¡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!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Once again, it rained through a fair part of the night, but by “stepping out” time at 8.00, the rain had passed and the sky was clearing; this seems to be becoming a pattern!
Monique, my pilgrim companion from yesterday, and I, recontinued our own pattern, and though we walked together and occasionally chatted, most of the time we ambled down the road in quiet. I planned a short day today, less than 15 kms., but she intended to go on for another 15, so after tangling with a very muddy path for a couple kms., and getting lost (not too disastrously!), we arrived in Chalus, and here said our “au revoirs”, she heading down the road, and I off to look for a room for the night. I’ll miss her companionship.
I’m established in a little hotel/restaurant facing on the national highway…lots of semi-trucks roaring by my window. Oh well: such is the life of the lowly pilgrim!
I can’t help but notice as I walk on that the forests of chestnut and oak are quickly taking on a decidedly more brown cast; it is now looking like October here. Yet for the time being, the temperature remains mild; I walked today without even a T-shirt under my high-tech hiker’s shirt.
We met an 86 year old man on the road today, just completing his daily 5 km. walk to keep fit. Even from a distance he had a great smile for us as we approached, and his old eyes twinkled as we told him a bit of our pilgrim stories. He shook our hands and wished us well, a wish that was clearly from the heart. He seemed to love us for being fellow walkers. I felt as if I had just met God the Father.
I received a phone message today from Michael, one of our Louvain seminarians; he just wanted to say hello and see how I am doing. Thanks, Michael. I’m doing better for having heard your laugh again! Grace and peace to you and your AC brothers!