Hot Air Ballooning - A Once In A Lifetime Experience (Old Topic Reposted)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
My second travel re-post. What can I say? I'm having a trip down memory lane and wanting to re-live all my travels and experiences during the past decade.

Here's one of the few unique experience I've had as noted on Friendster....and now it's here on Blogger.
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23 September 2007 - It has always been one of the things I’ve wanted to do when I first arrived in Johannesburg so it’s no surprise that I finally made it happen when I got enough dough to actually do it. My husband and I went hot-air ballooning over the Magaliesburg area. The trip was a bit pricey at just above 2 grand a head, but it was worth it as it was really an experience of a lifetime.

We arrived at the Skeerpoort Balloon Field at 4:45am that fateful morning. We were supposed to be there only an hour later, but maybe from excitement (and leaving a bit too early from home as we thought we were gonna get lost along the way), we got there way too early.

Around 5:45am, we walked towards the path where the balloons were gonna be set up. My hubby and I actually thought there were only a few passengers and that we would be one of few who would take the ride. But we turned out to be wrong, as slowly but surely, the field filled up and in total, 5 balloons went up, carrying about 70 people.

We had tea/coffee and biscuits while they were setting up the balloons. it took almost 2 hours to set all the balloons up. We left the field just after 7am. Some of the balloons carried about 16 people in its wicker basket. The basket that we were on was the smallest out of the lot. Our basket carried 8 passengers plus the pilot and his gas tanks :-).

There is really not much to say about the experience except that it was one of a kind. The view over the area was breathtaking!!! The ride was extraordinaire!!! The trip took about an hour, travelling at about 14km/h. There is really nothing quite like floating on air and leaving your destination to the will of the blowing wind.

We had champagne after landing to celebrate our "safe" return to land. Afterwards, the tour bus gave us a ride back to the balloon field where a real English-style breakfast was awaiting us. Bill Harrop (the owner of the ballooning company) and his crew presented all of the "courageous" passengers certificates of bravery, for taking part in this unique aerial experience.

It took me a while to write this blog up, sorry. Plus not all the pictures have been uploaded (Friendster restricts me to 50 a month). I shall upload the rest of the pictures in the next few months. But for now, enjoy, and share this wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience with us.
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For more information, please visit Bill Harrop's Original Balloon Safari.

 

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