Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pilgrims Progress III

Last week a meeting was held at the Department of Sport and Recreation to review the impact of the Pilgrims Trail on the Monastery town of New Norcia.
New Norcia is unique in Australia, but like the rest of Australia, it continues to evolve and survive in its sometimes difficult, rural setting. It is a fragile Community with a deeply spiritual focus which makes it even more precious in these economically driven times.
The Pilgrims Trail, as indicated in its Mission Statement , aims to “Establish a permanent Trail between Subiaco and New Norcia which is respectful of the local environment and cultures....” and following our discussions, it was decided that until a permanent trail was fully functioning –which realistically was thought to be about 3 years away- walkers should only consider following the Trail in groups; and that these groups should liaise well in advance with the Community at New Norcia, so that no unnecessary strain was placed on their already constrained resources.
However, should walkers wish to follow the lower part of the trail over one, two or three days then they would see a part of WA which is quite beautiful and just on the doorstep of the City: the glorious Swan river: Bells rapids through to Walyunga National Park, and walking the Chittering Valley is a very different experience to driving through it!!
The Parish of St Joseph's in Subiaco has already penciled in two dates for their Camino Salvado in September 2010, and we continue to work on moving the trail away from the Great Northern Highway and make the experience even more enjoyable for them. In the near future we hope to apply for funding to take this project to the next level: we need your support, encouragement and where possible your active involvement so please use the comments section to let us know what you can do to help create a little piece of history for all West Australians.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pilgrims Progress II

On 29th September 2009, the leadership group of the Camino Salvado met to review the first walk that follows the current Pilgrims Trail. The Camino Salvado is a Pilgrimage, based on the ancient Camino Di Santiago in Spain, and is organised by the Parish of St Josephs in Subiaco WA.

Points raised were:

• The current Pilgrims Trail needs to be re-routed away from the Great Northern Highway north of Bindoon. Information provided since the recent Camino, and local knowledge suggests that the route can be rearranged to avoid all but the last 5 kms (approx) of the Great Northern Highway: ie on roads/trails towards Toodyay, travelling north from Walyunga National Park; utilising Julimar Road and fire trails and the Old Plains Road. Also, it was suggested that a route through Bindoon Agricultural College would also help avoid taking on the road trains.
• Safety is integral to the walk and permanent road signage through the Chittering Valley, to warn drivers that walkers use this route, will need to be considered: and all road walkers must wear appropriate “High Visibility” vests.
• Accommodation: Some was excellent and some less so. For groups in the future, paying a visit to all proposed premises prior to the Camino, and getting written confirmation of all details in order to avoid protracted waiting for facilities on arrival after a long days walk, should save a lot of headaches.
• Support Team: This was considered invaluable to the success of the Camino in terms of carriage of luggage, transporting pilgrims from and to finish/start points and ongoing support during the day. For future groups, it was thought that if 30 was the optimal number, then the breakdown should be 25 walkers and 5 support crew.
• Future Caminos: For 2010 there will be two Caminos to cater for an anticipated increase in numbers:

Monday 6th September
Monday 27th September

These points will be taken to the next meeting at the DSR on the 7th October.