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Following the Blue Line

Maps.  I LOVE maps and always have.  I like to know where I am going and also what is along the way to any given destination.  Paul loves the TomTom,  and it certainly does have it’s place, though we have been led astray more than once using it!  I remember one particular time when we were in southern Denmark and it said “you have reached your final destination” and we found ourselves at the entrance to a farm machinery warehouse in the middle of nowhere.  Definitely not the destination we had in mind at the time!

Regardless of where we are going, I love having the map laid out before me so I can follow the route that the TomTom is leading us, and even come up with alternative routes.

On occasion Paul and I have found ourselves at odds between what TomTom is telling us and what I see on the map.  We always manage to work it out to both our satisfaction in the end, and that is good.  I guess I don’t like relying on electronic devices when I am perfectly capable of following a map.  I have NEVER gotten lost no matter what country I was driving in, and I don’t intend to change that now.  Just give me a good map and I am a happy camper.  So I have come to a conclusion in regards to making the best of both of these methods for navigation—it all comes down to balance, like everything else in life.  We rely on the TomTom for getting us to the out-of-the-way destinations, such as finding our way to the holistic vet in Heemskerk, Netherlands ??, and I like to use the map for finding alternative routes, as the TomTom usually takes us on the main roads.

Paul is more relaxed driving the motorways, and I prefer the more interesting side roads, and the back roads that lead to nowhere.  So once again, we look for the balance between the two, and I think we have come to a good understanding here.  Every good place we’ve come across recently for our wild camping has been on these in-the-middle-of-nowhere back roads and that makes both of us happy.

As we continue our travels, I know we will refine our methods for getting from point A to point B—that is half the fun!  And we will both look forward to writing more so that you all can enjoy our efforts and adventures along the way.

Oh, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with the “Blue Line,” it is what appears on the TomTom showing us which route we should be on.

Tomorrow, once Paul returns from his brief trip to the UK with Florence (Tasha is with me—another story for another time!), we will be heading south along the French coast.

I hope you will look forward to hearing about this next phase of our plans, as much as we look forward to writing about it all!

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Paul Smith October 27, 2016, 6:27 am

    I love maps too, but our TomTom sat nav is very useful indeed when trying to find specific addresses or, when we have to get somewhere quickly, to establish the fastest route. Of course, satellite navigation devices aren’t infallible. You need to have a pretty good idea where you’re going and not rely on them totally.

    I don’t particularly enjoy driving on motorways, but motorways make for less stressful driving when you’re in charge of a large motorhome. Motorways are easier to drive on than quaint country roads, but you don’t really experience much of the country you’re visiting. The route from Calais to Amsterdam is quite unpleasant with mile after unlovely mile of metal and concrete.

    We’ll be heading south towards Spain later today. We’ll avoid motorways as much as possible. The journey will take twice as long, but it will be much more enjoyable than the faster arterial routes. I’m very much looking forward to it!

  • Rob Lewis October 29, 2016, 6:41 pm

    Hi Guys
    Just a thought, is it possible to load your vehicle details ie length, width in the sat nav and have advise on unsuitable roads? Perhaps an upgrade to do this ? I’m sure I saw something on this being available, perhaps not Tom Tom?, especially of interest to HGV, caravans etc?
    Regards
    Rob

    • Paul Smith October 30, 2016, 9:29 am

      Hi Rob,

      Yes, we could do that, but we would miss out on a huge amount of very pleasant driving. We programme the TomTom as often as possible to choose routes avoiding motorways, and the fee to use them, especially in France. Our goal on our trip down to Spain is to use N and D roads rather than A roads. The journey will take us much longer but we will pass through an endless stream of picturesque rural villages rather than soulless motorway industry.

  • Alan B. Cranford October 30, 2016, 3:26 pm

    Paul:
    I noticed one particular renter of vacation broads boats has a “boat clearance” sticker on the instrument board… just so you know the EXACT clearance for a low bridge! I once found a motorhome firmly wedged into the turn-around portico of a classy resturant… stuck tight with the tow truck driver and everyone trying to get it out…an 18 year-old bus boy told them how… let most of the air out of the tires and back out… THAT worked! Major damage to the roof and airconditioners of the motor home. Just a suggestion… don’t want you camped half way under a low bridge for a week!

    • Paul Smith October 30, 2016, 6:41 pm

      Hi Alan,

      I am very much aware of height restrictions and the fact that we are higher than many vehicles on the minor roads we like to use. We’ve had one or two occasions so far when we have had to choose another route, but never as a result of actually getting wedged under something!

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