Monday, 9 April 2012

I Feel so Small...

Each year in Canberra they hold the Canberra Hot Air Balloon Festival. I have always loved the romantic view of 20-30 hot air balloons floating above Canberra as I drove to work but when my son Orlando was 18m old this changed.

He was fascinated with the sight and would talk of nothing else...

We decided to get up VERY early one morning and go and see the balloons take off. This was all for Orlando's benefit, but little did I realise how much I would fall in love with the experience.

You have to wake up when it is still dark (about 5 am) and get all rugged up. Then you drive off the the launch site in the hope that the weather will be right for flying (if it is not then it is all in vain :)) Then you eat some breakfast and watch the cars drive up with their precious balloon load.

Spreading the balloons out starts to give you some perspective on just how big they are, then the hot air is pumped into them and you see this big bladder wobble and grow. When it is holding enough it floats to standing and that is when you really feel dwarfed by these giants. Fire sounds a distinctive blast to heat the air some more. You end up surrounded but a forest of giant balloons, a myriad of colours, all glowing as the fire heats their air ready for launch. When they are ready they load their passengers and float off effortlessly into the sunrise, like a wave of bubbles.

We now have a yearly pilgrimage to the festival and this year Orlando (now 4 1/2) said "I think it is nearly Balloon Festival Time!" I brushed it off as too early and then looked is up and sure enough it was the very next week. His internal clock could hear the balloons calling him...

Here are a collection of photos from our trip this year :)

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