How to get to a place you can't pronounce without sounding like Inspector Clouseau

Little desk, Bonnes, France


A lot of the day was occupied by looking at various and sundry options to get me from the kitchen table in Bonnes, to the kitchen table in my gite (holiday cottage) in Beaune, on the other side of France, by tomorrow evening.

The only problem with booking accommodation in another country over the internet, with no knowledge of the geography of country in question, I’ve discovered, is that the accommodation may occur in places travel between which was not ever anticipated by those who designed major motorways in that country, or minor motorways, or any other roads. Including goat tracks.
I am not totally comfortable driving here, on the wrong side of roads I’m not familiar with in a car with gears which keep turning up in unexpected places, in a language I can only just order food reliably in. I have the car for another week.

My hosts and I pored over maps, fired up the GPS, and consulted the delightful French neighbour who pursed her lips and shook her head slowly. She knows the region that I’m going to very well. It was looking pretty dire in her opinion.
Then we checked with the GPS. My GPS has the voice of an Australian bloke at the moment. His pronunciation of the roads here had us all in tears. I know his French isn’t great, but to be honest, I suspect he was bunging it on just a bit for the neighbour.

Then we had what looked like a major a breakthrough. I had asked it to map driving to Montlucon, a city half way to my final destination. No problem. The GPS told me to go out the gate, turn right, turn right again, turn right once more and voila! I’m there. Montlucon.
In actual fact, I’ve just left the house through the back door, driven all around the block, and arrived back at the front door.

The others could see why I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him. Which is pretty tempting.

My options:

Drive for hours and hours and hours and still not be there.

Drive all day to get half way, find accommodation for the night and drive all the next day to get the rest of the way. The silly thing is, I only have six days then have to head back west again.

Forfeit the price of the accommodation in Beaune, stay in this region and return the car to Poitiers at the end of next week as planned.

Drop the car tomorrow at an airport with hire cars and fly from wherever I can to as close to Beaune as I can get, and fill in the gaps with taxis, trains, buses, whatever.

Drop the car at a railway station with hire cars and do the trip by train.

Drop the car in an alleyway and go home.

I decided to drop the car at a not-too-hard-to-get-to railway station tomorrow morning, timing it so any fog can lift before I go, then whip up to Paris then down to Beaune and be there by 9 tomorrow evening. Having been able to watch the Beautiful countryside slip past. With somebody else navigating. And the GPS at the bottom of my suitcase. Sigh.