It was an early morning start. The morning was cold but still pleasant - practically no wind. The long grass was wet tho so we got cold wet feet.
The launch site is chosen on the morning of the flight. This day it was Kings Park, near the Carillon. They had let off some helium balloons to work out the wind direction. It was to take us west over the lake. The hot air balloon can't steer at all. It can just go up or down and then go with the wind which can blow in different directions at different heights.
We all helped to unpack the basket and balloon, unroll and stretch it out. The balloon is enormous - 8 stories high in fact!
This balloon took off just before us...
Dave took these photos of us taking off. Woohoo! Actually it was sooooo gentle and quiet (apart from the blasts of the burners).
See you soon!
There was some mist or fog close to the water, it moved so quickly beneath us as we drifted slowly. You can see the Carillon on the right and the Defence Offices at Russell on the left.
That's the National Gallery of Australia on the left, the High Court on the right and Parliament House in the background.
Another of Dave's pics from the ground. We are in the blue EU balloon.
That's the National Library on the left.
The pilot told us about the Kayak Cameraman. He's photographing us here. I found his blog and he has some pics of our balloon that day on his blog (the EU balloon).
Nice and close to Commonwealth Park. It looked beautiful from above.
Smile for the camera - I'm going to buy the photo the pilot took of all of us on his dangling camera.
The flower beds for Floriade...
These are the other four balloons we shared the sky with. Looking south with Woden at the far right.
Looking south over Yarralumla.
This is about the highest we got. I think I preferred it lower cos I liked seeing the details of things below. That's Black Mountain Tower.
Some rowing sculls on the lake.
Looking west over the new National Arboretum.
Above Yarralumla Nursery.
Our shadow as we come in to land.
The landing was very exciting! We had to stand facing away from the landing, holding on tightly to ropes and bending knees. We hit the ground fairly hard and the basket tipped over about 45 degrees. Tassy and I screamed and laughed and screamed and laughed. The wind picked us up and dumped us again a few more times, each time the basket tipping about 45 degrees. There was lots of screaming and laughing. But it was a typical landing. It's not unusual for the basket to tip completely over onto its side.
The balloon deflated and we all helped roll it up.
Tassy's job was to roll in the middle of the balloon to push the air up and out the top of the balloon. She said it was harder than it looked (it looked like she was failing).
Then we all picked up the heavy balloon and loaded it back into its box.
Tassy's other job was the jump on the balloon to squish out the remaining air so it would fit into the box. Instructions were to jump like she was jumping on mum and dad's bed. Plenty of experience there.
And our adventure was over by 9am. It was soooooo special. I'll remember it always.