Sunday, February 22, 2015

Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2015...

I know hubby would want to go for the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Polo Ground. Mi mama, Pinky and I, we deliberately missed the opportunity for the tethered ride in Taiwan because my student advised us against wasting our time and money for something so short-a-ride. It was more than double the amount of the tethered ride in Penang. Hubby suggested that we leave the house at 5:30a.m. by hook or by crook. I got up at 5:15am and I even managed to get my hair cut in less than 5 minutes. That's the queue we were looking at by the time we arrived around 6a.m. Penangites are kiasu people. Confirm very kiasu including us but we ended up 'su liao'. *Loss to those who could wake up extremely early* The early birds got the worms. I considered myself waking up extremely early but I didn't get the worms.
Thanks to Judz' friend, Charlene who had been in the queue since 4 a.m.++, she bought the tickets for us or we would be so disappointed. Those who were in front of us, who came as early as 5:30a.m. didn't get the tickets for the tethering ride at all. I really thank God that He gave us the desires of our hearts. We wasted many hours queuing up, that's how desperate we were. 
It was a very disorganized event with many hiccups. It shouldn't be so no doubt it was the first time held in Penang Island. They have their records in Putrajaya but they must have been shocked looking at the number of people in line before the sun even rose. Hey, 4 a.m. you know... 4 a.m. I was still dreaming away and I think the KL staff were also in dreamland. They came around 7a.m. to set up everything. That shouldn't be so. Everything should be set up by 7a.m. not starting to set up at 7a.m. It was precious time being wasted. 
There were many professional photographers running about trying to take the best photo with the best view and everything. I was with my camera but I was a lazy one who refused to walk out of my line so I just changed my lens and take them from afar. That's the first hot air balloon that came to live. 
Darth Vader landed and stayed floating for less than an hour before he said it's enough of being captured in still-shots. Penang is too hot and he wanted to sleep in his own cover. He went to sleep shortly and refused to get up. Humpty Dumpty had a different story to tell. It didn't break into pieces but it became deflated. What an awesome story for year 2015.
Next, the balloonists started waking the monster up. The monster finally woke up with a big yawn and then it was gawking at the large crowd taking its photo.
It was screaming madness... madness.... arrrggghhhh.... and the sun was scorching hot. Help.... help....
I'm doing this for the sake of the hubby or I would be sleeping like a pig in the comfort of the 16-degree air-cond room. I love you... take as many photos as you want. He can take more photos than I could...
You see I got my haircut in the morning before we left the house. Hubby cut my hair in less than 5 minutes... yippee~!! After this photo, we went back to our queue to take the tethered ride.
We saw the first couple taking the tethered ride. The pilot was getting the balloon to be lifted up using the hot air. I wonder how much gas has been used. Should be more than what we paid as the wind later on became very unfriendly. 
Those two were for tethered rides. At first it was one only for tethered ride but I guessed it would take forever to cater for 180 people within 3 hours. They started the tethered ride an hour later than scheduled. Michelin proved to be the strongest even in times of windy situation. The wind came from all different directions and taking off became difficult. It was even difficult to get the balloon up. Judz was riding in the Michelin while hubby and I rode in the one behind. According to the staff, the one behind Michelin was the best. It would only take two in a basket plus one pilot but the one mi mama was in could take 4 plus one pilot. Tethered ride would be tied to the anchor on the ground. Please don't dream of flying anywhere because you were not in control of where you were going. You would be gone with the wind. The only thing you could control was the going up and lowering down. Where you land yourself at would be another story. An emergency landing was made at the grave site today. That's how interesting it could be.
It was our turn next. I left my camera down with the staff to take a video of us flying up. I regretted not holding on to my camera. I am without view-from-above still-shots. I dislike taking video so I will remind myself to keep to still shots and hold on to my camera no matter what. Hubby managed to grab a picture or two but it's okay. I'm totally okay with or without the shots. So, how's the experience going up? Well, it's an experience unless you have rode on one before. There's nothing to it because we were only tethering. It would be a hobby I will never want. I do not have the patience to wait upon the wind to be kind.
By 9a.m. a few of the balloons have surrendered to the cool  strong wind. Monster tried to stay alive but it went down, too. Aww... poor monster. He crumbled to the ground even after the staff of AKA tried to resuscitate it, but to no avail. Poor... poor monster.
While waiting in-line for the cold inflation, I manage to view the paramotor show. First time I saw this was when I was somewhere in Sepang area, couldn't remember the expensive chalet built on the dirty and muddy sea water which looked like a palm tree from birds-eye-view. 
By the time it was nearly our turn, the cold inflation became cold deflation. The wind was really harsh to this event.
For cold inflation which was only RM5 for 3 minutes, you would have to remove your shoes before you step into the balloon envelope. Take a selfie or wefie or whatever you want as long as you don't tear the balloon with your sharp feet. We didn't manage to go in at all. By the time we left, there were no more hot air balloons to be viewed. Even the balloonists were frustrated with the wind condition of this little island. Oh, but when the days we welcomed the wind, the wind just refused to come. Now that the wind was not welcomed, the wind came in all directions.

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