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up where the air is clear

 Ok, so I’ve done it – I went up in a hot air balloon.  It was AMAZING!!!!  We had to ring up at about 2.30pm to see if we were still flying, and thankfully, the weather forecast was good.  So, in the afternoon, me and my Dad drove to Bewl Water in Kent, a water reserve and reservoir, where we’d meet the balloon.  We waited a while, during which the organisers ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhed’ about whether the wind was too strong.  Eventually, after about 45 minutes, they decided to move the launch site just a few minutes down the road to a clearing next to a row boat station.
We helped to get the balloon up, with my Dad holding the balloon open so the air could get inside.  Cold air first, followed by blasts of the hot air – in fact, the balloon went up fairly quickly.

Then we had to clamber inside, using the footholes you see in the photo above.  We were in, and before we knew it, we were off.  It was a very smooth take off, and we rose very quickly, but super smoothly.

 This is the kind of views we saw.  It was completely amazing, especially as it was about 7 in the evening, it was really clear.  There was hardly any wind, and apart from people moving about to get better views, the basket didn’t move.

 This photo above, shows the landing site, just to the left of the picture.  It was a cracking landing.  We were instructed beforehand how to brace ourselves, and which position to be in.  So, there we were, standing with our legs bent, gripping on to the rope handles, pushing our bums and backs against the wicker, and we bounced a few times, leant over a little bit, and then we came to a stop.  We had made it!

Champagne was opened on the trip (two glasses for me!), and of course there was some more after landing.  We helped to pack the balloon away, sitting on it, rolling it – fun!  We flew with a few others, including a great couple called Liz and Richard, who made the journey much more fun.  So, thanks to them.  I believe my Dad thoroughly enjoyed his 70th birthday present, and I have to say that I did as well.  I’d even go on another one.

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