Ballooning Around   Leave a comment

Saturday, 8 March, 2014

It’s the last full weekend of my mum and dads trip over to Australia and there’s so much that we haven’t done yet. Anyway, luckily around this time year, Canberra throws up all sorts of events and this morning was one of the biggest in the calendar. Each year, The Canberra International Balloon Festival attracts dozens of hot air balloons from around Australia and the rest of the world for weeklong event. Unfortunately, you have to be early to catch them and this meant a 5:30am start for us to get ready, drive down to the Parliamentary Triangle and be in position for the expected launch time of 6:30. Had no problem parking up and found that there weren’t too many people around at that time. However, once we had a cup of coffee and the light began to come up, we noticed hundreds of people in amongst the looming shapes of the many balloons be inflated.

It was hard to keep a track of what was going on, as they seemed to be all around us and suddenly they were off. One or two at first, but then the sky was full of them lifting off and heading out over the lake towards Black Mountain. It was all over in a few minutes and they were all gone, except for one late comer who was still setting up their balloon. We walked over and got ourselves right in the heart of all the action, as the helpers first set out the balloon itself and the used a huge fan to partly inflate the envelope (notice the way I slipped in a ballooning term there!). Then the pilot started up the burners and pointed them into the craven in order to get the balloon to start to rise in the air. When everything was ready and all the last minutes checks had been made, she (yes she) waved anybody goodbye and up in the air she went, moving off in the same direction as the others.

Where do they land? My dad asked me. Let’s jump in the car and find out I said, as I knew I could drive along the side of the lake in order to track their progress. On the way, we saw a couple of them almost landing on the top of the water before taking off again. By the direction that they were going I figured that the best vantage point to see them fly overhead or landing would be up at the Arboretum, where the height of the lookout point at the top of Diary Hill would afford us a great view of them coming towards us. Sure enough, once we got up them, we saw that a couple had already landed in the fields around the Arboretum and we watched as the reminder either flew overhead or landed not that far away.

The great thing about a 5:30 start (oh yeah!) is that we still had the rest of the day to do something else, so we headed back to have breakfast in the local cafe and plan our next adventure…

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yermandownunder

A Blog about Mario's life down under!

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