I traveled to Canberra with trepidation. The last time I visited to watch the balloons they couldn’t fly, the weather was not paying attention.
When I phoned at 4.45am to check-in, I was excited to be informed that all was going ahead as scheduled. We were to be at the launch area at 5.45am. However, Canberra was fog bound, so we climbed into buses and headed west out past Yarralumla and eventually after launching test balloons, our guides started to unpack and inflate our balloons.
Finally as the sun was rising over the horizon, we all 15 of us climb into the basket, goodness will it get off the ground with all these humans on board. As we ascend into the morning light, over the high come the private, smaller balloons toward us. They are backlight by the dawn and the feeling was amazing.
I was lost in time and space, I guess we were up in the air for an hour we traveled by Black Mountain and the Telstra tower,which were immersed in fog, over Yarralumla and Government House, the Molonglo River and being at the mercy of the air currents we eventually found ourselves landing in the middle of a fairway at Federal Golf Course.
The second morning, I rose early again, phoned the information number and was delighted that the balloons were flying again, this time their takeoff was to be from the lawns in front of Old Parliament House. So, I along with hundreds of spectators watched as the smaller balloons, unpacked, setup and proceeded to fill their balloons with hot air from burning gas bottles. One by one they slowly rose into the morning sky, with all the spectators with their heads, phones and cameras looking skyward.
Old Parliament House might have been outgrown, but it is still beautiful in its old age
This guy had a bit of trouble getting off the ground early in the week, but he performed for us beautifully
Mr Nudie was my favourite
Flying solo, he was the first to get airborne