Bucket-List Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque – Oct 2018

Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque has been on our must-do list since fellow travelers told us all about their home town of Albuquerque and described the balloons flying right over their house during the Fiesta! The event was way better than their stories could convey.

We had heard about the challenges of reserving premium RV sites so we joined a group that was already experienced at all the logistics. Fantasy RV Tours and Rallies did a great job. Our tour was 7 days at the front half of the fiesta while another tour for 5 days was offered during the last half of the Fiesta. Either one would be awesome.

Besides being within walking distance of the field, one of the advantages of joining this tour was the large number of ambassadors assigned to direct parking the RVs, serving meals, providing sight seeing information and greeting us with warm smiles every day.  Free shuttles run between the RV areas and the field but we walked a few times too. The meals and drinks at our group’s tent were good, the extra tours and entertainment were great add-ons making the whole experience fantastic.

The downside was the weather in Albuquerque, which caused cancellation of many of the Fiesta activities. At least the clouds created more interesting photos here and there. After the first morning, I told Bruce, “Even if everything else is canceled, I will leave happy with the experience and photos we got today!”

We lucked out with our RV facing toward the field so we could see the fireworks and balloons from our front seats!  Nice and comfy!  We always preferred being at the field for balloon launches but nice to have an alternative.

The first morning before the fiesta even started, we woke up to balloons directly overhead! We were so excited and ran outside in our PJ’s to watch them.  The firing of the burners sound like whales coming up for air.  I will never forget that sound and the childlike excitement that came with it.  We will definitely go back, and when we do, we hope for less cancellations.  The weather does reduce the crowds a bit though. We heard the field can be closed when it reaches capacity, but that was not a factor this time.

The Balloon Museum is on the way to the field and is a must see.  There were some premium viewing experiences at the museum and might be a great alternative for some.  It would be a completely different experience than being on the field in the pitch dark with balloons firing all around.  It is a crazy circus and a photographer’s heaven either way.

It’s almost impossible to narrow down the photos but here are some (too many), I hope you enjoy them!

 

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