I feel a bit more human, now that I've got a dish of porridge inside me. That wasn't the case an hour ago, though! There I was, at about 06:30, floating in dreamland, when all of a sudden I was rudely awakened by a roaring sound; balloons!!!
Of course, they aren't supposed to cross the Nile, but they do when the wind is right. Nothing particularly unusual then? Apart from the fact that there were at least ten balloons up at the same time.
By the time I'd actually roused myself, pulled on a pair of pants and staggered and stumbled onto the roof terrace, four of them were disappearing over Zawagi somewhere, one looked as if he was going to land on our roof, another was disappearing behind the Susanna Hotel (like he had landed on Sharia Karnak) and another four were flying at different heights and distances away, but all of then seemed to be heading for "Our Luxor". (Perhaps the pilots wanted to show their clients whereabouts they could find really good independent accommodation, lol!)
The last time I took any notice, there were eight balloon companies operating in Luxor, and after the horrific accident of a few years ago, the powers that be changed the regulations to allow only one balloon from each company to actually be in the air at any given time. So what's happened?
I hope that either there are now more balloon companies or that the Air Traffic Control people have rescinded their restriction. But, in the back of my mind, I cannot help but wonder whether the old backhander culture isn't reasserting itself? After all, who wants to turn business away in these hard times, if a few quid in the right pocket will get you what you need?
Here's a selection of bleary-eyed pictures from earlier on this morning:
I suppose it's good news seeing so many balloons up, it must mean that there are tourists about, which is what we all hope for, after all.