“REVERSING AROUND DEVON”
As I have just spent 9 hours in a car, driving from Yorkshire to Devon, a trip that should only have taken 6 hours, I thought I might give some tips on driving overseas.
Driving in Devon UK, don’t do it, is my advice but if you must, be prepared, one minute you are on the M5 motorway with at least 3 lanes of traffic going either way , zooming along on roads wide enough to overtake a house being transported, to a road that is actually really a path and probably two obese people would have trouble passing each other let alone two cars. If a tractor comes along be prepared to reverse back almost to M5 ( well felt like it) until there is enough room for it to pass.
For every one kilometre you drive forward you reverse back 500 metres to a slightly wider part of the “path” to let another car pass. Wing mirrors are a serious hazard!
My sat nav was totally confused, one minute Im 12 minutes from destination next Im 30 minutes, consequently my 6 hour trip took 9 hours and I have no petrol left.
A motorbike or horse would be the best mode of transport, if its not raining.
Talking of Motor bikes, check your travel insurance. I have a restricted Australian Motor bike license but am not covered by insurance to ride a scooter, the license must be unrestricted.
If riding a scooter in Bali ,there are basically no road rules and locals or drunk Aussies will overtake you on both sides, which can be very off-putting especially when everyone is beeping their horns constantly. My tip is to crawl along hugging the kerb, so you only have to contend with scooters on your righthand side , I also found praying helps.
I book cars thru the Qantas website, its much cheaper than going thru the car company. I booked an Avis car, for £30 less than Avis website, it was a much easier booking site to navigate AND you get frequent flyer points, bonus.
Don’t pay extra for a sat nav, just hire a car that has one, its much cheaper. If you have to hire a separate sat nav make sure it works!
I collected a car in Malaga, Spain with a sat nav. I tried to program my destination before I left the depot but as the carpark was underground it wouldn’t work…seems it didn’t work when I was above ground either.
Immediately out of airport carpark I was driving on an unfamiliar four lane freeway in an unfamiliar car driving on the opposite side of the road, with a sat nav that wasn’t working , that was a “ thrill” Id rather not experience again.
Hire a car you are familiar with or at least the same make. London CBD is no place to be experimenting with a new car because you thought you’d like the experience of driving something different, you wont, believe me Ive tried it.
If you do get a car you are not familiar with make sure you spend sometime finding lights, horn, indicators and windscreen wipers before launching yourself on to the M25 or similar, for your sake and other road users, indicating using your windscreen wipers doesn’t endear you to fellow road users, again I know this from experience.
In Malaga I took the nearest exit into a shopping carpark and drove around just familiarizing myself with the car (and breathing deeply trying to recover from my “thrilling” airport exit)
Oh and if driving in Devon check you know where reverse is, you will need it ( refer tip 1)
Still in the carpark in Malaga, I asked a guy who had just finished his shopping if he could help me work the sat nav. He couldn’t get it working , and as he was a pilot I figured it really was broken. I had to return car to the airport to get replacement sat nav, he kindly drove in front of me so I didn’t get lost and stayed on the right side of road.
The tip here is don’t be afraid to ask strangers for help, you may get to meet a very nice Belgian pilot
I hope these driving tips are of some use, personally Ive parked my hire car for the day and plan to walk around Devon instead.
Ive since discovered walking is more hazardous than the car, Im trying a boat next.