IN an age of GPS, SatNav and smart phones that can pin down your location to within a metre or so, the survival of Fremantle’s Chart and Map Shop, its walls bedecked with old-fashioned maps and globes, has always seemed somewhat miraculous.
But inside the Collie Street mainstay, you realise there’s a lot more to brother and sister team Chris and Dani Boichel’s operation than leafing through old maps.
There’s books on surfing, cruising, sailing, boat maintenance and gardening, and just about any outdoorsy hobby you can think about.
A pirate book club for kids runs every Saturday morning from 11am, filled with pirate stories, activities and music.
Travellers are also press-ganged into talking about their experiences; earlier this month three separate travellers showed how differently a trek along the Camino de Santiago in north west Spain can affect each pilgrim.
And once a month the pair turn the Collie Street mainstay into a gallery, hanging works from local artists and students, then launching them with a pop-up bar and live music.
But travel and maps is core business; flags from around the world hang from the ceiling, there’s rows and rows of Lonely Planet guides and a bicycle mid-aisle is a reminder that the journey itself is more important than how you get there.
As if to emphasise the shop’s travel cred, Ms Boichel was on holiday when the Chook arrived, while Mr Boichel once took a two-year sabbatical from the job to go on the holiday adventure of a lifetime.
by HOLLY COOMEY
Fremantle Chart and Map Shop
14 Collie Street, Fremantle