Thursday, December 27, 2007

Balloon ride too short

Its those crazy Mangalorians again, they just can't get enough of that balloon!! Mangalore is such an exotic sounding name though. I for one would love to go and try and fly a balloon there. The interweb and Google earth really shrinks things. (no don't send an email Barbara) How about an Aunty Monkey Mangalore Balloon meet. Its a little bit coastal though.

MANGALORE Dec 25: Most people who bought tickets for the hot air balloon ride clearly missed the fine print. It read: "Hot air balloon take off is subject to weather conditions and technical aspects".

While there were no technical hitches for the balloons to take off on schedule, weather conditions (read - upper winds) were not favourable. The organisers were not to be blamed. Some understood this and waited patiently for their turn. Others, who missed the fine print and were not willing to wait, sought a refund and got it. When their attention was drawn to the fine print, they just gave a sheepish grin. "They had told me that the balloon would take off at 4.45 p.m. But it is already 6 p.m. and I can not wait. I had come here for my son, Nandakishore," said Ganesh, a government official. "He is in tenth standard and we have other things to do," he added.

Disha, Deena, and Anolia, students of a private school, who had come for the ride in the morning, were disappointed that their ride was short as the balloon did not go up the distance. "We could see the ground clearly," they said.

But they got a compensatory ride in the evening when the wind steadied and allowed the organisers to inflate the balloon. "It was quite hot in there," they said while alighting from the basket. A few people, who took the ride during the day with the wind going their way, said the ride was exciting.

But their grouse was that it was too brief. "We could see the sea and a part of the city from a height," said one of them.

The organisers, on their part, had tethered the balloon to ensure that it did not fly off the Nehru Maidans boundary.

The more enthusiastic people tried at para-sailing as they waited for the balloon ride to start. Neha Benita, a sixth standard student of K.V. Mangalore Number 2 and a swimmer, said: "My grandmother goaded me and I was also interested".

She said she was not scared but excited. "It was nothing special. I could see the ground and the people below," she added.


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