We have actualy made the trip in the hot air balloon !!! I bought the tickets last September for Cindy's 21st birthday, but it's taken 9 attemps to actualy get up in the air, as they were all cancelled because of various unfavourable weather conditions.
The day started at 04.30 for me, the girls managed to stay in bed an extra 30 mins!! We had to be at the launch site for 06.00 for the initial briefing. We had to get in to the basket before it was attached to the balloon and practise getting in and out and getting in to the landing positions! It was no mean feat getting in, I can tell you! The basket is quite high and only two little foot holes to help you. Most of us 'older' ladies had a job getting in rofl
Once the balloon was inflated, which took about 30 mins, we all climbed back in and they started adding more heat to the balloon to get us in the air. The burners give off a LOT of heat and felt very warm on the head! The basket rocked a bit before we lifted completely and was a little bit scary, but we lifted off ok. The rise is quite quick and Cindy was a bit nervous but once we got up to the height the pilot wanted ( a woman by the way :) Lyndsay Muir) she was soon hanging her head over the side to see where we were and who's house she could see lol
Unfortunately for us, the balloon went, because of the wind, over the other side of Whitchurch and we didn't get to see our house . We'd been hoping to take some arial photo's of it! Also, there was a bit of low cloud and we couldn't see any thing when we entered it. It was very spooky! No noise and nothing but white ..... quite scary!! The one good thing though, was we got a lovely view of our balloon shadow on top of the cloud... awsome! We came lower again and floated north west over the town and out in to the country side towards Chester. At one point we went over the 'hunt' kennels and the fox hounds started howling! The kennel maid was not happy and we could hear every word of her sarcastic mutterings as it all came up as clear as a bell rofl
The flight lasted about 45 mins before the pilot had to find a suitable field to land in. One that didn't have crops, cattle or pillons in.
The landing was not as bad as it could have been. Lyndsay said she thought we might drag and tip so we had to get into our 'landing' positions, but we bounced about 3 times and landed upright .... phew!!! We then had the job of helping to pack away the balloon which was great fun, if quiet heavy work! After we'd got it all packed away and on the trailor (which had followed us along all the country lanes and got permission off the farmer to go on to his land) we had a champagne/ bucks fizz toast and got a signed certificate as a momento of our flight.
I had to make a slight detour, via a public foot path and style which was covered in stinging nettles, to behind a hedge .........!!! before we climbed on to the side of the trailor and got transported across 3 fields back to the road and the waiting mini bus. The driver stopped off to give the farmer a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of wine ( he could have had 2 free balloon flight tickets, but what farmer would want them? lol ) as a thank you, and then we drove back to the launch site and home.
You can see some of the photo's HERE
These were taken by the ex on his phone as we were taking off. As soon as I get the ones from our camera's of when we were IN the balloon, I'll share them too, but I have included the one of the balloon shadow :)
It was an awsome experience and one I'd reccomend to any one. Even if your scared of heights as Cindy and I are, you feel very safe as the basket sides are quite high and sectioned off so you do feel very safe.