Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.
I have been using the Uber taxi service
in several cities
recently including here in Paris
. It is cheaper and more convenient than your
Once you set up an account, it is easy to book a ride and
the charges automatically take place once you get where you are going. You
don't have to worry about being ripped off or having your credit card number
stolen. You also don't have to worry about the driver not picking you up
because you have a dog.
One of the things you have to get used to is choosing
your pick up location.
It is typically chosen based on where the app thinks you
are. It is nice to double check this on your iPhone or other GPS app
. If you
have to put in a specific address, you can find that out on your GPS and then
enter it in the Uber app. It is nice to create a route to your destination to
make sure the driver is going the shortest route. Every Uber I have used has a
When they don't speak English, it is handy to show them
the address written on the screen on your iPhone.
Out of the 10 times I have used Uber, I have rated them 5
stars 9 times.
I'll be taking them to the airport on Tuesday and the
fare quote is 45 Euro compared with the 85 Euro in a taxi it took when we
arrived. I'd say that 95% of the items in the Uber screens talk properly.
Just walked about 4 miles back to our apartment in Paris
alone using the PK GPS
and a test version of the Seeing Eye GPS
. Interesting to
see the strengths of each.
I used a combination of a pedestrian route and getting
warmer to my destination. Because in both cases we have an English synthesizer
pronouncing French street names, it was hard to confirm that I was in fact on
the street I was supposed to be on. As long as my destination was roughly at 12
o'clock, I knew I would get there one way or another.
I was pleasantly surprised when the iPhone told me to
take the stairs to a bridge over the Seine
. That was not in the PK instructions
although it did tell me to cross the bridge.
Once I got within 200 metres of my destination, I got
tangled in some small streets. The GPS kept flicking in and out and I was being
told to turn around a lot. I just relied on the Getting Warmer mode on the PK
and eventually found my way to my destination.
It was really helpful to have a Braille display to deal
with understanding the French street names.
Bottom line, it was pretty darn cool to get myself in one
piece 4 miles through busy Paris 100% on my own to my destination. I think I
now deserve a glass of wine.
I regret to say I have not been on a long tandem rid
quite some time. 12 of us on 6 tandems plus two singles bike made the ride from
, just 30 miles round trip on very flat roads. I had a first
time captain so that kept things interesting.
I took both my PK
and the Seeing Eye GPS
. I tried various
ways to secure the PK but in the end, I took it out of its case in put it in
the close fitting sling called a Kanga Pack
. It is a neoprene
material about 4 or 5 inches wide. I put the PK on Lookaround, locked the keyboard and
off we went with two GPS
units talking to me.
The two major benefits to the PK were that I had
recorded user points along this route, which were helpful and not on the Seeing
Eye. Also, when we were considering an alternative route home, I could explore
the possibilities on the PK.
The best thing is that the GPS information is distracting
and makes the ride go faster.