So, I’m back from Corsica and will share my adventures with you soon although I’m lucky to be back no thanks to GPS TomTom!!
I often wonder how many marital disputes, family fall outs and accidents are caused by GPS’s giving wrong directions. All the men I know never listen to directions and will certainly never stop and ask for them and yet if I force the TomTom on them they’ll quite happily listen to the soothing voice of Jane (or whoever, I heard you can have the Simpson’s voices if you wish) and then follow her instructions without applying any degree of logic or direction.
When affronted with a rubble road (think The Flintstones here) the Man (or in my case Hubby) becomes enraged and the angry swear words and obscene gestures are directed at TomTom and thankfully not at you. However, this means that the atmosphere in the car becomes heated, with much huffing and puffing, more angry gestures and then silence.
Sometimes the misdirection’s from TomTom won’t matter and laughter will break the silence such as the time we drove through a field on the outskirts of Lyon only to be met by an intrigued farmer coming along on his tractor in the other direction. But it can also be the difference between catching or missing your flight. Going home or being stuck where you are, having to fork out hundreds of Euros (if not thousands in peak season?) to wait until the next available flight which may not be for another week.
This was our case. We left Calvi at 11 am knowing that we needed to be at the airport in Bastia for 3 pm allowing us time to return the hire car and affront the huge queues typical of the last Saturday in July. I wanted to stop by Saint Florent on the way back and according to TomTom it only added 40 minutes to the trip, so in total we would be looking at an overall driving time of 2 hours 20 minutes. Perfect. Plenty of time to get there, to allow for traffic and even enough time to stop somewhere along the way and enjoy some more Corsican food and wine.
All was going hunky dory until we left Saint Florent (this was probably due to the excellent sign posts though) and started along the windy, mountainous roads towards Bastia. These were not dissimilar to those we took to arrive in Saint Florent after leaving the main road, but after a while the pot holes were becoming bigger and bigger, until suddenly there was no road left and we were on a rubble track. Continuing along, convinced we were on a great short cut and were avoiding all the traffic jams, we passed a small hamlet and smiled smugly to ourselves as confused locals looked on in amazement at us bumping along the track in a filthy, dust covered so no longer bright blue, Peugeot 206 hire car.
A short while later we were confronted with this:
Yes – that is the road. With the sign in the middle (and the big rock blocking all access behind). There was no way we could (or wanted) to continue further down this road. So rather bashfully we made our way back down the track, back past the villagers (who must be used to this sight and probably have their act of astonishment down to perfection) and then past a Parisian registered Mercedes hurtling in the direction we had originally come from – with a TomTom firmly affixed to his windscreen!
Eventually, an hour later than we had wished for and with just 20 minutes to spare before check-in closed, we made it to the airport and managed to catch our plane home! Phew!