Posted by: mdmusingsie | August 1, 2016

Adventures with GPS

I bought a Garmin GPS to go with my new car.  To get GPS in the car would have cost over €1200 and I could buy one for less than €200, so I let my wallet do the talking.

Some might wonder why I didn’t just use my smart(er than me) phone?  I did for a few trips.  The first time I couldn’t get the darn thing to talk.  After an internet search I discovered I had to disable the Bluetooth on the phone in order for Google Maps to speak.  By doing so I couldn’t link the phone to the car to enable hands-free calling.

The other drawback to Google Maps was that it didn’t seem to take me on the most efficient routes.  One route I know very well, it took me on some back roads which ended up being a longer route.  The other reason I gave up Google Maps was when trying to get to the grocery store coming from a different place, it took me to a totally different shopping center, costing me over €5 in tolls, which it hadn’t warned me about.

The Garmin isn’t perfect either (I have the model nuvi 2599 in case anyone is interested).  On my first excursion using this method, it took me on a familiar path but I wasn’t quite catching what the British woman was saying about the name of the road.  She would say something that sounded like ‘at the roundabout, take the 2nd exit towards enta.’  Enta isn’t the name of the road, nor any town nearby.  I was starting to think it was either some Irish name this British woman couldn’t pronounce or it was just confused entirely.  It was only when I reached the freeway (motorway) entrance that I realized she had been saying N2 which is the name of the freeway.  It certainly sounded more like enta than N-2.

Although I updated the maps on my Garmin as soon as I got it, I can’t put my home address in for the ‘go home’ part because it doesn’t recognize the town or address or new Eircode postal codes.  I can put my address in the search box and it will find it, but it won’t let me enter it as my home address.  It’s not like it’s brand new construction – the house is at least 10 years old and probably pushing 15.  Maybe if I play with it enough I’ll figure that bit out.  Today, it could not find Blanchardstown Shopping Centre – one of the biggest malls in the Dublin area.

As I’m fond of saying, ‘Technology is great…when it works!’  You’d think that with all the satellites and mapping, the GPS’s would be better by now.  Thankfully, this new GPS (and also Google Maps) doesn’t do the ‘recalculating’ thing when you take a wrong turn.  It does re-calculate, it just no longer admonishes you for not understanding something like enta = N2.

Driving in Ireland is an adventure on a good day, with the lack of signage.  I’m hoping that having these technology options will at least get me in the neighborhood of where I want to go and back out again without wasting too much time.


  1. Best of luck to you, Dawn, with this new toy!

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