Yesterday as Grant and I returned from a nearby town, we had to travel along the National N3 between Johannesburg and Durban. I took out my camera and snapped the Shell Ultra City as we drove in for Grant to visit the little boys' room.
There is nowhere in Africa where you fill your own vehicle with petrol or diesel. You ride onto the driveway and park next to a bowser. A bowser attendant normally flags you in, keen to have you use his pump. You roll your window down and then ask him to fill up with 93 or 95 unleaded petrol. Or if your vehicle was diesel, you ask for 50ppm (sulphur parts per million) My live-in mechanical technician tells me this extends the life of your engine.
While the fuel is running into your tank, the same attendant will clean your windscreen. And he does it beautifully! There are often lady pump attendants as well and they are every bit as helpful and efficient as their male counterparts.
When your tank is full (or you have the required amount in it) the attendant tells you how much you owe him. If you're paying by credit card, he brings the card machine.
You're expected to give this friendly, helpful man/woman a R5 - R7 tip - a minuscule amount in comparison to the US$ or Euro - but that's how it's done.
The fuel attendant waves to us to use his pump
Every large franchise such as this Shell Ultra City, has a quick shop, open 24 hours, which stocks several grocery items, iced drinks, take-away coffee and snacks. All much more expensive than your regular grocery store. (Above and below is the Shell Select Store at this fuel stop)
The restrooms are beautifully clean, there are ATM's machines for most banks and there is also a sit-down diner where you order a meal to break your journey.
I hope you're all enjoying the last few days of 2016. I've not yet stopped to reflect on this past year. If I was a negative person, I'd call it the Annus Horribilis of my life.
It was a little challenging; it was life-changing. But then again, Grant's health has improved 100% and we are living in one of the most beautiful places on God's earth.