22nd April 2016 at Alice Springs, NT.
We went Hot Air Ballooning with Outback Ballooning.
We were picked up from our Caravan park at 5:45am, that is early. John our coach driver had already picked up 14 other guests (10 from USA, 4 from NZ and Marg and me). We couldn't help setting up the balloon and were told to keep away from the hot (burny,burny) flame thrower. The basket was divided into 4 quarters 4 people per quarter and the middle had the flame thrower x 4 and the controls which Jason worked beautifully.
Well, Jason got us into the air and back on earth safely, without killing us, so he is good.
The height of the balloon is 130 feet. We went where the light breeze took us and Jason was in radio contact with John and Duncan was driving the ute and trailer
and the Alice Springs airport. We got to 300 feet cruising altitude and it was sensational. We spotted a few kangaroos. After 30 plus minutes, Jason picked an area to land and guided John and Duncan there. The landing was good, the basket bounced twice and then we were stopped and upright. Once we are stationary, Jason pulls a rope that opens the top and the balloon starts deflating. Then it is all hands on deck to fold and pack the balloon away.
After everything is packed away, John opens the bubbly, juice or water, muffins, fruit, cheese and bikkies.
It isn't cheap at $290 per adult BUT bloody brilliant.
I hope that you enjoy the photos of our flight, it was brilliant.
5:39am - Waiting for the bus.
6:11am - Smoko on the way."
When we arrived they had started.
6:34am Duncan and Jason had started inflation before we arrived.
6:37am blow, puff, puff.
6:38am Time to get on board.
6:42am Jason talking to Alice Springs airport.
6:45am Who's the spunk on the right.
6:47am up, up and away (Fifth Dimension).
6:47am Jason at the controls.
6:52am John our bus driver is following us.
6:55am The flames.
6:56am We got to about 300 ft high.
6:56am Marg loved it, so did I.
6:57am Alice in the distance.
6:57am There were a few sunrises.
6:58am A candid photo of Jason.
6:59am Mac Donnell ranges.
7:00am Somewhere over there is Pine Gap.
7:01am Approaching Alice.
7:10am Shit! Another sunrise.
7:10am Just stunning.
7:13am being followed by a shadow.
7:16am Coming into to Land.
7:18am I suggested landing on the runway.
7:27am Stunning photo.
7:28am And another one.
7:28am Jason starts to pack up.
7:31am Every group needs a supervisor. I volunteered.
7:35am It didn't work, we had to help.
7:36am Getting the air out of the balloon.
7:38am Jason starts to fold up the balloon.
7:39am Starting to put the balloon in its BIG bag.
7:39am A big sausage.
7:39am There is a routine to follow.
7:42am Nearly all packed away.
7:43am The transporter.
7:46am Some people can drink bubbly at any hour.
7:49am The basket without its 130 ft balloon.
7:50am A happy group of drunkards. Well, an American tourist had over 4 glasses.
7:51am An easy way to load the basket.
7:51am Marg into her 5th glass. No, actually her 1st.
8:05am All packed and nearly time to leave.