¡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, August 30, 2007

The Doc Says "GO!"

GOOD NEWS! I will be continuing my pilgrimage on Monday of the coming week! The troublesome tendon quite suddenly decided to get better on Sunday and has continued to improve since. I went to the local physical therapist in Leuven yesterday (Wednesday) and he suggested giving it a few more days of rest, ice, light exercise and stretches, but after the weekend, he told me, I should be good to begin again. He noted that there is always the risk of further problems and that if the tendon flares up again, stop. But on the other hand, there is also a good chance that it will be fine and I won't have more problems further on. So on Sunday, my friends, the Foleys, will drive me back down to Tonnerre, France, where I left off and then stay close by for a few days to make sure all goes well. They will even carry my backpack for the first couple days to let me "break in" more easily.
I'll continue sharing my daily progress on this web log. And beginning next week I'll be back using my French mobile number: +33 674 70 42 61.
I'm very happy about this, all the more so because I had been lately seriously doubting that I would be able to continue. My plans must change in that there is now no way to go all the way to Compostela but if I can make it at least to St. Jean Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees where I began my previous pilgrimage, I'll be more than satisfied. That is still almost 1000 kms to walk (600 miles) and almost two months to do it, so it is still a substantial challenge ahead. Thanks for all your prayers and support! Keep it coming!