Passport to the World over 64 years. Pages from my Travel Diary

Denise and I go early morning Ballooning. Sunday the 9th. of August 1998

Whilst staying at Cairns, Queensland we decided we would have an early start one morning and booked for a flight in a Balloon, we were collected at 0400 ( 4 AM ) by a Mini Bus which was doing the rounds picking up hearty souls for this pre dawn adventure.

On arrival at the take off site, our flight vehicle was in the process of being fired up, two balloons were being prepared for their flight, with about a dozen people making the trip. Our gas filled, brightly coloured balloon , tethered by its basket was straining away, anxious to be on its way, we clambered into the basket, were told to take hold of ropes around the inside of the basket. Our pilot gave his charge another dose of gas, and we gently left the earth, it was a feeling of complete calmness, as we drifted up and up, and unless one watched our moving shadow, as the sun was now up, it was hard to believe we were actually moving.

Our support four wheel drive vehicle had the task of trying to follow our tracks, as, when it was time to descend once more, it needed to find us for a return journey by road to a waiting champagne breakfast. As the morning sun gained both warmth and height, and the wind blew a little stronger, we were gayly blown across the sky, picking out the green patches of the newly planted sugar cane crops, and feeding cattle as they grazed contentedly some way below.

We sailed along in close company with our sister balloon for about 40 minutes, it was time to come down, using a modern hand held phone, the pilot gave our support vehicle an idea of where to find us, warning us to hang on, down we went, a couple of mild bumps, and it was all over. We clambered out, and now it was time to deflate our balloon, and assist in rolling it all up, and then stuffing it into its storage bag.

It was a wonderful feeling to lift up and then just glide along, several thousand feet up in a clear blue sky, just the hiss of the gas burner, above us the brightly coloured striped fabric of our balloon, with a large AUSTRALIA printed on. The quietness of an early morning up in the sky, an experience to be long remembered and savoured well into the future. We had indeed added another page to our travel diary, we went off to breakfast, celebrating our journey with a glass of champagne, well satisfied with our lot.

Our Balloon Australia

Our Balloon Australia

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