Like you, I’ve been on a road trip these summer holidays and experienced the wonders of road travel, overtaking, vomiting, and appalling food breaks.
Each year, I vow to pack a chilly bin full of cut fruits, healthy sandwiches, and heroin to make the travel a little easier. I’m thinking of packing a portaloo and perhaps even a second car for the next one, juuuuuuuust to make the travel likeable.
But every single time, I do this:
1. Load the car without using any suitcases or proper bags ‘to save space’
2. Forget to fuel up
3. Have to get off the Southern Motorway at the bottom of the Bombay hill, at the Drury Service Centre to get fuel, food, drinks, money, sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, pull ups, Lotto, the paper.
This is magical. In reality a truck stop, the BP takes the lion’s share of ground space, and around it as if hit by a centrifugal force, are a wild array of shops catering to both the Nu Zullund traveller and the tourist dollar.
– McDonald’s, check
– McCafe, check. The McCafe is not even cordoned off from the peasant area either, so it’s all a bit of a fraudulent look, sitting there cross-legged sipping a shithouse coffee with foam on it, watching We Belong Together by Mariah Carey on the tiny flat screen.
– Sheepskin and (wait for it) gravestone shop, check. “Hi, my name is Sven, I am loving your country but I just can’t find enough sheep’s pelts and headstones to caress while on holiday. Until now that is. Thank you, Drury BP service centre! #pelts #BP #NZ #StateHighway1
I’m so tempted to drop in as a mystery shopper, but who wants to insult the sensibilities of someone who is just plainly trying to make a dollar in this day and age? Although I would suggest that a combination of sandwiches and Coke might sell a little easier at a truck stop, but what would I know?
– Autobahn-themed cafeteria, check. Called Autobahn. All day breakfasts are $20 for a coronary thrombosis and a side order of infarction. You pay them for this.
– And finally, a service station, check. More of an arterial hub, if a nuclear bomb was dropped over South Auckland, this place would be like the scene in all the disaster movies. There would be a young mother in the bathroom, frantically trying to phone someone while changing her children on the convenient changing station. A young con man, taking advantage of the malfunctioning ATM. The sensible Anne Heche type character, serving up double flat whites to the sick and infirm, while spouting hurried platitudes. “Hah! You should see this place after a nuclear attack!”
It’s my one stop shop — I cannot live without this stop on my journeys south. The few times I have driven right by, because I got my petrol sensibly before leaving, the trip hasn’t felt the same.
What’s your holiday love/hate stop?