On Sunday last Younger Daughter decided it was time to revisit an animal farm that serves the best scones in the universe. She had forgotten exactly where it was, so plugged in a Google ap. to provide instructions.
At the first roundabout, it told us to take the first exit. We knew it should be the second, so ignored the instruction amid frantic bleats from canned voice. Shortly thereafter we found ourselves in gridlocked traffic — a child’s body had been found and a murder investigation and search for another missing child (alas, also dead as it turned out) were underway. Sad and horrifying, indeed.
Deeply impressed by the knowledge apparently displayed by Google, we managed a U-turn by going on safari across a traffic island, and now meekly followed the instructions of the canned voice, being taken safely past the obstructed system of roads. However, it then made no attempt to direct us towards any known routes, but it had built up our faith by being right before so we continued to go according to the instructions from the box.
The route alternated between countryside and distinctly iffy shack-dweller territory, and we waited to intersect with known routes in increasing trepidation. The double highway became a wide single road, then a narrower one. Then the paved surface gave way to dirt, but we are used to roads like that. This one got increasingly narrower and more potholed, though, and started going through topography with wild wiggles and wrinkles. Google remained adamant we were going the right way.
Adding to our woes, as soon as the road became too narrow for any hope of overtaking, we came up behind a taxi, the driver of which did not believe in exceeding about 20 Kph. He, his passengers, local cows, goats, and humans were looking at us very strangely and without any displays of friendliness. To our relief, the snail trail taxi eventually pulled off to a house by the wayside. Encouragingly, Google said we were drawing closer to our objective, unlikely though it seemed …
We got to an area where the ‘road’ widened into a small open space on the far side of which a track barely deserving the name meandered on forlornly, and our guide voice announced with great smugness, ‘You have reached your destination.’
More-tified, and having had more than enough, we back-tracked hastily until we reached a local who showed more signs of surprise than hostility, and from him received more directions more directed at the direction we had had in mind.
Ultimately, we arrived at the farm just in time to claim the last remaining two of the famous scones. Between five of us.
Really Awful Owler Talepiece