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Australian Friends of the Camino October Conference

2020 Camino Guides

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Just for those people who have been hesitating and not yet applied for the National Conference, which we are hosting here in Adelaide, I am posting a reminder that it is on from the 11th - 13th October. Numbers have been increasing in recent weeks, but there are still beds available. This a great opportunity to meet fellow pilgrims from around the country, to hear some great speakers, and to reminisce with others.

Sadly (for us!) some friends won't be able to make it - they're on the Camino! - but if you're in the country, and have that weekend spare, why not give some thought to attending? We even have a pilgrim coming from NZ - along with John Brierley, who has several sessions on the programme, along with a lot of "chat" time too.

You will find an application form on our website. You might even find other useful information there too. Here's the link:-

 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
I can´t believe I am already booked for another conference on that same weekend... Wishing you guys all the best! I hope it is a huge success, because then it will happen again in the future and I will find a way to get there (maybe walking!)
 

Sandra Riordan

Hobart Australia
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2015, Portuguese 2016, El Norte 2017 & VDLP 2019.
Just for those people who have been hesitating and not yet applied for the National Conference, which we are hosting here in Adelaide, I am posting a reminder that it is on from the 11th - 13th October. Numbers have been increasing in recent weeks, but there are still beds available. This a great opportunity to meet fellow pilgrims from around the country, to hear some great speakers, and to reminisce with others.

Sadly (for us!) some friends won't be able to make it - they're on the Camino! - but if you're in the country, and have that weekend spare, why not give some thought to attending? We even have a pilgrim coming from NZ - along with John Brierley, who has several sessions on the programme, along with a lot of "chat" time too.

You will find an application form on our website. You might even find other useful information there too. Here's the link:-

Sounds fantastic just wish I could make it. Hopefully there will be another next year.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Really looking forwards to seeing you all there. It is getting very exciting now, plans are forging ahead, and I think the whole weekend will be great. See you all soon, Janet
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
Well the first Australian Friends of the Camino Conference has begun! Day 1, although short, was filled with Camino camaraderie, sangria (the medicine of the Camino), a delicious dinner, the sharing of stories and much (organised) singing.

The venue is so well suited to the task of hosting this event nestled in the Adelaide Hills adjacent one of our oldest National Parks and with panoramic views over the city.

...and being able to chat with John Brierley has been a gift.

All credit to the organisers for their efforts so far.

More to come tomorrow...
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
Day 2 this will be brief - much listening, much talking and much singing....

It was wonderful to meet @JennyH94 in person. Will try to get a photo of all the Forum attendees tomorrow... if there’s not too much talking and singing. As you can deduce, we are having an amazing time. Imagine the Camino x 10 x 10!!!!

Señor Isaias began the day with a talk on the Xacobeo 2020-21 Project invoking much later discussion. It was a privilege to listen and hear from the Galician point of view of managing the Way. Time flew and we all wished that he could have talked more.

Reverend Cameron West and Isobel Thomas then spoke on spirituality and the Camino from their experiences along the Way. We were reminded of the spirit of the Camino so evident throughout this weekend.

Max Mastrosavas took us on an architectural journey with his talk on Art and the Camino. Wonderful insights into styles and history of some of the Camino wonders.

The after lunch workshop saw us exploring the challenges facing the next decade. This proved a lively and thoughtful session. An alternative introduction to walking the Camino was offered for those who were planning their first.

Fran West presented on photography on the Camino with useful tips for both taking photos and turning them into books and visual displays.

A tour operators panels gave us an appreciation of how this enabled people to experience the Camino who might not otherwise have had the confidence to do so on their own.

Dee Nolan gave a presentation on Food & Wine on the Camino before dinner and Dan Mullins gave a polished singing performance afterwards. There was much singing along with familiar songs and Dan’s rendition of ‘Somewhere Along the Way’ was a fitting end to the day... plus an encore of ‘Goodnight Irene’.

This is only a brief outline of our day but I wanted to post and let everyone here know what a great event this is. Once more, kudos to the organisers and all our presenters for their efforts.

They are all much appreciated.
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
Day 3 started after breakfast with an Ecumenical Church Service led by the Reverends Cam West and Christa Megaw. A chance to pause and draw breath in what has been a brim-full program.

Then John Brierley took to the stage and took us through The Camino as a path to self-discovery ably accompanied by coincidental sound effects. You had to be there 😊

I didn’t get a chance to catch up with @jl but hope that some sort of official report or transcript is available to post on this Forum.

I did get that photo with @JennyH94 and it has all the other Conference participants too! Will post as soon as a copy is available.

That’s all for now folks as I had to leave after lunch so hopefully @JennyH94 can update us on post-lunch and concluding events.

Once more, congratulations to the organising committee for all their efforts and to the staff at Nunyara who provided delicious meals and made us all so welcome.

A true Camino journey in every sense.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Thanks so much @Wokabaut_Meri for your ‘on-the-ground’ reporting from the Conference - Aussie Forum Journo! Top job!

Post lunch yesterday was bittersweet.

Remaining questions from the morning’s Q&A were answered - more food for thought focussing on solutions - not problems.

We watched the trailer from the WONDERFUL ‘Camino Skies’ doco which starred our own Forum sister @susanawee plus some stunning drone footage from the movie which is included in the Extras on the DVD (available online from 7 November I believe). Although this doco is about Aussies and Kiwis walking the Frances, their backstories, their courage and their openness throughout the film will touch your hearts. This movie is a ‘must buy’ for all pilgrims - we ‘get’ what they went through. You will laugh, you will cry and you WILL feel profoundly blessed to have watched this film.

Isaias then gave his closing address, followed by @jl ’s closing address and the Farewell ... more in @jl ’s forthcoming report.

... and more from @Wokabaut_Meri and some more from me, after @jl ’s report ... yes ... from start to finish ... you just had to be there ... ❤❤❤

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018, 2018;Camino Portuguese 2019
Love to be there, but.... I start walking the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon 13 September...

Should just about be in Santiago by 11-13 October!
one day away.... cannot wait to get there...
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
What an astonishing weekend the inaugural Australian Friends of the Camino Conference turned out to be. This conference has been long in the planning and I believe it showed in the success of the weekend. I won't repeat what has already been said as the summaries of each session have already been given so well.

The very special thing about this conference was that, even with a full programme, there was time. Time to reflect on what we, as an organisation and as individuals, can do in the next decade to help promote / support the camino and pilgrims, time to reflect on our own journey's and the impact that is has had on us, and time to renew or make friendships. There were many wonderful suggestions that came from the workshop sessions, some of which we will be able to implement fairly soon, some of which will take a little longer.

Our Galician guest, Isaias, was astonished (he had never heard the term gobsmacked!) at the Camino knowledge of pilgrims at the conference, and at the support we here in Australia give to the Camino. In recent years we have had people volunteer at the Pilgrim Office, Pilgrim House, the Pilgrim Chaplaincy, and numerous hospitaleros, volunteering not only in Spain but in places such as France. He was genuinely surprised at how much we know and do, and how many pilgrims make that long journey to the Northern Hemisphere.

Though our accommodation was dormitory style, it would have to be labelled 4 - 5 star by any albergue comparison. It was so nice not to have to crawl into a sleeping bag (sheets and towels were provided), though it was interesting to note that everyone appeared to have adopted albergue hours on Friday night and were in their own rooms well before 10 pm, and only a little later on Sat night!

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet and speak with our two keynote speakers during the breaks in proceedings and over meal times. They were both very tired by the end of the conference having spent two days talking almost non-stop.

John Brierley asked, in his session, for a show of hands from those present to indicate if they had walked any of the roads less travelled. He was very surprised when around 50% indicated that they had. Apparently the normal indication would be around 20%! That is indicative of our adventurous spirit! We were blessed to have John's company for the whole weekend, sharing his knowledge, wisdom, and warmth so willingly. He has now gone off to the eastern states to do yet more presentations.

With pilgrims attending from all around the country, and one from New Zealand, this was a wonderful event full of positive energy, warm friendship, and interesting and informative sessions. It was an event put on by a wonderfully thoughtful and energetic committee and praise must be given to them for the attention to detail that went into making this such a memorable event. Praise must also go to the pilgrims who made the effort to attend, and in some cases it was quite and effort (some took 2 days to drive to it), as without their commitment and enthusiasm, despite the wonderful programme, it would have been very flat. Indicative of this were the two post dinner sessions led by Jessie Vintila on the Friday night and Dan Mullins on the Sat night, which were conducted to a full house with enthusiastic participation (singing) from everyone.

In the opening speech I made I used a quote (by William Arthur Ward) that to me summarises the start of a Camino and I repeat it here for others who might be interested. When deciding on making a Camino we have all the arguments against it, but then there is that whispered thought - give it a try! AND it doesn't go away I have found!

It’s impossible said pride
It’s risky said experience
It’s pointless said reason
Give it a try whispered the heart
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Wonderful report @jl - you’ve captured the essence of this very special weekend so very well.

My guess is that for all those who attended, if asked, they would say that the conference wasn’t only a conference, it was a celebration. To be with so many like-minded people, who are passionate about the Camino, really was extraordinary.

In amongst the 100+ delegates there were at least six active Forum members plus three others who told me they log onto the Forum from time to time. It was terrific to meet and spend time both days with @Wokabaut_Meri and her husband Steven - and to spend time with the Forum members I already know.

I always feel that too much Camino discussion is never enough - this weekend proved it! I love the Camino and its pilgrim community more than ever.

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
Wonderful report @jl - you’ve captured the essence of this very special weekend so very well.

My guess is that for all those who attended, if asked, they would say that the conference wasn’t only a conference, it was a celebration. To be with so many like-minded people, who are passionate about the Camino, really was extraordinary.

In amongst the 100+ delegates there were at least six active Forum members plus three others who told me they log onto the Forum from time to time. It was terrific to meet and spend time both days with @Wokabaut_Meri and her husband Steven - and to spend time with the Forum members I already know.

I always feel that too much Camino discussion is never enough - this weekend proved it! I love the Camino and its pilgrim community more than ever.

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
Beautifully said! It was wonderful to meet a Forum member in the ‘real world’.

Totally agree regarding the ‘too much Camino discussion is never enough’ as the weekend was nowhere near long enough :)

And, once again, all credit to @jl and the organising committee - the best run and on time conference that I have ever attended.
 

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