Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hot air ballooning

As I was trying to clean up after handing in all my work yesterday, I came across some of my stuff from the trip to Turkey.  I found a certificate verifying that I went on a hot air balloon trip (not that they had time to put my name on it, due to some hitches with the organisation of the event).  I needed this as proof of the trip as all my friends and family know that I do not like heights.
I was assured by several people on our trip that being on a balloon is not the same as being high in a building and that I would be fine.  So I decided it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and booked in.
They were right, it was not the same and I felt quite comfortable, despite the somewhat fraught landing.
We were supposed to leave at dawn but were told that the winds would not be right and to come an hour later - that suited me, not such an early start.
Firing up the balloons

But then we had to wait around for over an hour for the balloons to be ready. Some seemed to have been up already and we had to then drive to our balloon.
setting off to find our balloon

Half the people got out and half of us got in, then the other half of their group got out and the rest of us got in.  All this so it would stay on the ground.

looking up from the basket

The wind blew in an unexpected direction, so we did not get to see all the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, but we did see some amazing landscape.
We also saw a few foxes running about.  They may have been disturbed by the noise of the balloon (don't let anyone tell you it is silent!) as our dog goes bananas if she is outside when the balloons go over our place, usually in autumn.

When it came time to land there was a slight problem - our captain had not flown in that direction before and was not familiar with a good place to land.
our captain, an Englishman, so we could understand his strict landing instructions
not a lot of places to land!

We eventually landed safely, after bumping up the hill.
Then a celebratory drink (warm) and another wait for the pickup team to find us.

the pickup crew had to find roads that actually came to us

In the meantime, we got to see the balloon let down and folded away, then wandered off to meet the truck.

Although there was quite a bit of time doing nothing, the experience was well worth it.


parlance said...

That second photo is surreal.

Mary said...

Parlance, the landscape is quite barren-looking, even though we often flew over little areas of pumpkins, grapes, and occasional lettuce patches. They were small and seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, possibly people were living in some of the cave houses. There were also at least 40 balloons setting off over the period we were waiting.