Floating over Tanzania

For our ride, we got up before daylight and traveled to the launch site by Land Rover. While the crew used fans to fill the balloon, we lined up with ten other riders. Our rectangular basket, which was laying on its side, was divided into six compartments for guests on each end and a middle compartment for the pilot and burner. To get inside, we performed a half-chin up and lifted our legs inside to be in a seated position resting on our backs. With everyone inside, the pilot ignites the burner and the balloon gently lifts the basket along the ground and then in the air.
I was the first one in the basket and occupied the compartment adjacent to the pilot and the burner. Every time the burner blasted beside me, I envisioned my hair catching on fire. However, the site below soon distracted me from my concerns. In flight there was total silence except for the occasional blasts from the burner. At first all riders were stunned by the silence and the beauty below us. Then came the oohs and ahs as we spotted various animals moving across the plains. Unfortunately Canadian Man and I were so captivated by the sites, we didn’t remember to film. I hope our short video will provide a fun snapshot of this amazing adventure.