Saturday 4 July 2015

When the GPS fails, the police take over. Michael Noyce

Thank heavens for GPS and the Tbilisi police. Without both I think we would still be going around in circles trying to find our Tbilisi hotel. Our GPS app usually works well and it served us both very well and very badly when driving to our hotel.

We were following the GPS app but periodically our real time position would not change. We were in heavy traffic in down town Tbilisi but still a fair way to go to our hotel with heaps of twists and turns ahead. And suddenly the app went blank and we are driving blind. What to do?

We stopped at traffic lights and Ian behind radioed that there is a police car approaching. It stopped next to us and I got out and approached the cops with the GPS. They also alighted and there we were in the middle of 6 lanes of traffic (3 each way) discussing where we were and where we were going. Nice guys and they spoke good English. I asked if they could go ahead and escort us to the hotel. Pretty cheeky, but nothing ventured nothing gained. And they did lead us for most of the way.

Try and imagine a police car with lights flashing followed by the very dirty roof-racked Toyota, then the brown Whippet and finally the blue Dodge, all snaking our way through lunchtime Tbilisi traffic. The poor cops had to go as slow as our slowest car, being the Whippet, at about 35kph. It was quite incredible and we could hear the cops on their loudspeaker, directing cars, we think, to stop as the convoy 'raced' through intersections and roundabouts.

Then it was time for the police to leave but they pointed us in the right direction. With the help of the now functioning GPS app we made it to the hotel.

Thank you to two very helpful Tbilisi policemen and their police car with a very effective loudspeaker. We felt like the President of Georgia, or perhaps just plain old Aussie royalty.

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