GPS devices and apps on smart phones and tablets for navigation are great devices.
I have an android phone with the Google Maps application complete with voice guided directions. Just perfect for use when I am on a sales trip outside Johannesburg. I decided to make use of it recently when I went to Durban to visit SAPREF.
For those who don't know where SAPREF is it is next to the old Durban International airport and is visible on the left as you drive down the N2 towards the South Coast. Before leaving I put in the address and Google Maps found it.
On arriving in Durban I started the application and select my saved SAPREF destination. When I go out of town I do tend to make tight use of my time and I had an hour after landing to travel the 40 or so km to SAPREF for my first meeting. Should not be a problem at 7:30 am in the morning.
The voice prompts worked fine not that getting on to the N2 is difficult from the airport but I do object to having to pay the few rands toll fees on leaving the airport. I whizzed along enjoying the thick KZN sea air making good time. I was proompted by the gentle female voice to exit where the old airport exit would be and this fitted in with my in built geographic knowledge. A few km after exiting it told me to turn left in 100m. I slowed and saw the road to the left but looking at the state of it thought that it had to be wrong so I carried on. It advisesd me to make a U turn as I started on to the M4 and returning to Durban. I took the next exit andd tried again. Same result.
The third time and time being sonsumed going in circles, I took the rotten looking road and it started to take me into what in my head was the right direction. The road got narrower the undergrowth higher and I stopped when I saw an individual hitch hiking.
A couple of questions soon informed me that the North Gate to SAPREF is closed to traffic and you have to use the South Entrance.
I did a U turn and went back and then phoned SAPREF to clarify the exit off the N2 to use. It was the one after the one Google told me to take.
I got there just in time for my meeting. I relayed my experiences to my host and he smilingly informed me that the North Entrance has been closed for over 10 years.
Moral of the story. Be careful what Google Maps or any GPS is telling you. Check with people at your destination (I didn't) and then you should not get lost.