October 2022 Newsletter
Pilgrim Reflection
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

25 -27 November "Camino Celebracion"

Don't miss our year end "Camino Celebracion"
the last weekend in November at Glenella. 

There will be workshops - such as build your own Camino Waymarker, bake a Santiago tart, make your own Camino earrings, and practice your Camino communication in Spanish.

On Saturday morning there will be our regular Camino training walks followed by a mini-Pilgrim Fair in the afternoon.  Come browse the offerings and go home with something special for your next Camino.   
The day will end with a Paella evening and maybe even some Spanish dancing!

On Sunday stay and walk the local trails with Camino friends.

For more details, and to book,
go to our TryBooking page HERE

Glenella is offering accommodation for those who wish to stay over.  Bookings will open on Sunday 13 November at 6pm.  The booking link will be provided once you have registered for the "Camino Celebracion".
2023 Planner 
* Our last Saturday of the month Training Walks + Camino Meetups will continue from January 2023.

* We will host the Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk in Spring and Autumn 2023.  Dates for 2023 are 27 March - 2 April, and 11-17 September.

* There will be an opportunity for pilgrims to "give back" with a Blue Mountains Camino Track Care day on Sunday 5 March (Clean up Australia Day).

* Australian Friends of the Camino - National Conference 17-19 February 2023 - Bookings are now open. For more info click HERE
Keep up to date via Blue Mountains Camino Supporters
Newsletter, Facebook and website.
We hope you will join us for a Camino event in 2023
Our October Training Walk and Meetup
29 October 2022 - Three Waterfalls in Woodford and Meetup at Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat.  A beautiful day for our Camino Training Walk in Woodford taking in the three beautiful waterfalls of Woodford -  Mabel, Edith and Hazel Falls (wonder who they were named after?).  Twenty two  walkers set off to the waterfalls before splitting off into the two groups with 16 Medium walkers continuing on around the Woodford Dam walls.  We welcomed a new walker today making it 6 for the Easy group,  Thanks to Jen and for Margaret being walk leaders today.

Camino Meetup.  Back at Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat, Donna and Martin provided their tranquil venue for the Camino Meetup and afternoon tea in the Earth Room.  
Jen interviewed Jenny Abraham who had recently returned from her 10-week adventure and several Caminos. 

Jenny's hiking adventure began with a wonderful one week walk along the Fisherman’s Trail, which is part of the Rota Vincentia, Portugal and then onto Belgium before returning to Spain for her Caminos.  First Jenny completed the Camino Ingles from Ferrol. She spent a lovely day and night at Casa Susi and saw the new roof!  "Always a treat to be there and to be made a fuss of!"  she said.

Next stop was Ponferrada joined by Lisa also from BMCS to walk a carefully planned 19 days on the Camino Invierno. "Wow! We really loved the part we walked. Highlights were the stunning scenery and interactions with the local people. I’ve been learning Spanish on Duolingo and can have simple conversations."  Jenny had some stories to tell! 
However, the Camino Invieno had other plans for Jenny and Lisa. On the 8th day Lisa had a fall and broke 2 bones in her hand which ended up in plaster. She received great care from the two hospitals she went to and at the hostel where they were staying.  Lisa isn’t one to give in and was determined to continue.  As the Invierno had lots of steep inclines coming up, they decided to catch the train across to Tui and walked the last 115kms of the Camino Portuguese.  Jenny said "We rather stood out as Lisa walked the whole way with her backpack in a shopping trolley which she pulled! The comments she got- full of admiration with one man telling her she was the true spirit of the Camino. We met and chatted with so many wonderful pilgrims on this route – a contrast to the Invierno where some days we wouldn’t see one other."
With Lisa returning to Sydney, Jenny walked onto Finisterre and Muxia on her own.    Jenny said "And all in all, I walked about 1100 kms with just one blister! How? My double layered Wrightsocks and some Hikers wool! "  Ulteria! JennyA

More of Jenny's blog will be published on the Blue Mountains Camino Supporters website.  
Jenny and Lisa arrived in Santiago de Compostella with said shopping trolley!

"We even became Camino Mothers to three lovely younger ladies.  Arriving in Santiago was so special after this. We had our photos taken so many times with different people who were excited that we had been able to complete the walk   We have gone global!"
Jenny and Lisa
Lisa's Story......
In September this year I joined Jenny Abraham on a Camino in Spain, the Camino Invierno. This was the fifth Camino I have walked in Spain. What an incredibly amazing Camino this was. Spectacular scenery, very remote in the parts we walked, lots of villages and interaction with locals.
Fantastic food and authentic local experiences.

Eight days into the walk I fell and broke a few bones in my hand. I was never upset or disappointed in any way with this misadventure, it became an opportunity for me to experience the Camino in true Camino Spirit.

Locals and Pilgrims were always around to assist if I needed help with pulling a shopping trolley containing my backpack (my right arm now in a plaster cast and sling).   A smile and offer of help would always lighten my load.
The Camino lesson for me.... make the best of what you've got and be grateful.  I am so grateful to my dear Camino Sister Jenn for the laughter, the adventure, her kindness and giggles. 

We diverted our route to enable me to pull the trolley and arrive in Santiago de Compostela in a Holy Year.  I am grateful to all of the pilgrims who encouraged me and offered me kindness, I am grateful to God my fall was not worse and I am grateful for my family and friends at home who offered love and support. 

The Camino is the best interest and activity in my life and always will be.  I hope more and more people in the world get to enjoy and participate in pilgrimage it's a great way to enjoy life, sharing and caring with others united in journey and love! 

What a wonderful story of friendship, sisterhood and true Camino camaraderie. Such faith, fortitude and determination shown by Lisa, and no doubt encouragement by Jenny.  Thank you for sharing your story!
Thank you to both Yvonne and Maggie for writing their reflections about their Woodford Training Walk and Camino Meetup.

Reflections from Yvonne   
Arriving at the ‘Blue Labyrinth’ in Woodford, after our morning training walk, the sign … it said …. but then Donna said it too, as did Rosie … “Welcome Pilgrims”. Now how does that make YOU feel after you have just completed what for me that day was classed the ‘Easy’ Walk, for others, the ‘Hard or Long’ Walk.  Some would say ‘satisfying’, or ‘pleasing’, some may take the sign for granted, just walk past, perhaps even take the welcoming words for granted, ‘expected’. Yet, I have been made mindful, there are those of us who have just been encouraged, having just experienced a true ‘pilgrim spirit’ where others have come, walked beside you for the hard yards, smiled, given life giving words of encouragement along the way.  Tis humbling to be on a receiving end of such, a different perspective on such a day as this.  A grateful ‘Thank you’!

Tis worthy of remembering this aspect of pilgrimage also for the ‘would be’s’, ‘first timers being initiated’, ‘those who did in the past but now struggle’ … all still on the journey … but with renewed hope, strength, perseverance.
PS  Thank you too Henny and Penny.  Sometimes ‘simple’ brings healing, rest to the soul. YR

Maggie writes
Driving down from Katoomba I felt a sense of joy as I took in the big blue sky and lemon yellow sunshine.  My first Blue Mountains Camino Training Walk! (Finally - after years of getting the newsletter and promising to myself I’d get to one of the walks).  
I arrived at Woodford RFS and was met with a warm welcome from Margaret and introduced to Easy walk group leader, who also did a wonderful caring job of welcoming and forming the ‘easy walk’ gang.
The wind still making itself known as we set off toward Mabel Falls and were greeted with a sweet, refreshing fall of water and the friendly faces of the Medium group.  The next Falls named Edith, had a short, steep path down which was a fun challenge. As we headed along the fire trail Janice spotted a python! 
Thanks to talking about the Nakasendo Way (a walk that’s been on my to do list for a while) Janice remembered someone who had done a Basho pilgrimage in Japan.  Basho being a famous haiku poet, as we sat with a tea or coffee after our walk (according to my group pal’s step counter 7000+ steps) we were inspired to write a poem - so we all picked a word to start off the creation of a haiku (see below).
For all the lovely feelings of belonging to such a nice group of people, my favourite part was the silence.  Walking in silence together.  Lovely.  Thank you path friends.   M
Woodford Haiku:
Blue sky water falls
snake slides on old rocky trail
Camino shells - smiles

Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk

31 October - 5 November 2022 
Photos Top: Group on Day 1 starting point Penrith Station, Nick our assistant Maps expert on the Pilgrim Table, group at Paradise Pool, Woodford and at Wentworth Falls Lookout

The Blue Mountains weather provided varied conditions, with even some brief snow flurries at Blackheath for the 30 walkers who joined us for our November Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk.  It was wonderful again to have so many pilgrims joining us.  Of the 30 pilgrims, 14 hadn't walked a Camino as yet and 19 joined the Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk for the first time    There were 4 pilgrims from ACT, 4 from South Australia, 2 from Queensland, 1 from Melbourne. The remaining 19 pilgrims were from Sydney and Blue Mountains villages. 

We thank the wonderful hospitalerios, Eileen and Richard who brought their wealth of knowledge and experience with such flair to Glenella 'Albergue' for the week, and to our band of wonderful volunteers for the week including Mark and Diane amongst others.  Our thanks to Margaret and Rowan (in his absence) for making the beautiful Glenella available for the Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk.  The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters Group is so fortunate to have Glenella as its spiritual base.

Thank you to all the pilgrims from across Australia for supporting and joining in one of our annual Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walks.  We are proud to have these walks on our program and it is a privilege to showcase a small part of the beautiful Blue Mountains to you.

Some comments from Pilgrims on the dedicated WhatsApp group on their experience of the November 2022 Blue Mountains Camino 5-Day Walk

Thank you to the whole team for your selfless efforts to bring the Camino spirit and experience to our home country. Some may never get to Europe to experience a Camino but what you have organised is in essence a true taste of one. And thanks to all the lovely people I have met - I am a richer person for sharing this experience with you all.  Lauren

* Thanks Margaret & Glenella team and Eileen & Richard for your welcome and your outstanding organisation. Thanks to those who shared walking, meals, conversation, laughter, suggestions and a helping hand with me. I am very grateful. I had a truly wonderful 5 days.      Laraine

Thanks everyone for a great week, especially to our host Margaret and hospitaleros, Eileen and Richard. An excellent 5 days of walking, wine and conversation. I never thought I’d be in conversations that included wee towels and toe socks!     Jamie

Thank you again to all for a wonderful encounter with like- minded people. The management and service to others is second to none.  John

Thanks for a wonderful week of walking, meeting new people and sharing conversations. A heartfelt thanks to all those who organised this experience.
The scenery was spectacular
Volunteer Portal
The Blue Mountains Camino Supporters have 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 help in leading a walk/s, get involved in our Blue Mountains Camino 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.....    
There were a great number of Blue Mountains Camino Supporters who did their Camino during 2022.  Let us know if you are planning your Camino in 2023.  On your return, we would love to hear about your Camino either at a Camino Meetup or 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
If you would like to share your plans or connect with one of your 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 Badge.
 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 Badge 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.  Jen McPherson has joined the Admin Team replacing Rowan who will continue as a volunteer developing the new BMCS website.

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. 
Margaret 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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