Up, up and away

After a number of futile attempts and broken promises we finally managed to choose a day where there was no wind so we could take ‘triple trouble’ up the hot air balloon at Monte Casino.

The morning of Sunday, 5 August was cloudless and clear and even though Oliver and I had both spent the weekend laid low by a severe gastro bug he was determined that we would go up in the Hyundai (like Sunday) balloon.

So off we set to meet Gagga, Aunty Jen, Nathan and Gemma leaving Dave behind to get through his mountain of term end marking. Driving there we spotted the balloon up in the sky which got Oliver babbling non-stop.

The excitement was building with three little bodies hardly able to contain themselves as we waited for the balloon to descend. Both Jen and I though were a little apprehensive. Jen as she suffers from motion sickness and myself, well a double whammy, my fear of heights and the lingering nausea from the gastro. But Mommy’s can’t succumb to their weaknesses so we bravely made our way to the balloon.

Great excitement as the balloon comes down
Yay the balloon is coming down

Before continuing, I must clarify that this was not an ordinary hot air balloon but one that is anchored on a pulley system which Oliver had to inspect and ask endless questions about which unfortunately I couldn’t really provide technical answers on. A sign of things to come?

We were lucky to have the balloon all to ourselves giving us free reign, which with three little toddlers was just what we needed. We also had a wonderful balloon pilot Sam who was absolutely brilliant with the kids. He gave them each plastic carts to stand on and pointed out all the sights below.

Nathan was delighted to be able to see his school, while Oliver enjoyed all the water sightings but was most excited to point out the car park. Gemma was being very brave but if truth be told was never really sure of the whole thing and spent her time being held by myself, Jen and Gagga.

Oliver with Sam the balloon pilot
Oliver with Sam the ‘balloon pilot’

We reached a height of 120 metres which believe me is very high and as there was no-one waiting below Sam gave us extra time at the top, pointing out key landmarks.

After my initial fear, I did spend some time taking in the sights. I was amazed to see from that birds eye view just how much development has taken place in the Fourways and further outlying areas. When we first moved to Fourways in 1984 our house was one of the last before the start of small holdings now with the urban sprawl the house where my folks still live is just one of hundreds of others. So sad.

But a wonderful experience nonetheless and one I would highly recommend!

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