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Last Day

Well my last day has arrived. I arranged for a late check-out so that I can take full advantage of my room. I go into the city centre to buy a whole range of pharmaceutical medicines that cost only 5% of what they normally cost me in Italy. I am ecstatic. For 15 euro I have walked out of the pharmacy with a shopping bag of cold and flu and cough tablets, eye drops, pain killers and sleeping tablets.

I then have to buy myself another bag to fit all of this extra stuff I have bought. I have no idea how I am going to manage to take home with me all this stuff. Plus, I buy a few snacks to get me through the long flight home.

I arrive back at my room to analyse the situation. The packing is going to have to be strategically done to reach optimum effect. My main problem is the three shishas or water pipes that I bought. They will have to be hand luggage because of their fragile ceramic and glass bottoms. I then have my new bag that I bought only hours earlier break, so I am forced to find emergency storage for some of the bits and pieces that were supposed to be stored in that bag. After a few more dramas I am finally ready to leave for the airport.

My transfer picks me up and after one last look around I embark on my final trip through Cairo and Egypt. I arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare but once again it is a sea of mass confusion and assembled tourists and locals departing (along with their obligatory entourage of 50 family and friends). I am eternally thankful to the Swiss Air check-in lady who allows my hand luggage plus my extra two bags of water pipes.

I board the plane which is of course 30 minutes late in departing. This is due to the very vigilant efforts by security staff to check all bags twice and to have them x-rayed twice. This is actually reassuring seeing that I had left Sharm-el-Sheik airport only 24 hours before the plane crash that had killed nearly 150 people.

I settle in for the journey home via Zurich and land in Milan around 11pm. What an amazing discovery of not only a new country and culture for me but also to learn about myself and just how much I can put up with. During the time I was constantly cursing myself about my reasons for being there and doing the independent traveller route but in the end it was a brilliant journey and I have some fantastic stories and images that I will never forget.


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