Walked in to the city center and spent nearly the entire day at the travel agent. I need to get a series of tickets to Cairo, Dar es Salaam and back to Cairo. After looking at the posted fares I realized that an around the world ticket might be the best deal - it's not that much more and would have the advantage of letting me stop and play at some other places on each side. The around the world tickets are a nightmare of conditions and exclusions - wildly different for each of the three packages offered. Figured out that the only one that would really work was the KLM / Ansette / Northwestern / Emirates / etc. offering. I took all the info and went to lunch. After studying all the fine print while eating and over a lingering cup of coffee I had a pretty good plan that would get me back to Africa, let me stop in Sri Lanka on the way, and drop me off in Asia or even back in California afterwards! It was a bit of a nightmare but it looked possible. Called home, looked at fares on the internet, turned in a roll of film, wandered around downtown Darwin, and then headed back to the travel agent.
Another two hours of trying to make a itinerary that gets around all the rules and we've got something that sort of works. I'd have to leave from Melbourne instead of Sydney and it doesn't get me back to California. Also the flight path is convoluted, and the Cairo - Dar es Salaam legs will each take two days going via Khartoum and Nairobi. On the bright side I get a week in Sri Lanka and a few days in Dubai and end up in Bangkok (if I want to go that far). I'm not sure the extra stops make up for the rushing, many legs, the weird routing, the increased travel time and the extra cost. Also I couldn't get a confirmed spot on the Dubai - Cairo leg so I'm waitlisted.
Here's what the resulting itinerary looked like: Sydney - Melbourne - Singapore - Colombo (Sri Lanka) - Dubai (UAE) - Cairo - Khartoum (Sudan) - Nairobi - Dar es Salaam - Nairobi - Khartoum - Cairo. In Cairo is where I planned to end this leg, but if I want to I would have tickets to continue to: Dubai - Bangkok - Sydney. Obviously I wouldn't use the last leg (back to Sydney), but the others might be interesting, and the ticket is changeable (within the mileage restrictions).
I also made reservations for the simple (and cheaper) route: Sydney Singapore - Cairo - Dar es Salaam - Cairo. I got print outs and I'll look it over tonight and try to make a decision tonight.
Spent some more time on the internet, walked back to the hostel, then drove back in to town to have dinner and see a movie. Unfortunately by the time I finished dinner I'd missed all the movies...