Adventure Balloons, Balloon flight, Berkshire College of Agriculture, Burchetts Green, Henley, River Thames, Sonning Common
12th time lucky! Two years ago, Barbara was given a voucher for a balloon flight for her birthday. She suggested that her daughter, that is my cousin Teresa, and I join her, and as I had been longing to go up in a balloon all my adult life, I was thrilled to agree, as was Teresa. So for two years we have been making reservations on flights, and 11 times these flights have been cancelled, either for bad weather conditions, or, once, because they had not enough passengers booked for the flight.
This morning, at last, it happened! It was perfect weather. Arriving at 5.30 at a field belonging to the Berkshire College of Agriculture, in Burchetts Green, the sun was rising over the horizon, and there was a little mist around which burnt off over the next couple of hours. After a short briefing with us all actually in the balloon basket, we all clambered out and watched the balloon being inflated. This didn’t take long and we all climbed in again.
Take-off was imperceptible and we were up and away before we knew it.
Before long we were at our maximum height of 900 feet plus. It didn’t feel like it – though how would I know?
We saw animals.
At last some wild animals – running deer, tiny specks here.
We saw expensive properties (this was the Henley area).
We saw fields with patterns.
And of course we saw views.
After some 50 minutes it was time to start descending.
Once the balloon had deflated sufficiently we were allowed to get out.
We were invited/encouraged/cajoled to help push all the remaining air out of the balloon, then to roll it up and put it back in the basket.
It was some time before a minibus arrived to pick us up. The interval was very pleasantly spent sipping champagne and chatting with fellow passengers. It had been worth the two-year wait! Thanks Geoff for kicking off the whole adventure! And Adventure Balloons, we’re sorry for all the evil things we said about you every time you cancelled – we really do understand that you couldn’t take the risk. And you served up perfect weather today.