These Three Peregrina’s are from different parts of the world, but they all have that common bond of sharing, giving and pilgrim spirit.They share their Camino experiences from the Blue Mountains in Australia.
In 2013 Margaret Bouttell and her husband, Rowan, cycled the Camino Frances, 1000km from St Jean Pied de Port to Finesterre. Starting off treating the Camino as a cycle-tour adventure, they soon realised it was more than that and it became a pilgrimage of the heart and mind. At Burgos, they mailed their tent and camping gear to the UK, and stayed in albergue’s instead. The communal spirit and sense of safety and belonging found in albergue’s struck a cord.
Returning to Australia, Margaret & Rowan, purchased a 100 year old guesthouse in the scenic Blue Mountains called Glenella. Whilst running the B&B, they converted a derelict part of the building into shared communal “albergue” style accommodation. They run their guesthouse with warm hospitality and welcome everyone to make it a home-from-home.
Margaret’s passion is empowering women to believe in themselves and develop the confidence to follow their dreams. Through Glenella and it’s related Camino activities she hopes to inspire many women to walk or cycle the Camino. And if they don’t get to Spain, to nonetheless find the courage to make positive changes in their lives.
The Glenella Guesthouse website:
The AusCamino website:
Blue Mountains Camino Group:
I am a 62 (on the 25th of Feb) mother of two, a son Chris a daughter Ayshea and my husband is Brian.We arrived in Australia from England 31 years ago in February 87 and have never looked back. I first became interested in the Camino after watching the movie the way with my son Chris. I said I would love to do that walk. We set about training in the blue mountains every weekend starting slow building up to full day walks we did this for a year. Chris was very patient and encouraged my every step of the way.He helped me chose the correct shoes and backpack and showed my how to travel light. We arrived in Saint Jean and started our walk on the 1st June 2014. The first day was tough going over the Pyrenees I wondered more than once what have I let my self in for.I spent a lot of time on my bum going down the other side as it was very wet and muddy. The days got easier the people we met were from all walks of life doing it for different reasons. I found my self very emotional a few times for no real reason one minute I would be singing my head off then the next I would be bawling my eyes out. You sure do a lot of thinking about family life in general walking is very therapeutic.Chris and I walked nearly 300 kms but I had infected blisters so had to stop.The good news is we are going back this May to complete the journey unfinished business!!!
Margaret Caffyn (nee Stott) was born in Melbourne, Australia. Her childhood was an adventure in itself, living in suburbia during the week and spending every weekend and school holidays at the family’s sheep farm on Phillip Island.
Her father encouraged independence and taught her many of life’s practical skills, allowing her to explore her surroundings and become the free spirit that she is, thus developing a lust for experiences.
Over her lifetime, she has had many transformations. She has been a stenographer, medical secretary, waitress, cook, and function organiser. She owned a catering business and also a Mexican restaurant, and also works as a Remedial Massage therapist when at home.
Margaret is currently working up in the Blue Mountains at Glenella Guesthouse as a ‘host’, and spreading her passion for the Camino wherever she goes. Life’s opportunities have certainly increased after walking the Camino and as travelling is her passion, she devotes much of her spare time to exploring the world and challenging herself along the way.
She has two children and two grandchildren and lives on the stunning Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
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