I leave for the airport mid-afternoon after flinging my new gear in my new bag.

Last night I went to the Mares dealer and splurged. I'm now the proud new owner of a Mares Metal Proton 42 along with Mares octopus and triple console, plus a rather nice bag to put them in.

Jeddah airport is even more ghastly than usual. One of the check-in baggage belts appears to have broken down and there's luggage and containers of zam-zam water littering the entire check-in area. The queue for check-in isn't going anywhere. It's unclear whether that's baggage-related or due to the fact they changed the plane from a 747 to a 777 and it's now full.

Being business class gets me served and my bag is soon on the floor on its way to who knows where.

The Jeddah First Class Lounge is rubbish.

As usual, the flight information boards simply show you the schedule, and fail to reflect what's happening on the ground. There's still no-one going through the gate as it ticks over to Final Call. It's 1 ¾ hours late when it leaves.

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