Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I just can't read maps

Schloss Ambras Innsbruck

We are going to Cyprus in June and will be hiring a car. Cate is going for work so I am going to tag along and we are taking a few extra days to explore the Island.

So we will ask for a navigation system which they agree to provide but unfortunately when we pick up the car there will not be one available and they will give us a map of Cyprus the size of an iPad and say here use this. This has happened before so we know what to expect.

When we went to Turkey we asked for a navigation system so that we could find our way to Gallipoli but alas they were out of systems when we got our car – and they gave us a map of Turkey the size of an A4 sheet of paper. We survived by using the maps in my iPhone but this is a very expensive way to do it because you have to turn on global roaming.

Unfortunately I am very bad at reading maps – especially tiny ones – so car navigation systems are really the only things that can get us to where we want to go. Sure – many people say they are bad at reading maps but trust me I would be a medallist in the ‘world’s worst map readers’ Olympics.

So to prepare for this eventuality I decided that I should buy a portable car navigation system. I used to have a Tom Tom but lost this on a trip – but it was pretty well shagged out anyway.

We don’t need a portable one in Austria because we have one built into our car and it has taken us all over Europe.

First I looked to see who has maps of Cyprus. Tom Tom does not - and Garmin does not specifically say it has - but Googling told me that there is a map of Cyprus in the Garmin Greek map.

So I duly bought a baby Garmin which included the maps for all of Europe – and ostensibly one for Cyprus. I can’t find this despite an extensive search. I have emailed Garmin and do not expect a reply.

So back to Google – and I discover that there is a map of Cyprus available from Garmin in Cyprus – so I email them for details.

Turns out it costs €110 and is only available on an SD card. This is just a little bit less than the cost of my new Garmin  - which includes all the countries of Europe.

So I have ordered a map of Cyprus from Amazon. We will just have to do it the old fashioned way.

On the bright side we will get hopelessly lost and see many parts of Cyprus we had never planned to.

And I imagine that on more than one occasion I will say ‘I wish I had bought that Garmin map for Cyprus’.


  1. On one hand I envy you your travels, on the other I am so grateful to be home and never want to leave again. I am sure that will change over the summer.

  2. well mate, I knew a bloke who could get lost in a blink, and when he used a Tom tom he would argue with it and fiddle with it as he was driving. Possibly one of the worst experiences I have ever had traveling!

  3. We do the Navman and the map thing - sometimes both together when we don't trust the Navman because it feels like it is taking us the wrong way !!!!

    Al can read maps but prefers to drive around seeing if he can find the right place. I very rarely get us lost if we have a map - sometimes it takes us a long time to reach anywhere with the Navman because the maps aren't up to date !!!

    But it is a holiday and generally all good fun. We are sourcing NZ maps for our holiday there in August - mind you, the south island isn't that big, we probably couldn't get lost there if we tried !!!!

    Have a great holiday !

  4. I look forward to your photos. And desperate SOS signals.

  5. Pam and I had one in the car we hired in NZ. Stupid thing just confused us more; "take the third turn at the roundabout" in a robotic voice. Why didn't she just say 'turn right at the roundabout'. In the end we turned her off and tootled around blindly. Much more fun. Enjoy your trip and try not to argue over which way you should go.

  6. fmcgmccllc: There are times when we wonder why we left the safety of our apartment.

    Simon: I also argue with Tom Tom - but do listen.

    Me: I is sometimes hard to trust the navi thing when you think you are going the wrong way. Thanks for the good wishes.

    Smedette: You can count on it.

    Sandy: Oh dear I don't think we can do it without arguing!

  7. Hi, I have been to Cyprus too and the getting lost was great fun. The only bit I didn't enjoy was ending up on the working docks in Larnaca. How about printing off some google directions for any planned sightseeing trips before you go? Then you can use the map, the navman and the directions all at once. As for the arguing, well......... isnt that another one life's must do moments when a couple are trying to find somewhere in a car?

  8. cheri; good idea - I will print some Google maps. Thasnks