Ajijic Balloon Festival

Last weekend we went to watch some balloons launch. The Regatta de Globos, or Balloon Sailing Festival, opens fiesta season in Ajijic that lasts through Easter. It’s a popular event that draws large crowds, held on a football pitch in town.

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Each of the several hundred balloons is made from tissue paper and white glue. It is filled with hot air to blow them up, then a rag torch is placed at the bottom of the balloon to keep it heated in flight.

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It’s a pretty impressive operation to watch, especially for the larger balloons.

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Occasionally, a balloon goes sideways and catches file. Most pieces burn up before they hit the ground.

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Sometimes, the fragile paper gets punctured and has to be repaired. Notice the gaping hole just above the guy with the red hat. He’s sitting on someone’s shoulders to patch it.

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When several balloons are in the air together, it can look impressive.

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The balloons can travel for miles. As for safety? There is one story told about a farmer’s corn field getting burned up by a balloon. I read it on the Internet, so it must be true.

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They’ve been doing this a while, so there’s plenty of creativity.

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This sign says, “From the earth to the sky.”

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The event runs 3:00-10:00 every year on the Saturday before Independence Day (Sept. 16).

We only stayed for a couple of hours, but we went up on our roof after sunset and saw several balloons float by. That was pretty spectacular itself, but I couldn’t get any good shots.


More about the Regatta de Globos:

This site has a great story about a farmer’s field getting burned up:

http://www.mexico-insights.com/judysblog/?tag=/Ajijic+Regatta+de+Globos

http://www.accesslakechapala.com/2011/09/12/regatta-de-globos-hot-air-balloons-in-ajijic/

Not great video, but caught a balloon fail at 2:21:

Short video of a successful launch:

 

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