RSL, Greame heard more and more about the concept of a Camino as Tony would disappear off to Spain and return with tales of his Camino travels.

Eleven Pilgrim Captains all with unique abilities and 35 carers from around the world gathered and supported one another, along with Justin and Patrick. The days were long, the routine demanding. Everyone in "Camino Family" helping one another, on The Way, at night in their accommodation or before the start of day when repairs or support was needed. From one-another strength and resilience was gathered and lesson's learned. From day one to the last, people's confidence in their own abilities and their Carers and Pushers grew. Each persons eyes sparkling a little brighter by the end. Tony describes with emotion the feeling of love and kindness in abundance that was felt in the collective as the able assisted by what ever means was needed to help these 11 Pilgrim Captains get to Santiago. Graeme describes the sincerity and compassion of all involved and the a feeling of becoming "Larger than Life"

As they travelled through villages and towns, locals and other pilgrims were amazed, showing emotion at such a sight of human courage rolling past them. I can only imagine the feeling of achievement love and wonderment that was felt as all these pilgrims arrived in Santiago, to sounds of "We are the champions" ringing in their ears. Truly an amazing experience and privilage for Tony, Graeme and Sandra to have been apart of the Accessible Camino 2019.

If you would like to hear Tony's interview on the Dan Mullins podcast you can listen HERE.
If you would like to see Justin and Patrick's Tedx talk you can watch HERE

“For it is in giving that we receive.” ―St. Francis of Assisi
Sharise Watson
Sandra, Graeme and Tony on the 2019 Accessible Camino. 
Make Your OWN Camino Marker
Do you fancy the idea of having your own Camino Marker to show how many kilometres from your place?  Les Simons has come up with the brilliant idea of running a weekend hands-on workshop in the Blue Mountains to make your own.  The Camino Maker is based on others he has seen such as the one at Wentworth Falls Pop-up Albergue. Les has made his (pictured) from Hebel block and a tile brought back from Spain and weighs about 17kgs.   It takes approx 3-4 hours to craft your Marker and another 1-2 hrs the following day to complete the project.  
Costs to be determined by number of participants but it's estimated a minimum of $100 per Marker.  Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in the Camino Marker Workshop in 2020.  Email us HERE
So your back from your Camino....
So You're back home and missing that camino feeling. Here's the good news!
You can recreate that feeling right where you are. Here's how!
1) Sleep in your sleeping bag in a different room of the house every night.
2) Wash your clothes by hand in the sink using the same sliver of soap you showered with.
3) Sit outside your front door for a few hours waiting for someone to come and unlock the door.
4) Ask someone to shine a flashlight in your eyes while you're sleeping.
5) Walk to the store and buy one bread roll, one slice of chorizo, one slice of cheese, and one banana.
6) Ask for that food by pointing and using sign language.
7)Strike up conversations with strangers and pretend like you've known them your whole life. Ask them if they prefer shoes or boots.
9)Wear all the clothing you can then ask someone to spray you soaking wet with the garden hose.
10) Tap a spoon on a plate to emulate the sound of trekking poles.
11) Drink 3 litres of water then "go" in the bushes.
12) Pick fruit from the neighbours' trees.
13) Pop 3 painkillers with your glass of wine.
14) Take many pictures of arrow-like objects.
15) Go to the post office and mail some clothing back to yourself.
16) Get dressed in the dark and put on damp clothing.
17) Go to the local pub and ask the barman to stamp your passport.
18) Eat just toast or a croissant for breakfast.
19) Sit in the sun in such a way that you only get tan on the left side of your body.
20) Say "Buen Camino" to everyone as you walk down the street!!"

This was sent Johann Saure.  Johann shared this at our recent Camino Meetup at Glenella. If you something to share with us please EMAIL US.
Who is going on The Camino in 2020?
During 2019 there were about 24 supporters who did the Camino and other pilgrimages.  We are so thrilled to have a few of our supporters ON THE WAY board already!  Drop us a note if you are planning to start your Camino and which route and we will put you ON THE WAY board at Glenella.  EMAIL US.
The On The Way Board and Camino Corner at Glenella Guesthouse in Blackheath. Chris Osborne with the new "Blue Mountains Camino" Wall Map at Glenella.
You will find regular updates on Events on our Facebook Page and Website.

We also have a Closed Group on Facebook, Blue Mountains Camino Community CLICK HERE to join.
This is where you can post and discuss all things Camino with the Blue Mountains Camino Community.

Y
ou can also EMAIL US anytime with any questions or stories you would like to share.
EMAIL US.
The Blue Mountains Camino Group is a community group, we aim to support those planning to start a Camino and those 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 (last Saturday of the month except December) at Glenella Guesthouse in Blackheath, hosted by Margaret & Rowan Bouttell. There is a training walk each month which assistance is always appreciated with either "Leading or Sweeping". Carlene Martin and Sharise Watson produce this Newsletter and manage the Facebook Page. Kerrie Mackaway-Girdo also assists with our community Facebook Group. Tony & Ce Jacques co-ordinate our 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 during our 5 day training walks. Our website is managed by Mark Johnson and assisted by Carlene and Sharise.  
 
We could always use your help!  If you can assist in some small way such as leading or sweeping a Saturday morning walk or with our monthly 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 Supporters of the Camino 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. 
Camino Links:
The Official Pilgrim Information Site  CLICK HERE
Australian Friends of the Camino      CLICK HERE
Dan Mullins My Camino Podcast      CLICK HERE
Casa Ivar Forum & luggage storage  CLICK HERE

John Brierley October 2019 visit to Blue Mountains presentations
YouTube @ Glenella Guesthouse     CLICK HERE
Podcast part 1 @ RSL Blackheath    CLICK HERE
Podcast part 2 @ RSL Blackheath    CLICK HERE
Podcast part 3 @ RSL Blackheath    CLICK HERE
Podcast Q&A   @ RSL Blackheath    CLICK HERE

 
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C/- Glenella Guesthouse, 56 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath 2785

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