Sky Waltzing Over Jaipur, India, in a Hot-Air Balloon

Mridula Dwivedi decides to take a break from her usual vacation activities and try something new– a hot air balloon safari! Dwivedi shares her memories and takes in the sights while “waltzing” over beautiful Jaipur, Rajasthan in India.

Inflating the balloon. Photos by Mridula Dwivedi.

When I was writing about my last vacation at Naldehra, I was thinking that most of my vacations sound the same: I go to the mountains, I walk a lot and I take a lot of pictures.

But here was a break that was so different from any that I ever took! I have been to Jaipur in Rajasthan before but this hot-air balloon safari was really different.

The Sky Waltz Balloon Safari

I heard from Yam (his contact number is +91 9717295805 or you can get in touch with Gagan too at +91 9717295801) of the Sky Waltz Balloon Safari in March 2010 and I finally took a hot-air balloon ride at Jaipur in October 2010! But surely it was worth the wait. You can check out their rates here.

I stayed at the Wall Street Hotel (don’t ask me why they picked up that name) and it is a decent hotel, located quite centrally in Jaipur and pretty good for the price they charge (Rupees 1800, Dollar 41).

My main agenda was the balloon safari; other than that I spent all my time in old Jaipur, in Bapu Bazaar and Jauhari Bazaar, shopping for my family and myself and visiting the Hawa Mahal.

An Early Morning Start

I am told that the balloon safaris happen either early in the morning or towards the evening because the weather conditions are favorable at that time. I had a 5:50 am pick up from my hotel to the safari site.

There was a time when I thought nothing of getting up at 4:45 am but no longer. When I set the alarm for 5:15 am for the next day I was not a happy camper.

I also kept on waking through the night due to the fear of sleeping through the alarm so finally when I got up at 5:15 am I could have slept more. But then I do not like to be late for any appointment and I was down in the lobby by 5:45 am.

The Sky Waltz car duly arrived by 5:50 and it had other guests who were going to go up in the air along with me that morning. We were six in all, along with the pilot Thomas Dattler from Australia.

Sky Waltzing Over Jaipur, India, in a Hot-Air Balloon