Sunday, 9 March 2014

Skywhale (and The King) Lives

We were reminded yesterday that the Balloon Festival was on in Canberra so decided to get up before the passerine breaks wind to observe this.  At 5:50 the weather seemed a little iffy so I rang Canberra Connect to see if flight was happening: to my surprise that service was functional but they hadn't been told if the balloons were flying.  On calling back at 6:15 the decision was go, and thus so were we.

We took the roo-bar equipped El Camion, and as we saw 18 kangaroos before we got to Captains Flat Rd were pleased we had made that choice.  Also several rabbits (of which there is now one less).

So we got to Canberra and parked.  Walking off to the launch area I noticed a round object in the air.
Nope, not a balloon just art (which despite the thunderstorms around Canberra yesterday had not become a lump of fused slag as did its predecessor).

Across the road we got a first glimpse of the balloons, plus The King.  Still living.
 We definitely were not going to be lonesome tonight.
By now it was getting close to 7 and a few flames were seen and heard.  Apparently some pets (presumably gerbils and the like) are scared by the noise of the flames.  Tammy wasn't: she probably didn't register them as there were too many kids and other dogs around.
 Skywhale was in its usual position: horizontal.  However she did look a little plumper than when we last encountered her.
Call that a flame? Now this is a flame!
Here is the reason Skywhale was non-somnolent.  I would get up too if someone stuck a propane torch up my Khyber!
 She made it!
 She then decided to imitate the King (tendance Kong, pas d'Elvis).
I decided that the correct collective noun for balloons is an Assembly.
As I said there were many other dogs around to be interested in.
I was interested in the big plastic bag: either the other dog had been on a very high-fibre diet or the owner was going to stuff the dog in there if it got out of order.

Lift off began, with Skywhale the first to light up.  Presumably they went up in descending order of cost.
Notice Skywhale's paw.
 Oops!  At least no-one hit a building this year.
A few ooh-aah snaps.

 Old Parliament House at one end of the rainbow ...
 .. and Treasury at the other.  But which way is the gold flowing?
 West Basin, the National Museum, and a heap of balloons.  Several of them seemed to go very close to the water and then zoom up again.  Presumably this is the pilots showing they can do such things.

As we walked back along the Lake shore it was obvious that a couple of pilots had slept in.
Basically a most bodacious event.  Well done whoever organises it.

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