50 Days of Camino

Kevin Soltysiak's travel log of the way of St. James, the "Camino de Santiago"

About this writing

Well, that took longer that I expected. I didn’t count, but it’s safe than say that I spent a few days on this account of mine, half of it consisting of proofreading, editing, and handling the pictures. Though I have been been home for about a month now, reading my notes and going through my pictures was quite a walk down memory lane, one that I enjoyed taking and, I hope, one that you have enjoyed reading.

This is the first time that I write non-fiction, and it proved challenging in many ways. First, there’s the issue of memory. With so many events over so many days and weeks, at many points I wondered if I wasn’t mixing up memories from two different days, or if I didn’t distort what happened. Like I said at the beginning, memories are tricky and may not always be reliable. I’m lucky that I had my notes to guide me through it all: without them, this story would have been left unwritten.

That being said, I wish I had put more thoughts into my notes: there is so many conversations and things that happened burried somewhere in the depths of my mind, and I probably never will be able to talk or write about them. I’m not sure sure how I could have found the time to write about them without missing on them. Maybe a dictaphone? I don’t know. I hope I’ll figure something out for my next travels.

The second point that proved troublesome concerned everybody else. Non-fiction tends to involve third parties, and in this case a lot of them. When it comes to relating events, how do I chose what is private and what is not? I cannot possibly go and ask everyone involved their permission to write about them, but I feel like I should. I did what most of us would have done: I used my common sense to decide what to leave out of this writing, either because it is not my story to tell, or because I’m not sure the ones involved would be ok with it. Also, I had to ponder wether what I wanted to write could turn into a problem for me, but that was not as big a deal, all things considered.

So this account is not a full account of everything that happened on my camino, but it is a true account nonetheless. It is the truth that I’m comfortable sharing with the world.

And for those of you interested in technical details, here’s a few.

I wrote this in Markdown using Atom as a text editor.

This website is generated by Jekyll and hosted on Github Pages. You can actually see the source and history here, if you feel like it.

Pictures are stored on Amazon S3, and they are the only thing that I have to pay for. It should be cheap enough for me not to care about it, but in the unlikely event that I get a lot of traffic, I may end up setting up a donation system to cover my costs. If that happened, I’ll be fully transparent over what costs I have to bear and what I receive.

The pictures are licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. To sum up, you can use and share my pictures only for non-commercial purposes, and with giving me credit for them. If you wish to use them for commercial purposed, please contact me at camino2016@ksol.fr.

The base for the design of this site is the Travelog jekyll theme by Rowan Oulton. I further customized it, taking inspiration from what Matt Gemmell did with his blog.

I wrote the word “coffee” 41 times, beer(s) 24 times and wine 22 times. I expected more, to be honest. From day one to Homecoming, I wrote 21162 words; under the rules of National Novel Writing Month, it is less than half the length of a novel.