¡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!

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Another day, another hazy mist hanging over the Dordogne. This morning’s edition was not nearly as thick and low as that of yesterday, but not exactly cheering in advance of a 26 km. day either. Once I had walked beyond the limits of Perigueux, I was feeling better about this Sunday morning; at least it wasn’t raining, my feet and legs were working fine, and the country side I was passing through was beautiful even in the mists.
The route today had a few roller coaster ups and downs in it that were quite challenging, but later in the day the terrain leveled out considerably.
While taking a breather at an old Augustinian monastery, in a little place called Chancellade, I met up with a young Dutch girl, Patricia, who has been on the road for 17 days, and plans to go as far as St. Jean-Pied-de-Port. She is staying in the same B+B as I here in St. Astier, and today is her 30th birthday, so maybe we’ll celebrate over pizza and a glass of Bordeaux.
One new problem for me: I’ve been bothered by a small tendon in the foot for several years now, “plantar fascitis”, I think is what it is called, nothing ever too serious. But by the last few hours of today’s hike it was bothering me quite a bit; not terribly painful, but troublesome. I’ll give it a good dose of ibuprofen tonight, stretch it a bit, and hope it is feeling better tomorrow. If not, I may take the day off and give the foot some rest.
My bedroom window opens out to a great river flowing by; the sound of it as I rest and write is a grace.