It’s silly O’clock, 6.30am to be precise. There are never two 6.30’s in any of my days, unless a flight somewhere nice dictates I get up early. Well, in a strange sort of way, a flight, or multiple flights are dictating that I get up early today.
There has been traffic activity outside our compound for the last hour, the barrier has been up and down countless times as our balloon team members leave for their early morning flights. I’m determined not to be left out of the weekend’s event in Longleat. I fall out of bed and switch my alarm clock off just before it makes that dreaded noise that seems to resound around the caravan. I always feel like I’ve failed majorly, for the day if I hear my phones alarm. Stumbling from bed to the bathroom, there’s an autumnal chill in the air, (as an assistant warden we have a bathroom in our compound.) The sky is blue and the day ahead has a good forecast, perfect flying weather I hope.
Walking into Longleat at just before 7am and it’s eerily, quiet and deserted.
To say it’s early, the site has a quiet buzz to it. Behind me folks are making their way all bundled up to keep the chill out, on the short walk down the lane into Longleat. The Sky Safari, the Balloon Festival, has brought people out of the woodwork, the site is full to busting, all here for one reason, Longleat’s Sky Safari.
From early morning balloon flights to the evening night glow, over 150 balloons took part in the annual weekend event. Taking centre stage were Longleat’s Adelaide the Koala and Simbaloo the Lion along with a host of other animal shape balloons.
The weather was kind and the wind was perfect, we were even treated to an early morning spectacle on the site as the breeze blew the balloons over The caravan and Motorhome roofs. It was a mad scramble as happy campers jumped out of bed, phones and cameras in hand, still wearing their Jim Jams falling down caravan steps rubbing sleep from their eyes.
Having balloons fly over Site was something you couldn’t put a price on or guarantee.
They even had a huge Scottish Cup balloon.
An a amazing spectacle right next door to the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site at Longleat. Whilst we were lucky this year with a flight over Site, obviously this treat is completely wind dependent and may not happen again. We were extremely lucky this year. This is an annual event and well worth booking, be warned though, it’s popular, book early.