24 to 26 November 2023
We wrapped up what has been a busy year for Blue Mountains Camino Supporters with an action packed Camino Celebracion weekend at Glenella in Blackheath.
Dan Mullins opened the weekend on Friday night with “Story Telling”. We all gathered in Glenella’s front lounge to hear from the ultimate Camino storyteller, podcaster and singer. Dan shared some personal stories with us together with a few camino stories he has collected from the many pilgrims he has interviewed on his Camino the Podcast. We were all thrilled when he picked up his guitar and proved that his singing voice has returned. .Dan finished his set with his very popular song “Somewhere along the way” which really set the tone for a fabulous Camino Celebracion weekend ahead.
First thing Saturday morning it was a damp and misty start to the day with some 22 Camino training walkers heading off to walk to Govetts Leap via the Popes Glen creek track. Once the walkers returned it was all go back at Glenella, firstly with a delicious morning tea provided by the local chapter of the CWA. The first of our workshops got underway, Practice your Spanish with Richard and Eileen, Write your Camino Story with author Tara Marlow or Make a Camino Journal with Maggie Caffyn. While these were underway, we also had a group making their own personalised Camino Way Marker in the Glenella garden.
A quick break for lunch and a moments reprieve from the rain, we held a Feria de Peregrino in the rear garden with authors Maggie Caffyn, Tara Marlow, Will Boag and Roger Collison selling their books. Volunteers hosted information tables on various Camino routes sharing their memories with photos, maps, Compostela and Passports. Richard and Eileen hosted an Information table for their popular Hosptalero training which starts in early 2024. BMCS hosted a swap table with unwanted gear which had been donated finding new homes. Christine sold her popular buffs and Maggie, along with her books sold delightful Camino inspired wares.
After the Camino Fair, volunteers joined in 3 Camino Cooking Workshops, Margaret lead the Tapas Team, Pam lead the Basque Cheesecake team and Sharise hosted the Sangria making workshop. It was great fun and new skills were learnt helping to prepare the dinner feast for all 49 guests to enjoy. A local catering team provided the main course of Spanish inspired dishes. The evening also included a Camino Trivia hosted by Sharise and assisted by Richard. The winning team “The Holy Grail” took out first prize, each receiving a limited edition BMCS Bookmark. It was a fun, albeit competitive event, which became rather raucous when challenges were made to the Quiz Mistress and Master!
Sunday morning started with Stretches for the Camino led by Juliet. Then participants had the choice of two workshops. Mark hosted Reconnect with your Camino workshop for returning pilgrims to reflect on their Camino journey and the steps to reconnect with their experience back home. Jacquie and Tessa hosted Preparing for your 1st Camino workshop which included a packing and gear game cleverly designed by Jacquie who moonlights as a Cub Leader. A very practical workshop with lots of those Camino Questions answered and our ideas on what we need to take with us challenged.
A very full program, a very successful weekend, a big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who made the weekend possible. We certainly celebrated all things Camino and ended the year with a great event!