A recent article by Sally McGlue in the Kalamunda Post has aroused interest in linking the historical town of York to the Pilgrim Trail™ which joins Subiaco to New Norcia. Since it’s inception in 2009, the Pilgrim Trail has been evolving as it tries to follow the way of Rosendo Salvado, the pioneering Spanish Benedictine monk who came out to the Swan River Colony in the 19th century.
Over the past 5 years event walks from St Josephs Church in Subiaco have seen groups of Pilgrims undertaking the Camino Salvado to the monastery town of New Norcia. With increased usage of the Trail by more diverse groups of walkers, contemporary pilgrims and school groups too, it is exciting that York has shown interest in linking to the Pilgrim trail.
We look forward to seeing how this expansion of the Pilgrim trail will play out.
2015 looks like being a very exciting year for the Pilgrim Trail™ and the Camino Salvado
At the end of November I gave a presentation to the 9th International Colloquium Compostella in Santiago, Spain which was on the Camino de Santiago and it’s heritage. Speakers came from all around Europe and my talk on The Pilgrim Trail and the way of Salvado – our own Camino Salvado – was greeted with great interest. It was a very special occasion to be able to talk with experts on Pilgrimage from all around Europe and one even from Japan, and to be able to tell them what we have done here in Western Australia and the stories that surround the Trail.
One of the outcomes is that I was encouraged to begin talks with our State Government, and the State Government of Galicia with a view to establishing a Cultural link between the two States based on our rich Heritages and especially the common figure of Fra Rosendo Salvado who came from Spain to Australia in the 19th century.
The enthusiasm for our Trail was palpable. According to teh Co-ordinator of the event “Australia was the tenth power in number of pilgrims on 2013. According to the official statistics, there were 3,098 Australian pilgrims in the Camino de Santiago, and this number will be higher this year”. That means that there are over 3,000 Australians who might also want to experience our very own Camino here in their own country. So please – spread the word and tell everyone you know that in 2015 The Pilgrim trail is there for them.
I wish you all a joyous Christmas and every Blessing for 2015.
In just 4 weeks I’ll be presenting a talk in Santiago de Compostela on our own Pilgrim Trail® and the Camino Salvado™. There will be other guest speakers from all round Europe, but only one from Australia! I am told by the organizers that because of our strong connection to Rosendo Salvado who entered the monastery in Santiago, that the media in Galicia are very interested in our activities and what we have created here in Western Australia. So if the Aussie $ continues to decline, perhaps we should all start brushing up on our Europena languages as more pilgrims from that part of the globe come to walk our Pilgrim Trail.
On another happy note, Holy Cross College students have been walking the Pilgrim Trail and all of their year levels from 7 – 12 will have done some of the pilgrim trail this year! They are already planing for next years walks. Well done to all staff and students who have made this possible and done such a great job.
I’m currently working on a book of reflections for the Camino Salvado which we hope to have ready for early in 2015. It’s hoped that it will be a useful resource book for school students who are considering walking the Pilgrim Trail. Watch this space!
For those of you who want to organise your own Camino Salvado® then go to our webpage where you will find some good advice as to how to go about exploring the Pilgrim Trail™ 2015 will soon be here and if you want to book accommodation then you’ll need to do it very soon.
Those amazing Pilgrims who just finished the 2014 Camino Salvado had the added reward of being presented with the Certificates above by the Benedictine Community. It had a genuine wax seal on it too! In Spain these certificates are known as Compostela, perhaps we should call them ‘djin djin” which means “good spirit” in the Noongar language.
For those who receive them, they will be a life long reminder about what a wonderful journey they experienced. Our sincere thanks go to the New Norcia Community for such generosity of spirit.
The spirit of pilgrimage, the spirit of disparate peoples coming together from all around the Australia – and one day from all around the planet – is a great sign to the rest of the world.
The second Camino Salvado organized by St Jospeh’s Church Subiaco has just been completed, and by all accounts was another great success. According to Alan and Bernadette Lush “Our Camino could not have been better, blisters were the only issue and readily dealt with”. Many thanks to Sue Hymus, John Bell and their organizing committee whom I know are already fielding inquiries for next years 2 Parish Caminos.
For those of you who might be considering walking the Camino as a small group of your own, check out our advice page http://pilgrimtrail.com.au/about/ to get some pointers for organizing your own walk along the Pilgrim Trail.
Camino Salvado is now in it’s 6th year and attracting walkers from all around Australia. Later this year I’m going to Santiago de Compostela to give a talk on how we established the Camino Salvado and went on to create the Pilgrim Trail. This is such an exciting time for this new Heritage Trail here in Western Australia.
The good news is that the Trail has survived the recent heavy rain and is in great condition. The flowers and wildlife are out in abundance. Two Emu took off like rockets just in front of us and several small ‘Roos hopped across out path too, which was both thrilling and kept us on the alert for more! However, one of the tracks we checked out – Heine Rd – was badly fissured by the rains and I would think it is too dangerous for recreational walkers. But the Pilgrim Trail route is in “great nick”!
Further out in the country, the fields are awash with vast splashes of yellow Canola with it’s distinctive scent, and great swathes of fresh green from the young wheat. It looks stunning!
We then went on to Bolgart which on first impressions looked a tad forlorn – even the Pub was shut! But then we met Lester Snooke and his good lady and they were a delight to meet and very interested in the trail and informative about some of Bolgarts historical figures like Captain Scully. Lester’s Dad also walked the Camino Salvado last year, so the link was already established. I am very excited about the important part Bolgart will play in futre years as the numbers of walkers increases and the need for local hospitality is met by the good people of that little town.
Then it was back up Bolgart West Road and Old Plains Road to finsih some trail marking then finally we headed for home, a nice hot shower and a hot cuppa!
PS The rains have also brought out the Mozzies so do remember your insect repellent. Mozzies bite and Mozzies buzz, but they are also a vector for some very unpleasant diseases. So repel them before they upset you.
Kerry is seen here at the end of her Camino De Santiago. In 2013 Kerry also walked along the Pilgrim Trail with St Joseph’s Camino Salvado group. She is one very special lady and deserves our full support. We wish her every blessing in her new role.
It’s been a week of showers and sunshine for the first Camino group of 2014 but it certainly hasn’t dampened their spirits! John Bell who has “shepherded” the pilgrims along The Way reports that it’s been a wonderful experience for them all. Today they walk along Old Plains Road in the sunshine and into New Norcia.
With Holy Cross College and students from Nagle College Geraldton also using the Trail the experience that is the Pilgrim Trail will spread out into the community and echo what a wonderful resource it is for all Australians.
At a meeting with DPaW on Friday we’ve added a link to their Fire Alert page so that all walkers can check to make sure that there are no “Burn offs” in the section they intend to walk through. So please do check it out before you start your walk.
We are also going to add some basic safety directions for walkers should the unexpected happen, so keep an eye out for that soon.
Otherwise, with the recent rain and now the sunshine, it’s a great time to experience the wonders and heritage that lie along the Pilgrim Trail.