Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#504897 - 06/05/15 05:58 AM Beach Ball Over Belize?
Marty Online   happy
This morning there was a major visual anomaly on Belize City's Coastline - it's a huge balloon hovering above the Marine Parade Roadway. We stopped by to see what it's about - and ended up going for a ride.

Jules Vasquez reporting
It looks like a giant beach ball hovering above the coastline of Belize City - but it's actually a massive helium balloon - the initiative of a new company on the Marine Parade called Belize Balloon Rides:

Max Galas, Belize Balloon Rides
"Behind you is this beautiful balloon in the sky is a helium tethered balloon. What it means? is it is a balloon very much like the balloon you get at the children's parties that are tied to the hand of a child and are just elevated because of the gas being lighter than air and its helium. Helium is a non-flammable gas that occurs naturally. So what we do is that we full up the balloon with helium with gives it a suitable amount of drag. It's able to pull up. Underneath it is a gondola. It has a basket that people can enter into the basket and in total silence with mechanized parts in the moving up process, the balloon slowly elevates itself. This is a very simple apparatus, which means that actually it's safe in its simplicity and balloons has been around for a very very long time. The helium that's in the balloon is not flammable. It's not a hot air balloon there's no flames pulling it up, there's nothing burning so it's a very very simple thing."

To try it, I clambered into the gondola and held on tight - in short order, up, up we went - I did a little moving around to ahem keep the weight distributed - and pretty soon were up to about 250 feet.

Way up there - the cirrus swirls seems so placid the rushing world below reduced to small specks - but trust me I wasn't quite beholding the view, maybe it was my general distaste for great heights with no hard railings, maybe the fact that they just set it up that morning - and this was one of the first done or so test runs - I had a warmish time.

We radioed the winch operators to bring me down and I was glad to be back on tierra firma

Max Galas, Belize Balloon Rides
"The idea behind this is this is a product for Belizeans and however of course we are open to anybody who comes to our premises. I think it's a very good idea that also visitors to Belize City take a ride in this balloon so that they can see Belize City and actually see the beauty of Belize, I mean, you can see the cayes over there, you can see the sea, you can see the river, you can see the structure of the city and the way it comes out and goes in. Things that wouldn't normally see if you were just travelling in a car."

But, perhaps the real value of this is the selfie - as my camera - man showed when he was getting ready to go up - he checked his phone for full facebook exposure:

Max Galas, Belize Balloon Rides
"It's probably to take the maximum selfies and post them on Facebook and send them through to your friends however, the idea is i think sometimes people just want to see nature. Sometimes they want to get away from the world and being up in a balloon is completely different than being up in an airplane. There is no noise. You are exposed to the elements. I'll get a feeling of serenity when I'm up there."

And so now, visitors will have a new presence on the Belize City coastline:

Max Galas, Belize Balloon Rides
"I chose this colour because it's a happy colour and it's a happy nation. It's a nation of different colours, different places so I think that it gives Belize City a kind of a boost. You know, you see it when you arrive, you see it on your way to work, maybe you're having a bad day and you look and there is this beach ball."

We note that the Marine Parade road in front of the Belize Balloon Rides company was the site of major trenching. But it's not helium pipes running underground - its regular water pipes! Turns out that when Johnston International built Marine Parade which is the most expensive road per mile in Belize's history - they couldn't wait for BWS - so they just went ahead and built the road without water mains infrastructure. Galas reports that was the major delay in getting his project started.

IT'S not open to the public yet - since they are still in testing mode. It should be opened next week when a 10 minute ride will cost 35 us dollar sin the daytime and 35 dollars Belize after 4:00 pm.

Channel 7

#504907 - 06/05/15 08:16 AM Re: Beach Ball Over Belize? [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
Watching the sunset from the balloon is probably going to be really cool.

#504930 - 06/06/15 06:36 AM Re: Beach Ball Over Belize? [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Coming Soon – Belize’s First Helium Balloon Ride

If you are to take a drive or walk along the Marine Parade in Belize City, there is an activity that is soon give you an adrenalin rush. The upcoming attraction will allow Belizeans and tourists to get a bird’s eye view of the city on a helium balloon. Belize Balloon Rides will be providing the service to the public and customers next week, but on Thursday, after taking all the necessary precautionary measures, the company started testing. The ride, almost similar to that of a hot air balloon at amusement parks, is a first in Belize and owner, Max Galas, was ecstatic about the new experience that will be available to the entire family.

Max Galas, Owner, Belize Balloon Rides

“A helium tethered balloon. What it means is that it is a balloon very much like a balloon that is given at the children parties and I just elevate it because of the gas being lighter than air. It is helium – helium is a non-flammable gas that occurs naturally. So what we do is we fill up the balloon with helium, which gives it a certain amount of drag, it is able to pull up. Underneath it is a gondola, a basket…people can enter the basket and in total silence, with no mechanized parts in the moving up process, the balloon slowly elevates itself to a height of approximately two hundred and fifty, two hundred and twenty feet. And from then on, you can have a look of beautiful Belize City.”

Max Galas


“Who is this for? Are you marketing it to tourists or it is for locals? What’s the idea behind this?”

Max Galas

“The idea of this is that it is for Belizeans and we open for anybody who comes to our premises. I think it is a very good idea that also visitors to Belize City can come and see the beauty of Belize. You can see the cayes over there, you can see the sea, you can see the river; you can see the structure of the city….the way it comes out and goes in; things that you wouldn’t normally see if you were traveling in a car. I think sometimes people just wanna see nature; sometimes they just wanna get away from the world and being up in a balloon is completely different from being up in a balloon. There is no noise, you are exposed to the elements and there is a feeling of—I get a feeling of—serenity when I am up there. So I think it differs on personal taste. People have different needs and I think they can find something up there.”

Duane Moody

“I know it is not opened as yet, but is there an idea of what the cost will be for those who come here?”

Max Galas

“Actually we are not opened.  His morning we inflated; at this moment we are doing adjustments, making trial runs. So right now we will only be opened for business next week. It’s an unspecified day as yet; we have to be absolutely ready. The cost of balloon ride, there is going to be two prices really. We want to make it affordable to everybody so after four o’clock in the afternoon when people finish work, the price is going to be thirty five dollars Belize. But it will be thirty-five U.S. otherwise. That’s our pricing for now.”

Channel 5

#505041 - 06/09/15 11:47 AM Re: Beach Ball Over Belize? [Re: Marty]
BelizeCityDayTrip Offline
Eerily similar to Pink Floyd's Animals album cover....certainly adds some colour on a grey day over Freetown Road:

Promoting love and encouraging grassroots in the city..... www.belizecitydaytrip.com


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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