Guest post written by Edward Covello
I had always been fearful of flying in a hot air balloon. It seemed dangerous to me, even though I’m not afraid of heights or of airplanes. But one day, when I was on a photo journey that included the African nation of Namibia, I had a chance to take a ride in one and float hundreds of feet above sand dunes and rock formations in an area called Sossusvlei. The balloon was leaving at sunrise, when the diverse palette of desert colors was at its most intense.
The day of the balloon ride, I got up promptly at 4 a.m. I then met up with my South African guide, who had driven me all the way from Cape Town.
After an hour and a half of bouncing on rocky sand-covered roads, the dawn began to break. I could see the colorful balloon being readied for our voyage. As the crew finished up their final preparations, the five of us – the pilot, a young French couple, and my guide and me – began boarding.