Pre-flight with Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris


Very early on a cold Highveld autumn morning,
my wife and I find ourselves standing under this heater on the deck of Bill Harrop’s clubhouse.

Even though there are gas heaters, a “proper” wood fire adds to the atmosphere.
I had misread the meeting time and we had arrived almost an hour early!

The clubhouse was built post my last visit.

Full moon over the launch site.

Waiting for sunlight…

Eventually the other guests start to arrive…

Photographs on iPads…

and Smartphones…

This youngster had the right idea.
Although cold away from the heat,
the burners in the basket keep guests warm during the flight.

Almost time to board.
The black balloon is used in place of a windsock.
Bill explained that a regular windsock is not accurate enough.

Clubhouse, moon and the inflating envelope.

Fire it up…

Hot air does work…
ask politicians around the world.

Captain Harrop making certain that all is in order before allowing guests to board.

Almost time to take off…
The smaller balloon had six passengers,
ours had sixteen.

A nostril shot while Bill does rope checks.

The roof design won an award recently.

Time to burn…

My wife,Carolyn
prepares for her second flight with Bill.

As the sun starts to peek over the horizon
it is time to take to the skies.

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