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Our porters
Rick of Rick and Peg

Our porters

The vanguard of our porters. The others carrying the furniture, refrigerators, air conditioners and chests have fallen behind. They cost us a fortune because we had to supply them all with a "I walked across Spain with Rick and Peg and all I got was this lousy tee shirt" tee shirt.
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@Stellaluna --- In the final 100km during peak season on the CF . . . yes. Lots of families and lots of student classes, and lots of individuals as well.

However, this volume typically goes in waves, so the secret is to surf the bottom of the trough and not the top of the wave. I typically started about 30 minutes before the main wave and walked most of the day in relative peace, unless I actually caught up with the trailing edge of the wave in front of me (possible because solo walkers are typically faster than groups), which meant I simply took a little longer coffee break or lunch, or stopped a bit early. Staying in smaller towns and/or private accommodations also helped take the edge off the crowded public/junta albergues.
 
@Stellaluna

I don't really know about typical because this was our first/only camino. This was summer in Galicia where you can get a compostella for the least amount of walking. We saw many groups of varying sizes with student groups the largest but they usually had camping pads and I don't recall seeing the students at albergues. They must have had campgrounds waiting for them somewhere.

There would be waves of walkers and there were times of walking in more solitude.

Also, many of my pictures were taken using a mild telephoto of 2 or 3 times normal. It makes the pictures more interesting because they aren't normal but zooming in also compresses distances making things look crowded.
 
Thanks, Rick and koilife,
That's reassuring. I did expect these kinds of crowds for the last 100km but was worried that it might be similar along the whole of the Camino.
Also, Rick, how did you find the July heat? As a winter-loving Canadian that worries me a bit as I will be leaving in early-July.
 
@Stellaluna --- The Frances starts getting noticeably busier as the high volume of cyclists comes in at Astorga, but even then, it's not that bad. You'll notice the higher volumes, but it still won't feel crowded until you hit Sarria and get caught in a wave.

The weather can be variable. I don't like heavy sun, so I used an umbrella, which made walking in the sun much more comfortable. Also, I was usually turned in by 2pm each day, prior to the hottest time of day.
 
@Stellaluna --- June and early July. The first half of June was cold and soggy. The second half of June and into July were hot and dry.

I used a GoLight Chrome Dome umbrella. Although they are out of business, you can get the identical umbrella (EuroSchirm Swing Liteflex) from Gossamer Gear http://gossamergear.com/chrome-umbrella.html as well as other vendors. The nice thing about it compared to other backpacking/hiking umbrellas is that the stays are almost impossible to break, even if it flips inside out under a rogue gust of wind. Also, the "chrome" UV protection/reflection really helps with the sun.

The downside is it's relatively heavy (8 oz) and doesn't collapse (main shaft is fixed size). I attached with a micro carabiner to the cord on the handle and my backpack chest strap.
 
@Stellaluna > Also, Rick, how did you find the July heat?

We had wonderful weather but that was 2015. Not much rain and the heat wasn't bad. Our timing helped. St. Jean to Burgos was (roughly) the last two weeks of May. From Burgos to the Galician border was June; just a day or two short of July. Then 2 weeks in July to get to Santiago, Finisterre and Muxia. The July weather in Galicia was much like our New England weather except less humid.

We avoided the afternoon heat. Spain is in an unlikely time zone. That means, at the solstice, the sun will not reach its highest point in the sky until around 1:30. Our 8:00-2:00 walks in Spain were thus almost like 6:30-12:30 walks at home at the same latitude.
 

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Galicia along the Camino Francés, July 2015
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