We set off in plenty of time to bag ourselves a good spot on the slope overlooking the arena, only to be informed on our arrival, that due to adverse weather conditions, there would be no mass ascent that evening. In previous years a selection of balloons have at least been inflated, if not lifted, but unfortunately even this would not be possible.
I was glad I had made a bit of an effort with the picnic (sticky chipolatas, feta and olives, roasted tomatoes with couscous and bacon and potato salads). That and pack of Monty Python Fluxx cards kept us going until the Balloon Glow in the evening, which was alright, but not as entertaining as in previous years.
The following morning, after many years of baulking at the early rise, we decided to venture up the hill for the sunrise ascent. The weather forecast was pretty unpromising but there was nothing on the website to indicate that the event had been cancelled, so we decided to risk it and set off in hope even if not in expectation.
Once again we were disappointed. However I was relieved to see that we weren't the only ones, and the vendors of hot drinks and bacon butties were doing a reasonable trade. I was tempted but resisted until we had taken the scenic route over Brunel's Suspension bridge and down through Clifton and Hotwells to the Lockside, which had opened early and where we enjoyed a hearty cooked breakfast.
So balloons 5/10, catering 10/10.