Sunday, June 30, 2013

through a glass darkly

I needed to make a decision.  My usual method of choosing the first right turn was not going to work.  I was in Tequesquitlán and wanted to get to Cihuatlán.

The GPS was of no help. Neither the one built into the Escape's dashboard or my far more sophisticated Garmin. 

Neither of them are any good once I leave a major highway.  They both informed me I was lost in the middle of a giant green expanse.  Even though I was clearly enjoying the sights of a tidy little village.

And because there was no cellular telephone signal in town, I could not call in the cavalry of Google Maps.

So, I did what I have done for the last four years in Mexico.  I reached for my trusty Guia Roji atlas.  One of the best purchases I made before I headed down here in 2009.

The Guia Roji is a book form of highway maps for the full county.  Even though it lacks some detail, it has taken me wherever I wanted to go.  For people who live and die by the map, it is top notch.

But it was not in the map compartment.  Nor under my seat -- or any seat.  It was gone.

I remember bringing it back from my trip to Oregon.  And I vaguely remembering taking it to dinner to discuss a road trio with friends.  I suspect I left; and it didn't.

It may be just as well.  Mexico has been steadily improving its road system.  What was accurate in 2009 is now merely an interesting historical document.  But it is hardly the tool for a cutting edge traveler.

I stopped  by a paper shop in Melaque on Saturday where the clerk showed me a 2013 edition.  But the format was smaller.  The dimensions of a magazine, rather than of an atlas.

And it was much thinner.  That made me wonder just how small the print is.

But I will not know unless I buy a copy.  Mexican books are tightly bound in shrink wrap.  If you want to see inside the wrap, you buy the book.

So, my Mexican chums.  Do you have any idea whether the atlas format is still available?  Or how large the font is on the magazine-sized version?  The Guia Roji web site was not very helpful.

I will check at the stores in Manzanillo when I am there this Tuesday. There might be a larger selection in the Little Apple.

To appease my jonesing for a map in the car, I bought a fold-out map.  That is it above.

But, if I am going to use it in the car, a magnifying glass will need to accompany the map in the jockey box.  And a bright flashlight.

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