Wuz up! So today I’m back with another scary crazy story that I hope you’ll enjoy.
So a few years back, me and a buddy went to Australia. It was the trip of a lifetime. I was SUPER excited to be in the land down under! We had our trip booked solid with a whole bunch of activities one of which being, going up into the atmosphere in a hot air balloon.
I had always seen hot air balloons on TV. Even seen a few in person at a festival or two but never had an opportunity to get into one until this trip. I was soooo siked!!
So we woke up while it was still dark out. The tour company picked us up quite early too and made its rounds picking up other tourists that were staying at other hotels. When we got on site, flashlights were needed to bring us through the field and to the hot balloon where someone was already there getting it all set up for us. By setup I mean, the balloon was lying on its side and hot air was being blown into it with what looked like a fire gun on roids!
It was crazy, we were in the darkness and all you could see from time to time was the glow of the flames and the intense sound of flames being shot into fabric. Once enough air was through it, the balloon sat flip up right. That continued for what seemed like another 20 minutes or so until it was hot enough and fully inflated. At this point, I believe it was about 5:00 – 5:30am or so and the sun was just making its appearance. You couldn’t see the actual sun but the sky went from pitch black to a hint of blue, then the underside of the clouds were lit a pale yellow orange. By the time the sun did make its appearance, we were all loaded up into the giant basket and were on our way up into the sky.
I was super excited but also super nervous. Not for the height but because I was wearing extensions in my hair and was afraid my head could spontaneously combust being so close to this gigantic blow torch located in the center of the basket which, because it was pushing out so much heat felt like it was sitting directly overhead. Every time the guide would pull the lever to release more air, I would clutch my head and duck. Hey, laugh all you want. My technique worked. Obviously. My head did not go ablaze and that’s all that matters.
There was another hot air balloon in the sky with us. Only this was a rival company. I wish I would say that we put them to shame but the opposite was true. They were so much higher than us despite our guides attempts. He later explained that that company always flies higher than their balloons do. Wonder why that is. Maybe their baskets are lighter or the flames have an extra component that makes the balloon rise higher in the sky. But I must admit, I was jealous. I wanted to go higher. I wanted to go as high as we could possibly go. I wanted to world to seem like a speck below us. That said, it was still an experience like no other and I’d love to experience it again.
Ascending up into the clouds, seeing the wallabies attempt to run for cover as this massive ”creature” flew overhead, seeing the patterns of the fields below, reaching out and touching tree branches as we descended. What an experience!
Then when we landed, due to the strong winds that day, we had landed in an odd spot. Its was in high bush and as we climbed out of the basket and made our way to the road where the tour bus was waiting for us, several of us had been attacked by insects. A few had been bitten. This lady’s back and legs were covered in red spots in the few minutes we were trying to make her way through the bush. I was spared although I did have a few bugs that had latched onto me. I frantically jumped around once I made it to the other side to shake them loose.
I would strongly recommend that you try this at least once in your life. It’s so peaceful and beautiful up there. Kinda reminds me of my parasailing experience. You know what, I’ll tell you guys about that next time.
Hope you guys enjoyed the article. See you on the next one.
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