Going Places: How to Get There

Back in the Old Days, when our parents were young and going anywhere involved organisation and no being late, the only way to find out where you were going was through the use of a map-book.

These days, we have phones with internet and sat-navs to direct us. Which makes map-books redundant. Doesn’t it?

Or not.

My previous post about my re-discovered love for Triumphs, particularly my beloved Herald, probably tells you something of my argument for map-books. Probably, so too does my neglected Kindle. I prefer print. However, I will concede the usefulness of some technology. For example, being able to look up traffic warnings ahead of time to check the viability of alternative routes.

As a navigator on last weekend’s epic jaunt, I can assure you that a sat-nav was used. It was very helpful, in places. It was less helpful when we attempted to detour around Scotch Corner, and failed because the sat-nav had a hissy fit and directed us back to the road we’d just left.

Had we double-checked with the map-book in the back of the car before going, we might have managed the detour. Not that there was all that much traffic to avoid at Scotch Corner, it being about 2 AM. But still. A map-book, and a navigator, is a handy thing to have, should there be multiple routes possible.

And, equally, the sat-nav is a wonderful thing when trying to find the right place in a town you don’t know. Map-books don’t, as a rule, contain town-maps; the exceptions are major towns, and even those aren’t always very details.

Of course, with a map-book, it generally helps if you check out your route before setting off (see above re: detours); with a sat-nav, you can just plug in your destination and off you go.

My main problem with sat-navs, though, is the hissy fits they have when you deviate from the route laid down before you. They don’t like that. On the last leg of the Tour, heading up the M5 to Leicestershire (the most direct route), the sat-nav had a problem. It wanted us to take the longer, more picturesque route up the A-roads. We thought not. We wanted to get to the end in time for the BBQ, thanks all the same, sat-nav. In a car with a top speed of 60mph, the most direct route is better.

Now if only Life came with at least a map-book…!


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