Navigating Portugal


Three words you don’t want to hear when driving 70mph in a foreign country, on a side you are not accustomed to while trying to shake the idiot behind tailgating the MPV. Roads in Portugal are tiny but I felt most uncomfortable when my side of the car rode over the line dividing road and pavement.

I was not driving though I worried for the poor fella who was. I could feel the anxiety of all passengers aboard rising and amusingly considerate tutting every time those words rang out from the GPS. Positive criticism from the teachers onboard.

It wasn’t misbehaving when we were in London a few days before. All hell broke loose in Portugal.

I remember this piece of advice from my Dad in my wee years of driving: “When lost, just follow the signs to the city centre. And then ask someone for the way when you arrive.”

But the problem was the GPS. It kept coming and going like an indecisive boss.

“Bear left and take left turn onto highway. Drive 32km.”

Yes, it found a signal!

Decides to get lost 29km in by giving bizarre instructions to make impossible turns on a straight road.

Regained its sanity 800m before we were supposed to do something.

“Turn around where possible.”

NOooo!! You need to tell me what to do after I pass 32km! I am not going back to the city again!

“GPS signal lost.”


Portugal is known to have given birth to great navigators who sailed the world and did wonderful things. And here we were, sailing everywhere but.

Magellan was not the right name for that GPS navigator.


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