¡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!

Monday, October 1, 2007


As I went t bed last night I took one look out of the window to make sure the sky was still clear, promising a rain –free walk today; clear as could be! Great!
Shortly after getting up, the now familiar sound of rain running off roofs and down gutters told a new story: I was in for a very wet 27 km. day. Rats! But by the time I walked out the door of the Grand Seminaire, the rain had mostly stopped, and the skies were clearing again. Double great!
Walking out of a city is no fun; busy streets, traffic lights, confusing directions, all make it slow going. After about 45 minutes of that, my path out of Limoges intersected with that of another pilgrim. We greeted one another from across a thick intersection; she crossed over to my side, and suddenly I had a walking partner for the day. Monique is a French Canadian who speaks about as much English as I speak French, so mostly we spent the next 6 hours on the road walking in quiet, but enjoying each other’s company anyway; and thus the kms. clicked by, making the day’s walk seem much less burdensome than otherwise.
We got lightly rained on in Aix-sur-Vienne, but other than that we remained dry today. Triple great!
Flavignac is a village with a history going back 2000 years, or so the town brochure says. Certainly, it has long been a stop on the way to Compostela for multitudes of pilgrims over the centuries, and still is.
The next “official” stage in my guide is over 30 kms., but I intend to split it in two, giving me two easy days of less than 20 kms. each.
Guess what? As I write, the sweet sound of rain on rooftops and running through gutters sings softly to me:”Be ready for anything, brother” And so I shall try to be.