Here’s an admission from a travel writer: I have an appalling sense of direction.
I can’t read maps, even when I turn them around to face the way I’m going, and when I ask for directions I can never remember anything after “Head that way…”
Which is why on the weekend I found myself up a creek without a paddle. Or more accurately in a creek, in my car, no paddle, no people within cooee and a sinking feeling that this wasn’t where I wanted to be.
One word of explanation. GPS.
Until the moment the car’s bonnet started to disappear under water, I’d viewed my GPS as a lifesaver. I’d grown to love the way “she” told me where to go – in the nicest possible way of course – and got me from A to B without visiting Z, which was my usual MO.
The weekend rendezvous seemed simple enough. A lunch with old friends near Daylesford, an area I’ve been to so often it feels like the back of my hand.
To be fair, it all went swimmingly at first. I was within four kilometres of our lunch spot, or so I was told, the road was looking vaguely familiar even though I couldn’t spot a road sign, and then “she” of the dulcet tones insisted that I do a U-turn and turn left at the first road to the right.
Righto, I’ll do as she says, after all, who am I to argue with an expert? Last week lost my way in the suburb I’ve lived in for 20 years.
Initially I was pleased with the turn that took me away from the main road into some the prettiest country in Victoria. Towering gums, hardly a house to be seen, lots of birds, sure the road was a little wet but the Subaru is built for such conditions.
A couple of kilometres on, the bush was denser, the houses were non-existent, and the puddles had spread across the entire road, which was soft where it wasn’t rutted, but still she was insistent: “Continue straight ahead. Destination in one kilometre.”
Ever the optimist, I decided the way ahead was surely better than the road I’d just travelled.
So I did what I was told.
Wrong, horribly wrong, which is how I ended up in deep water. You don’t need to know all the details — I swear it didn’t look like a creek, more a broad puddle — it’s all too humiliating.
Suffice to say my nerve didn’t hold as the bonnet started to sink. I opened the door, the water rushed in; I made a grab for my phone, my bag, and for some inexplicable reason, the GPS, and waded to higher ground.
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