Hot-air ballooning over the Yarra Valley

October 5, 2009 at 17:40 2 comments

This was a very difficult day to start. Mr. Manx and I set the alarm for 0330 today (it would be three hours earlier in Singapore because daylight saving started yesterday – argh) and set out way before the crack of dawn. The taxi we’d booked online didn’t come (let me say unequivocally that 13Cabs really didn’t deliver and made no call to inform us – thumbs way down) and we drove to the Grand Hyatt to be picked up… resulting in a whopping parking fee of bloody A$47 when we retrieved the car in the afternoon. Then the couple (Singaporean too – a prosperous-businessman type oozing superficial bonhomie and his wife in strappy platforms) staying at the Hyatt were late and we had to hang around waiting for them. Boo.

But after that, the worst of the day was over. John, the driver who picked us up and got us to Rochford Winery, was kind and friendly, and provided a tutorial on driving in Melbourne during the hour-long drive. There was a stretch of highway that had no street lighting, and the stars showed themselves. That was another thing I had not seen in some time.

The rest of the story is better told in pictures. How lovely to have my Nikon D90 on this trip.

Our pilot, Tim, releases a helium balloon to check on the wind conditions. I'm thankful to have gotten to this point, actually. This spring has been so wet that this place got flooded last week.

Our pilot, Tim, releases a helium balloon to check on the wind conditions. I'm thankful to have gotten to this point, actually. This spring has been so wet that this place got flooded last week.

Weather settled. The next step of getting the basket and balloon assembled was a product of audience participation. The basket needs to be toppled onto its side before the balloon gets pumped. This girl demonstrates to perfection just how to get the basket onto its side.

Weather settled. The next step of getting the basket and balloon assembled was a product of audience participation. The basket needs to be toppled onto its side before the balloon gets pumped. This girl demonstrates to perfection just how to get the basket onto its side.

The balloon is inflated, first with cold air, then with hot. Petrol-fuelled fans and flamethrowers have allowed us to achieve in fifteen minutes what took our forefathers five hours to achieve by hand.

The balloon is inflated, first with cold air, then with hot. Petrol-fuelled fans and flamethrowers have allowed us to achieve in fifteen minutes what took our forefathers five hours to achieve by hand.

After the balloon gets pointing in the right direction, everyone climbs into the basket. It can take 16 people. Tim continues to shoot fire jets into the balloon, and it's damn, damn loud.

After the balloon gets pointing in the right direction, everyone climbs into the basket. It can take 16 people. Tim continues to shoot fire jets into the balloon, and it's damn, damn loud.

But the noise does nothing to shatter the peacefulness when the balloon finally takes flight. The only word, really, is wafting. The balloon wafts with the wind so that you hardly feel any movement or breeze. Take it from me, because I'm the kind of person who throws up at the hint of a sway.

But the noise does nothing to shatter the peacefulness when the balloon finally takes flight. The only word, really, is wafting. The balloon wafts with the wind so that you hardly feel any movement or breeze. Take it from me, because I'm the kind of person who throws up at the hint of a sway.

Not wanting to bore you with pictures of endless greenery, I shall instead entertain you with a picture of this cow. You can see and hear them quite clearly from up here.

Not wanting to bore you with pictures of endless greenery, I shall instead entertain you with a picture of this cow. You can see and hear them quite clearly from up here.

And when it's over, the balloon has to be deflated and packed away. When that was done, we were all packed back to Rochford Winery for a champagne breakfast, which included a bizarre anointing on the forehead with aforementioned champagne. A perfect end to the morning.

And when it's over, the balloon has to be deflated and packed away. When that was done, we were all packed back to Rochford Winery for a champagne breakfast, which included a bizarre anointing on the forehead with aforementioned champagne. A perfect end to the morning.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Wanderlust. Tags: , , , .

Spring in St. Kilda Five special things

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. NoW!S  |  October 5, 2009 at 23:57

    Hee nice pics, keep ’em coming! I sorta miss St Kilda’s beach, went there back in 2000 when the weather was nice and cool, and had a coffee at a small shop by the beach. The atmosphere was so relaxing and shiok! :)

    Reply
    • 2. Katie  |  October 6, 2009 at 18:39

      I totally agree about the atmosphere! Can’t help but think that Melbournians are more contented people than we are.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Welcome to my blog!


My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

Visit my photoblog!

I started my first photoblog on 3 May, 2009. Each post features one picture, with a little story of how it came about. Do take a look by clicking on: Manx Pictures
October 2009
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Delicious Bookmarks

Archives

Don’t say I didn’t say this…

Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.

Visited

  • 78,618 times since 10 March 2009. Thank you and I hope to see you again!

%d bloggers like this: