¡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!

Friday, June 29, 2012


I left Leuven early this morning after a light breakfast with my friends and hosts, Gene and Caroline Foley. I pulled a fairly light Gregory (23 pounds or so) and with Caroline, walked to the Leuven station to catch my train to the Brussels airport. The 2 hour flight here was uneventful; as was the hour-long (!) bus ride from the airport here to the city center. I found my hotel, supposedly a two-star place but I haven't found those stars yet; it is not exactly a dump, but it's nothing to write home about either. My room is a little bigger than a closet but boasts a window that opens (air conditioning!).
The city is lovely though today it has been hot and humid. I walked to the Cathedral and found a fine choir of young people rehearsing for a concert; they were singing English hymns and the various parts of the Mass. It was really a lovely little concert they offered the few of us listening in.
Tomorrow, I catch an early train to La Reole, then a taxi up to Saint-Ferme, and then I begin walking from right where I left off five years back. It will be about a 12 mile walk back to La Reole where a family will put me up for the night. How often I can write frim here on depends, of course, on wifi access and all that.
I am feeling quite nervous tonight and worry that I am not sufficiently prepared for this, but I'll give it my best shot and try to take it easy, and as much as possible, try to walk as He walked…
Grace and peace to all!