With Garmin in hand and software uploaded, we were all read for our road trip. It’s been so long since I did a long drive that I’d nearly forgotten how much I enjoy driving holidays. But despite the Sat Nav, we brought our big road maps as well. I guess you could say that I was still a non-believer in technology. Also, I had a back up plan in case the Garmin took us down the wrong road.
All in all, I have to say that the Garmin did extremely well. Our route was fairly straightforward – well, straightforward to most people who are used to the motorways etc. We have driven on UK roads before with just a road map, and I have to say, having a voice that confirms the map is very reassuring. An accidental wrong turn was not a drama, as the Sat Nav would simply re-direct us via another route or chuck a U-turn. I always think in those moments that the computer is really saying “… recalculating, you stupid moron, why did you turn down that left street when I told you it was the next street…”
One difficulty we did have was getting into Warwick as the direct road into our hotel from the motorway was blocked and it took quite a while to get the Sat Nav to re-direct us via a completely different way. We had to get “lost” in the town of Warwick and then re-set the Sat Nav to re-direct us from there. That was a bit stressful. But beyond that it was fine.
The other useful thing about our Sat Nav was using it to find new local restaurants when we had grown tired of pub food. We found an Indian place in Carlisle that was quite nice. We didn’t use this feature too much, but it’s handy to know that its there.
Overall, we did our new Sat Nav did really well. The main thing is that we didn’t get too lost and we got lots of little quips about historical sites of interest (courtesy of the UK Heritage Tour that we had bought), which we can choose to divert and visit if we wanted to, and access to restaurants. Our Sat Nav comes loaded with maps of Europe and now I’m thinking of a driving holiday to France using my Sat Nav. However, the voice thingy apparently doesn’t do translation very well, so best that I don’t rely on that at all.