Wednesday, 27 April
Today is my last day in Egypt. I did not wake in time for sunrise but was awake for breakfast at seven. I enjoyed my final breakfast buffet with Nicole. She leaves tomorrow morning returning to Germany. After breakfast we had coffee and tea at the regular spot on the beach. It is another warm one today but at least there is a nice breeze. I closed out my account at dive center then it was time for our final game of pool challenge. The pool table is only shaded in the morning setting up the timing for that. I won the first game so there was an automatic second game which Nicole won.
After finishing the second game the manager came by to tell me that my covid test results were in the office. Since I was negative they will let my back into the US! I also closed my account at the resort. Everything is priced in euros and I was given a choice of converting to dollars and then Egyptian pounds or euros directly to Egyptian pounds. One conversion seemed better to me since I was using a credit card. Maybe converting to dollars is better with cash.
Back for the rubber match game of pool which I handily won (Nicole may not agree with that last statement). She planed her revenge in chess. It was up to my room to pack. All this stuff fit in my bag to get here, it seems a little tighter repacking to go home. I sat on the beach one last time reading the newspaper. A quick dip up to my knees, since I do not want to pack a wet swimsuit, then farewell to the Red Sea.
I met Nicole for a late lunch and to collect my winnings from pool, a coffee. Sat at the beach for a bit then went back for a shower and finished packing. Stopped at Nicole’s room where she tested my brain by adding up her daily expenses without calculator or paper. She started packing for her departure tomorrow morning. We headed to the office where my taxi was waiting. A quick farewell and then a speedy ride to the airport.
Since I am flying to Cairo, it is the domestic terminal instead of the international terminal. The domestic terminal is much more relaxed than the international terminal was last trip. There is a passport and ticket check before entering any building at the airport. Next up was to wait for baggage screening to open. Bags were screened then a hand search of my carry on where the screener hustled he me for a pen? Next the ticket counter to get my seat assignments. They seemed more interested in my vaccination than my COVID test. Maybe the test matters when I get to Cairo. At least my bag is checked through to Dulles. Another baggage screening to get to the gate. A bag of chips and bottle of water to hold me over to Cairo. From the gate, a bus to the plane. It is an hour flight to Cairo on a mostly full plane.
After landing in Cairo, another bag screening, then passport control. Then another bag screening to enter the gate. After screening my water bottle a couple of times, they took it at this checkpoint. Finally someone looked at my COVID test. I think Egypt uses baggage screeners to help lower the unemployment rate. The plane had many empty seats for the eleven and a half hour flight to Washington. I had the three seats in my aisle all to myself. I was able to stretch out and catch some sleep since it was pretty quiet on the flight. We landed in Washington about six am on Thursday morning. Through passport control and then pick up my bag. On the way out I was “randomly selected” for another baggage check. My bag and carry on were x rayed again. I called Dolora to let her know I was through the gauntlet and she picked me up. She had warned me that I needed a jacket. It was thirty nine and windy – compared to the eighty seven degrees when I got on the plane. A short ride home against rush hour traffic and the adventure ends. It was a super trip but it is also great to the home with Dolora.
Neil Young – “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”