I have a terrible cold, my second in a month. (How is this even possible?) The last thing I felt like doing this morning was waking up at 4:30 a.m. and driving more than an hour through the cold winter darkness.
I did that anyway though, because one can’t pass up a chance to go hot air ballooning through the Magaliesburg Mountains at sunrise.
This week the South African National Hot Air Balloon Championships are happening at Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris in Skeerpoort, near Magaliesburg. I was invited as part of a media contingent to photograph part of the competition — from the vantage point of our own media balloon.
I took a Bill Harrop’s balloon safari once before and blogged about it. I won’t repeat myself now, other than to reiterate that taking a balloon ride over the Magaliesburg is one of the coolest tourism experiences in this area. It’s worth the price — around R2000-R2500, or $150-$185, depending on the package.
Anyway, today I just want to show you this morning’s pictures.
Up in the Air at Bill Harrop’s
The championship competitors. The balloon pilots participate in a variety of different competitions, which today involved tossing markers out of the balloons mid-flight and trying to hit a target on the ground.
Thanks so much to Bill Harrop and his team for the fun morning. Learn more about the Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa (BAFSA) and the SA National Hot Air Balloon Championships here.