22/2/2012 Malaga – Did a major unscheduled exploration today on the way to Malaga when a tunnel in the city was closed. Didn’t have a clue where I was going when I ended up in the middle of the city by another route and had to switch off my helpful google directions when it kept wanting me to drive back to the tunnel. Ended up a fantastic detour as I just had to drive into the closest car park which probably was the best one I could have parked at. There was a music museum with it’s entrance actually in the underground car park level that we parked in! Going home was not as useful and our detour took us through an inner city neighborhood which looped us around to where we had started. I got lost several times trying to go home on this trip and then at the end of the trip I missed the turn off to our house and drove into the center of Rincon de la Victoria. Fortunately the off ramp drove directly into a street I had parked in a few days earlier so I knew where I was. We made the most of it and went out for the local’s Tapas for dinner.
24/2/2012 Rincon de la Victoria – Fantastic day today driving – I didn’t get lost once! In fact I drove to supermarket/shopping center in just 5 minutes a trip that took me an hour earlier in the week. I couldn’t beleive how close it was if you just trusted google directions and took the right exits at roundabouts!
25/2/2012 Benalmádena – Got lost big time leaving Benalmádena (about 20km southwest of Malaga). We ended up missing a turn off and driving up a narrow road on a hillside, nice view but not enjoyable when you have no idea where you are and google directions just wants to reroute you somewhere you don’t want to go. Seemed to be very popular among the cyclists which made it more difficult to not drive off the road. Eventually after this half hour detour I was back on the main expressway, the A7 which follows around the coast of southwest Spain.
The AP7 is a toll road and everyone recommended that we take the non-toll A7 with the caution that the speed limits go all over the place between 40 and 120 km/h and that you need to keep your wits about you as you bump into the occasional round-about and even traffic lights on the main motorway. It’s an interesting experience as the right most lane (remember I am driving on the right side of the road) has many on ramps for traffic coming from the cities the motorway goes through. The only thing is that these so called on ramps and often just stop sign junctions off normal streets. This means you have people pulling out at just moving speeds into an 80 km/hr lane. You really have to watch yourself. You might think you could just drive in the other lane to be safe but when using the inside lane you get a constant barge of cars driving way over the speed limit honking their horns to tell you to get out of their way. Still I think Spanish drivers are pretty courteous. One thing that has impressed me is that there are police everywhere particularity in the towns and patrolling places you might want to walk at night. Everyone seems to warn us of thieves but it feels pretty safe to me.
6/3/2012 I was keeping statistics off our unschedued explorations but I have decided to no longer do this. Statistics as of 29 Feb 2012: 14 driving journey; Got lost 7 times; Asked for help 7 times. I am not even sure if I would call it getting lost any longer as in most trips we find moments when we have no idea where we are, sure we have gps and a dot on a map but where exactly is that! That’s all part of the fun of travelling. Daniel and Amy have developed new skills in sitting without talking it the back of the car. They know if we are going to go just about anywhere it involves Dad pulling over to the side of the road to ask someone for directions, someone who usually doesn’t speak a word of English. No big deal I say …