Hot air balloons have always made me think of Jules Verne. Funny, i can’t even remember a clear story of a hot air balloon being used in one of his books.I think there was one in Around the world in 80 Days. But these guys beg to differ. My kiddie years were spent poring over books that had numerous instances of epic balloon rides, anyone remember Willard Price and the Adventure Series?
Balloon rides cost a pretty rupee here though. So i was glad to bag one for free when my paper sponsored the balloon festival. This happens every year and pilots from all over the world come over. We flew over Sigiriya, but i couldn’t catch a glimpse of the rock. So instead we climbed it later in the scorching heat.
Going up in the balloon was great. things are so quiet and tranquil up there. You’re basically in a floating basket. But when the fire burns to heat the air inside the balloon over your head it sears your skin. Navigation is mostly just up and down. The wind decides which direction you go in. I’m told experienced pilots can patiently manipulate it otherwise. There are a couple of balloon companies over here.. You can bag a ride for about USD 200.