I have often written about my dream of taking a flight in a hot air balloon. In fact, if you asked me a month ago what my biggest dream was for 2018 I would have said “for everyone to just be healthy” you would have said “no, something else” and I would reply “a flight in a balloon”
A few weekends ago, my dream came true.
For the longest time, I have wanted to take a flight in a hot air balloon. Maybe it’s because Up is pretty much the only animated film I really like (Other than Wal-E). The idea of just lifting up and floating away seemed so exciting.
This month marks one year since the transplant. One year since I gave a bit of myself to someone else who needed it more. It has been one hell of an unexpected year. Great things happened, horrible things too. But we all made it to the one year mark. To celebrate I booked a few cool surprises for the special people in my life for this month. Little did I know my best friend and carrier of my second-hand-bits organised the most special surprise for me.
We left home at 4 am to arrive at Bill Harrops in Magalies at 5 am. Greeted with a hot chocolate at registration we took a seat on the stoep and watched 4 giant balloons be inflated as the sun rose behind them. It was cold and exciting and I don’t think I stopped smiling for a second.
Balloons are filled according to weight. there were 11 people in our basket and as the giant flame lit up our balloon lifted in what felt like a smooth, slow elevator lifting to the sky. The pilot uses air currents to steer and once we were high enough the balloons drifted in opposite directions. It is so smooth and simply glides along. Low enough for you to see the wildlife below and high enough for it to feel like you are a fictional character in “8o days around the world”
The flight is a lot more stable than you’ed expect for a floating basket. The pilot told us stories of some of the most exciting flights he has had while we were enjoying the endless green views from the air.
The landing seems scary. It’s a basket, in a field, with no breaks. But it touched down without tipping over. We drifted roughly 24km in an hour and a half flight. We enjoyed mimosas in a muddy field at 8 am before heading back to the venue to enjoy a hearty Sunday breakfast.
It was magical. Cold, beautiful and perfect.
I highly recommend this bucket list item. It will leave you in awe and smiling for weeks. (I am still smiling)
For more information check out Bill Harrops Original Balloon Safaris.