Wednesday, September 16, 2009
From the seed of an idea planted on a hillside in northern Spain in 2008, the thought that we could create a Trail based on the ancient Camino Di Santiago here in Perth Western Australia, seemed like a crazy idea at the time. But at the time I was a little crazy anyway, so when we came back to WA we started work on a “Camino” based around the travels of Dom Rosendo Salvado, a Spanish Benedictine Monk who came to Australia in the 19th century to live with, learn from and often help, the local Indigenous peoples. He also founded Australia’s only Monastery Town/Hamlet of New Norcia 150 kilometers north of Perth.
From those early “trail blazing” days, we have created the Pilgrim Trail Foundation, a Charitable organization to help tell the stories surrounding Dom Salvado and most particularly too, those of the Whadjuk and Yuet peoples who have lived in this area for about 40,000 years!
We have set in place the foundations of something that will be a gift to all Australians for hundreds of years to come. Walking is great for our physical health; sharing stories and learning from the wisdom of others is what enriches our lives: but the magic of the Pilgrim Trail is …. well you’ll just have to find out for yourself. But I promise you, you will have a very special experience.
On 5th September 2009, 28 People walked into the Monastery town of New Norcia, 125kms north of Perth in Western Australia. The journey was inspired by the memory of Dom Rosendo Salvado, the
Benedictine monk who had founded the town in the nineteenth century. It had taken the group six days and five nights to travel the distance, and since that first walk, well over 250 people have experienced the Trail in small organized groups.
The path they followed started in Subiaco, followed through to Kings Park the CBD and down alongthe Swan river to Guildford. From there it travelled through the Swan Valley to Walyunga National Park – a place of spiritual significance to the Nyoongar people who have links to the area dating back 40000 years. The trail then followed through the Chittering Valley and onto Bindoon. The last 50kms being along the Great Northern Highway to its destination of New Norcia.
Since that time, the route has changed significantly, and we no longer walk along the Highway, but have moved inland through Julimar Forest and private farms to the north, before following Old Plains Road to New Norcia.
The work of securing this alignment has taken a huge amount of time and effort by the volunteer members of the Pilgrim Trail Board – now a registered Foundation and a Charitable Institution.
The Pilgrims Trail Foundation.
We have now established a permanent alignment which allows walkers to discover what wonderful treasures lie just on the edge of the beautiful city of Perth WA. For safety reasons, and to comply with the wishes of the Private Landholders, we have limited Trail Access to the months of April through to the end of September – otherwise, heat, flies and fire are a real danger.
This year we have assigned oversight of the Trail Walkers to Inspiration Outdoors, whose website link occurs on this site. They are enthusiastic about their challenge and our Foundation believes this is a necessary “step up” in management to cope with the increasing demand for usage of our Trail.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The Pilgrims Trail Mission
To establish a permanent Pilgrims Trail between Subiaco and New Norcia which is respectful of the local environment and cultures, and is safe for those who use it. Complete.
To establish a Foundation which will monitor the maintenance and development of the Trail for future generations. Complete with Charitable status.
To foster an awareness of the Pilgrims Trail, and to encourage as many people as possible to experience the benefits and delights of using the trail. Work in progress.
Mission accomplished (well almost) 🙂