Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Hola de Espana

Because the BrailleNote English synthesizer clobbers the Spanish street names, I have relied less on automatic route following and more on the old fashioned getting warmer method here in Madrid. This has worked pretty well as there seem to be a labyrinth of streets that eventually connect with another street going in the direction you desire.

I am very impressed how well the Holux is picking up satellites among these tall buildings, very close together, with a very poor view of the sky. The down side of this is that there is a lot of multiple path as the weak signals bounce around among the buildings. This means I am getting a position fix but my heading is not at all reliable.

No worries, I just focus on a decreasing destination distance. So, even if I hear that my destination is at 9 o'clock one second and 5 o'clock the next, I am paying attention to the distance to my destination getting less. This is what matters. Eventually the heading straightens out but I don't count on it. If the destination distance is decreasing, all is well.

In this fashion, I have found my way to numerous restaurants, museums and back to my hotel without ever asking for help. My Spanish is mediocre and still if I do ask for help, it is like sighted people anywhere, they don't give very good directions. So, I might as well not ask.

I did get a little worried tonight when my battery announced it was at a critical low level and I was among the maize of small streets in central Madrid. I realized that the power to the plug in my hotel room last night must have been turned off. Having used the BrailleNote PK for a good 10 plus hours yesterday and again today, I was close to losing power. I kept switching it off until I really needed it and managed to make it back without having to resort to a cab or questionable sighted help.

Remember, when traveling in an urban canyon or when first learning the GPS program, the one thing you want to pay attention to is the decreasing destination distance.


the view from Mike's hotel, Barcelona Universal, in Barcelona Spain

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


August 1997   January 1998   August 1999   December 1999   January 2000   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   March 2005   May 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   November 2005   May 2006   June 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   October 2008   January 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   March 2010   April 2010   July 2010   October 2010   December 2010   February 2011   May 2011   July 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   July 2012   August 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   March 2013   June 2013   July 2013   August 2013   September 2013   October 2013   November 2013   December 2013   January 2014   March 2014   April 2014   August 2014   September 2014   October 2014   November 2014   December 2014   February 2015   July 2015   August 2015   September 2015   November 2015   December 2015   January 2016   January 2017   September 2018   November 2018  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?