"THE Sat Nav said ‘in 500 yards turn left’.”

My daughter Jenna was in a stressed state at getting lost using her new car’s Sat Nav.

“But I had no idea how far 500 yards was and took a wrong turn!”

And Jenna’s rage at technology took me back to an Easter weekend when my friends and I booked an overnight stay in Aberfoyle.

“After we arrive in Aberfoyle and get our provisions, we’ll head to Loch Katrine,” I told them, explaining our plans.

“Oh... Lovely.” Mae had never been to Loch Katrine.

“I’ve hired bikes for us to cycle 14 miles from Trossachs Pier at the start of the loch to Stronachlachar at the opposite side.

“Cycle?” Their faces were a picture as I continued.

“At Stronachlachar we’ll board the paddle steamer – Sir Walter Scott – and sail back to our starting point where we’ll return the bikes and head to the cafe for a bite to eat.”

My pals seemed to be looking forward to our minibreak and I was chuffed that I had timed and organised everything to perfection.

As scheduled, we arrived in Aberfoyle, and after buying snacks, we were soon back in Wilma’s car ready to head to Loch Katrine to pick up our bikes.

As Mae wasn’t a good traveller, she sat in the front seat of the car while I climbed into the back, happy that Wilma was driving.

Seatbelts on, I punched “Loch Katrine” into my mobile phone’s Sat Nav, while Wilma did the same on her car’s Sat Nav system.

Just as we turned on to Aberfoyle Main Street, my phone instructed: “At the next exit turn right on to the A821.”

But at the same time... “Stay on the B829 for 14 miles,” Wilma’s Sat Nav said.

“Emmm... that can’t be right,” Wilma stated the obvious.

“Well, mine definitely said turn right.” I pointed to my phone.

“And... mine definitely said to stay on this road,” Wilma argued.

“You’re the driver Wilma, so let’s go with your Sat Nav,” I smiled as I turned off my mobile.

Sun beams were streaming on to my face as I mellowed to the music but, before long, I was being thrown from side to side as Wilma navigated the never-ending bumps and bends on the country road.

Ten minutes later.

“Are we nearly there?” Mae was starting to feel queasy, but Wilma ignored her as she was listening intently for another instruction from her Sat Nav.

Not a peep.

“Your Sat Nav’s awfy quiet Wilma,” I dared to suggest, because we seemed to be driving for miles up and down, from side to side on these bendy roads with no sight of the Loch.

“Em... we seem to have lost the Sat Nav signal,” said Wilma.

“But we’re definitely on the right road.”

Another few miles further and Mae was now unusually quiet, and so was I, because it felt like we were in a gaming simulator being rocked from side to side as Wilma dodged oncoming cars at the bends and tried to miss potholes.

However, 14 miles and half an hour after leaving Aberfoyle...

“We’re here, we’re here,” a jubilant Wilma screeched as she pointed to the loch ahead.

Mae lifted her head out of her hands and I tore my white knuckled hands off the headrest.

“Thank god for that,” I sighed.

But as I slinked out of the car and walked towards the loch, my heart sank.

“We made it!” Wilma and Mae did a high five ... until I abruptly put an end to their euphoria.

“Yes, we are at Loch Katrine, girls,” I sarcastically pointed out.

“But... we’re at the wrong bloody end of the loch!”

“Eh?” My pals looked bewildered.

“The bike hire is at the other side of the loch.”


“This is where we should have cycled to, and then returned on that boat.”

I pointed to the paddle steamer puffing away from the port.

“Get back in the car and put your foot down Wilma,” I instructed.

“We might still have time for our cycle.”

Half an hour later, nauseas, frazzled, and way past my schedule, we raced towards the bike hire shop.

“Sorry, we went to the wrong end of the loch,” I apologised.

“Don’t worry, I’ve had coach parties ending up there because they don’t put specific details in their Sat Nav.”

Hovering in the shop, I dared to ask.

“So, have we still got time to cycle round the loch?”

Looking us up and down he replied: “Well, to be honest, I’m not sure how fit you are ladies, but you’d need to cycle like Chris Hoy to catch the last sailing.”

“I didn’t really fancy cycling in this heat anyway,” Mae admitted, while we relaxed on the terrace of our posh hotel.

“Me neither,” agreed Wilma.

“This is perfect.”

So perhaps now and then a wrong turn in life can work out for the best!