This past May, I walked eleven days from Porto to Santiago de Compostella on the Central Route. I had not walked a Camino in nine years, but a Camino is still a Camino. Only now, there are smart phones and apps.
I was walking at the end of May, and there were lots of Pilgrims. In Tui (which is 100 km from Santiago), the number of pilgrims quadrupled. I noticed a lot of day packs and folks took advantage of bag transport. While I carried my full pack the whole time, I did book ahead at most of the places I stayed at.
I chose the Central Route over the Coastal Route because I live in Southern California and see the ocean every day in my work. Also, what I gleaned from YouTube videos was that the Central Route had more variety and history. On the Central, most of the landscape is rolling hills, rivers, and vineyards; then I would stumble across a thousand year old church which was pretty awesome.
I recommend the Camino Portugues Central if you want to do a Camino Quickie in two weeks. Northern Portugal is a beautiful place with great people and great food; then you cross a bridge into Spain, and you are in Galicia. When you get to Santiago, you enter the plaza from the opposite side of the Camino Frances folks, and I really appreciated the different view.
I have so much to say about the Camino Portugues, and I will be saying it in some other blogs I have planned. I look forward to sharing it with you all.
Finally, I just got word that John Brierley has died. I used his guidebook on the Camino Portuguese (as well as the Camino Frances back in 2012). Godspeed Mr. Brierley and may flights of angels sing thee on your next journey.