Finding our way along the Camino is a daily task. Until recently, this was largely left up to me (Tracy). Thanks to the fine folks at Garmin, we are entirely able to eliminate the dreaded paper map. Before heading out, one can choose a route on digital maps - best so far is RidewithGPS.com. Then the route can be downloaded to the Garmin Edge 520 and if all goes well, it gives turn by turn directions. Easy, right?
Well most of the time, it works pretty well. Most of the technical challenges are worked out... But increasingly, the family have begun questioning the route choices. "Why are we on this hill, pup?" Pup is their term for me. Short for papa, but comes out as pup. But I digress. After days of this, Lief thinks he can do better. We woke up this morning in Famalicāo, having biked from Porto yesterday morning. Our life of sedentary leisure has come to a close. For today's shorter ride to Braga, I chose a lovely route through the hills, avoiding all major highways, like the N14 which is busy busy. Though this highway is pretty much a straight shot to Braga (20km), my route added a short 11km more and only 700m of climbing. There was even the Bom Jesus do Monte, a religious site our guidebook called "Portugal's most spectacular religious sanctuary". So Lief took the reins of ridewithGPS and came up with his own route: 24km and only 450m of climbing. After some "robust" conversation, we all agreed to go with his route.
Tracy's feelings were slightly hurt ;-) But in the end, it was a heck of an enjoyable ride, and the boys made it up practically every hill today with no pushing. Impressive.
So in the end, Lief's route wins. Minutes after we made it into Braga, the heavens opened and the threatening rains delivered on the forecast. So thank you, little man. You've proven yourself worthy of future route planning duties. The mantle has been passed over to you. The student surpasses the teacher. Thanks Lief!