¡Buen Camino!

Dear Friends,
It has taken three tries and nine years, but as of July 2012, I have finally walked the entire Way of Compostela from my former home in Leuven/Louvain, Belgium, to Santiago de Composela!
My first pilgrimage experience from the French frontier with Spain to Santiago itself took place in 2003. You can read the details of this first walk along the famous Camino across Spain in my book, To The Field of Stars: A Pilgrim's Journey to Santiago de Compostela, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (2008). (You can order it from the publisher, from Amazon.com, or from your local bookseller).
In the summer and early fall of 2007, I walked from Belgium most of the way across France, with the hope of at least making it to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port near the Spanish border, where I began the first pilgrimage. I didn't quite make it. A bad case of plantar fasciitis took me down in the Bordeaux village of Sainte-Ferme. I continued on to Santiago by train and bus, but the "defeat of my feet" and those last 175 miles or so that were left undone, gnawed at me over the ensuing five years. Happily, I was finally able to wrap up this grand pilgrimage with a third walk from Sainte-Ferme to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port this past summer (2012). It was a joy to have completed all 2,370 kilometers between Leuven and Santiago.
My adventures and misadventures, my thoughts and prayers of both the 2007 and 2012 pilgrimages have been shared in this blog. I will leave the blog and its archives open for some time to come; if you want to read bits and pieces of it, feel free, but remember that the beginning is at the bottom and the end is at the top.
My contact e-mail remains the same: kacodd@gmail.com; I am always happy to receive mail!
As the pilgrims in Spain greet one another, so I greet you, my reader: "Buen Camino!"
And as the people of France greet their pilgrims along the "Chemin", I also wish to you: "Courage!"

Grace and peace to you all!

Friday, August 3, 2007


What was a little bit worrisome pain in my leg on Wednesday became a pilgrim catastrophe on Thursday. Every step on my 12km. walk was very painful. When I reached Etrouvy, I asked about seeing a doctor, with the hope of just getting some strong medicine to care for the blazing tendon. The good lady in charge of the Foyer where I had stopped drove me to Tonnerre, the nearest town with a hospital. After much waiting and then X-rays, the doctor told me to STOP WALKING for a month.
He said there is a small fracture in the leg bone. As I said, catastrophe! I don’t really believe the doc; I still think it is tendonitis, but will go back to Leuven today to play it safe and get a second opinion. If all is well, I’ll return to this point and recommence the pilgrimage. If it is a fracture, then the walking part of the pilgrimage ends here today. I’m feeling surprisingly peaceful about all this, at least for the moment; maybe the 500+ kms of solitude and prayer and dependence on God and the kindness of so many strangers have had its effects…. I’ll write more from Leuven.