|Sunday, July 11
4:15 AM was the wake up call. We stumbled out of bed, put on some clothes, and met up in the lobby. A quick boat ride across to Nile took us, and about 30 people we didn't know, to a waiting bus then to an open field across from Hatsheput's temple. There were about eight hot air balloons being laid out and huge baskets being pulled off of trucks.
We stood there in the early dawn and our pilot instructed ups on landing procedure with some nervous laughter, then, as the balloon began to inflate we were all hurried aboard for ballast – 20 people, five each in the four sections. Off we went – up to 2000 feet, flying over fields and people's houses (many sleeping on the roofs) until, about a hour later, we landed in a corn field. Then in a rice patty. Then finally on a beach next to the Nile, which the balloon part promptly fell into. Everybody had an idea of what to do, but by the time we boarded our bus back to the boat, they were still arguing about it.
Back to the hotel, then breakfast at 8:00, and finally back to bed, were we slept until noon.
The tour guide offered us an optional trip to the great Karnak temple complex (a series of temples spanning 3000 years from the Old to the New Kingdoms). I was the only one to take them up on it, (Alice wanted to stay in the pool) so had a private car drive me the four miles, wait for 1 ½ hours, then drive me back all for $10.
The temple complex was a marvel – Obelisks, hieroglyphics, statues, even some of the original paint in the areas that were in the shade It went on and on... Took me 35 minutes to walk from one end to the of the complex to the other, and I realized I was getting a bit dehydrated, so headed back, trying to stay in the shade...By the time I got to the car I was dizzy (well, more so than usual) and queezy. Back athe the hotel I drank a lot of water and it seemed to subside a bit.
At about three we took another boat across the Nile for a swim in the river. Since the water was high a lot of the swimming area was submerged plants, but the water was cool and refreshing. Now Alice and I can say we were both up to our necks in “de Nile”. How obvious is that pun?
On the ride back I started feeling poorly again, so laid down. Up at 6:30 and still poorly, but took the scheduled carriage ride around town, but that wasn't a good idea... About an hours ride and I was ready to throw up. When we finally got back to the hotel Said got me some re-hydration packets and I took some and went to bed.
It's now four hours later and though the stomach has calmed down, now I have a headache. Hope I feel better tomorrow.