Ten days ago or so I was being rude about Camry drivers on Twitter. I’d seen one on Rivonia Road and speculated that Camry drivers are all men who wear socks in bed. There can’t be a more sexless, boring car on the road except a Nissan Sentra, and those are popular with cash in transit heist robbers in Kwazulu-Natal because the boot fits four cash boxes, so they have an intriguingly dark side.
Most of the people who responded to the tweet agreed with me, but one guy pointed out that his mother drove one, so I had to back down.
When it came to select a hired car for my trip to Australia, I wanted to do the truly Australian thing. Generally speaking, screaming green V8 Utes are not available for hire from Europcar, so I went for the next best thing, a Holden Cruze. If you don’t know, Holden is an Australian brand, though most of its vehicles are from General Motors, so we’d know them either as Opels or Chevrolets. Obviously, the universe had an opinion about this, because despite my request, the car Europcar supplied me with is… a Camry.
It’s not bad looking at all. And because it’s built in Australia, it’s almost as Australian as a Holden. Though I invested in an international driver’s licence, Chris is the designated driver and has judged it decent enough. It’s very bland but very comfortable and the fuel economy is good – twice as good as the old RAV4 he drove us around in Sydney. It had better be, given that on Friday we start our 12-14 hour drive along the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide.
Melbourne has excellent public transport so a car is more of a hindrance than a help here, but getting around between cities means a car is essential. The Great Ocean Road is one of the great drives of the world – I’m looking forward to it.