¡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!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


This village is not where I expected to end my day, but here I am, in yet another low-grade “Hotel-Restaurant”. It’s better than sleeping outdoors, but not as good as most of the B+B’s I’ve stayed at and more expensive.Today’s minor problem is that I ended up about 5 kms off the prescribed Way. I thought this hotel was just a km and a half off the route, so made the reservation this am. I was not amused after 21 km on a warm afternoon to arrive in Moiry and learn my hotel was in Parize, 4 km down the road. A kind young girl sympathized with me and gave me a lift in her little red Renault, but tomorrow I’ll have to walk the extra kms on my own legs.
I left Nevers after some more time in the chapel with Bernadette; I felt like she was joining my pilgrimage as another sainted companion on the Way. I like her companionship. The candle I lit last night was still burning as I left.
I passed through the cathedral on the way out of town and spent a minute or two with the great peaceful Christ I mentioned yesterday. The pastor spotted me and came up to greet the pilgrim; he was very kind and offered to stamp my pilgrim “credencial’ for me, then walked me a block or so to show me the way forward. It took a while to walk out of the busy city but soon enough I was back among the grand farm fields that are now so much of my visual life out here. As I passed through the small town of Magny-Cours, a lady called out to me from her front door to wish me well and offer me a cold glass of water.
Maybe she be doubly blessed in the Kingdom of God for her charity towards a stranger! Wish that I were so kind!
The September sun is shining, the legs are holding up, the French people continue to inspire me: I don’t mind being in the wrong town tonight!