¡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!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I had my longest and most challenging day of walking since returning to the Way a week ago. The 21 kilometers between Bazoches and Corbigny are marked by long and steep ascents and descents, such is the topography of this corner of Bourgogne. The positive side of this is that the scenery is stunningly beautiful, all green and glorious, especially in the morning sunshine! After one long climb that left me breathless, I was met at the top by a Dutch couple who have a small summer home in the village of Chemin. They welcomed me to sit and enjoy a tea with them in their lovely vegetable garden, and we shared a most pleasant hour chatting about things American and religion in our times. As I got ready to get back on the road, Louise and Adrianus pulled a couple of apples from their tree and gave them to me for the road. Such simple but gracious kindness! I am staying tonight in a pilgrim refuge with a very kind and helpful lady caring for us. I am here with a Belgian Trappist who has walked to Compostella already, it seems, and is returning home now, also on foot. He speaks no Anglais, and my Francais is not good enough to learn more of his story. Tomorrow will be much of the same terrain, I presume. Even more of a concern is that the village I will spend the night in has no stores or cafes, so I will have to bring food enough for two days….more weight in my pack!