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Now all connected to the basket, the balloon needed to have air in it. The ground crew set up a huge fan on either side of the gondola. Brian asked for volunteers to hold the balloon so it could capture the air.
Several folks volunteered. He picked the first two who came forward. We didn't volunteer as we wanted to take pictures and video!
Note that the basket is on its side.
After some time spent "fanning" air into the balloon, Brian hit the burner to heat the air. That, in turn, gave the air in the balloon a reason to rise off the ground... and, at the same time to lift the basket to an upright position.
The basket had openings on the sides and we learned those were to use as footholds to climb in. Tom and I were the last to get in and in so doing, we managed to get a corner. Four couples had corners, two other couples were in between on either side of the pilot.
The support ground crew folks were trluly accommadating in taking pictures of folks with their own cameras, thus this picture! That's Tom & me in the middle.
As previously mentioned, there were three balloons going up this morning. From what we could determine, our pilot was the "chief" pilot and we were first up. What a delight to be able to look down and see our two sister balloons rising below us.
Of the three balloons in our group, I truly believe we had the prettiest! Of course, I'm a fan of multi-color balloons. We've always been in awe of the Albuquerque Balloon Festival and were totally delighted to take our first ever balloon flight in a nation almost half-way around the world!
Perhaps we'll one day actually get to Albuquerque and fly in one of the balloons during the festival there!