Sat Nav or Satanic Nav?

sat nav

We’re now back in Spain after spending the ‘summer’ in the UK. This year we chose to drive through France over a couple of days rather than taking the longer ferry from Bilbao to Portsmouth. This was for two reasons; firstly our voyage back last summer had been so horrendous thanks to a storm in the Bay of Biscay which left the four of us vomiting and realising we weren’t cut out for long sea journeys, and secondly because I am now too heavily pregnant for any other means of transport than car.

So we set off across the Pyrenees putting our faith in our ‘trusty’ Sat Nav. We’d programmed in ‘shortest route’ and obviously this meant The Machine would guide us along the best route from A to B. But instead of taking us through any of the mountain passes or tunnels I was familiar with, he (I have decided it has to be a man) took us along a windy, bendy route up to the Bielsa tunnel into France. Mile after mile of wiggles, bumps, through sleepy villages, past closed petrol stations. The children in the back somehow managed to sleep as their heads lolled about with every turn. I, however, gripped my seat and tried not to be sick. Once through the rather decaying tunnel, the road on the French side was little more than a farm track without crash barriers or anything resembling them. It didn’t help that it was a dark foggy night.

Fortunately once we got onto the French motorway system even Sat Nav couldn’t really disagree that the best route to Calais was straight up.

During our stay in the UK we used Sat Nav on various occasions and most times we ended up driving through the arse end of nowhere. Clearly the shortest route if you need to take your tractor from one place to another.

After a week in Scotland I was left with the sensation that every road in that country must be a B-road with no straight bits. As we left Bonnie Scotland, avoiding all A-roads and apparently the only car on the road heading south, I looked on the map and saw, to my horror, that our B-road was running parallel to a proper A-road which would possibly have been a few metres longer but I’m convinced would have been much smoother. However, the driver, my husband, being a man, put far more faith in The Machine than in my map-reading skills, so once again I clutched my stomach as we lurched round bend after bend along the empty road.

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journey children route sat nav

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