Part One: God-awful wakeup calls
Friday afternoon, I knew I was going to wake up at a really early hour on Saturday, with that in mind, I wanted to go home early, sleep, then wake up at 2 am to prepare. Fate had a different plan for me. Traffic was bad, and had to detour back to
The trail finally took off and we arrived at the airfield, to face emptiness on the designated hot air field. Some of those who had gone to previous festivals years past said that was odd. By 4 am, several of the teams are usually on the field, setting up for an early departure. We were setting up tripods and our sleepy butts on the monobloc chairs we swiped from the stands nearby at 5:30 and there was nary a balloon in sight. One balloon basket/gondola was on the ground, so we figured we were at the right place. Tick tock, watching the sun rise from behind Mr. Arayat was pleasant, and the cool breeze made us want really strong coffee.
Then one, two, 4 at a time, the suv’s came out of the hangers and the balloons were unrolled on the field. Teams walked out, looking a bit bleary, hair’s messed up, and probably less excited about doing another flight after two other days of the same thing. The festival is a four day event, and these teams do at least two flights a day.
The anticipation on the audience side is building up, and our fantasies take flight as the balloons expand and fill up with air.
(end of Part 1)