Saturday, February 20, 2010

Balloon flight Luxor Egypt ( part 1)

  This photo was taken the morning I booked my flight in the hot air balloon, by 33/1 chance  its the same balloon  I took today's flight .      balloon over hatshepsut.16/2/10

Sun up on arrival at the take off site in Gurna West Bank Luxor
 blowing air  into the balloon preparing it for flight 
our captain Ragab was quite informative  and said there are 33 balloons in the  area but only Eight can be on the take off area at one time,,  (that was another one of his lies  I happened to be on my roof again the next day and I saw 15 balloons taking off at the same time)  ,    the flights from first light then every 45 minutes the time of each flight before landing. before I purchased my flight ticket I specifically asked if I can take the zoom lens to take photos of Karnak and the places that the balloons are no longer allowed to fly over since the accident last May 09.  of coorse why not!   do you have any information on what we are or not allowed to take on board,     and the travel agent  got a bit pissed off with me asking such idiotic questions.
 before the incident  09  balloons took off from wherever they found a cheap enough plot of land to take off from and landed anywhere  including near the Luxor Airport where the pilot and travelers got arrested and the balloon impounded,   because its a military zone as are all the airports in Egypt.  ( Police State)
 but now at this moment in time we have  security police on the new take off site in El Gurna  this site is opposite the turn off for the funery Temple of Hatshepsut  why it has taken so much of the growing land is beyond my comprehension when  a few kilometer from here its desert land  and always will be  as is the now new landing areas of the sensible pilots who adhere to the regulations, some are still landing in green farmland
 good for the farmer he gets a few bucks from the negligent pilot.  or did I hear oh the wind changed,  new regs say,   if the wind is too strong  no taking off!   and that is supposed to be the reason why we have such obnoxious police security  such as the one who tried to stop me boarding with my zoom lens,  leave it with me
he said,, not ******* likely I said, you think I am leaving a 2000.00 sterling lens with a cop that takes 20 egp to close his eyes while I get on board. piss off ,  and the argument went on whilst we where waiting to heat the balloon up for take off.  in the end I promised I would keep it in the bag on the floor of the balloon basket. after he could not show positive proof of regulations that he said was in force. and a mention of  go fetch General  Luwa  Magrabi.   I got a polite salute and a sorry mister.  
once the balloon was inflated and upright  12 people boarded the basket hot air was blown into the balloon but first The captain had to go through the technicalities of taking off and landing  positions. and we were away. heading to the nearest Antique  Hatsheput Temple,    I did want to get a photo from the air of the carter house, and Seti 1st temple Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple but the sun was to strong when pointing the camera in its direction.  you will also notice on some of the photos the fog caused by the sugar cane fires  and the Nile and Luxor town was almost invisible through the blanket of smoke 
Hatsheput Temple
Over 40 photos on my blog

Hapshepsut  looking over the ridge that backs on to the  valley of the Kings.
 Valley of the Kings.
 .The Ramesseum

Entrance to the Valley of the Queens
 Dier El-Medinet  Village of the workers.on


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Captain Ragab checking his tips   seems to be quite happy or is it a smirk.
Mean buggers on this trip   you can read the whole of this trip on
and the reasons why I did not tip.

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