Lead me not Astray

Words by Linda Roets

GPS systems are designed to keep you on track during your holiday… but things don’t always go according to the Lady Jane plan.

You will agree, I’m sure, that the GPS tracking system has to be one of the most brilliant inventions, and such a gift to travellers. But, in my experience, it is not to be trusted one hundred percent. We learnt this lesson when we were in the UK for the first time some years ago. Having a GPS was pretty new then, and my husband bought one to take with us on our journey. The larny English lady’s voice telling us to ‘turn left’, ‘enter round-about’ and so on, was amusing at first, and we nicknamed her ‘Lady Jane’.

Lady Jane did become confused at times, as did we, in the narrow English roads and the sheer volume of traffic. When we collected the motorhome in which we were to tour for the next two weeks, I asked Lady Jane to find us the nearest Tesco’s so that I could buy some supplies. We set off enthusiastically, only to be led down nasty, twisty-turny, narrow little back roads – in a large motorhome. She did lead us straight to a Tesco’s, but it was a garage shop. I’m still confused about why; I’d asked her to find a supermarket. We never did get the groceries we needed – my husband, our designated driver, was too stressed to try to find another place!

We then set off on our trip from Cornwall to Scotland, Lady Jane guiding our path every kilometre of the way. On the whole she helped a lot, but I soon learnt to check with the map book we’d bought. My distrust was showing. The biggest problem we had was in the Lake District, where we had booked (and paid for) a campsite near Lake Windermere. The GPS led us into a little village, then straight down a steep hill on a very narrow road with high hedges on either side. We came to a stop in front of a gate in a forest clearing, with a sign which read ‘No Entry’, while Lady Jane said, ‘Arriving at destination,’ in a triumphant sort of voice.

That’s when she became ‘That Woman’.

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