Mexico (cont'd)


The opening day of the festival, we were out on the balloon field two hours before dawn to inflate the balloons. Mariel's brother Javier, an engineering student and fluent English-speaker, was there to translate my directions to the crew. He would also be flying along with me in his one-person Cloudhopper hot-air balloon, the same type of balloon I fly when I'm not cluster ballooning.



The inflation went reasonably smoothly. Because of the high launch altitude (7200 feet) I was flying was a larger number of smaller balloons. However, the crew worked swiftly, and by the time the sun rose, 100 colorful balloons were waiting for me to fly.




Larry helped me into my harness, and finished rigging the balloons.

A number of newspeople wanted to interview me -- hot-air ballooning is not all that common in Mexico, and this was the first they'd seen of cluster ballooning.

Some Indian dancers began performing right next to where we were setting up -- the accompanying drums were deafening and definitely got my adrenalin pumping.

Then the elder Javier cut the ribbon declaring the festival officially open. It was time for me to fly.


A little bit of wind came up, so my crew had to run as my balloons carried me up into the skies of Mexico.








The younger Javier took off after me in his Cloudhopper, and we flew off to the west, over the outskirts of Teotihuacan.



Up ahead I could see the City of the Gods.