I am giving serious consideration to firing Greta our Garmin after today. The details on why will be below.
After 9 days in Missolonghi with our dear friends Cori and Ovi it was time to move on as we are near the end of our time for this trip. In the 12 years we have been traveling in a RV we have never spent 9 days in one place. But our time in Misolonghi went by quickly. Good company does that. Last night we were sharing our plans for the spring and since we both are including Turkey in those plans we are hoping we can arrange to cross paths again.
Our trip today was a relatively short 140 kilometers. Some was on a toll way and some on a good national road. It should have been a piece of cake. As a little background we have a US based Garmin with a European sim card produced by Garmin inserted in it. We bought the card about 10 months ago from Garmin so it should be up to date. Since we have entered the Balkans the quality of the maps has been so/so to poor. The speed limits on the Garmin differ so frequently and substantially from the posted speed limits that at this point I ignore what is on the Garmin. I suspect that they have not been checked at all and are instead going off some kind of formula based on the type of road and the location. Whatever they are using it is extremely inaccurate often varying from the actual speed limit by 30kph. A few times it has tried to send us down roads that appear to have been abandoned for years. In the past when traveling in France and Spain we have had minor issues with the Garmin, but since entering Croatia thru to Greece we have enough issues where I sometimes doubt the accuracy of the route I am being told to take.
Today was infuriating as we were on a major toll way heading towards Patras. To get to Patras you have to cross a large bridge that connects the Peloponesus region with the mainland of Greece. I knew we would have to exit before crossing the bridge as Dephi is on the mainland. With the bridge in sight Greta told us to exit in 1 km, the road signs indicated an exit in .5km which was visible on Greta as well, but did not indicate Greta’s exit. Something didn’t feel right but I decided to follow Greta. When we got to her exit it was blocked and appeared to have been closed for a substantial period of time.
The problem was there was no other exit before the Patras Bridge, and while it is a beautiful bridge and an impressive feat of engineering it costs €21 each way to use. Because of the inaccurate information on Greta Garmin we had to do a €42 turn around on the bridge. This is a major route and there is no excuse for the Garmin to not reflect the current routing of the roads on the toll way. €42 will buy a very nice dinner for two here in Greece and we had to throw it away because of Garmin.
The rest of the trip down the coast to our campground near Delphi was beautiful and uneventful (though the speed limits on the Garmin were completely inaccurate) and I would have really enjoyed the drive if I was not stewing the whole time over our expensive U turn. As we were approaching the campground Greta told us to turn down a road that was fenced and overgrown with bushes to enter the campground. The road had clearly been abandoned for years.
By the way the campground is stunning, one of the most beautiful we have stayed in.