Last friday night Roy, Junior and myself headed for Kelso in Scotland. Junior and I left Tramore at 19:00 Friday night, headed to Dublin, collected Roy and the Van, headed to Belfast, got the ferry, drove to Kelso, had brekkie, loaded the van and headed back. We got back to Tramore 22:00 Saturday night. I brought my Garmin GPS V along with the maps for Ireland and the parts of the UK we would be travelling through.

We didn’t really need to use it in Ireland, though none of us were exactly sure where the Stenna Ferry Terminal is in Belfast, so while still on the A1 I did a quick search and the GPS (by now christened Greg) guided us through the last few streets with ease (as well as giving us the address and phone number).

We were impressed. Once on the ferry some zzz’s were caught for about an 90 mins, then we were off again. We took the Low road (A75) and then as Greg ‘found’ himself again, we asked him for directions to Kelso, what we got was “Route Calculation Error” WTF? On careful inspection it turned out that I forgot to upload one of the maps we required. So, I tried putting in a ‘via’ point of Gretna, asked it to recalculate, and it worked. It warned us of every approaching turn and guided us three weary travellers through them all. Now we were really impressed.

On the way back, Junior and I were discussing the possibility of getting all the Speed Cameras, Blackspots and Speeds Traps into the GPS to warn one of impending danger. I read the manual after I got home, and it is possible to add Proximity Alarms. This is how the Road Angel works. If we got enough people interested, we could surely get the entire country mapped in a short period of time.

I managed to mark one camera, though I’m not so sure how accurate it is, if you do use these co-ordinates, I’d suggest setting a 2km radius on the waypoint. The position is N 53d24.548, W 006d15.786. It is at the top of the M50 shortly after coming off the M1.

In case you still are not sure, I really think this unit is very, very, very good. I got mine from Gary O’Hanlon of South East Communications. Give him a shout if you are interested, tell him I sent you.

May the best of 2003 be the worst of 2004!