Sorry for the delay in writing this, I really must update it more often!
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta has passed us for another year, this time with more success than last year. The Phil’s Balloons team enjoyed 3 flights over the weekend. This was a surprise to most people as the forecast for the weekend at the start of the week was looking very poor, with high winds and rain. Luckily we didn’t see any of this and although the start of the weekend was a bit iffy, the middle was certainly great.
Although the decision from the organisers was that of “good to fly” on Friday morning, I actually decided against it – along with many others I must add. There was very low cloud and it was due to start raining soon. There were around 60 or so balloons that did fly though, and I’m sure they all had lovely flights. I tend to make my decisions based on if I was in the launchsite on my own, with no other balloons (or even a fiesta) around, if that decision to fly would be no, then it will still be a no at a balloon meet, regardless of how many balloons around me are taking off. Luckily my crew see this as a good way of thinking and we managed to enjoy a bacon roll and a cup of tea whilst watching some balloons flying!
Our first flight was to be Friday evening and it was such a great flight, although short. We took off and flew low over the crowd, and continued to fly low over the top end of Ashton Court. We took off in the middle of all the balloons so could see the balloons ahead of us heading straight towards Durdham Downs, so we did exactly that. We flew over the Avon Gorge, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and then low over Clifton to give us the direction towards Durdham Downs. We landed amongst many other balloons and the retrieve crew were right there to help us pack away – we then enjoyed a nice beer whilst watching other balloons landing around us.
Our next flight was to be Saturday evening as the morning was cancelled. It was quite windy so I decided to watch a few balloons first to see what the direction was and how fast they were actually travelling. Thankfully it wasn’t as windy as I thought and the direction was straight across Bristol. As it was the night glow that evening, I decided that it was going to be a short flight. We only flew for 30 minutes but it was a great flight, we landed in Victoria Park in Bedminster – with a big bump! I do have this on video too and it will be uploaded to the website soon.
Sunday morning was to be our last flight and I decided to fly one of the events team. They work very hard over the weekend so I think a balloon flight for one of them is a great way to say thank you! We flew right across Bristol and landed in Mangotsfield on a sports pitch some 45 minutes later.
That was the end of flying for us at the Balloon Fiesta and we look forward to attending again next year!