Friday, July 05, 2013

The Last Day

Three hours since our heads hit the pillow we were back up and off to the airport. I was just happy to have a sleep that wasn't interrupted by trips to the toilet... In a zombie-like state we packed up our gear once again and headed up to the lobby. The first shuttle was full so we had to wait for the next one but time was pushing on so we would have preferred to exchange this Swiss efficiency for African chaos where all seventeen of us would be crammed into a mini cooper. Swiss efficiency, however, became beneficial when checking in with a mere 15 minutes until it closed.

The group then inevitably separated into their different flights - it was sad to be split up so soon but leaving in stages made it all a bit easier. The plane to London was smaller and we were already accustomed to TV's in the seats so wondered how to pass the time in the short haul world. A mini-miracle happened on the flight as Cameron managed to find a family friend (whom he had never met) who was on the flight and who was able to take him from the airport to near Northampton which was where he was going. Probably one of the best small world coincidences I've ever seen.

When we landed in London there was a mix of relief and sadness as this was all coming to an end. It was the middle of the Olympics in London but we couldn't help noticing how quiet Heathrow airport was but you still couldn't escape the bright pink and smiley stewards. Kyra collected our bags - having got out of business class ages before us- while we tested out the e-passport machines that couldn't recognise our dishevelled faces. A man approached us and tried to sell one of us his foldaway bike for £200. We laughed as we thought we'd left the bargaining and haggling back in Africa. Dan agreed at £50 but almost immediately - as soon as we started walking- he regretted the decision. Thomas and Rich left us at the coach station and then there were two.

Dan and I repeated the journey we had carried out merely 20 days ago yet so much had happened in between.We weren't expecting an easy ride as we got on the Tube with two rucksacks, a foldaway bike and our day packs during rush-hour. We were the second stop on the line so getting a seat wasn't a problem  but as we got to the centre we were surprised by how empty the train remained. I thought London was meant to be intolerable during the Olympics? The kinds of people on the tube were also so different to the wonderful people we were used to. They were all in their own little bubble - not looking at you or talking to you. Everyone was dressed in varieties of grey and the kids were complaining about not getting things their way. At this point we started planning out escape back to Zanzibar.

When I got back to the flat all I wanted to do was shower, put on clean clothes and get my photos on facebook. I managed to do all that and then meet Natasha at the Southbank centre and it was nice to see a friendly face again but the strange contemporary dance was too much of a culture shock. I headed back for a good nights sleep as the post holiday blues were hitting hard already.

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