The January 2024 Camino training walk and meetup was always going to be popular and proved to be a fully booked out event with a ‘waitlist’! It was fabulous to see so many new people and also some we haven’t seen in a while. People came as far away as Brisbane, Newcastle, the Central Coast and well as the Sydney basin and of course Blue Mountains villages. One pilgrim found out about our BMCS activities when they stayed at Casa Susi last year – thank you Fermin for spreading the word!
28 pilgrims took part in the January medium walk from Blackheath out to Baltzer Lookout (Hanging Rock). We split into two groups and left Glenella in misty rain which continued through the Rhododendron Garden to Ridgewell Road. It was ideal walking conditions, cloudy skies with the mist rolling in and out as we headed out on Burramoko Trail to spectacular views of the Grose Valley wilderness and across to Bald Head. It was great to see how well the bush and, in particular the Rhododendron Gardens, are recovering from the devastation of the 2019/2020 bushfires.
The easy group of 20 walkers left Glenella a little later heading to Fort Rock. The mist and rain made for a lovely walk with the mist lifting just enough when we arrived at Fort Rock for a glimpse of the Kanimbla Valley. Returning to Blackheath village for coffee and refuelling we then headed to the Rhododendron Gardens exploring the trails before returning to Blackheath village via the laneways.
Thank you to all the walk leaders and sweepers who ensured everyone returned safely.
There was time for a lunch and coffee in the Blackheath village before the Camino Meetup at Glenella at 2pm.
Whilst the 48 walkers were out walking, several volunteers prepared afternoon tea and set up Glenella for the afternoon meetup. Maggie Caffyn baked special shell cookies and Margaret Bouttell baked popular Santiago tarts. How fortunate BMCS is to have so many people so willing to give a hand where required. Thank you to all our volunteers, true Camino spirit!
The Camino Meetup at Glenella was fully booked with almost 60 people in attendance – this was largely due to our special guest speakers, Susi and Fermin from Casa Susi in Trabadelo, Spain. Many have stayed at Casa Susi Alberque, others heard of them and curious to hear their “Camino love story”!
For those who don’t know, Casa Susi is an Albergue on the Camino Frances, about 180km from Santiago, stage 26 of the John Brierley guide.
Sharise as always did a fabulous job as MC and interviewer which led to a special announcement made by Susi and Fermin that they are getting married in February! We wish them all the very best for their future together and the continued success of Casa Susi.
Their success is attributable to the amazing Camino spirit they share with all the pilgrims who stay at Casa Susi. They have a worldwide following thanks to Susi’s wonderful and delicious vegetarian dinners using produce grown in their own garden, chopped by Fermin! To help them continue making these wonderful daily meals, funds are being raised to gift them a Thermomix and set of knives as their wedding present from the Camino Community. You can be part of their wedding gift by going to: GoFundMe Wedding Gift
We all enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea, prepared by wonderful volunteers and finished the thoroughly enjoyable afternoon with a group photo. Thank you to Margaret Bouttell for sharing her Santiago Tart recipe and Margaret Caffyn for her Cookie recipe.